Creeper’s Will Gould: “We Couldn’t Have Continued The Way Things Were, It Would Have Ended The Band”
After a year in the shadows plotting their surprise comeback, Creeper’s next 12 months look set to be huge. It’s come at great cost and toll, however…
How was last year for you, Will?
“Well, it was a year of reinvention for us. We’ve had a rebirth, like a Phoenix rising, because we were dormant and quiet at the beginning of the year and we were watching the world of music from the sidelines for the first time in a long while. So stepping back out again has been really interesting. I spent much of my time in America, in LA, made a lot of friends, recorded a little bit in London, moved from Southampton to Manchester, broke up with a fiancé and started a new relationship. I feel like I’ve lived one hundred lives this year. It’s resulted in my whole life being in a different place entirely. Now the band’s back together and we’ve released our first piece of music since 2017. It’s been a really pivotal year in my life. There have been a lot of firsts.”
Was it strange to spend most of 2019 plotting and planning for things that will essentially dominate the next couple of years?
“Yeah, that’s kind of the nature of Creeper in general. There’s an incredible amount of planning for every tiny little thing, because we always want to have these extra bits that aren’t very typical – like the ever-expanding narrative to our story and whatnot. So a lot of that is about meticulous planning, but it’s a lot of logistics as well. Now we’ve got a really crazily exciting year ahead of us next year.”
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Is it important to stay in and appreciate the moment, even though you’re in the thick of mapping out the future?
“I think I’m probably quite guilty of doing the exact opposite of that. I panic that we’re not going to make deadlines. I get so stressed out about all those things. Because if I’m not stressed about things, who’s gonna make sure they get done? I see it as my responsibility. So, like, while we were planning the break-up show, I was already stressing about the comeback a whole year after that. It’s probably a fault of mine, but I can’t help it. I freak out so much. I’ve definitely been known, even in the midst of our greatest achievements, to be thinking about the next thing and not being able to enjoy the moment that we’ve worked so hard towards. One of the things the year gave me was the time to reflect and appreciate some of the stuff that’s happened.”
How did it feel getting back up on stage and playing Creeper songs again?
“It felt really interesting. A lot of times we talk about trying to create these ‘moments’. It’s like that scene in [Tim Burton’s 2003 fantasy movie] Big Fish when the popcorn stops in the air and everything is static for a moment. We were trying to create that. We had a new look, a new logo and everything was so different, but it was amazing. Then the curtains opened and we played the first song we ever wrote together, VCR, and it felt like we hadn’t missed a beat. The love and appreciation we had from our audience that night is something that will stick with me for a long time, as well. It felt like a special moment. And as much as anybody else in the audience enjoyed it, I was so grateful to experience that with them. That’s what it’s all about for us. It’s about creating those little pieces of magic, in a world that’s often bereft of them. Considering what a horrendous year we’ve been through as a band, it was almost like our community knew we needed that.”
Was it hard keeping your comeback a secret and operating behind the scenes?
“I feel real strongly about that, actually. I hate the way that other bands conduct their business a lot of the time, and that’s not shitting on anyone in particular. I find the constant need for content and attention all of the time really gets in the way of the experience for the audience. I feel like that would have really ruined a lot of bands for me had there been these platforms and access when I was younger. The best thing I could do to serve my audience was to keep that secret and that sense of illusion. People who like our band want something with a bit of mystery and mystique. If not, they’re into the wrong band. They want to suspend their disbelief for a minute.”
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In what ways has that chance to breathe and reflect in 2019 informed what you’ll do differently going forward?
“Well, firstly, there’s the practicalities. Like, I had really long hair last time, which used to get entangled and constantly covered in makeup, but I could never shower. So I was like, ‘If I had a chance to do this again – which I do – what would I do?’ And on a deeper, existential level, I started thinking about what it meant to have a platform like mine, and how I can do things better next time around. But also, it was about evaluating the music we made. I made a point of going through what we’ve done previously and working out where I thought the pitfalls were. That evaluation it’s led to here; we must have written around 50 songs for our new record. We changed genres and styles so many times to get to the point where we’re happy.”
Do you feel completely recharged as a unit now? Are you ready to go again in 2020?
“Taking a year out helped us so much. We could not have continued on the way things were. It would have ended the band: the panic attacks, the tragedy, the grief and all sorts of things we were experiencing. What this allowed us to do was lick our wounds, heal and come back stronger. We’re all so ready to get back on the road. We’ve got a very different record, a different sound, a different look, and we’re in a different mind-set. We’re re-energised, and we’re exactly where we should be.”
Creeper’s new album Sex, Death & The Infinite Void will be released May 22 via Roadrunner.
BABYMETAL tour 2020
19 Glasgow, Barrowland
20 Cardiff, The Great Hall
22 Manchester, O2 Apollo
23 London, Hammersmith Eventim Apollo
Creeper tour 2020
12 Leeds, The Wardrobe
13 Glasgow, St. Luke’s
14 Manchester, Academy 2
15 London, Brixton Electric
17 Brighton, Concorde 2
18 Birmingham, O2 Institute
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