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From David Bowie to Ozzy Osbourne: The icons who inspired Creeper’s Will Gould

If you want theatrics, Creeper have got ’em. But where do they get it from? Frontman Will Gould identifies the icons who made him want to be a star…

From David Bowie to Ozzy Osbourne: The icons who inspired Creeper’s Will Gould
Words:
Paul Travers
Photo:
Chris Bethell

In just a few short years, Southampton goth-punks Creeper have not only become one of the UK’s best bands full-stop, but also one you simply can’t look away from.

From the scrappy brilliance of their 2014 self-titled EP to 2020’s grand Sex, Death & The Infinite Void, the group’s ambition is reflective of their wide array of influences – and here, frontman Will Gould lifts the lid on exactly who it is that have helped make him and Creeper who they are today…

1David Bowie

“There’s a recording from Radio City Music Hall in New York, and it’s the last time he performed Life On Mars?. He came out wrapped in a bandage with a black eye. It was pure theatrics, and even though his voice was old and tired by this point, it’s still incredible – the most moving thing you can see. That directly influenced Creeper performances, like with the bandages I was wearing at shows quite recently.”

2Davey Havok

AFI were my favourite band growing up, because they had the theatrics that run through all of the people I’ve picked here, perfectly blended with the punk rock energy that I also loved. I remember watching them play a secret show just before the release of Decemberunderground in 2006, and having a feeling of watching a band who were clearly too big for the room. The band exploded with energy and I just became obsessed with them very quickly.”

3Nick Cave

“Watching Nick Cave live showed me and taught me just what a massive responsibility being a frontman is to your whole show. He’s like a musical Dracula, or a gothic Elvis Presley. The way he can move an entire audience with the movement of a single arm, knowing the right ways to move to send everyone into pandemonium, is just amazing. You don’t need all the bells and whistles to have a really theatrical show if you have that sheer level of presence.”

4Tim Curry

“He played Frank-N-Furter in the original Rocky Horror Show, which had a massive impact on my life and all the early Creeper stuff. There’s one performance, though, which was from a solo tour, and he did a Rocky Horror song called I’m Going Home. He forgets the lyrics, but it doesn’t matter because he’s crying and sharing the moment with the crowd. We’ve tried to capture some of that magic live on songs like I Choose To Live and Misery.”

5Meat Loaf

“During lockdown me and my girlfriend Charlotte would get a bottle of wine and watch Meat Loaf all the time – he put all of his body and energy into all his performances.”

6Ozzy Osbourne

“I saw Black Sabbath play Ozzfest in 2001 when I was really young, and I feel like a lot of who I am was formed on that one day. Watching Tony Iommi shredding was amazing, but Ozzy was just incredible. Watching the way he constantly fucked with the crowd, he was the master frontman and the original boogeyman! He’s not the greatest singer in a technical sense, but rock’n’roll doesn’t always require that, and Ozzy is a performer who always gives it his all.”

Now, have a think about all of Will’s inspirations and how he channels them as you enjoy Creeper’s spectacular performance in The K! Pit:

This article was originally printed in December’s one-off live music special.

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