Inside Creeper's American Noir EP: "We're finishing this apocalyptic romance in a really dramatic fashion"

Creeper mainman Will Gould takes us inside their new American Noir EP and looks ahead to their first live shows in over a year – including a huge spot at Download Pilot!

Inside Creeper's American Noir EP: "We're finishing this apocalyptic romance in a really dramatic fashion"
Nick Ruskell

Creeper are back! Last night they dropped their killer new song Midnight, and today they reveal details of their new EP, American Noir, due out on July 30 via Roadrunner. Not only that, they’ve also just announced that they’ll be making their live return on the Saturday night of the Download festival pilot event.

Having been somewhat robbed of Creeper action since last year, when Sex, Death And The Infinite Void was released just in time for lockdown to kick the legs out from underneath touring plans, frontman Will Gould is raring to go. He describes getting back into action as “a rebirth”, a new period for the Southampton horror punks, with a new drummer, Jake Fogarty, and an extension on the story arc of the Creeper universe.

Over to you, Will…

Give us the sales pitch on the new Creeper EP.
“It's kind of made up of surplus music that we made for the last record. Some of the songs I was writing for that last one, I was super proud of, they were awesome, but they just didn't fit on the album. For whatever reason, either I had another song that I'd already put together that could fit that portion of the record better, or just didn't seem to fit the vibe. So there was a big amount of material that had been held on to in the Dropbox. And it was funny, because I would play it to my girlfriend, and some of her favourites were the ones we didn’t even put on the album. So she would constantly be at me about it all the time. And then we knew that kind of a rebirth was coming up for everybody a little bit as well, coming back out into the world. So I thought it was a good time to revisit those songs, and put out something brand new and fresh. I know I keep doing releases all the time at the moment – I don't know what's going on. Somebody stop me!”

You’ve been prolific between this and Salem.
“But the funny thing is, I was worried. We had never done anything like this in the past, constantly churning out material, because it felt like that's what the industry was demanding of bands for a while. I remember how everyone was having to put out single after single, every single week, forever. And I always thought that that would diminish the quality of what you're doing. But the cool thing about this was, I'd written these songs years ago, so I had these bankers ready to go. There was a little bit of fixing them up and putting them together, but not too much. It was really fun as well because the title, American Noir, was originally the working title for Sex, Death And The Infinite Void. So I finally got to use my original title!”

And does it join up with the narrative from that album?
“Well, the last story ended with the character of Roe dying, and Annabelle holding him as he passes away. So there’s a lot of little things everywhere here. It's kind of like when David Lynch did Fire, Walk With Me – tying up some loose ends and finishing this kind of apocalyptic romance in a really dramatic fashion.”

The artwork is pretty impressive. What was the idea there?
“We worked with a photographer called Harris Newcomb. Obviously the way things look are really important to our band, and I think the way things work have a massive impact on whether some of us can take seriously some of the stupid ideas we're trying to make you take seriously. It’s like professional wrestling: if you look at it objectively it's very silly, but if you can suspend your disbelief for a second you'll see what they’re trying to do and enjoy it. It’s sort of a tribute to that Batman comic, where he’s holding dead Robin in the flag. I really liked Harris and he had a lot of really good ideas. One shot he did of me, he covered me in white paint, but when I got in the shower, it wasn’t [coming off]. I was covered in white paint. I had to give myself a sponge wash to get as much as I could off, then get on the London Underground with white paint in my ears.”

You were robbed a bit with the album, because as it came out as everything shut down and you couldn’t tour it. Has this pepped you up a bit as you head back out and things open up again?
“Yeah! It’s a little bit of a fan service as well, in terms of how they’ve not had anything from us in a while. And it's amazing to have new music out there when you're about to go out. It's a rebirth for a lot of reasons. Obviously, we've got a new drummer. We have kind of a new look as well – the look of this EP is kind of an updated version of some of the themes we've been playing with. It feels good to be able to come back and to be hitting the stage again with a new EP to bring it in, because things get old quickly. We've had the last record out for a year, and even though I'm in desperate to perform it in the way it deserves, it's still been out a year. I don't want to cover old ground. I want it to be as exciting as it can be, kind of a combination of fan service and revitalisation. And, yeah, new person on the drums too.”

And the first show back is Download Pilot in a couple of weeks…
“Yes! Which is only next month. Isn't that crazy? It doesn’t really feel like it’s happening, but it's amazing. I think it's a real privilege to be headlining the second stage on the second day – that's a real honour for us. One of the things I've always wanted was for someone to trust us to headline on a festival stage, because I've always seen us as a large rock'n'roll experience, rather than just a band who barely shows up and plays and fucks off. Obviously, the budget was extremely limited on this, so we can't do all our production as we would normally do. But we're still making every effort to make this as dramatic and as exciting a performance as we possibly can. It's gonna be such an amazing experience.”

You’re excited, then…
“Yeah! It's gonna be pretty fun, but I probably can't really drink all day long because we’ve got to play at the end, so I hope there’s an afterparty. It’ll be fun playing and watching bands sober, but I just want to be drunk with a warm can of beer in a field somewhere. That’s the festival feeling!”

Creeper's American Noir EP is released July 30 via Roadrunner Records.

Download Pilot takes place at Castle Donington on June 18-20.

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