Disappearing for a year to reboot your band is a creative idea. Having a pandemic screw up all of your bold plans and creativity when you’re ready to show it to people? That’s an effin’ joy killer. Creeper frontman Will Gould knows both of those scenarios intrinsically.
Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Gould essentially remade and remodeled Creeper. He disposed of their Callous Heart Gang persona and rebuilt everything from the ground up. Gould shared his intentions and goals for his band with APTV’s Bobby Makar in this installment of AP Phoner. Fans may rest assured that Creeper aren’t over, and the drive is still alive.
In the interview, Gould shares with Makar his concepts of “American romanticism” and how he wants Creeper fans to work hard for their favorite art. From the nuances surrounding the making of Sex, Death & The Infinite Void, and even his own personal projects away from the band, Gould has some visions he needs to realize.
Enjoy this excerpt from Gould’s chat below, or you may watch the entire video above.
So, as a band who pre-meditatedly took a year off—you went away for a year, completely ghosts for a solid year—how frustrating is it to you that you don’t have any control over this? This is something that just completely thwarted your plans, especially during a pivotal time in Creeper.
WILL GOULD: It’s some kind of divine comedy almost. You took a year off, and you planned all this stuff so far in advance, and the world gets in the way in the end.
But you know, Creeper’s a band that’s always dealt with situations where we have limited tools and limited time quite well. So we’re trying to make the best of this time to try and build things. To do social interaction with our fans and show that the important thing to remember is that every band is in the same position, whether they’re putting a record out or not. Boston Manor have a record coming out in a week’s time, you know? So we’re all in the same boat. So it makes me feel really good to know that we’re all in it together.
As frustrating as it gets sometimes, there are days [where] I’m like, “Oh, my God, we’re supposed to be playing shows. We’re supposed to be on tour right now.” But for the most part, I just get on with it, and Creeper’s good at that. You know, we’ve appeared at times in quarantine. We’ve launched a video game. We launched a movie club with people. Hannah [Greenwood, keyboardist] has made piano covers of all of our songs. So yeah, it’s been a very productive time for us in some ways. So, yes, it’s frustrating one day and all that the next.
Absolutely. You did the Angel Blood hot sauce.
Yes! That’s very cool actually. Yes, just now on Friday. That’s him, our friend Luke [Rees]. So back in the day when we first started touring in punk bands and DIY bands and things, we met Luke. And he’s been my friend ever since. And when I moved to Manchester, I got to see him all the time now. He started this hot sauce company. He plays in a great band over here called Pijn and another band called Curse These Metal Hands, which is the sickest band name ever. It’s a combination of them and this band Conjurer from over here, as well. Very good bands. Check them out.
And he came to us and asked us to do something with him. And I just thought it sounded like loads of fun and something to try and another avenue to use something creative. Angel Blood was a really cool name for it. It’s been another really fun string to the bow. I never made [a] food product before that. [Laughs.]
I think I had had an idea the other day about maybe doing one for our previous record, which is not really like us. Normally, when we’re done with the thing of it, we’re moving on. But I thought it would be nice to have the two bottles to line up next to each other. We’ll have to see. [Laughs.] It’s so silly, isn’t it?
That’s so cool: A Creeper hot sauce collection would be fantastic. But I really think what you guys need to do: action figures. The Misfits had action figures. [My Chemical Romance] had the Revenge-era action figures. We need Creeper action figures. You could do the Callous Heart Gang. You can do that whole series. You could do Fugitives Of Heaven. You do every era of Creeper as action figures.
I would love action figures so much. I’m a massive action figure fan myself. I had loads when I was a kid, and I still got loads now. That was something we thought about doing on our last record. We had the people from our narrative, the characters, so we had the Stranger and Jim Scythe and Madeleine. So, yeah, we thought about having those as action figures, but we never got around to doing it. I had this other idea about doing trading cards. You know, like you could trade with limited packs, and it spanned the entire Creeper canon. So you have it from all of the different records, and you try and have some of them with Easter eggs in there for people who are the hardcore fans and things.
You wrote the first record and the EPs about Southampton. You wrote the new record about small towns in America. Do you think the next Creeper record will be based on a month spent in lockdown at home? Are you inspired at all by this time to write new material? Is this creatively invigorating? Because this is the closest thing to a zombie apocalypse we’ve ever had without the zombies, of course. But it’s this post-apocalyptic type-thing right now. Are you inspired by that, or does this do nothing for you? Is this just a waiting period?
No, I feel like no matter what, people who are really into the arts and creativity, I think are always making things, anyway. And no matter what environment you are in, even if you’re in an airplane. I’m still thinking about things and writing stuff down that’s there. This is an interesting time for me.
It’s funny how we got that. We finally got the apocalypse we deserved. You know, instead of being out in a blaze of fire, we went down in a slow kind of shallow, shallow drowning then, didn’t we? I look around sometimes, and I think, “This is so sad.” It’s like everyone is talking about it like it’s the apocalypse. But it’s a slow death, isn’t it? It’s a really scary time at the moment. And, you know, my mum’s worked in the NHS over here, and she was retired, and she had to come back out into DHS. A lot of respect for everybody out there dealing with it.
But yet, my role in this is to try and keep active and keep busy. Keep writing songs and keep going. But I don’t think I’d necessarily write about lockdown. I think you’re going to end up with a lot of lockdown content coming out soon. That’s what every band is going to be doing likely. And I think that the things I’ve been working on have been somewhat of separate creative ventures to Creeper. Some, like, very Creeper-centric [projects], too. But I think I already know what we’re gonna make the next record about. We decided that we were working on that. This time period, maybe I’ll be making pieces of the next jigsaw in private. But I doubt it would be about the lockdown itself. It’s hard for things not to be influenced by this period in time. It’s so bizarre, isn’t it? It’s such a strange feeling.