A few weeks ago, we ran an exclusive track stream for the horrorpunk band Blitzkid, which a ton of you absolutely loved. So, to keep up the hype for this awesome band, we’ve got an exclusive interview with bassist/vocalist Argyle Goolsby. We chat the album release, horrorpunk and horror in general. One thing is for sure, this guy’s love of horror is undeniable. Check it all out after the jump!
1) What’s up Goolsby! How are you doing?
I’m good man! How are you?
2) Not too shabby! Alright, first of all, the new album ‘Apparitional’ is out digitally. How does it feel to have it out for people to hear?
It feels awesome. It’s been a while since we were able to record an album with new material. The last one we put out was called ‘Five Cellars Below’ and that was put out in 2006 and we went through some line-up changes and because we were in the midst of that, we decided to put off anything to do with new material until we had everything solid. We just recorded this album that was basically a ‘best-of’ that was called ‘Anatomy of Reanimation’ and we ended up touring that one for quite a while. We were doing tours and festivals in Europe and they [the record label] kept us on that touring cycle for longer than we’d anticipated.
But that died down and we got a band. We got all the songs together and went back to the studio and spent most of last summer recording. Mixing is what took the longest. The whole recording process was pretty simple; we just took our time with the mix. And I’m really glad that it’s out now. It’s been something I’ve been wanting fans to hear for a while.
3) You’re about to do a tour in Europe and then a tour in the US in support of the album. Any expectations?
Europe is always great. We love Europe. We’ve been fortunate to have been pushed a lot in Europe really well for the past five years. We had a lot of good times over there and a lot of successful tours. As far as the US tour is concerned, we’re really excited for that because we’re touring with Strung Out and Face to Face, two bands that are extremely influential on Blitzkid. They are actually part of a handful of bands that actually were the reason why we started a band. So, yeah, it’s really cool.
4) Let’s talk horror for a bit: What is it about horror that appeals to you?
As a kid, it was just always intriguing. I come from a really small area originally and there wasn’t much to do here. There was just a lot of reading and sitting in the back yard, not doing a whole lot [laughs]. But I would go to the library a lot and I started to really get into cryptozoology. The first thing that really got my attention in all that was the Mothman. I read that in a book and it captured my imagination that there was this crazy monster from parts that I’m from. It just steamrolled into me watching late night TV and catching horror movies and then even books about old school horror and their imagery really captivated me. I don’t know what kept that going into my later years, but I remember seeing the Misfits, and I was totally into punk rock anyways, and they combined those two elements. That was the first time I’d been exposed to that and it really shaped me in a lot of ways.
5) Horror and punk/rock/metal seem to go hand in hand. Why do you think that is?
You know, I really don’t know, but it does work very well. I believe that it’s been an element in music since the beginning of time. I believe that there is something about morose, macabre things that make for really profound statements to human beings and I really don’t know what that is. That’s the psychological side of things [laughs]. But you have Screaming Jay Hawkings in the 50’s with ‘I Put A Spell On You’ and jumping out of zebra hearses. Then there’s Alice Cooper and Kiss to a certain extent. You have old murder ballads, which are nice little happy, poppy tunes that are back dropped with certain lyrics. Then it goes even further back into classical with guys like Maurice Ravel who composed music like ‘Painting for a Dead Princess’.
So, I think there is just a melancholy to it all that kind of attracts people. As far as punk rock, I think it’s an element of energy. I think punk rock is a really good vehicle for any message, so long as it’s a good one.
6) When writing music, how do you go about adding the horror to ‘horrorpunk’?
Well, I don’t overtly sit down and try to put down themes. It’s not like a checklist, you know? I kinda look at it from a metaphorical approach. All of those old horror movies had a message. They had social parallels to them. And maybe that’s another connection that punk rock has. You watch movies like ‘Creature From The Black Lagoon’ and ‘Frankenstein’ and in all those movies, the monster is rarely the monster. Humanity is the real monster. I take that approach because as a kid, I identify with that. It wasn’t really drawing on any sort of experience, I just connected with those movies. I just feel like some of the things you encounter in life are scarier than anything you can see on a movie screen or behind the pages of a story. I just try to make it work.
7) What are some of your favorite horror movies?
Oh man, god…The typical response is “There are too many to say” [laughs]. But I like a particular genre out of horror movies, which are the old German expressionist films. Films like Paul Linney’s ‘Waxworks’, Fritz Lang’s ‘Metropolis’, Murnau’s ‘Nosferatu’, ‘The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari’, all those guys! They were hugely influential on what became the Golden Age of Hollywood horror. I mean, we had Conrad Veidt, who played Cesare in ‘The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari’ originally cast as Dracula, the part that Bela Lugosi ended up getting. Hollywood imported a lot of those guys, bringing in their style over here which ended up influencing Tod Browning, who in my opinion made some of the best films every put to celluloid.
Alright Goolsby, thanks so much for chatting and I look forward to seeing you guys tour the U.S.!
Thanks a lot man! I really appreciate it and thanks for talking horror! It’s not something I get to do often, so I really enjoyed this.