Below we’ve got an exclusive premiere of The Lion’s Daughter‘s “Nothing Lies Ahead”, which opens in a truly sinister fashion, a heavily reverbed guitar snaking its way over rasping death growls and blistering drums. The song comes from the band’s upcoming album Existence is Horror, which comes out January 8th.
On top of that, we’ve got a fun, five-question interview with vocalist/guitarist Rick Giordano who dives into the band’s love of horror and how it influences their writing, their stylistic approach, and even their music purchasing habits! They also weigh in on what kind of horror movie they’d like to score, if given the opportunity, and it’s a pretty ballsy answer!
Existence is Horror can be pre-ordered via Bandcamp.
Horror and metal have long held an association with one another. Many say it’s because both are genres preferred by outsiders. Others say it’s because both deal with very extreme topics and present themselves in extreme ways. What are your thoughts? Why do they go so well together?
I remember as a kid I was equally drawn to both around the same age. Both were just so forbidden and intriguing. Venom and Slayer album covers were just as scary as the Re-animator and Phenomena posters I would stare at in the video store. I was dying to know what content was waiting for me behind those images. And they seemed one in the same… Iron Maiden’s Eddie could easily be the star of A Nightmare on Elm Street, the same way Tombs of the Blind Dead would fit perfectly on a Black Sabbath album cover.
And yes, I would say most horror fans are also metal fans and vice versa. Both tap into something dark and unusual, and there’s a certain satisfaction in going against the norm. It’s like “Fuck you and your bland, safe entertainment. I have the balls to dive into a part of my brain that most people would rather pretend doesn’t exist, and enjoy the fuck out of it.”
Talk about the influences you pulled from when writing and recording this album. I know you said there were sprinkles of John Carpenter and Goblin. In what ways did their style come into play?
Really it was pretty unintentional on our part and just happened naturally. Both Scott and I are huge soundtrack collectors, snatching up all the Death Waltz, Waxwork, and Mondo Tees releases we can get our hands on. A lot of bands we really admire like Neurosis will often do this thing where the song has a mellow section right before it really takes off and explodes, and we kind of discovered instrumental horror theme breaks could be effective in that same way. We try to do it in a somewhat subtle way, and many people may not notice it, but the influence is definitely there.
Paolo Girardi‘s album artwork is stunning. What drew you to work with him and what do you feel his art brings to the listening experience?
Yes! And we are so, so lucky to be able to use this amazing piece of art he has created for the band. That guy is just incredible, he can do anything. We just sent him the rough tracks and I offered a vague description of the mood I wanted for the album art. And that dude fucking nailed it beyond belief. The artwork creates the perfect visual aid for the album. It’s nightmare, beautiful, violent… It’s everything we hoped to achieve musically, and that artwork represents it perfectly. It’s apocalyptic but elegant. Paolo and I joked that it kind of reminds us of the scene in Ghostbusters where they turn off the containment unit and all the ghosts start running wild through the city.
From what I understand, each track on Existence is Horror is a nod to a horror film or the horror genre in general. Was there a specific style of horror film that really influenced this album?
I can’t say that there was one in particular. But “Four Flies” is clearly a nod to Giallo, Dog Shaped Man creates this sort of wasteland of lycanthropy, Nothing Lies Ahead is a bleak sci-fi story… The themes vary, but the lyrics were written in a way that someone could relate it to actual human experiences and emotions. I didn’t want the lyrics and themes to come off corny, we aren’t a psychobilly band, so I tried to keep things somewhat vague allowing the listener to interpret it in his or her own way. Each song should have it’s own setting. If we were successful you should be able to close your eyes and have visuals just flood your mind.
If you could work with any horror director to score a film of theirs, who would it be and what style of horror would you want it to be?
That’s a great question! I’m really not sure. Heavy metal in horror movies is a tricky thing. You’ve got Iron Maiden and Motorhead in ‘Phenomena’, W.A.S.P. in ‘Ghoulies II’, and Fastway’s songs in ‘Trick or Treat’ which are all gold. But then you have things like the Dee Snider’s ‘Strangeland’ or ‘Freddy Vs. Jason’ soundtracks, which are total disasters and make the films seem even sillier than they already were.
I think we could score a film by someone like Eli Roth. His movies have a lot of ultra-violent scenes that our music might fit, kind of like The Locust in ‘Cecil B. Demented’, and his movies are already bad enough that I wouldn’t be afraid of ruining them! But I honestly don’t think we’d be worthy of working with any truly great horror directors. I’d rather they stick with the strings and synthesizers we have all come to know and love.