The past eighteen months have been a whirlwind for Creeper. From playing their first headline show in their hometown of Southampton back in September 2014, to supporting the likes of Frank Carter and the Misfits towards the end of this year, things have seemingly gone from strength to strength for rock’s newest prospects. Throw in two brilliant EPs and a record deal with Roadrunner and it’s not hard to realise that this quintet are merely at the beginning of a very interesting road.
“I feel like we haven’t really had time to stop and assess it, you know?” begins frontman Will Gould, on the band’s speedy rise. Taking time out from shooting a new video, ahead of their final tour of the year, it’s still very much all systems go for the group. “It’s just happened so quickly and it still doesn’t feel like it’s real a lot of the time.” “We’re so concentrated on looking forward and what’s going to happen next,” chips in guitarist Ian Miles, “we generally don’t have time to think about the things that have happened.”
There have, however, been real markers along the way. There was returning to headline the Old Blue Last as part of their ‘The Callous Heart’ EP release – which also happened to be the first London venue the band had played, for a DIY Presents… show – and, as Gould remembers, walking onstage at this year’s Hevy Fest.
“We were out the back, all kind of getting in character and getting ready to go play,” Gould opens up, before diverting slightly. “I always feel like we’re really inadequate and like, ‘Oh god, why did they ask us to do this?’ and we feel really out of place. But I remember that day in particular, the guys went out and started the show, then I heard my cue to come out. As I came into the tent, there were loads of other bands that we knew lining up at the side of the stage – I had to push them out of the way to get to the stage! – and the whole tent was so into it. That felt like a real turning point, of ‘Oh shit, we actually are becoming like a band; a band that people want to see and listen to.’ I know it sounds really bizarre - often we’re so in our own bubble - but I felt we were really accepted by our peers and the crowd.”
“Walking onto the stage that time,” surmises Miles, “was like the final scene in Big Fish!” “And he sees all of his old friends!” “Then, as soon as you see a person, you remember a part of the tour that you were on with them. I just had all these people patting me on the back as I was walking past.”
Having spent the majority of their youth sharing stages together, there’s a real sense of excitement around Creeper’s success so far, from fans and bands alike. “It feels like everyone’s been really stoked for us,” confirms Will. “I don’t even know why! We’re just counting our lucky stars.”
Creeper are more than just a band, though; one listen to their music, one look at their videos will give all the clues necessary. There’s a real tangible sense of image, a consistency to the bigger picture that’s helped them stand out from the crowd, all the while allowing them a real sense of escapism. “We’ve always been really comfortable with it,” says the frontman, when opening up on their image “and the visuals are just an expression of how we are anyway. It’s different variants of the same thing. The image itself came from growing up with certain bands and artists – AFI, The Nerve Agents, David Bowie; they were all very image-based, and it would reflect the music.
“It’s also the complete opposite to this laddy rock thing that’s been going on. I mean, it’s been completely unconscious, but we’re kinda the opposite of a lot of what the music industry has been accustomed to for a while.”
“A lot of the sort of the lad rock that’s around at the moment is really grounded in real life, with social media references,” Ian continues. “That makes me cringe! We do this to make it otherworldy. It’s something that takes you away from the stuff that you’re constantly bombarded with anyway.”
“I always say with this band,” adds Will, “a lot of the time when you see other punk, or pop punk bands, they advertise themselves as being really sincere and very authentic, but a lot of the time, you go to see their show and it’s a pantomime. When you come to see us, I feel like we advertise a pantomime, and without people really noticing, we try to make it as sincere as possible.” He laughs, as Ian chips in, “A sincere pantomime.” “But not an Aladdin at Christmas pantomime…”
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