What happens when you spend two years out of the spotlight, meticulously crafting an ambitious new album, only for it to be released just as the entire live music industry has ground to a halt? That’s a question Creeper found themselves facing for the past year, following their astonishing second record ‘Sex, Death & The Infinite Void’ landing in the middle of the pandemic. And while it doesn’t take a scientist to figure out that not being able to see your record reach its true live potential is a bit of a kicker, the Southampton punks instead decided to buckle down and do what they do best: open up another window to their world.
“When we were [originally] going to make the last album, we had experimented with loads of different types of songs in order to get to the place we wanted to be,” explains the band’s Will Gould. “It was almost like we had to start the entire band again from scratch. It was a proper blank page. We’d never written material like we did for the last album, and so we went through this elaborate process where we wrote 50 or 60 songs just to get to a place where we had some frontrunners that we thought fit.”
“It’s almost like an extended universe version of ‘Sex, Death & The Infinite Void'.”
— Will Gould
Unsurprisingly, a slew of tracks - even some the band had become particularly attached to - no longer quite hit the mark. “We just had this surplus of material and my girlfriend would be like, ‘Some of these are your best songs and you’re not even doing anything with them’,” Will confirms. It was only after a recent line-up change (the band have now recruited new drummer Jake Fogarty) and their constantly shifting live schedule that Will realised things needed a jumpstart. The answer? This month’s EP ‘American Noir’. “We didn’t get to tour our last record, and to go out now and do exclusively what we were planning to do a year ago felt like it would be stale. We needed something to refresh everything and I thought a really nice way to do it was this: it’s almost like an extended universe version of the last one, I suppose.”
The EP provides another glimpse at the album’s central characters, Roe - who died at the end of the record - and Annabelle, his grieving lover. “I was really specific about the songs we chose to use on this EP for that reason: to continue on with that narrative, and so that it all made sense with what we were doing,” Will explains. “It was fun though because we were thinking on our feet with some of it. ‘Damned and Doomed’, I originally wanted as [the opener] for the last record.” A prologue of sorts, the track’s now been transformed into the EP’s closing piece. “It felt apt to close with it; it summarises what this story’s really about - an apocalyptic romance. It’s a tragic love song, and now it’s telling the end of the story, rather than the beginning.”
‘American Noir’ is out 30th July via Roadrunner Records.
As featured in the July 2021 issue of DIY, out now.