Published Oct 21, 2010Burlington, ON psychobilly quartet the Creepshow might seem like a bunch of fun-loving, horror-film-obsessed fiends, but as singer Sarah Blackwood reveals about their new full-length They All Fall Down, in reality, they have their moments of regression.
When someone tells us, 'Okay guys, it's time to stop playing shows and write a record,' we're like kids stomping our feet, Blackwood says. 'No! We don't wanna!' It's totally like being kids and the label is our parents. 'We're doing this 'cause it's good for you.' 'No, I don't wanna.' 'Trust me... you'll know when you're older.' And they're always right. Once we get into it, though, we realize it will be fun to play new songs. We definitely need that shove, though, and it's terrifying.
While the foursome completed by bassist Sean "Sickboy" McNab, keyboardist the Reverend McGinty and drummer Matt "Pomade" Gee were not into the idea of holing up, writing and recording another set of tunes, even Blackwood has to admit the parental label was right. It was time.
As far as I'm concerned, we've all really come together as a band with this record, she says. It takes a long time to do that. With the first album [2006s Sell Your Soul], it featured my sister [Jen Hellcat Blackwood] so that was still them not really knowing what they were doing. They were trying something new. The second record [2008s Run for Your Life] was, 'Okay everybody, let's prove to the world that Sarah can be in this band.' It kinda sucks but that's how it was.
I basically felt like I had to try and write psychobilly music, whereas with this record, I didn't have to do that. I could write whatever I wanted; what sounded cool and that's the way it is. I think the guys felt that way too. It goes back to being more comfortable and... it just happened that way. We were like, 'This is what the album's gonna sound like,' and everyone was like, 'I really like these songs. They're different.'
The results on They All Fall Down are immediately recognizable: a previously unheralded self-confidence propels what is easily the band's strongest, unique and adventurous release yet, coming off as an incorporation of Blackwood's congenital old-school punk and country roots into the band's inherent punk/rockabilly drive. Most importantly, however, it finds them branching into new lyrical territory, resulting in a formidable pastiche of twang, balladry, fire and maturity beyond the genre's restricting horror-influenced slap-and-shuffle confines.
Yeah, I think it is there now in a louder, much less old country kind of way, Blackwood admits. I did get to be more poetic with this record which is a big thing for me. Lyrics are important to me... I could sing about the fact that I hate it when I have no food in my house or something [whereas in the past], I didn't feel confident enough; thought that I had to write more horror-type stuff, 'cause that's the way our band is. But over the past couple of years, I've realized that, yeah, people put us in that category but we don't have to be there. This time around, I wrote more from where I felt in my life at that time. It came from my heart instead of what I felt I had to do.
They All Fall Down is out now on Stomp Records. The Creepshow are currently on tour throughout North America, and you can click here for a full list of dates. And to check out Exclaim!s entire interview with Blackwood, head to our Interviews section here.