Punk music and horror have had a long lasting relationship for as long as I can remember. The two seem to go together like peanut butter and chocolate. While the sub-genre sadly may not have been in the spotlight as of late, for those of us who love it, thankfully it never fully goes away. There is light at the end of the tunnel though, and as things like musical trends tend to do, there has been a hint of a resurgence in the horror punk community.
One band in particular has gained a lot of popularity, an Atlanta based group called The Casket Creatures. They are currently gearing up for lots of shows throughout the month of October, as well as the release of their fourth album. I got a chance to talk with the guys about that, as well as ramble on about other topics such as the horror resurgence in the South, and their latest video which old school Final Fantasy fans will love.
HorrorSexy (HS): Can you tell us a bit about how the band formed?
Ryan: The band started with us wanting to do something horror themed. We started out just doing it on the weekends then it turned into Holy shit this is way more fun than any serious project we were doing, so let’s make our horror project our serious project and The Casket Creatures were formed!
HS: Horror is obviously a big part of you guys’ lives, can you give us some specifics as to where your inspiration comes from, and maybe some of your favorite horror films?
Ryan: A lot of our inspiration comes from horror films, but a lot also comes from the occult. Séances, ghost stories, haunting’s, etc. As far as films I think “Tales from the Crypt” that really got me started in horror, but I also fell in love with all the Universal Movie Monsters. Then my Dad got me into the more extreme stuff like “Hellraiser” and “The Evil Dead”.
Derek: Wait…your Dad showed you those movies?
Ryan: So that’s kind of my favorite shit! I love the classic stuff and I also really love the gory 80’s stuff. I’m not a huge slasher fan, but I love “A Nightmare On Elm Street”
Derek: I think out of those main 3 (Halloween, Friday the 13th and Nightmare) Freddy is the most bad ass. One of my most favorite of all time and I guess it’s not REALLY horror unless you’re afraid of the water, but “Jaws” is the greatest. Also love “An American Werewolf In London”
Ryan: That’s the best Werewolf movie ever made!
Derek: I have a huge love for the classic black & White films. They are my go to with horror!
HS: Atlanta seems to be in a bit of a horror renaissance as of the last couple of years (which is great for me since I live right outside), and you guys are definitely a big part of that movement. Why do you think horror has taken this long to become popular this far south?
Ryan: The Walking Dead.
Derek: The Walking Dead.
Ryan: We’ve always had a scene here with Shane Morton who does the MonsterBash and Silver Screen Spookshow so there has always been a horror community in Atlanta.
Derek: I think The Walking Dead just put it on the map so to say.
Ryan: We got lucky enough to become part of it, those guys pulled us in for the MonsterBash one year and ever since then we were kind of part of the Atlanta horror family.
Derek: Once we got that first MonsterBash from Shane, that’s when people started to become aware of The Casket Creatures so we owe him a lot!
Ryan: Another thing is we have a lot of the best Haunted Houses around here in Atlanta with Chambers of Horror, and Netherworld. At one time we had Atlanta Zombie Apocalypse too which was the greatest! So for a horror hub, Atlanta is a place to be.
HS: Nathan Hamilton of The Son of Celluloid fame is a friend of HorrorSexy, and a friend of mine personally as well, can you talk a bit about how the collaboration with him came about on the amazing Zombie Werewolves from Outer Space video?
Ryan: It came from us writing a song called “Zombie Werewolves from Outer Space” and Nathan Hamilton and Brad Slaton saying “We have to direct this video!” Something magical happened with that video because every one became a part of it and helped out and it was a huge crowd effort and I think if even ONE person wasn’t a part of it, it wouldn’t have turned out the way it did.
Derek: And as we are answering this interview now it marks one year to this day that the video has been out! It’s funny because it all happened with a drunk idea for a song that we were never going to play. And then we rehearsed it and were like “We are going to close every show with this.” And then it just morphed into this whole crazy thing!
HS: I’ve been following you guys for close to a year now, and I’m a huge fan. I have She Screams and Sex, Blood, and Rock&Roll and love both. I’ve read that a new record is in the works. can you talk a bit about your process, what we can expect from the new stuff, and when can we get our hands on it?
Ryan: Primarily a lot of the song ideas come from Derek and I locking ourselves away in a room for hours at a time and shouting ideas at each other until shit happens!
Derek: There is a lot of PBR involved in our writing process…but has not failed us yet! We do consult with the other members to get their input and ideas, but it is usually Ryan and I who get the ball rolling.
Ryan: As far as the new stuff, that will be available hopefully late this year or early next year! Everything is already done as far as rough recordings and we can’t wait for everyone to hear it.
Derek: We are hoping to have a new single out soon…fingers crossed! But if you make it out to a show this Fall you will get to hear a couple new songs 😉
HS: Speaking of the other albums, outside of cd’s and digital, are they available on any other form of media? If not, is there any sort of dream packaging you’d love to do as a re-release? Colored vinyl? Casket packaging? Anything at all like that?
Derek: No vinyl’s or anything like that!
Ryan: But as far as re-release, I would love to do a re-release of the first album. It’s rough around the edges, we were learning our ways, we were just getting started as a band and were like “We have to put something out NOW!” It was probably a little ambitious to put out a full length right off the bat with someone who had never recorded an album before. But that being said we learned a lot and the songs themselves are good so we would love to eventually go back and touch em up!
HS: You guys seem to play an exhausting amount of live shows. Is that more about just getting as much exposure as possible, or is playing live something you just love to do?
Ryan: it’s both!
Derek: It’s both!
Ryan: We need exposure because if people don’t know us and people don’t see us then WE have no one to play in front of! But it is something we love to do, that’s why we are doing what we do. And even if we were to play in front of 10 people every night we’d probably still be doing it.
Derek: If we aren’t playing stuff that exposes us then people aren’t going to know who we are. But I also think we are at a point where we aren’t playing shows just to play shows so it’s pretty cool!
HS: On a similar note, you guys seem to be very receptive to fan interaction as well. I met you guys at Days of the Dead last year for a brief moment, and you all seem to be really down to Earth cats. Do you enjoy random fan interaction?
Derek: Yes! If there are not fans, then we are nothing!
Ryan: Absolutely! And some of my best friends at this moment are fans of the band who became best friends. And I suggest to anyone who see’s us out to say Hello!
Derek: And it’s still crazy that doing this..what we’ve created, to say we have fans. It still boggles my mind! We will be out at shows just hanging out not in makeup and people will be like “Oh you’re The Casket Creatures! Can I get a picture?” Fuck yes you can! We are assholes, but not the assholes that won’t take time to talk to someone who has interest in what we do as a band!
HS: Outside of horror punk, are there any musical genre’s you guys enjoy, or maybe might see the band dabbling in at any point?
Ryan: Yeah we are all metal heads for sure!
Derek: I am a big fan of 80’s work out music.
Derek: I like everything from Slayer to Frank Sinatra!
Ryan: Good music is good music!
Derek: As far as dabbling in…there is definitely some heavier aspects to the new stuff.
Ryan: The new songs are horror metal!
Derek: I’ve always thought that we fit in more with the European horror bands like The Other, The Crimson Ghosts, etc. because they have a heavier feel than the horror “punk” type of bands in the U.S. So we have definitely expanded our sound more for all the new stuff we have written!
HS: I recently watched and absolutely loved the new video for The Final Night, which was obviously video game influenced. Are most of you gamers? What other kinds of interests do you guys have other than music?
Ryan: Yeah we are all nerds to some capacity! And I think a video game was the only way we could pull off a video for “The Final Night”
Derek: We do not have a 10 million dollar budget!
Ryan: It was a tall order to make a video for The Final Night, but that is one of our favorite tracks ever and sometimes people don’t pay that much attention if they don’t have the album, so we thought that song in particular needed some exposure!
Derek: Ryan and I are more on the gaming side and it was cool how it worked out as a Final Fantasy theme to it and we love the Final Fantasy games. And we have to give a huge thanks to Aaron Romero for working weeks on making that video possible!
Ryan: I just realized “Final Fantasy….Final Night” Hmmmm!
HS: We call ourselves “HorrorSexy”, and occasionally get asked what that means exactly. So I’m posing that question to you guys, what’s the first thing that pops into your head when I say the name “HorrorSexy”?
Ryan: Naked Bela Lugosi.
Derek: I was going to say dead hookers, but now all I can picture is a naked Bela Lugosi
Big thanks to the guys for chatting with us. If you’re in the Atlanta area, do yourself a favor and get to a Casket Creatures show, it’s a guaranteed good time. You can (and should) also purchase Casket Creatures music on Amazon and iTunes now.