If you have any interest in the UK’s alternative music scene in recent months, then Creeper are a name that you have most certainly heard be mentioned at least a dozen of times. With three EP’s under the belt, the sextet has become a tour-de-force, picking up awards, critical praise and a growing fanbase. It’s been a rapid rise for the Southampton punks, yet as we caught up with vocalist Will Gould alongside guitarist Ian Miles, he explains they’ve had little time to reflect.
“It’s been quite an adventure. I think Creeper, in general, has been an adventure but I think everything has happened so quickly we’ve not had the chance to sit and reflect so much. We kind of operate in our little bubble a lot of the time.”
Having released three EP’s in their first 18 months as a band, you can’t fault Creeper’s work ethic. They’re a band who are constantly busy, whether it be touring or writing, they’re always pushing themselves. For example, their latest effort, ‘The Stranger’, highlights their musical evolution as their expand their pallet of sounds, becoming self-assured in the use of “theatrical” elements that first reared their head on its predecessor.
“On the second EP (‘The Callous Heart’) we were testing the water to see if we were able to get away with some of our more ambitious ideas. Because it went down the way it did, we felt more comfortable exploring that territory and it has certainly led to a more rewarding creative experience for us.” says Will.
Although the band’s status and internal confidence are high, Creeper insists on keeping an air of mystery, especially when it comes to their creative procedure. “We’re not a band that takes pictures in the studio and put them on Instagram. That ruins the mystique of what we’re about,” states Gould, who cites names such as Nick Cave, Ted Leo, Blake Schwarzenbach of Jawbreaker, and particularly, David Bowie as examples to the mystique surrounding an artist. “When you listen to your favourite records as a kid, mine was ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars’, and if I saw pictures of him in a boring studio, it would completely ruin the drama. I don’t see the necessity of showing that to the world.”
The element of interpretation weaves itself into Creeper’s fabric, one where there is a relationship of respect between the band and their fans alongside their ongoing creativity. In an age where studio updates, teasing tweets and track-by-track features are commonplace, it is refreshing to see a band offer a sense of self-interpretation to its fans. It’s a quality that Ian Miles shares; “it invigorates their imagination and they fill in the blanks and the way they see fit. I think that’s a really nice thing,” with Will adding “the less we can give them, to what we’re doing, the better.”
Nevertheless, with their reputation seemingly constantly rising, new challenges are on the horizon for the six-piece punks. Amongst a summer of festival appearances, they will be making their first steps into America, yet it’s something they’re not fazed by. “I think the idea of going to America is every band from the UK’s dream. I’m really excited going to America with my best friends, our tour manager, our photo guy, this almost travelling circus that we’ve had in the UK for so long now. I think, as a group, we’re tour-tight now. I don’t think we’re very nervous. We just love playing” Will reassures us.
Having toured up and down the UK three times in 2016 alone, it is easy to see why Creeper are comfortable on stage. Their recent outing with Andy Black saw them play bigger rooms, which they took full advantage of. “I feel like we thrive on the bigger stages. We have a lot of ideas all of the time,” explains Miles.
The aforementioned summer of festival appearances also offers a welcomed change of pace as Will explains; “I think it’s a nice break. When you get to the festival season, you get the week off and then play at the weekend. It’s nice not to be burnt out so much. You’re completely fresh every time you step on stage.”
Despite all of their success so far, you won’t meet a band as humble and grounded as Creeper. They take every step forward with complete confidence and unity with a refusal to be caught up in any hype or pressure they may have. “The moment you start to worry how you’re going to go over, positive or negative, it starts fucking up what you’re doing and very essence of what your band is about.” clarifies Will.
‘The Stranger’ EP by Creeper is out now on Roadrunner Records.
Words by Sêan Reid (@SeanReid86)