"Musically [Horrorpunk] is all over the place, from metal to 50's doo-wop, pop-punk to hardcore punk, it's just important that element of horror is there"
Graveyard Greaser Gang: "Horrorpunk is not a genre, it's a scene"! What does this mean to you?
Zero Delorean: I think it's a scene that borrows from many genres. For me, horrorpunk is most defined by the lyrical content rather than the musical content. Musically it's all over the place, from metal to 50's doo-wop, pop-punk to hardcore punk, it's just important that element of horror is there.
GGG: How would you describe horrorpunk to people who are not familiar with the music/scene?
ZD: Generally I'm asked about the music and I tell people that horrorpunk music is loud, fast rock n' roll or punk rock, short and catchy songs about the themes you might find in horror films. I don't usually don't delve into explaining the horrorpunk people or psychology.
GGG: What was your first contact with horrorpunk?
ZD: My first experience with horror-themed music was hearing Alice Cooper when I was a small child. My first experience with horrorpunk specifically was reading an article about The Misfits in an issue of Thrasher magazine. That was back in 1985 or '86. This is the kind of music that truly fired my imagination and always left me wanting to hear more.
GGG: Why did you start in a horrorpunk band (not a regular punk band for example)?
ZD: I actually got my start playing punk rock, it's just that the more I wrote lyrically, the darker the lyrics became. I already possessed a great love for the onstage spectacle and persona of bands like Alice Cooper and KISS so I was more than willing to adopt a horrorpunk persona when we started Diemonsterdie. It was a natural evolution.
GGG: What does horror in general mean to you?
ZD: I've always had a love of horror, starting when I was a small child. I was fascinated by the classic Universal Studios monster films and that remains my favorite style of horror movie. Horror crossed over into comic books with Tomb of Dracula, Werewolf By Night, The Living Mummy, Morbius, Frankenstein's monster and I'd read them over and over again. Bands like KISS and Alice Cooper seemed like real life superheroes and certain other songs of the 70s also carried the darkness that so appealed to my young self. Songs like "Spiders and Snakes" by Jim Stafford and Warren Zevon's wonderfully tongue-in-cheek "Werewolves of London" spring to mind. Even though they aren't literally horror stories they still have that suggestiveness of something darker beneath the surface. I think horror is a way for people to explore of one of the oldest and most primal of emotions, where one feels acutely alive even as they try to escape a violent death at the hands of those who prey upon them.
GGG: There are millions of horror fans in the world (movies etc). in your opinion, why do people barely know about horrorpunk?
ZD: Maybe it's due to timing. The first fairly well-known horrorpunk band was the Misfits and even they never really got rolling during the Danzig years. The Misfits were broken up by 1984 so they, and by extension horrorpunk, missed the MTV heyday and the big promotional dollars of the major labels entirely. For years after that any new horrorpunk band was inevitably compared to The Misfits because that was the only horrorpunk band with any notoriety. Then the Misfits reformed in 1995 and the comparisons began anew for any new horrorpunk bands. Horrorpunk bands have steadily gotten better during the 21st century. The reason horrorpunk was not a well-known genre at the turn of the century is that most of the bands were mediocre with few standouts. Speaking for the situation today, the timing may have once again been off for horrorpunk as the genre has arguably peaked and is no longer gaining ground. Blame it on the digital revolution I suppose, where this niche genre is generally lost in a sea of easily accessible pigeonholes, sub-genres and innumerable choices.
GGG: Most horrorpunk bands say that it's difficult to get booked for a show. In your opinion, why is it like that?
ZD: In my city it's not been hard to get booked as a horror act just as long as you are willing to play with bands who aren't horror oriented. There just aren't many horror bands in Salt Lake City. I can't really speak for other cities and countries but I would guess the relative obscurity and reputation of perceived mediocrity of the genre play a large part. A small genre is also going to have a harder time booking shows in cities dominated by a larger genre. The less room for musical diversity, the harder it will be to book bands from less popular genres.
GGG: How did the horrorpunk scene develop/change since you are part of it?
ZD: There's the obvious aspects such as when we started, Myspace was the social network of choice, there was no Twitter or Spotify or digital music sales of any consequence. Even YouTube hadn't really raised it's head yet. It was a very different way of doing things, both in buying and selling music and in how bands went about promoting themselves. More specifically in regard to horrorpunk, beginning at the turn of the century there was an ever-increasing number of horror bands, many of dubious quality. Moving toward the middle of the decade, the 2nd new wave of horrorpunk started with a better crop of bands and ever-increasing popularity in Europe and South America. It reached a peak and seems to be losing ground in Europe while South America remains steady. In 2014 there seems to be fewer bands but the average quality has improved. It's still a very obscure genre of music overall, however.
GGG: What's your favorite memory when it comes to horrorpunk?
ZD: Back when Diemonsterdie was starting up we belonged to an organization called the F9 Faction. F9 consisted of 9 bands that grouped together for several large local shows that featured all 9 bands in a single night and lasted for several hours. Anyway, a few of those shows were enormously fun parties. We played a Dark Arts Festival some years ago and spent the evening drinking with very cool goth people. It was a blast playing with The Dave Brockie Experience and then his more famous band GWAR a couple of years later. We were honored to play with Type O Negative and Celtic Frost, Lizzy Borden, Mortiis and the Genitorturers. One of my favorite memories was singing lead on Dig Up Her Bones with the Misfits and getting to see Balzac that same evening. Good times.
GGG: What are your three favorite horrorpunk bands?
ZD: In no particular order: #1 Balzac- I love music from Japan and these guys can do no wrong. #2 The Misfits, all eras, Danzig, Graves and Jerry Only. #3 Left For Dead, a short-lived but fantastic Salt Lake City-based horrorpunk unit. Have you ever tried to boil this choice down to a top three? Fuckin' hard to do.
GGG: What are your three favorite non-horrorpunk bands?
ZD: Also in no particular order: #1 Mercyful Fate because King Diamond is a legend and Mercyful Fate has been a staple of my listening for nearly 30 years. #2 KISS because those early years were untouchable. #3 Alice Cooper, the original master whose stageshow we've all borrowed from and who has gifted us with many truly classic albums over these many years. Again, it's been nearly impossible for me to limit either of these last 2 questions to only 3 bands but I've given it my best shot!
GGG: If you'd have to describe your current band with five words, which words would that be?
ZD: Blood Drenched Shock and Roll!
GGG: What are your next plans with your band?
ZD: #1 First we are working to finally, finally, finally release our latest album titled October 21st, 1976 on vinyl. Sorry for the delays people. #2 We are writing new songs and hope to record a new album in 2015 with our new bassist Mr. Grimlock Morgue. We are thrilled to have been this fortunate because Morgue is a sterling example of talent, professionalism and personality. #3 We'd like to update our grand stageshow and ensure it's truly a spectacle to remember. #4 More shows with horror bands! We'd like to see horrorpunk take off here in Salt Lake City and for the touring horrorpunks to feel confident that Salt Lake City will always be a great night. #5 Never quit, never surrender! To the death...............and beyond! #6 Perhaps some new merch in the near future, shirts or stickers or long karate headbands, whatever the people demand. French ticklers, food processors...... do you think people would buy a Diemonsterdie food processor? #7 Pierce the veil between dimensions, thus opening a gateway to Hell.
GGG: Thanks for your time. anything you wanna add?
ZD: Don't do drugs, stay in school, spread your wings and fly to the angels. Infernal Hailz!