INTERVIEW: Creeper at Slam Dunk Festival


INTERVIEW: Creeper at Slam Dunk Festival

So this is your first time playing Slam Dunk, how has the reception been for you guys?

Ian: It’s been unbelievable to be honest, on the first day it sucked because we wanted everyone who wanted to watch us to be able to watch us, but about a couple of hundred people missed us because they couldn’t get in unfortunately. But it was a rad show, the reception has been great every night.

Oliver: Yesterday was i think one of my favourite shows ever, and the novelty of getting to play outside was cool as well. I think that was fun for us too.

Ian: Yesterday was probably my third favourite show we’ve ever done.

What are the top two?

Ian: Top one was The Underworld (Camden), second was Southampton Guildhall on the Neck Deep tour.

Have you been to Slam Dunk many times in the past, and do you have any particular memories of the festival?

Oliver: I’ve been to this Hatfield date a couple of times, yeah. I actually had a picture of me in Vice magazine for crowdsurfing a queue, the headline was ‘Are there any grown ups left in pop punk?’ or something like that.

Ian: I was actually pretty lucky to play Slam Dunk before in the band that me and Will (Gould, singer), used to be in about four years ago. We’re actually playing the same stage today. It was the same year Alkaline Trio played and that was a highlight for me, being able to see them.

What’s in your guitar rig at the moment?

Oliver: We’ve both got JCM800’s, and I picked up a Marshall Bluesbreaker II pedal not long ago which I’ve been using as a boost. I’ve actually got two boosters – a TC Electronic Spark booster and the Marshall. I’ve got a Boss delay and tuner, a Mooer reverb pedal and that’s it really. We’re both pretty stripped back to be honest.

Ian: Before this band I’ve never used pedals, apart from boost and tuner. We had a day on the last tour where we went to a guitar shop to look at pedals, and i tried a whole bunch of overdrive pedals, and got stuck between the Fulltone OCD and Ibanez TS-9 but ended up with the Fulltone. We both use Les Paul’s, we were lucky enough to get hooked up with Gibson, so we’ve got a good relationship with them and borrow guitars from them.

Oliver: I use on of the ES Les Pauls, which is so light. I’ve used Strats for a long time and was a bit concerned about the weight but this is great. Every time we go into guitar stores now we’re always looking at pedals and considering them, I think we’ve just opened the gates for starting to spend far too much money on pedals.

What is it about the JCM800 that you like the most?

Ian: It’s just the king of amps isn’t it? The one thing I really noticed with it, because we were using Blackstar amps before, and I could never really get the tone I wanted with it and was fiddling around. But when I got the Marshall I noticed that when you’re dialing the EQ, you can get a huge difference with the tones you can get, and I couldn’t get that with many other amps.

Oliver: It’s also so loud. One of the main things we talked about, is that a lot of amps out there have an almost digital sounding gain, and the JCM800 has a real natural sounding overdrive to it. It’s right for what we want to do.

Ian: For what we do, we don’t need a massive amount of gain, and every time we play a show sound guys tell us they really appreciate that we don’t just ramp up the gain. We don’t need the heavy, heavy setting, we just need that one simple channel that is to the point.

If you had to sum up your career so far in one word, what would it be?

Ian: Unexpected. I can’t get over it, when we started we booked about two shows and that was going to be it, we were just going to do an EP and a couple of shows. Me and Will have been in various hardcore bands, and you know we’d release a demo and then split up. That was the pattern of our childhood. We did this and the first show sold out, and then the second show sold out, and we were like ‘Shit! This isn’t like the other band’s we’ve done’.

Oliver: I’m trying to think of something other than exciting or unexpected, because for me particularly joining in at a later stage at a point where everything is starting to turn really quickly is just super exciting, and obviously getting to go to America soon and things like that, as well as talk about what else could happen in the future, it’s just incredibly exciting to think of what we’re going to get to do. I’ve always held off doing things like traveling, because as much as I want to see the world, I want to be able to do that playing music and now actually realising that I’m going to get the opportunity to do that is amazing really. I wanted to say silly actually, because most of the time we’re just goofing around having a silly, good time.

What does the future hold for Creeper?

Ian: More of what we’re doing now. We tend not to think about it and get bogged down with that sort of thought, because we’d only ever really focus on what we’re doing now, and at this moment we’re thinking about getting on with the album. We focus on what we’re doing creatively as opposed to what we’re going to do next year for instance. We always get so preoccupied with the creative process, because the album is a huge thing you know, and we have to plan that out really intricately or else we’re not satisfied. In terms of the immediate future, we’ve got festivals and the US tour.

Oliver: It’s really fun to see how things step up slowly, and the buzz on stage for us growing as we feed off the crowd. You turn around to see everyone on stage smiling, I mean Dan (Bratton, Drummer) is always sat behind the kit beaming away.

What piece of advice would you give someone picking up the guitar?

Ian: Don’t listen to your guitar teacher. My guitar teacher told me I’d never be able to play the guitar because I’ve got really small hands. I had two lessons with him and then just started learning Metallica songs back to back. They cover such an array of difficulties, really simple stuff and difficult stuff. Buy Metallica tab books.

Oliver: I was tempted to go the other way, because I never had guitar lessons at all, and now I’m in a position where I’m playing guitar all the time and wishing I could play really well. So maybe I’d say get lessons! When I started playing guitar, I just started making things up, I knew a couple of Green Day songs but that’s about it.

Ian: I guess it comes down to passion. You’re never going to pick it up and get super good at it unless you’re passionate about it, I remember there was a period where i just stopped playing guitar because I fell out of love with it, and then started a band and it was like ‘Yes I need to play guitar again!’