I first heard Won´t Stay Dead when I listened to their awesome album recently. They sounded interesting, so I decided to interview them for this webzine. My questions were answered by Saffron and Violet. Read and enjoy!
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR BAND TO THE READERS OF THIS ZINE THAT DIDN´T HEAR YOUR MUSIC YET?
Saffron: Punk rock songs about crime and horror movies with grunge and goth influences.
IN OCTOBER YOU RELEASED YOUR NEW RECORD. NOW THAT COUPLE OF MONTHS HAVE PASSED, HOW IS THE FEEDBACK? ARE YOU SATISFIED WITH THE WAY IT CAME OUT TO BE?
Violet: We were very excited to finally put an album out. Feedback has been pretty good so far. We had a fun time working on it with our pal Kolbe Albin. Looking back on it now, like I said we are very happy to put an album out, but at the time Tyler had just joined the band and I think we were still feeling things out as a band. Some of the songs we have on that album we have outgrown, reworked or just sound much tighter now. At this point we have so many news song that we are itching to record and get out there.
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR MUSICAL AND LYRICAL INSPIRATIONS FROM?
Saffron: The lyrics are mostly inspired by movies, but I also write about serial killers, history, ghost stories; Each song is like a self-contained story that can be inspired by almost anything creepy, disturbing, or macabre.
WHAT IS SO BEAUTIFUL IN HORRORPUNK? COULD YOU DESCRIBE HOW YOU CAME TO TOUCH WITH IT AND WITH UNDERGROUND SCENE IN GENERAL?
Saffron: We’ve all been involved in our local scene in other punk bands before coming together as Won’t Stay Dead. In an earlier iteration of the band, we kind of just decided it would be cool to write songs about horror movies and ran with that. I think we’re a lot grungier than a traditional horror punk band, while still holding onto the spirit of weird.
Violet: I’ve always been in bands that either sing about nonfiction, political, or personal topics, so it’s really fun to be doing something completely different than that. I’m always really excited to read the lyrics that Saffron brings to us. Playing music in general always allowed me to step away from reality for a bit and I think horror punk takes it to a whole other level. It’s like the thrill of watching a horror movie mixed with the imagination you use when acting out a character or scene mixed with the adrenaline you get when playing music.
A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT I KNOW SAY THAT REAL HORRORPUNK SCENE DONT EXIST, THAT EVERY BAND IS JUST A MISFITS RIPOFF! WHAT IS YOUR OPINION ON THAT? HOW COULD THEY BE PROVEN WRONG?
Saffron: Like I said, I don’t think we’re a traditional band you would think of when you hear “horror punk.” We definitely don’t sound like The Misfits, nor are we on the psychobilly side of the genre. I think as long as you’re writing punk songs about spooky subject matter, you can end up being classified as horror punk, which leaves a lot of room for unique sounds and experimentation.
DID YOU GUYS TOUR A LOT? WOULD YOU LIKE TO COME TO EUROPE ONE DAY? DO YOU THINK THERE IS A CULTURAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EUROPEAN AND AMERICAN AVERAGE GIG VISITOR/FAN? HOW DOES YOUR LIVE GIG LOOK LIKE?
Saffron: We haven’t done much touring in this band, mostly we’ve stuck to Chicago and surrounding towns. We’re playing out of state soon, and we’re really excited for that. We’d love to do a tour around our surrounding states and even a bit farther than that, but it’s tough for us because we’re a completely self-funded band and we all work full time outside the band.
We would love to play in Europe if we ever get the chance. Every band we’ve spoken to who’s toured Europe says that the shows are great and the audience just loves being at shows. I think people in the states are a lot less enthusiastic about live music as a whole, which is a bummer.
LETS TALK HORROR. ANY PREFERENCES IN THE MANY SUBGENRES OF THE HORROR? MINE ARE SLASHER AND HAMMER HORROR BUT ALSO I AM A SUCKER FOR FOUND FOOTAGE!
Saffron: For me, the weirder the better. I love independent/arthouse horror and thrillers, especially foreign ones. Giallo films are a favorite of mine, I remember seeing Argento’s Deep Red in a theater at like 2am and having no idea what was going on but loving it. I also love the classics, The Exorcist was the first horror film I remember watching, and the original Halloween is one of my favorite movies of all time.
Violet: I like the classics and weird movies like Blue Velvet and Rivers Edge where you feel really uncomfortable, confused but at the same time moments make you laugh.
WHAT IS BETTER IN YOUR OPINION-GREAT HORROR MOVIE OR NICELY WRITTEN HORROR BOOK? I MEAN IT IS REALLY HARD TO DECIDE ISNT IT?
Saffron: It’s definitely hard to choose. You get a different experience from a book vs. a movie so it’s hard to compare them. When reading a book, it’s easier to feel what the characters are feeling through exposition, so you get a different kind of emotional impact; whereas with movies, you obviously have the visual aspect. I generally prefer movies because it’s easier for me to focus on a more contained piece of media; Plus I love me some practical effects.
ARE YOU PREPARING SOME NEW MATERIAL? WHAT´S IN STORE FOR THE FUTURE OF WON´T STAY DEAD?
Saffron: Like Violet said, we have a lot of new songs written that we’re really proud of. We’re hoping to record a full length album sometime this year.
HOW DOES THE SCENE IN YOUR TOWN LOOK LIKE? IS THERE A HOMOGENIC, UNITED SCENE OR ARE YOU, LIKE IN SO MANY OTHER CITIES DIVIDED INTO CREWS, CLIQUES…?BIGGER VENUES VS.LITTLE CLUBS, WHAT IS BETTER? BIG FESTIVALS AND CROWDS OR SMALLER INTIMATE SETTINGS?
Saffron: The Chicago scene is kinda weird. Our DIY spaces generally only stay open for a couple of years at a time. The surrounding suburbs and towns tend to have a more active DIY scene, but it can be tough to drive an hour+ to get to shows. There are some cool bars to play in the city, but since the shows are usually 21+, that alienates the underage crowd. All in all it’s a weird scene, especially for a sort of niche band like us.
WHAT IS LIFE IN AMERICA LIKE? DO YOU LIVE WELL? IS IT REALLY THE PROMISED LAND? DOES THE AMERICAN DREAM EXIST?
Saffron: America sucks pretty hard right now.
Violet: Donald Trump is our president…do I need to say much more? It’s fucked and kind of scary right now.
IS THERE SOME WEIRD/SCARY URBAN LEGEND IN THE AREA/CITY WHERE YOU LIVE?
Saffron: We have Resurrection Mary, a hitchhiking ghost who gets into people’s cars near a cemetery outside of Chicago. I’ve never seen her, but it’s a cool legend that I’ve grown up hearing about. We do have a song about her, but you’ll have to wait for that upcoming full-length I mentioned to hear it.
Violet: Not long ago, there were many Mothman sightings in Chicago, so that’s pretty cool.
THANK YOU FOR THE INTERVIEW. IS THERE SOMETHING THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO SAY AND I DIDN’T ASK YOU?
Saffron: Thanks for reaching out to us! Please check us out on Spotify, Facebook, Instagram, and Bandcamp to watch for all updates on new music and upcoming shows