If there’s anyone that knows how to marry music and horror, it’s Ice Nine Kills frontman Spencer Charnas. The bands 5th studio album The Silver Scream is to be released via Fearless Records on Friday, October 5th and I was lucky to score some phone time with Charnas to discuss the album and all things horror.
As A Grave Mistake had just been released when Spencer and I spoke, we talked about this track first. “This is the third piece of The Silver Scream film that accompanies our album. It’s called The Grave Mistake and it’s about the 1994 horror hero superhero film The Crow. It’s one of my favourite films and it’s so visually stylish and the film holds a great deal of tragedy.” The tragedy Spencer speaks of is not just the content of the film itself but the tragic and accidental death of the film’s star Brandon Lee due to a prop gun going off. I asked Spemncer how this video would work chronologically. “It’s a sequel and the hype is really strong and people are really invested in the characters and what happens next.” The story of these videos follows Spencer as he begisn to see a new therapist and recants things that are happening on his dreams, and there’s an implication that Spencer himself is responsible for the nightmarish things happening in his dreams. I questioned him on this implication and cryptically he answers with “I’ll just leave that up to your imagination.”
It was next time to take a trip down memory lane and I asked Spencer what it was about horror that inspires him so much. “It’s just something I’ve always been interested in. I was fascinated by the genre. My love began at a local video store that I frequented to kill time whilst my Mom was grocery shopping.” Spencer continued on to say “I was drawn to the horror aisle and I’d always seek out the slasher classics that I’d heard of. Michael Meyers Halloween, Friday The 13th I wanted to use my love of it, to take the platform of film and translate it to the Ice Nine Kills style.” There’s a listening party for ‘The Silver Scream’ taking place at the iconic Michael Myers house from Halloween and I asked Spencer how they managed to organise the event. “Basically what happened is there’s an art gallery attached to the Michael Myers house in Pasadena and I was in there a few months ago and had a conversation with the owners and told them about the album and that our fans would think it was really cool to have the event there.” There is a track on the album titled Stabbing In The Dark, and the listening party is being held in the house so I asked Spencer if Halloween was his favourite horror movie. “I’ll let you guess on that one. Come on, you know that.” I would say that yes, Halloween is one of his favourites but what do you guys think?
I then quizzed Spencer on his favourite song on the record. “You know what, I love all the songs, I really do! If I had to pick a favourite it’d be the song based on IT the final track of the album. I think it leaves the listener on a really epic high note and I think it’s a great epilogue or eulogy really to the album.” If you’re scared of clowns I do not recommend listening to this track late at night, or in the dark. I made that mistake and was left terrified for the rest of my evening when I told Spencer this he laughed and says “we must be doing something right then!” Next I asked Spencer what he hoped that fans would take away from The Silver Scream. “I’m hoping that like a great horror film the album provides the listener with an escape from reality. I hope that the film counterpart does the same thing. I hope we create some really iconic characters in our world and maybe go as far as releasing costumes and masks associated with the music videos.” So keep your eyes peeled for those. I know I’ll be first in line for those when they do get released. Turning now to the upcoming live shows for The Silver Scream I asked if Spencer hoped people would go all out and dress up to match the horror theme. “I really hope so! That would be the icing on the cake.”
There’s a fair few collaborations on this album, including a guest appearance by Sam Kubrick. Horror fans will recognise the name ‘Kubrick’ from iconic horror director of such films as The Shining, Stanley Kubrick, so I asked Spencer how this came about. “We were on tour in the UK with this band called Shields and became very chummy with them. Their guitarist invited us to go and stay with him on our day off and when we got there we were told that Sam is Stanley Kubrick’s grandson.” Kubrick also directed A Clockwork Orange and Spencer went on to say “He’s got a great voice and I thought it’d be a really cool treat for our fans.” Get ready to have a nerdgasm over that one horror fans!
It seemed only natural to ask Spencer how the thirteen horror films the songs are based off were chosen. “I wanted to choose films that were different enough from each other so that the album wouldn’t get stagnant. I wanted to choose movies that all have their very own distinct identity.” “I couldn’t do an album without including the iconic characters, Freddy, Jason, Michael, Leatherface. But I also wanted to expose a few lesser known films. Maybe the average person doesn’t know what Silent Night, Deadly Night is about. I wanted to give people access to those films that they might not know.”
Pre-Order your copy of The Silver Scream, out October 5th via Fearless Records, HERE!