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October 24, 2014
 

Gutter Ghouls

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Written by: Die-Anne Mondeaux ™
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In a city that has more soul, talent, and resilience than any other, it is quite natural for the Detroit sewage to throw-up the greatness of the Gutter Ghouls. Indeed, the trio, who all hail from the Motor City, have created their own twist on Psychobilly.

Sure they’re a fusion of punk and rock with the prerequisite of an Upright; but, the differentiation between the Gutter Ghouls and the rest of Psychobilly is their Detroit individuality. The Gutter Ghouls are “Murderbilly.” Trademark is pending. Emulation is certain.

With a line-up consisting of Branden Gelineau (lead vocals and slap bass), Kevin Von Hardy (drums and vocals), and Billy Causey (guitar and vocals), the Gutter Ghouls have released two albums, played innumerable shows, and even shot a video in a record span of just a few years. With that said, thank you, thank you, thank you to the Ghouls who were kind enough to take the time and speak with Macabre Movie Mavericks.

Bloody Interview

MMM:  For a relatively new band, I daresay that you and your fellow Ghouls have accomplished a great deal with countless shows, two albums, and an ever-growing fan base. When and how did you form Gutter Ghouls?

Branden:  We started this thing in February of 2012. I had been looking into doing something in the horror genre for a while. Kevin got ahold of me through Facebook, we set-up a rehearsal, and just kinda let things happen how they happened. Bill came around after a few rehearsals, and the rest is history!

MMM:  Did you know each other before the Facebook message?

Branden:  Kevin—I hadn’t met before our first rehearsal. Bill—I knew from both of us being in bands in the same area.

MMM:  What is your musical background, and most importantly, how did you learn to play?

uprightBranden:  I’ve always been into punk. Since I was a kid, I’ve been in punk bands playing bass. I taught myself; we didn’t have YouTube when I was a kid learning music. You watched people who were better than you and asked questions. As far as Upright, I hadn’t done anything with a band in a long time. Met a guitar player who had a sound that needed Upright. I bought one and never looked back.

kevin von

 

Kevin:  I beat on everything growing up, making anything I could hit or use as sticks into drums. Finally, my parents agreed to finally let me get a set when I turned 14. Been playing now for almost 20 years.

 

billyBilly:  I grew up listening to punk and metal bands—picking up a guitar was instinctive. Started the way most kids do, with headphones and my favorite record and learning every song. Started writing tunes of my own and here we are.

MMM:  As a Detroit-made and Detroit-based band, were all the Ghouls born and raised in Michigan?

Branden:  Yeah all of us are from and still live in metro Detroit.

Murderbilly

MMM:  Motor City Murderbilly, your first album is clearly homage to Detroit; but, how did you come up with “Murderbilly”?

Branden:  We felt that was an accurate description of our sound at that moment, a horror punk/psycho sound. Since then, our sound has evolved and a new album A New Breed has been released on Splatterhouse Wreckords.

Gutter-Ghouls-CoverMMM:  How did you three come up with naming your band “Gutter Ghouls”? And, with that asked, who writes the lyrics and music?

Branden:  The “Gutter Ghouls” just kinda happened. It was one of those names that got tossed out and we all just kinda knew. As for writing, we all share in the writing of the music; lyrics, I write.

MMM:  Branden, I understand that you are an award-winning tattoo artist. Did you create the Gutter Ghouls’ logo?

Branden:  I did not. I have done some of our shirt designs, but don’t have a lot of time to draw them consistently. Personally I kinda like the “graphic” look better for shirts anyway.

MMM:  The Gutter Ghouls’ self-released Motor City Murderbilly was written and recorded in Detroit, but where was your horror video for “Corpse & Bride” produced, and who came up with such a macabre concept?  

Branden:  The “Corpse & Bride” video was a love child of ours and our good friends from Campfire Pictures (they produce really cool horror shorts) produced it.

MMM:  Could there be a possible Gutter Ghouls movie production in the future? (Our claws are crossed.)

Branden:  As for a movie production, I can’t say we have planned on it; but, our next video will be one to keep an eye open for.

MMM:  Congratulations on your new album, A New Breed! In “Ghouls March On,” you mimic a few of Jack Torrance’s lines from The Shining. How much do horror films influence in your music? Or, are horror movies totally intrinsic with “Murderbilly”?

Branden:  Our records are STRONGLY influenced by horror films. We all grew up on them and it’s like a second nature to us. We write songs like a story being played out; it’s only natural that most of them look like horror films.

MMM:  Your song “The Ripper” features Vic Victor of Detroit’s Koffin Kats. How did that collaboration come about?

Branden:  Vic and the rest of the Kats are good friends of ours. They have really gone way out of their way to help us out on more than one occasion. When we were writing “The Ripper” I knew I wanted a guest vocal and it seemed like a perfect fit for Vic. He agreed and we laid it down. It was a real pleasure to work with him!

MMM:  The Gutter Ghouls have played numerous shows. Is there one that is most memorable?

Branden:  Hah my most memorable was our first! I had a bit too much to drink, and long story short ended up almost knocking myself out cold with my bass. Ah memories. Haha.

MMM:  High theatrics are a mainstay of all your shows. Your rendition of Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s “Sweet Transvestite” from The Rocky Horror Picture Show is absolutely stellar. Since the Gutter Ghouls already have the costumes, would you ever consider producing a music video?

Branden:  Honestly it’s nothing we have ever talked about. We planned on doing the Rocky stuff for a one-time show and it caught on a lot better than we thought. I think we will end up doing another live performance of it in 2015—so keep your eyes and ears open!

MMM:  And, finally, what are your favorite horror movies?

Branden:  Pet Cemetery, Nightmare on Elm Street, and It.

Billy:  The Shining and Dawn of the Dead.

Kevin:  Monster Squad, Evil Dead 2, and Hellraiser.

MMM:  Well, you’ve got good taste! Thanks again, Gutter Ghouls!

Gutter Ghouls:  Anytime, thank you! Gettin’ creepy…

Deadly Details

Gutter Ghouls:  Branden Gelineau (lead vocals/slap bass), Kevin Von Hardy (drums/vocals), and Billy Causey (guitar/vocals)

The Gutter Ghouls 01

Purchasewww.thegutterghouls.bandcamp.com

Website ∞   www.gutterghouls.com

Facebookwww.facebook.com/TheGutterGhouls



About the Author

Die-Anne Mondeaux ™
Die-Anne Mondeaux ™
Founder Die-Anne Mondeaux is currently working on her PhD in horror. You can send her a message at die-anne@macabremoviemavericks.com or send a message through the contact form.



 
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