Local band brings horror punk to the region

Brandon Paykamian • Oct 6, 2019 at 11:04 PM

Since forming in April 2018, Ghoulgasm has helped fill a niche for a local fanbase nostalgic for the ’70s and ’80s “horror punk” sound and live experience. 

The band, which describes itself on Facebook as “horror punk, deathrock, boo wop and goth,” is made up of bassist and vocalist Jeremy Wilson, “Germ Morfran”; rhythm guitarist and vocalist Richard Brown, “Dickie Death”; lead guitarist and vocalist Anthony Arriaga, “Flesh”; and drummer Sam Hayden, “Sammy Caskets.” 

Wilson recently spoke with the Press to tell us more about the band and what to expect from Ghoulgasm moving forward. 

Who are your biggest influences?

The influences in the band come from a lot of different things. Being a horror punk band, we obviously draw a lot of influence from horror movies and the Halloween season. However, as far as musical influences, we are a pretty diverse band. We all love hardcore punk bands, just about all genres of metal. I personally dig a lot of ‘80s goth, synth and darkwave stuff. As far as horror punk goes, the Misfits are an obvious influence, but bands like Blitzkid and Mister Monster literally cemented the desire within me to want to make this kind of music. A lot of active horror punk bands that we are friends with influence us because seeing them perform drives us to be better musicians.

What got you into horror punk?

I have been listening to horror punk for as long as I have been listening to music. I grew up in the ’90s during the resurrection era of the Misfits, so I was exposed to the sound and the theatrics early on. The makeup, blood and melodic riffs instantly had me mesmerized. Then, when I got a little older and saw a band called Blitzkid play at the Hideaway, it was the experience that changed my life. I spent years looking for people who loved this kind of music the way that I did and wanted to play this kind of music with me. It took me most of my young adult life to find those people, but we all share this passion.

What changes has the band made recently, and what can we expect from the band in the coming months?

Recently, the band has started writing more melodic and layered songs, so we are taking more time to write than we have in the past. In the coming months, we are going to be hitting the road a lot more. We will be playing locally, too – it’s just that we want to get out there and let people hear us and see what we are all about.

Upcoming shows include Oct. 12 at Melody’s in Beckley, West Virginia; Oct. 18th at the Grove Theater in Oak Ridge; Oct. 25 at Monkey’s Uncle Bar and Grille in Fayetteville, West Virginia; Oct. 31 at Rock City Cake Company in Charleston, West Virginia; and Dec. 14th at Reel Big Cutz for the Toys for Tots benefit.

Any albums in the works right now? 

Right now, we only have one EP released called “Apparitions of the Past.” We have a lot more material we will be releasing soon, but with the fact of writing more complex and melodic songs, we are trying to take our time and put out recordings that we are happy with.

What’s your recording process like? 

When we record, we all have our own individual notes as to what we want something to sound like and what we are looking for when we listen to a song back after recording it. We do all of our recording with Mike Stephenson at Classic Recording studio in Bristol. Mike is very familiar with our genre and has recorded a lot of horror punk bands over the years. Usually, we all will record the instrumental tracks together with a scratch vocal track. Then, we will go back and record the lead vocals. After that, we record backing and harmonies together.

Where do you hope the band will be a few years from now? 

In five years, hopefully, the band will have successfully released three or four albums and toured not only the U.S. but overseas in Europe, Russia and particularly Germany. There’s a huge following and fan base for horror punk there.

Where can people find Ghoulgasm’s music? 

You can find Ghoulgasm on Ghoulgasm.bandcamp.com, Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, Amazon or any other major digital platforms.