GHOUL "Diggin' Up Bones!"

Interview by Dr. Abner Mality

Don't try to find Creepsylvania on the map. It's an independent country technically, but in real life, it's more like a long, dark and hopelessly backwards valley stuck somewhere between Moldavia and Latveria. Even Ghougle Earth has a hard time locating it! It makes Andorra look like Canada! But this dreary little stretch does have two products worth noting: licorice and the bloodthirsty band of thrashing hooded monstrosities known as GHOUL!

Ghoul made quite a bloody splash in the first part of the 2000's, unleashing 3 classic albums of traditional horror-thrash on Razorback Records. Then, after 2006, things went very silent concerning all things Ghoul. Had the Killbot finally caught up to the fearsome foursome? But no! 2011 brought a killer (pun intended) new album from the boys called "Transmission Zero", released on Tankcrimes Records. Not only that, but the band got the high-profile nightmare tour of a life time with the mighty GWAR! Refreshed and sporting brand new hoods, the band was so popular that they've been asked to open for GWAR yet again in 2012, this time accompanied by Municipal Waste!

It was the opportune time for me to slink into Creepsylvania and catch up with the fiends. After a night of banging around the catacombs, I managed to hook up with spokes-fiend Digestor, whom I have had the pleasure of speaking to before, and catching up on all the Ghoulunacy that has been brewing. Here is the ghastly result:

WORMWOOD CHRONICLES: Greetings, Digestor! I was very happy to see Ghoul back in action in 2011. I wondered if you creeps had maybe fallen prey to the Killbot? What went on during the long interval since “Splatterthrash?”

Digestor: Ooooh, not much. A little mayhem, a little carnage. Took drugs and burned down an orphanage, killed a few villagers, wrote a few tunes. The usual.

WC: It sounds like the political situation in Creepsylvania is rather unsettled. Has Ghoul ever thought of starting an “Occupy Creepsylvania” movement?

D: We’ve been occupying Creepsylvania for years.  It might be about time to start a “get the fuck out of Creepsylvania” movement.

WC:  It looks like your hoods got a substantial upgrade in the time since “Splatterthrash”. Did Tankcrimes loan you the money to upgrade your look? What’s the story behind that?

D: The Swamp Hag took sewing classes! The little lady did a great job, didn’t she? They’re much tighter now, so there’s less of a chance of them coming off when we’re in the throes of passion with old Swampy. She finds us repugnant.

WC: How did the great summit between Antarctica and Creepsylvania come about? In other words, how did your partnership with GWAR evolve?

D: One day I was just minding my own business, breaking into the Creepsylvanian public library to check my internet, when up came a message from Oderus. If I recall it  just said “Hey, this is Oderus”, and there wasn’t anything else in the message. I wrote him back “To what do I owe this pleasure?”. A day or so later he wrote back “I forgot to write the rest of the message!” Again, there was nothing else in the email.

Me-“What message?”

Oderus- “I’d love one.”

Me-“ Huh?”

Two weeks and 150 emails later the booking agent contacted us and asked if we wanted to tour with GWAR. How could we say no? No really, how could we? They were threatening to use their plasma cannons to turn the catacombs into a smoking crater if we didn’t say yes.

WC:  The GWAR mutants have asked you to open for them again, this time with Municipal Waste in tow. What’s your response to this great honor?

D: I literally cannot think of a better lineup for a tour that includes Ghoul.

WC: On a serious note, it had to be really difficult finishing the previous tour after the passing of Cory Smoot, aka Flattus Maximus. How did this tragedy affect you?

D: It was very, very sad, and no one was in a very good mood, but the most amazing thing was how GWAR acted in the wake of Corey dying. They mourned, of course ,and they let their fans mourn, but they soldiered on and were the very definition of the word “troupers”. I will never forget that. Cory was a massive talent and beloved friend and bandmate to the GWAR guys, a husband and father to be, and the man was only 34 years old, for chrissake. I sincerely encourage fans of Ghoul to donate to the Smoot Family Fund and help out his wife and child.

WC: Are there any new tricks you’ll come up with on the next GWAR tour? Will Baron Samedi and the KIllbot make a return?

D: There might be a few new things, but I’m not spoiling them here! Come to the show, you squirmy little wretches, and taste the hot baptismal blood of Coco the chicken. (Already had some at the Milwaukee show and that was enough for me--Squeamish Mality)

WC: Speaking of Samedi, has the zombie cocaine he purveys replaced “rotgut” as your drug of choice?

D: Turns out that stuff was just baby laxative. Totally bunk shit, man.

WC: Word has it that there have been some changes under the hoods, as far as Dissector and Fermentor go. What light can you shed on this?

D: If you’re talking about their coincidental mutual outbreak of cystic acne, then yes, there have been some changes under their hoods. I wouldn’t want to shed any light on it, though. It’s pretty gross.

WC: Have you ever considered a Ghoul comic book? Surely it would be a graveyard smash!

D: Yes.

WC: Besides eating the dead, moshing and consuming noxious substances, what do the members of Ghoul do for relaxation?

D: People ask us this all the time. Do you guys think we seem stressed out? Living in the catacombs is pretty relaxing actually. No job, no bills, no nuthin.

WC: “Transmission Zero” is very straightforward thrash, there’s less of the surf and psychobilly influence than on “Splatterthrash”. Was this always the plan or did it just naturally evolve?

D: It’s still there, it’s just integrated a little bit better. "Transmission Zero" and "Death in the Swamp" are both examples, but there are hints of it here and there in other songs too.

WC: How did your association with Tankcrimes Records come about?

D: Dumb luck.

WC: The song “Morning of the Mezmetron” is quite different for the band. Do you plan on incorporating more slower and doomier influences into your sound?

D: Maybe, but it was really just a specific thing for that part of the story. What  fits better with a song about an ancient cult than a Candlemass rip off? I submit that the answer is “nothing”. Nothing fits better.

WC: Do you have any touring plans past the trek with GWAR?

D: We’re going out with Occultist for some dates around Maryland Death Fest and Chaos in Tejas, and we have a few shows after that as well, but I’m not sure if those have been announced yet.

WC: What does Ghoul have to say about the state of modern horror films? I can’t imagine they are fans…

D: There are always some good ones amidst the bad ones. Keep in mind that the last film we got in Creepsylvania was "Quigley Down Under" and we had to watch it through the grate of a ventilation shaft in the theater. I hear "Troll Hunter" was good, but I didn’t see it (I did and it was indeed excellent--Cinephile Mality). Did they ever catch Mortiis? I thought it was about time someone hunted that dude.

WC: What was the last CD/album you got just because you wanted to check out the band?

D: Probably “Laughing Academy” by Punishment of Luxury.

WC: What was the last live act you caught just for your own enjoyment?

D: I caught this band Murderess just for my own enjoyment, but they escaped from the cage and I haven’t seen them since. How I miss that beautiful, beautiful drummer.

WC: I almost hate to ask this, but is there any “Spinal Tap” moment in the history of Ghoul that you would like to share with us? Hood malfunction, Killbot not working, etc, etc?

D: How much space do you have in this thing?

WC:  Any last word to all the fiends out there?

D: Yeah! I’ll let you know if I think of something.