Right now is such a great time for both horror fans and music lovers. With the surging popularity of horror soundtracks, particularly on vinyl, those looking for something more can search and stumble upon bands that are delivering cool, creepy, rockin’ music that feels like a soundtrack to a nonexistent movie. Artists like The Slasher Film Festival Strategy, the master John Carpenter, himself, with his “Lost Themes” albums and one of my personal favorites, WOLFMEN OF MARS!
We’ve featured tracks from WOLFMEN OF MARS on our site before, and chatted with some of the artists behind their awesome covers, but today, you’re in for a treat. Not only do we have an exclusive interview with the band below, but at the bottom of this article, you’ll find the debut of their brand new EP “Warp Suburbium!” Check it out and if you like what you read and hear, you can support the band directly via their official Bandcamp page.
It feels like WOLFMEN OF MARS suddenly appeared out of nowhere, but then following back on your previous albums and EPs and the vast musical discography you already have, that’s not true. So when and where did you guys come from? Were you all from previous bands that might have played together? What is your spooky origin story?
We’re all from the south of Boston area and have known each other from various music projects.
It was an easy thing to get going because the plan wasn’t to play live and have long practices. Sometimes the lineup from album to album might get tweaked a bit because of availability, but it’s been pretty consistent the last couple releases.
We got a big boost of visibility from FEARnet when (Blumhouse.com’s own) Gregory Burkart reviewed our album, UNIVERSAL MADNESS. That exposed our music to a much larger audience and helped us get out there for sure.
Between the name of the band, and the psychedelic sounds of the music itself, coupled with your artwork, it’s fairly obvious that your influences lie within the horror genre. Firstly, was that always the idea behind the band, to keep it horror-centric? And second, what were some of the band’s influences, both movie-wise and music-wise?
The idea pretty much started out as doing an album full of analog spaced out sounds, like haunted house sound FX in space. Then while putting things together, it got a bit repetitive and we started structuring the sounds around drumbeats and filling things in with more guitar. From there on out we wrote the tracks in more of a traditional format.
Keeping things horror/sci fi-centric felt like a comfortable groove to get into. We try to base the sound of the album around the album title and cover art. All of the artists involved in our cover art (Pat Sparrow, Devon Whitehead, Rob Schwager, Kevin Spencer, Andy Ristaino, Mark Reusch) have had a huge influence on the tone of each album they’ve worked on. They definitely help convey the vibe we’re going for and their art helps the writing process as well.
The best examples of our musical inspiration would lie with the sounds of White Zombie, Public Enemy, Bowie, Zappa and the movies of the classic Universal Monster era. John Carpenter would obviously fit in there too.
Let’s talk about the new EP! The vinyl release for “THE WITCH, THE GOAT & THE MALEVOLENT SPIRIT” just came out not too long ago, although the digital album was released last Halloween. What’s the story with the brand new EP, and how consistently do you guys get together and write new music?
The new EP came out of a batch of songs we were about to record over the winter. It ended up being held back in favor of putting some music together for a film called BOOGEYMAN POP.
The director, Brad Elmore, got in touch with us and we focused all of our attention on getting something together for that. It seemed like a really unique project to write something for because it wasn’t an outright horror movie. It seemed more like a RULES OF ATTRACTION type thing with horror elements. It’s incredibly cool to have had a chance to be part of something so different. I think it’s gonna have a lot of fans when it comes out.
So we started recording the WARP SUBURBIUM EP in May and just wrapped it up recently. It was always intended to be a Halloween release, so the timing ended up being perfect.
What is the traditional writing process for you guys? Do one of you come in with the basic idea and then the rest of the members will riff on it? Or do you guys write together as a whole? The finished music itself sounds so organic that it sounds as if you just all got in a room and hashed out what we hear!
The process is usually writing the songs on guitar and then translating it to synth. After that we add guitar, but try not to have it follow along too closely.
There are times when a song is written as super heavy, but we approach recording it with bongos, mandolin and theremin to give it a different spin.
Have you guys ever performed live? I had no luck tracking down anything regarding a live band online. But considering the material, the cover art for your albums – I suspect a live version of WOLFMEN OF MARS would be something to behold!
The initial plan wasn’t to do live shows, but after this album, we might try to find a couple more people to join us for playing out. I wouldn’t want to use a ton of backing tracks to fill in the gaps for a live gig. It would be much better to have a couple more live musicians just plug in and play. Maybe we’ll get a show going with our pals The Mangled Dead. I think that would be a blast. We’ll definitely give it a shot.
In the last few years, it seems like horror soundtracks, in particular on vinyl, have really taken on a new level of popularity. Even though you guys are a rock band, it’s easy to categorize yourselves among those horror soundtrack releases, because you’re instrumental music and aesthetically, you guys just fit in with the horror genre. How do you guys feel about that? And are you, yourselves also big fans of horror soundtracks? Are those as influential on you as other sources of inspiration?
Each of our releases is pretty much a concept album, so they’re somewhat of a soundtrack to a non-existing movie in a way or at least a soundtrack to the cover art. The horror soundtrack boom has definitely helped make instrumental bands like ourselves more visible though. 10 years ago, I never thought FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 3 would have a deluxe vinyl release with remastered audio. Now stuff like that is coming out and it’s incredible! Hearing that release was like hearing it for the first time. That album is an all timer in presentation.
The label that released a couple of our albums on vinyl, POISONED MIND RECORDS, has put out a couple of really cool horror scores (DEMONS ROOK, BLACK DEVIL DOLL), so I guess we fit into that ilk. They were excellent when it came to giving our albums the deluxe treatment. Great guys to work with too.
Anything you’d like to share with the Blumhouse.com audience before they hit play on the new EP below?
The GAMISU album was about a suburban neighborhood being attacked by a giant satanic monster and WARP SUBURBIUM is about a suburban neighborhood being over taken by mischievous skeletons on Halloween.
I guess it’s the 2nd part of our “suburban apocalypse trilogy.”
And now, without further ado, listen to the new WOLFMEN OF MARS EP “Warp Suburbium” below!