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21/06/2024 : SCREAMING DEAD - “In a dream of yesterday, off the forest and the glade, I remember yesterday“ They are the Creatures of the Night. The Legion of the Dead. Peek-A-Boo presents … Screaming Dead! 21/06/2024 : SCREAMING DEAD - “In a dream of yesterday, off the forest and the glade, I remember yesterday“ They are the Creatures of the Night. The Legion of the Dead. Peek-A-Boo presents … Screaming Dead! 21/06/2024 : SCREAMING DEAD - “In a dream of yesterday, off the forest and the glade, I remember yesterday“ They are the Creatures of the Night. The Legion of the Dead. Peek-A-Boo presents … Screaming Dead! 21/06/2024 : SCREAMING DEAD - “In a dream of yesterday, off the forest and the glade, I remember yesterday“ They are the Creatures of the Night. The Legion of the Dead. Peek-A-Boo presents … Screaming Dead!

SCREAMING DEAD

“In a dream of yesterday, off the forest and the glade, I remember yesterday“ They are the Creatures of the Night. The Legion of the Dead. Peek-A-Boo presents … Screaming Dead!


21/06/2024, Hayley CLX


In a dream of yesterday, off the forest and the glade, I remember yesterday

They are the Creatures of the Night. The Legion of the Dead. Peek-A-Boo presents … Screaming Dead!

A blood red moon fills the sky. The perfect setting to have a conversation with one of those Night Creatures. Sitting in front of me; singer Mr. Sam Missile. Hello Sam! First of all, let me give you a big thank you for making time for us. Cheltenham, UK. It's somewhere around 1980. If I’m correct that's when and where it all started?

Pretty much 1980. I had previously been in a Punk band in 1978 called The Waste. All the disaffected youth in the UK wanted to be in a band after the Sex Pistols exploded on the scene in 1976.

But with Screaming Dead a new direction was taken from regular Punk so to speak. Especially by adding horror elements. Both in lyrics and in how you guys presented yourselves. Which made you rebellious on a totally different level. How did that all begin?

Well we were and still are into horror. In the UK we had Hammer films which was a passage of rite for us all. Punk had become boringly political and predictable by 1980. The songs were just a natural progression of each band member’s interest into occult and horror based themes. The look was born out of a visit to Hughs parents house where we raided the wardrobe and found dinner jackets and cloaks! We preferred a glam look as opposed to a uniformed punk look.

To step away from the music for a moment, what are your all-time favorite Hammer films? Which ones would you definitely recommend watching?

All of Christopher Lee as Dracula! … Too many others to mention!

Doesn't really surprise me that you mention Christopher Lee. Superb actor! Was he in any way an inspiration for writing songs?

Not really consciously but I guess he epitomised the look and coolness of the Vampire so there could have been an undercurrent subconscious process going on especially in 20th Century Vampire! Tony McCormack wrote the song originally but I certainly felt a connection to Christopher Lees interpretation of a Vampire when singing it.

These days you have social media, YouTube and so on, but back then, was it easy to get your music out there? I’m thinking for example of the 1982 'Western Front' single which was released on the 'Catch 22' label, and a little later 'Valley Of The Dead' released on 'Skull Records'. Your own label by the way.

It was all done by fanzines and word and mouth. If you were any good you got noticed. Gigs were always pretty rammed so if you played well the word spread quickly. Our first good break came when we appeared in a very prestigious fanzine called Rising Free and it showed us all in black leather with winkle pickers hanging around a graveyard. No one was doing that then and people went mad for it. It gave a link to the Western Front cassette and we were inundated with requests for it. We knew that a single would sell well so we borrowed money off Mals mum and a 1000 copies sold in a week. No Future then signed us and pressed a load more. It just took off from there but our image was a major factor.

And with ‘No Future Records’ came ‘Night Creatures’, probably your most well-known and popular song? It is literally impossible for me to count how many times I have listened to 'Night Creatures'. Such a bloody awesome song. Never get tired of it!

It's seen as our signature tune but I don't think it's our best by a long way. The EP was very groundbreaking in so that it was totally different to anything about at the time. We'd been playing the songs on the EP live for a long time so we just recorded them as a natural progression from Valley of the Dead Single. It's possibly the most popular song as it carries the title of the EP but personally I prefer 20th Century Vampire and Necroaria. It's also featured on loads of compilation records so I guess that's why people associate that as our most popular song.

With the EP in mind, do you have any fun anecdotes from live performances during that time that you'd like to share with us?

Our live performances were sometimes hit and miss depending on how we refuelled ourselves! We were young and fell into the trappings of a rock-n-roll lifestyle is all I'm prepared to say!

I will ask no more! Now to make a jump in time; it’s the end of the nineties and on ‘Resurrection Records’ the album ‘Death Rides Out’ is released. But what is striking on that album is the difference in sound. How did this come about?

We'd not been together for many years and Tony had got used to playing to a drum machine and as we didn't have any contact with either Hugh or Mark we decided to do the album with this format to save time and effort. Tony had been experimenting with this format with his band Inkubus Sukkubus so we stuck with that formula. It was a decent album and a shift towards a more traditional Gothicy sound which seemed to work.

That brings me to our present day. There is the new ‘Ride With The Dead’ album, released last year (2023) by 'Bat-Cave Productions'. Several tours over the world. Back alive and kicking for sure!

Well, we got back together to do a one off show but when it was announced we were doing a show it seemed like so many people wanted to see us again! We were finally geting the recognition as being a pioneer of Post-Punk, Goth rock, Horror Punk and Deathrock all rolled into one! We've played all over the world now and the following is absolutely fantastic both here and abroad. We've kind of mixed our sound up with the old and new but it's very much in the Horror Punk mode as in our roots.

Were certainly a very tight, energetic live act as people will testify and our songs have definitely stood the test of time! Maz and Baz work brilliantly together and we've created a whole range of new songs which are going down fabulously at the live shows! We're back in Mexico and the US in October but would love to play more shows in Europe. Any interested parties please hit us up!

Keeping my fingers crossed that there are going to be interested parties. Here in Belgium as well because I definitely would love to see you guys perform live! Can I also say I think it's awesome your merchandise is available through German 'Bomb-All-Records'! Especially for the fans living in Europe.

Yes, they're a top quality company with awesome products!

All right you Night Creature. On behalf of Peek-A-Boo and our readers, let me thank you again for doing this interview. Here's to a fang-tastic future Sam. Cheers!

Thank you so much Hayley and best wishes to all at Peek-A-Boo!

FIND SCREAMING DEAD ON:

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FACEBOOK
INSTAGRAM

Hayley CLX
21/06/2024


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