If it's still possible to conjure hype from a SXSW performance, Ghetto Ghouls made use of the week with a few riveting sets that perked the ears of those parasitic weekend warriors sent to destroy that oasis of Tejas. If drunken urgency is their forte, they were built for the depraved hustle of our idiotic ceremony.
Their debut on Monofonus Press out next month captures the living essence of Ghetto Ghouls, the tradition of Austin's noise punk brats like The Dicks and Scratch Acid. Recorded in four hours, the self-titled debut is pure of moment. The vocals are done live, the playing is messy, but tight due to the band members knowing one another since the age of 14. When singer Corey Anderson laments the cost of simple times on “Simple C”, it feels like you could be standing front row in any of Austin's storied haunts, Beerland, Hotel Vegas, the Mohawk, etc. and get swept away from the knowing pulsations that it's all gone to shit, whether you're on the stage or dirtying your kicks on the beer-soaked floor.
As the Ghetto Ghouls prepare to hit the road in the spring, they carry a record that embraces their live attitude. Each night holds the possibility of taking home that feeling you got when “Simple C” bonded with that paradise lost you've been sorting out in your late 20s. It's a debut that means you never have to let go of that night you cut loose to a Ghetto Ghouls set.
Listen to “Simple C” below and read on for a brief interview with Corey Anderson.
You guys have been jamming together since what, middle school or something, how do you feel Ghetto Ghouls has grown up, and come of age?
So, I met Ian Rundell (drums) and started jamming in middle school because we both liked punk rock and skateboarding. Later on I met Dan LeVine (guitar) in high school and he turned me on to a lot of weirder music, so we started making weirdo music in his mom's garage. It was really awful stuff. A little later on, the three of us met Garrett Hadden (bass, old man) because he and Ian worked at the same club downtown. As soon as Garrett joined is when we started doing what we do now.
We haven’t been doing this for that long so it’s hard to say. I know this sounds cheesy or cliché, but I still learn things about all of the guys so often that it doesn’t feel like we’ve grown up that much.
If you were penning the Ghetto Ghouls autobiography, how would you all describe how your sound and friendship has developed since the beginning to now?
I think our friendship has made us so comfortable with each other, that writing songs is like shooting the shit with each other. A lot of joking around.
What contributed and lent influence to the fun, boot-scooping truck and chug dead pan of “Simple C”.
Ok, the song is about hiding your depression behind the façade of happiness. This was one of the first Ghetto Ghouls tracks I wrote. I wasn’t making music, I had a bad break up (boohoo), some strained friendships, some health problems, etc. Your standard sob story shit. So one day Ian and I were playing music at his studio and I was so happy to be playing music again that we made this really poppy, happy song though the lyrics were written sometime earlier when I wasn’t so happy. I thought it would be funny to make a song that sounds cheerful but is quite the opposite.
So this in no way related to that behavioral technology company, Simple C? My first thought was the old school Super C juice-boxes when I first heard it.
[Laughs] No I’ve never heard of it.
I love the balance of say like your thrashier tracks like “Peepshow” to the mathematic-art-damaged-underground of “Simple C”. What instructs or inspires your song constructions between the four of you?
For me, mostly interactions with people are the most inspiring. I can’t speak for the rest of us on this one, sorry.
Thoughts on the current state of the massive Austin scenes?
There are tons of great bands right now and tons of great people fostering them. We sure are spoiled. Have you heard of any of these bands:
Spray Paint, The Dead Space (garrett plays guitar in this), Empty Markets, Massagenist, Foreign Mothers, SUR, Gospel Truth, Nazi Gold, Crooked Bangs, Breakout, Institute, Glue, Impalers, Troller, The Blood Royale, Feral Future, OBN III’s, Plutonium Farmers. I know I forgot a bunch but the list goes on and on.
Prospects, objectives, and projections for your upcoming tour?
We are going to record some stuff with our friend Nick Botka in Seattle. It’s all new stuff that we haven’t played live yet. This is our first tour together besides a mini Texas tour we did earlier in the year with our friends Eets Feats, so I think we are all stoked to get out of Austin for a bit.
Ghetto Ghouls' self-titled debut is out April 8 on Monofonus Press.
Ghetto Ghouls tour dates:
15 Las Cruces, NM – The Trainyard
16 Tuscon, AZ – La Cocina
17 Tempe, AZ – Time Out Lounge
18 Los Angeles, CA – TBA
19 Oakland, CA – TBA
20 San Francisco, CA – Hemlock Tavern
23 Portland, OR – The Know
24 Olympia, WA – Le Voyuer
25 Seattle, WA – Black Lodge
26 Seattle, WA – TBA
27 Boise, ID – The Manor
28 SLC, UT – TBA
29 Denver, CO – Hi-Dive
30 Albuquerque, NM – The Gold House
01 Lubbock, TX – TBA
02 Denton, TX – Rubber Gloves