The Creepshow promises a ‘crazy night’

It has been more than three years since Toronto psychobilly combo The Creepshow has played in Moncton.

Now the good news: the group is ending its Metro Moncton drought with a show tonight at the Manhattan on Westmorland Street. Named as one of the “Top Bands You Need To Know About” by Alternative Press Magazine in 2009, the band is touring in support of its new record, They All Fall Down which will be released nationwide on Tuesday.

In the time since the group last graced stages in Metro, it has toured through more than 25 countries all over the world including far off places like Russia, Japan, and a good dozen countries through Europe. The act of touring throughout so many countries was a trial by fire of sorts for the quartet as, according to lead vocalist and guitarist Sarah ‘Sin’ Blackwood, bassist Sean ‘Sickboy’ McNab was the only Creepshow member with the benefit of touring experience behind him.

“The whole world of touring was not only very new to me but it was new to most of us,” Blackwood recalls. “It was definitely something that I had to become accustomed to rather quickly. I wasn’t given the benefit of easing into it.”

Blackwood estimates that the group routinely spends eight to 10 months out of the year on the road. While it is completely normal for just about any band to have the odd bum show once in awhile, Blackwood says that the group has been lucky so far and receives a solid reception wherever it happens to be playing.

“In general, we are more blown away than disappointed with our shows. We are fortunate that the reception we receive isn’t terrible anywhere we play.

“Even more amazing is the fact we get to travel to all these far-off places and we get on stage only to have people singing our songs back to us,” she says. “It sounds so cliché to say but I’ve truly seen how music is an international language. On a daily basis, it connects people and brings them together who might not have otherwise been connected. Isn’t that the coolest?”

Asked what some of her favourite overseas experiences have been, Blackwood singles out the Soundwave Festival tour that the group had the opportunity to perform in while in Australia this past February.

“The whole Soundwave Festival tour is only six to nine shows but sees turnouts of 30,000 to 60,000 people each show. It’s unreal. The way the festival treats their performers is unreal too,” Blackwood says.

“Bands are flown from one city to the next and given hotel rooms every night. The really nice thing about the tour though was the fact that all bands were treated equally. We played alongside bands like Alexisonfire, Faith No More and Paramore and no one had any more or less than we did. Honestly, it is probably the best touring experience we have ever had.”

The psychobilly music genre is loosely defined as a mash up of a few different styles of music including punk and rockabilly music, which in itself is a country-influenced style of rock music. The lack of specific definition behind exactly what makes up the psychobilly genre helps give the Creepshow the flexibility of being at home on the Union Label Group here in Canada while in the U.S., they are affiliated with Hellcat Records. Tim Armstrong of the punk band Rancid, whom Blackwood has no shame in admitting she idolized growing up, runs the latter record label, giving The Creepshow a more than reasonable shot at success south of the border.

“We are a very lucky band. On one hand, we’ve got our Canadian label Union who are just like family to us. Hellcat has been very good to us too, but the closeness that exists between Union and us isn’t quite there with Hellcat just yet and I think a large part of it is due to the distance between us, being based out of Toronto and the label being in Los Angeles.”

When The Creepshow returned to its Toronto home base earlier this year to begin making They All Fall Down, the band was more than a little road weary and worse for wear. Blackwood says that it was not a matter of one or two experiences contributing to their misery but rather a combination of events over a period of two years that left the group on the battered side.

“Some tours end up being tougher than others. The first time we ever went to Spain, we were robbed. To have your money stolen when you have very little to begin with is discouraging beyond words. Then one night in the States, we were in a gas station and there was a drive-by shooting outside.

“These things happen and it’s just so surreal. It really makes you wonder if you’re living in some kind of alternate universe sometimes,” Blackwood says.

Before you start wondering about how much the group is truly looking forward to hitting the road in support of They All Fall Down, rest assured The Creepshow is hungry and can’t wait to get back to the routine of playing shows.

“I can’t believe that we’ve had almost four months off,” Blackwood begins. “It is kind of inevitable when you make a new record that you’re going to have some downtime leading up to the release date but it seems a little extra long this time for some reason.

“Ultimately, it just helps to make us hungrier to get back on the road and get our lives back to some degree of normalcy,” she laughs.

Included in Blackwood’s “normalcy” is a remarkable 47 shows through Canada, the U.S. and Europe, all slated to take place before the Christmas holidays. The Maritimes hold a special spot in Blackwood’s heart, however, and she and her fellow bandmates are very much looking forward to returning to the East Coast.

“The last time we were out to Moncton was in 2007. It was one of the very first tours I did with the band and we had such an amazing time. We really can’t wait to get back. I think it is going to be a crazy night.”

Article published in October 1, 2010 edition of The Times & Transcript