Philadelphia fourpiece Creepoid has got nothing to prove. Far enough in their musical career to have honed a peculiar sound that’s equal parts melody and noise, Creepoid continues to create music that channels all things strange. I got to catch up with members Anna Troxell, Pat Troxell, Sean Miller and Pete Urban after their show at The Chapel SF.
So your most recent album, Cemetery Highrise Slum (2015), you recorded in Savannah instead of Philly. Why the change?
Sean: Well, we actually moved to Savannah and split ways with this fine gentleman right here. (motions to a grinning Pete)
Anna: We moved to Savannah in June, we went immediately out on tour then came back and recorded. I think that southern, haunted vibe has been a part of our music.
Pat: When we went to do that album, that was when we were first quitting our full time jobs and having to restart our lives and be like alright we’re gonna submerge ourselves in this rock band and that’s gonna be our lives. And some of us are in our thirties with careers and we had to revert to being teenage punk kids again, which is like the best fucking think in the whole world. So moving down to the south was like kind of separating ourselves from everyone we knew and everything we knew. It’s got an eerie tone. That’s always been our sound and we can’t help that. It just comes out. We’re weird, scary people.
Have you been working on anything recently? I know you’ve been on tour for a while. Does that interfere with being able to write?
Pat: We have like fourteen, fifteen songs. We have a new ep coming out the first or second week of November. It’s called Burner, on this new label out of Boise called WavePOP. It’s a small DIY label. Beyond that, we’re preparing ourselves for our next full length.
You have a different sound than most bands out there. Have you ever felt pressure to conform your music, especially as your fan base continues to grow, to meet their expectations?
Anna: No because we were trashed in Pitchfork. Pitchforked hated us, they tore us apart.
Pat: They trashed our last album so like she said, it can only get better.
Anna: I think that forced us to be, like, okay we really actually don’t care about that. Our fans obviously like it. They like what we’re doing and I think that we really like to write music and wanna push ourselves to be more interesting or creative or whatever it’s always gonna be a Creepoid song.
Can you tell me about your creative process for making music videos? Is there someone who spearheads that?
Pat: Yeah, who will do it for free! The first music video that we made it was for Pink Tag Sale off our 7’ demo. It’s shot in the basement we recorded the whole record in. We just had a sheet and a projection and it’s waving but if you look real closely it’s our dog who passed away.
Anna: Our dog’s tail. And she’s just, like, pushing the sheet with her tail.
Pat: And our friend made that. But then Grave Blanket was a total email from a stranger in Tennessee who was a fan of the band and wanted to do a video and we exchanged ideas and then he showed us this video and we were blown away by it.
Anna: It’s been different every day. Sometimes a stranger makes it, sometimes we spend the entire day in the desert.
Pat: I love making videos. They’re super fun.
Sean: I like doing dishes and cooking.
Anna: You like to do the dishes before you cook?
Sean: Before, during, after it doesn’t matter.
You’ve talked about leaving your full time jobs to pursue this. What advice can you give to musicians out there struggling with that decision?
Pat: Don’t do it. Just come to our shows and purchase our albums
Sean: That’s fucked up man
Pat: No, I’m kidding. Honest advice? Learn loyalty, friendship and an honest dollar and don’t play music between the ages of 21 and 30 and then come back at 30 and if you really want it go get it.
Anna: Don’t be in a band with anyone you don’t even like a little bit because if you’re on tour with them and you didn’t like them a little bit you’re gonna hate them on tour!
Pete: I think with the young generation, just be accountable.
Anna: Yeah, be accountable, hold yourself to your standards. You have to be your own boss basically. The good news is the music industry is changing, I think you just need to figure out what works for you. You’re not gonna be The Rolling Stones but you will probably be able to make a living if you’re smart and don’t waste your money and stay in fancy hotels or blow money on stupid shit you don’t need. Make an Excel spreadsheet, figure out how much you’re making, how much you’re spending.
Pat: You don’t have to have absurd guarantees to tour the country and they’re like “bands aren’t taking us out on tour” and it’s like well why the fuck would they take you out on tour? Go do it yourself, and then when you’re worth something, bands will want you to be on tour with them. You gotta go get it yourself. The only way people are going to take you seriously is if you make them take you seriously.
Article by Ally Mason