This is your captain speaking!
An interview with Captain Morgue of the Zombiesuckers
Hailing from Sweden, the Zombiesuckers have managed to mold their own unique blend of horror punk rock n’ roll. Combining equal parts Misfits with an aggressive, tongue in cheek dose of horror superstar Wednesday 13 to create something that’s as entertaining as it is frightening. Technicolor Terror! is pleased to give you this frightful interview with guitarist Captain Morgue of the Zombiesuckers!
The Zombiesuckers have one hell of a name (if not one of the most eye catching ones to boot) so before jumping too far into this interview. I gotta ask: what is a Zombiesuckers and how did the name come about?
Zombiesuckers is probably the result of weird minds alike. It just came about very random actually when I was listening to Bourbon Crow with our old bass player. They have a song called Suck My Dixie, and it just became Suck My Zombie from a horror perspective. This was right when the band was starting up so we were looking for stuff to use, and thought Suck My Zombie sounded fun, which then turned into a song title instead. So a twist on that one created Zombiesuckers. Suck My Zombie also had a Part 2 later on, which nowadays are called We’re Only In It For The Brains which is on our full length album.
What is a day in the life of the Zombiesuckers like?
I guess that depends on if you see it as the life when we’re Zombiesuckers, or the actual people that makes it what it is. We all have regular jobs, as we need to make our living like everyone else, and some in the band even have kids (yes, they’re THAT old). So for us individuals the life is very different, but when we get together and do our thing we’re all on the same level. We rehearse at least once a week to keep the creativity flowing, and right now we’re working on the follow of to Tales From The Undead which is gonna be killer. We even got some cool stuff lined up that probably many will find exciting once the news hits the ether! Other than that we try to get as much gigs as possible to show the masses what we’re all about.
For me I think the Zombiesuckers part is a lot bigger in an ordinary day than the others as I do all the promotion as well as keeping all the social media pages up to date. I try to always come up with something new, something to update so that people don’t just forget us and keep getting in touch with what we’re doing at the moment.
When I think of Sweden, well… I don’t really know what I think about but horror punk isn’t one of the first things that come to mind (No offense) and while I’m a fan of Zombiesuckers and the Nightshift, that’s as far as my knowledge of Swedish horror punk goes. How is the horror punk scene there?
I think if you ask anyone what they think of Sweden they’ll say either blonde pretty people, or polar bears as some actually think they walk the streets over here. So you’re probably one of very many to not think of horror punk. And that’s natural as the scene isn’t very big over here, I guess there’s like a handful established band besides us and The Nightshift as you mentioned, which are a great bunch of guys. The scene seems to be growing though, you see some new faces entering the scene now and then, so I hope they keep fighting to help the scene. Many bands in our genre probably quit seeing it’s so hard to find the right crowd around here.
Horror punk seems to be a fairly popular genre in Europe while failing to catch on in the US. Why do you think it is much more acceptable there compared to elsewhere?
I think USA might be spoiled with music in general since there’s so much going on there all the time, so people forget to appreciate what they have and thus the smaller genres falls victim of being overrun with what’s more popular at the moment. Although if it wasn’t for the US we wouldn’t have the grandfathers of horror punk, Misfits, as well as other bands like Blitzkid and Wednesday 13’s projects that’s been in it for a long time and helped inspire a lot of other to fight for horror punk, including us.
I don’t know if the scene is that much bigger in Europe generally, but a big part of it is in Germany for sure. I think Germany is the largest in the entire world when it comes to the scene with a lot of great acts helping each other out and spreading the word all over. Hopefully it will break the borders and keep on spreading so the rest of the world can see what they’re missing out on.
How did every one come together and what inspired you to form the band?
I’ve been listening to Misfits for along time which brought the attention to find more bands like them, so you stumble on a bunch of great stuff eventually. So I thought, why can’t we do something like this here in Sweden? Said and done, me and the original bass player and drummer got together and all shared the same idea, and started rehearsing mostly just for fun. It just grew on us naturally after that and we kept on going. Shortly after that we put out an add that we needed a singer, and Von Ripper showed to audition. To be honest, at first we thought like what the fuck is that when you first heard him sing, but then you heard the unique sound that it brought to the band unlike many other horror bands and it was no doubt that we were right.
That was around September 2007, and a lot has happened member-wise since then. We switched guitars players about 3 times, drummer once, bass player once and also added a 6th member on sampler/sound effects. Myself and Von Ripper are the only original members left, but it feels as if the ones we are at the moment are more original as we work together in a much better way and we have loads of fun doing it.
From the countless genre s out there today. Why did you guys choose to perform horror punk?
Playing horror punk brings so much in than any other genre, as you have everything else surrounding it. The live shows are more alive as you can make so much more theatrical, which is very important for us. We always try to come up with new stuff to add to the experience of seeing us live. We want to entertain the ones who come to see us, not only their ears but the visual experience as well. And we all enjoy the transformation that we go through before a show, setting up all the props on stage, getting the zombie-face on and what not. It’s just so much more fun than other genres.
If I go to a live show I don’t want to see 5 people standing nodding their head and just play, it needs to be more than that to be worth it nowadays.
The band has been together now for the better part of five years. Over all this time what have you learned?
I think we’re still trying to learn to stop and think and try to do the right thing, before jumping in to something to just get it done faster. But most times we seem to fail on that one, haha!
I think we’ve learned to listen to each other a bit more though, since we’re all different and can bring in different things in to creating the music that we do. And you can tell that by the result of what we’re doing, it’s getting better and better all the time. The new album will tell you that!
Your debut album ‘Tales From The Undead,’ is a very aggressive record where as many other bands go more for a melodic sound. The sound clips are well placed and eerie keyboards and gruff vocals around it out nicely. I think it’s such a great album, how has it been received elsewhere?
Yeah we didn’t write the album to fit the masses just to make it sell, we made an album that felt like us. It’s pretty much a combination of what we’ve been doing the 3 years prior the release, and I think it turned out great. It’s not like the sales have been hitting the roof, but the fact that people are actually paying to get our music in days like these is a great response. It makes creating music more rewarding, not for the money, but for the acceptance amongst the horror punk fans worldwide. So I’m not entirely sure how it’s been received, I guess as expected. But it’s still weird when there’s an order coming through from some kid in Indonesia or what not. How did that kid find us?
What was the recording process like?
It was very painless and didn’t take very long time at all. We had everything written and done before we entered the studio. All together with instruments, vocals, effects and stuff it was done in about 2 weeks if I remember it correctly. Took way longer to get it mixed and done on the other hand, as the sound tech would have to sit and fiddle with all our mistakes and it would drive him insane.
It’s always fun to record songs, to go from just having a drum track to adding everything else piece by piece and hear the song grow into the final product.. and just feel happy about the result.
The EP “Wolfbrigade” was released via the use of torrents, while “Tales From The Undead” has been released digitally through Dr. Cyclops Records in the US with only 300 copies being pressed onto CD. Was this done more based upon budget restrictions or do you feel as though CD’s are becoming more and more of a dead format?
Budget is always a factor, so that’s a big reason for it. We had a deal to release Wolfbrigade physically, but like many other times it was a lot of talk and less of walk part. So we had that deal walk the plank and just didn’t want to wait longer for someone to pick it up. We just wanted people to hear what we’d done and didn’t really care how. So I just put it on Pirate Bay as a torrent and let people have it for free.
For Tales we only had a digital record deal, but we wanted it as a real physical album as well so we made a limited edition digipaks for it, for the fans who wanted the real deal. But yeah I guess CD’s are dying a bit, bit there’s always gonna be people who buy them, people like myself who wants to hold the actual CD and be able to put in the shelf with the rest of your collection. So we’re not gonna cave for that and keep pushing to get real releases. The next album will probably be available on Vinyl as well, cause Vinyl’s are just way cooler. And they actually seem to be coming back a bit lately.
The bands website (www.zombiesuckers.com) really seems aimed towards the fans in an age where the majority of everyone simply relies on Myspace or Facebook with only the basic needed to get by. You really run the full gamut of music, countless live and behind the scenes videos and personal blogs. Is it important to put yourselves out there, well past the point what the others are doing?
It’s very important, a very large piece of who we are rely on that. We always wanted the fans to be able to get closer to us and just see what we’re up to on a regular basis. Like I said earlier we aim to always have something out there that’s fresh. Whether it’s a live video or a video blog, or pretty much anything at all. Just sign of life, telling others that we’re still active, still pushing forward.
The music scene is competitive, doesn’t matter what genre you play. We try to be one step ahead all the time, and it’s not even hard to do it the way we do cause we enjoy doing it. It comes very naturally to us nowadays, and we rarely do anything without a camera getting stuff on tape, so that others don’t miss out on the fun. I love watching that kinda stuff myself when bands you like publish something. It’s entertainment, more bands should do it, it’s all just a good laugh in the end.
While the album features sound clips from the likes of Hellraiser, Rob Zombie’s Halloween II, Night of the Living Dead (1968) and Dawn of the Dead. Those aside, what are some of the other films that have influenced you as a person or as a band?
Like many others the old classic franchises as Halloween, Hellraiser, Elm Street and such are a big influence. The way they are as movies is just a great combination, with the horror part as it should be but still the campy stuff that makes you laugh half of the time while watching. That makes them so much better comparing it with new horror movies that all seems to rely on shock horror all the time. It gets very predictable once you seen a few of them.
A lot of our songs are based on movies, and there will be a few more of those on the next album as well. One day I was just watching Beetlejuice at home and thought that this could turn out to be a cool song. So I started writing some stuff, and the result will be on our new album.
Inevitably, now that I’ve asked the last question. Now I must know, what are some of the bands that have influenced you and why?
A given one is of course Misfits for obvious reasons. Other than that Wednesday 13’s different projects have been a big influence as he took it a bit further visually, and just makes everything he touches into something great pretty much.
But I listen to a whole lot different stuff that all influence in different ways. Other than the horror punk I listen to 80’s metal, skate punk, folk metal, melodic death, hardcore, power metal and what not. They all have their great parts that makes music the amazing thing that it is, it has variation. So I guess listening to a lot different stuff influences me in the way I think when doing music, it doesn’t make it as one sided as it could turn out otherwise. Maybe a bit too much as our drummer has been telling me to stop making the new songs so Metal lately, and take it back to the punk rock vibes. Will I succeed? Time will tell!
When can we expect a new album?
Hopefully end of summer! We’re writing and rehearsing new stuff all the time, and I think we have about 7 or 8 completed new songs at the moment. So we’re gonna keep on writing and have something out there as soon as possible. Much will rely on finding a new home label-wise as well as the one we had for Tales didn’t really do it for us with the ambitions we have.
Can you spill your guts about what we could expect from it?
You can expect Zombiesuckers, doing what we always do! It’s gonna be a bit more melodic than the previous one I’d say, but also dome heavier tracks on it than what we had before, so it will be a good combination.
Any chance that the Zombiesuckers will be invading the US anytime soon?
We’d love to play the US as soon as possible. But since we don’t have any backing when it comes to booking shows, we also have to finance everything ourselves. And going to the US from Sweden costs a lot. Right now we’re aiming for Europe, getting our name out there. And when we’ve done that it’s probably easier to set something up that’ll be worth the while going over to the US. But when we’re invading, we’ll be doing it with full force, spreading the horror!
I wanna say thank you for doing this interview and in closing, is there anything you’d like to add?
Thank you for the chat, and a big thank you to all our fans out there. Without you we’d have to sit at home listening to our stuff ourselves and that wouldn’t be as fun as sharing it with you guys! And for you who stumbled on to this interview by accident, check us out, it’s worth the 5 minutes!
Be sure to check out the Zombiesuckers online at http://www.zombiesuckers.com