Waiting for a Heartbeat with Horrorwood Ending

Waiting for a Heartbeat with Horrorwood Ending
Kevin Millikin

So rarely has a record caught me so off guard as Horrorwood Ending’s debut full length “Waiting For a Heartbeat” had that I couldn’t turn away. Everything about the record just fits, from the lyrics the music and the vocals come together beautifully to create a melodic horror-punk massacre worthy of any horror fans record collection. Technicolor Terror and myself are honored to have had the chance to interview Horrorwood Ending who, without a doubt should be and hopefully will be up there with the likes of Blitzkid and the Misfits in the years to come!

We’ll start the interview off with a simple: what’s your name and what do you do in the band?
Ryan Waltz, Guitar and Vocals
Ryan Lannon, Drums
Mike Leamons, Bass

How did ‘Horrorwood Ending’ come to be, what inspired you to form such a band?
RW – When the band first started it was just Lannon and I. We really just loved the misfits and given our musical talent at that time it seemed like the only logical choice.

Prior to Horrorwood Ending were any of you in other bands?
RW – This is my first and only band I’ve ever been in.
ML – I was in a handful of other bands, but have always been around Horrorwood since their first show.
RL- Waltz and I tried for a long time to get a band going and nothing worked out until Horrorwood.

How did you meet?
RW – Lannon and I met in 7th grade. I stabbed him in the hand with a pencil and he slugged me. the friendship was instant.
ML – My first band was playing a basement show, and Waltz was there with one of the other bands.  I met Lannon just before the first Horrorwood show, when my band at the time had a cookout, and all of those guys came up.

What’s the history behind the name ‘Horrorwood Ending’? because to me, the came isn’t derived from the horror genre itself but rather from the sense of hopelessness one feels in the search for their own personal ‘happy’ ending. Now, I’m curious to know how far I struck out on that one and know what it all means to you.
RW – You’re very close so don’t feel bad. We were struggling for a name as all bands do and I setteled on Hollywood Ending. Where the guy gets the girl and everyone ends up living happily ever after. Lannon countered with Horrorwood Ending and It just felt right.

Your album ‘Waiting for a Heartbeat’ is a welcomed breath of fresh air with a sound reminiscent of a darker, earlier Bouncing Souls (which in my opinion is a good thing) what are some of your influences that the casual listening wouldn’t expect?
RW – Top five on my mp3 player right now are Alkaline Trio, Gaslight Anthem, The Old 97’s, Honorary Title, and Bruce Springsteen.
ML – The Boss and Billy Joel.
RL- Have to agree with waltz. I listen to alot of metal but we try and keep that out of there.

Now this questions expands well beyond bands, movies or even books. What is it that keeps you all going and causes you to come back for me? What is it that inspires you on a daily basis to keep doing what you do?
RW- Personally its almost like second nature. I wouldnt know what to do if I wasn’t doing this.
ML – It’s my escape from all the shit of every day.  You know, it’s those few hours each week where you can let it all out, and it just keeps me level.
RL- music is my passion playing together gives me the chance to sit down filter out the world and only worry about our music.

What are some of the bands, books or movies that have inspired you or at least knocked your socks off recently?
RW – Everyone on my list of casual listening with the exception of Alkaline Trio are all new music to me that has knocked my socks off. I wish I read more, I just started in the world of comics Its been a blast and as for movies. Nothing. Most of whats coming out nowadays is trash.
ML – I’ve really gotten into Springsteen in the last year, and the more I get into his collection of music, the more amazed I am.
RL- Ive had a hard time finding new music an movies that grab my attetion so ive been digging into my colletion of older things to find the wow moments.

What amazes me about the ‘horror-punk’ community is the companionship that comes from it and compared to the other subgenres in the punk scene it’s probably the smallest as well, especially when a small band from Mexico or Germany releases a demo and never plays a show and yet they’re almost able to garner their own cult following. It’s also a scene where everyone seems to know each other or at least have a few mutual friends. Do you think that this works because the scene is so small and with the exception of a few people here and there it’s also very much apolitical, would such a thing work on a larger scale?
RW – As long as there are sites like this run by people who love the genre its gonna be fine and anything is possible.
RL- every time we play a show with another horror band there is always a friendship made.

Rather than focus on the clichéd trappings that come from the horror-punk genre (don’t get me wrong, I love those) your lyrics come mainly from within and seem to look primarily at the horrors of life: lost love, heartbreak and loneliness that’s peppered with the occasional B-movie imagery to create something that’s surprisingly relatable. Was it important for you guys to create such a sound rather than follow the safe and well-traveled path paved by countless others?
RW – It was more out of maturing. We have almost a entire other album of stuff that is just like everything else out there that is recorded but just never released. So when It came time to start writing and recording what would be “Waiting” I just kinda decided at least lyrically I wanted to make myself happy and write what was important to me.

Horrorwood Ending is currently signed to Robot Monster – a label known for signing only the finest horror-punk bands. How did this ‘marriage’ come to be?
RW – I was friends with Travis Broyles since he was a co-owner of Crypt Of Blood records and after we went into the studio I showed him a rough demo of “Ready To Die” He told me the next day that he would like to offer us a contract. I’d hate to say but we have parted ways with the label. No bad blood just a lot of differant variables came into it.
ML – I absolutely love my aspect of this story.  I was hanging out with Waltz and Lannon one day before I joined the band. We had been talking about music, and I expressed an interest in playing bass with them.  So we had maybe 2 or 3 practices together, when Waltz texted me asking if I had heard from Lannon.  It was at that point that I had heard about Robot Monster being interested in the band.  I really didn’t know how to take it, seeing as we never had the “you’re in the band” talk.  Once everything was clarified, and I was officially in the band, all I remember thinking was “fuck, now I have to go out and actually get some decent gear”.
RL- The best part was when travis offered us the contract i had lost my phone an waltz was in a frenzy for 3 days trying to track me down to see if i was interested in signing to “RM”

We love you over here at Technicolor Terror! So how has ‘Waiting for a Heartbeat’ been received by the fans and critics?
RW – We’re getting off to a slow start but definatly better then anticipated!
ML – Like Ryan said, it’s been a slow process, but from what I’m hearing, it’s been nothing but good things.

What was the recording process like?
RW – LONG! It took us over a year to record, mix, and master the entire album.
ML – Long and tiring. I don’t think I’ve spent more time at a Wawa then I did while recording this album.
RL- it did take a long time mostly due to lack of experiance. It was our first full length album so we had no idea what to expect.

The record is so unique in many respects. Like picking your favorite child (every parent does it regardless of what they say) what are some of the songs on the album that really stand out to you?
RW – I’d say Back From Hell, Ready To Die, The Room, Code Blue, and Hell’s Too Good For Her. If I were going to make a sample CD for someone that would be It.
ML – The Room, Code Blue, and Hell’s Too Good For Her.
RL- Back From Hell, Waiting For A Heatbeat and Teenage Zombie. Its just so raw an striped down, fun to play and watch the crowd move.

Alright, so the album hasn’t been out that long but it’s never too soon to think of the future. What can we expect from Horrorwood Ending in the near future?
RW – Were trying to play as many shows as possible and also were going back to the studio July 15th to record our next full legth.
ML – Working on as many levels as we can.  Booking gigs, writing and recording our next album, and just trying to get the word out there.

Any tours planned in the coming year?
RW – It’s possiable but as of right now, no. Like I said before were going into the studio in July to have our next album done by the fall so fingers crossed for a winter tour.

In fact, with tours in mind. Any bands in particular you’d like to tour with?
RW – Trio, I can dream can’t I?
ML – I have to agree with Ryan about Trio.  I just hope our livers are up for it.

Any important or life altering tidbits of knowledge learned while on the road?
RW – I always thought I would hate to travel so being on the road and finding out I love it is really nice. While that doesn’t apply to everyone it was still life altering for me.
ML – Don’t drink 8 cups of coffee after drinking all night, and try to drive home after a show.
RL- Make sure you drive to the venue so someone else”mike” has to drive home.

So as this interview comes to an end. I would like to thank you all for your time and give you the floor to give thanks/shout outs/slander and threats to anyone or anything you’d like to add.

RW – I’d like to thank you and Justin for giving the album a listen and taking your time to review it.
ML – I just want to thank everyone that’s supported us along the way. You’ve all contributed in some way to us getting where we are, and I am extremely greatful for that.
RL- Thanks to anyone who has/will buy our album, everyone who comes to our shows, and all our friends.

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