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October 11, 2024
Doors: 7:00pm | Show: 8:00 pm
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All Ages


Twin Temple

Everybody knows that the Devil has all the best tunes. From Robert Johnson selling his soul at the crossroads to the blood-soaked black metal of Norway, Satan has long loomed large over the music world, striking fear into the hearts of the sanctimonious. But nothing that has gone before will prepare you for the arrival of Twin Temple: Los Angeles’ one and only purveyors of Satanic Doo-Wop. Devout Satanists and meticulous preservers of rock’n’roll’s ancient, timeless spirit, this black-clad and effortlessly stylish duo have created a sound that blends their Satanic ideology with the irresistible sass and melody of classic ‘50s and ‘60s rock ‘n’roll. The result is Twin Temple (Bring You Their Signature Sound…Satanic Doo-Wop), a debut album that not only serves to salute the Dark One, but also delivers some of the catchiest and coolest music to emerge from any genre in years.


“It’s really just a reflection of everything we love,” explains vocalist Alexandra James. “We’ve always loved rock ‘n’ roll, especially from the golden era of American music, but we’re also Satanists and study the Occult. We both practice magick. It was just a crazy idea– ‘Why can’t you love Roy Orbison and hail Satan at the same time?’ Satanism has been relegated to the metal scene for so long, but we are Satanists and listen to The Platters and Buddy Holly, you know? We love metal too, but this is a reflection of who we are as people. This record was something we wanted to create for ourselves… we were happy to see that it resonated with other people out there, too.”


Originally released independently by the band and limited to a suitably malevolent 666 vinyl copies & given a full release on Rise Above in Spring 2019, Twin Temple’s debut is so beautifully conceived and executed that it sounds like a long, lost classic from the ‘60s, unearthed in some dusty studio vault. With Alexandra’s soulful but siren-like voice and partner Zachary James’ dazzling, authentic arrangements, songs like The Devil (Didn’t Make Me Do It) and I’m Wicked pledge their allegiance to Satan in the most bizarrely accessible and infectious of ways. Bolstered by plenty of analogue hiss and a devotion to old school recording techniques, it’s an album that brings the band’s unique and enlightened take on Satanism to vivid, vital life.


“Something we’re sick of is all the overproduced records,” says Alexandra. “It just takes the soul out of music. With this record, we wanted to get rid of all of that. We looked at how all our heroes made records in the ‘50s and ‘60s. They weren’t even mixing in stereo back then, so that’s why we made the record in mono. We did everything, including the vocals, live to tape. We went in the studio, played the songs two or three times and chose the best takes. The whole record was done in a day and a half. It has a rawness to it because we wanted to capture the human element, instead of overproducing everything. Perfect is boring.”


With a Satanic philosophy that prizes individualism, respect, equality and defiance, Twin Temple are intuitively in tune with rock’n’roll’s integral outcast culture, even if the fiendishly seditious sound of Alexandra singing enticingly about Sex Magick may make more than few music critics and unsuspecting punters spit their coffee across the room. Ultimately, this transgressive act of musical mischief is as subversive as it gets in this age of societal division, insidious ignorance and empty hostility.


“To us, there is a connection between Satanism and rock ’n’ roll – they’re both very much defined by transgression, rejection of societal norms and a fierce sense of individualism and outsider culture,” Alexandra avows. “Historically, American rock ’n’ roll played an integral role in social justice and equality. In the face of racist Jim Crow laws of the south & segregation, you had black and white teenagers dancing together at the Frankie Lymon shows. This was about social change, about breaking down boundaries and all oppressive norms of the old guard. In our minds, vintage rock’n’roll, doo-wop and Satanism go hand in hand. But at the same time, we recognize that it’s not the most likely of pairings!”


It seems the Devil’s best tunes are in safe hands. Hail Twin Temple. Hail Satan!


-Dom Lawson

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At the end of CREEPER’s sold-out headline show at the Roundhouse, vocalist William Von Ghould stepped out to thank the audience when a mysterious figure leapt from the shadows and decapitated him in front of 3300 people. The lights went down and the big screen cut to a haunted house, where the band’s reluctant social media host, the vampire familiar Darcia, deadpanned, “It’s time for a new era… and I couldn’t be more excited.”


Every era in CREEPER’s strange tale closes in similarly flamboyant fashion: see also their apparent Bowie-style on-stage break-up at the end of the campaign for their debut album ‘Eternity, In Your Arms’, which left some fans in floods of tears. But in CREEPER’s ever eerie world, death is just a stepping stone towards a joyous rebirth. And now one of the most unlikely success stories in British music rises from the ashes once more with their new album ‘SANGUIVORE’.


Taking a darker turn from their Top 5 record ‘Sex, Death & The Infinite Void’, ‘SANGUIVORE’ is a thrillingly theatrical new story that the band’s ever-growing army of devotees will devour themselves within. Riffing upon fearsome throwback vampire flicks such ‘Near Dark’, ‘The Lost Boys’ and ‘Interview With The Vampire’, its narrative focuses upon Mercy, a deceptively innocent yet savagely violent vampire, 19-years-old in conventional terms yet with a soul dating back some thousand years, and her relationship with Spook, an older man who falls under her control but doesn’t quite lose sight of their previous humanity.


Somehow the music is wilder than the narrative. Opening with the sprawling Jim Steinman goth-opera epic ‘Further Than Forever’, CREEPER power through the swaggering, darkwave sleaze of ‘Cry To Heaven’, the supercharged horror-punk of ‘Sacred Blasphemy’ and ‘The Ballad of Spooky & Mercy’, which could easily be snuck into the tracklist of Nick Cave’s ‘Murder Ballads’ without anyone batting an eyelid. And that’s just within the album’s first half. By the time it closes with the evil croon of ‘More Than Death’, you’ll have heard elements of pagan-folk, late ‘70s punk and the kind of gloomy synth textures you might expect from prime Gary Numan. It’s all larger-than-life, darker-than-death, and the best album CREEPER have ever recorded.


“It seems that the world's getting excessively darker by the moment out there,” says Von Ghould, a man with a boyishly infectious enthusiasm for everything that he does, “and I think we need escapism and fantasy and fun more than we ever have.”


The ‘SANGUIVORE’ concept and characters have lurked in the crevices of the band’s mind for some time. When it was time to turn those ideas into a full album, two elements were key to unlocking its potential. CREEPER’s co-founder and guitarist Ian Miles had suffered from severe mental health issues as work got underway on ‘Sex, Death…’ which naturally limited his input. But this time he was not only there from the very beginning, but a lack of a full-time second guitarist effectively doubled his workload. And he really stepped up, his creativity simmering throughout the record, from melodic classic rock solos to crunching metallic riffs, the latter of which forced Von Ghould to shape his vocal melodies in a very different style from before.


Another vital element was the input of producer Tom Dalgety (Ghost, Royal Blood, The Cult) who embraced and encouraged the band’s “What would Jim Steinman do?” ethos during sessions at his studio, a converted church - a home-from-home for a record with some blissfully blasphemous edges. Other sessions took them to the fabled Rockfield Studios, where the band were invigorated by the deep history of essential British music that resonated throughout the building.


And of course, there’s the rest of the band. Von Ghould credits fellow founder member and bassist Sean Scott with bringing more ideas to the table than ever before; Hannah Greenwood’s keys and synths have become more significant and imaginative, while her vocals suggest that in an alternate universe, she could be a West End star or an ‘80s power balladeer; and drummer Jake Fogarty has “transformed the band entirely… his playing is just immaculate.”


Dive deeper into the record and you’ll uncover more details, off-kilter references and lashings of devilish humour throughout. Von Ghould takes up the story behind the inspiration of an ear-catching lyric from ‘Chapel Gates’. “Ian came in and said, ‘Did you know that Mary Shelley lost her virginity on her mother’s gravestone?’ Me and Tom thought it couldn’t be true, but it was. So, I was like, I’ve got to throw that in somewhere: getting laid but not to rest.” Elsewhere, ‘More Than Death’ drops in a reference to the infamous paranormal investigator Lorraine Warren, and in Further Than Forever’ Von Ghould declares, “I’m Jesus in a strip club giving head.” A lyric which may well feature on future merch designs…


That humour is a reminder that however committed their performances are, they’re always a little tongue-in-cheek - something they’ve lent into more following a tour as guests to Alice Cooper. More importantly they’re like little Easter eggs for those fans who thoroughly immerse themselves in the record. Spend a little time with Von Ghould and you begin to suspect that if he wasn’t in CREEPER, he’d be travelling the length of the country to see them play. This is a band who are entirely on the same wavelength as their fans, which is a big part of their unusually powerful connection: CREEPER fans don’t just like the band, they’re utterly committed to them.


“There are real moments of communion that happen at the end of our shows that are really magical,” smiles Von Ghould, referencing a community which had also led to friendships both virtual and IRL. “We’re so lucky that we have that connection. We tend to attract the same sort of people that we are, and I see a lot of ourselves in these kids. Sometimes I meet people at bars and we end up drinking together and just talking about our favourite records. We’re just the same people. It’s cool to be a nerd about things you like.”


Strip back the layers of fantasy and you’ll find that CREEPER’s ambitious narratives are rooted in a similarly authentic place. Or as Von Ghould summarises, “underneath all the showmanship and the bravado of it all, there's something quite true there.” ‘More Than Death’, for example, is the denouement of Mercy and Spook’s tale, but comes from the frontman’s own relationship. Friendship is also a recurring motif on the album, the beating heart behind the band, and especially the connection between Von Ghould and Miles. “It’s a very special relationship we’ve had. We've been touring since we were teenagers and now, we're three albums in and we're still doing it. If you told us when we first met that we were going to have any sort of success, I wouldn’t have believed you.”


That’s the unwritten philosophy of CREEPER. Embrace everything you want to do, no matter how outlandish, excessive or ambitious, and see where the journey takes you. And it’s a journey some twenty years in the making as the grandiose scale and ripping rock opera of ‘SANGUIVORE’ transports Von Ghould back to his childhood bedroom, listening to ‘Bat Out of Hell’ on repeat.


“It’s such a phenomenal record and it changed my life when I heard it,” he recalls. “I was like, ‘Why isn't there a band I can go and see that's doing that these days?’ Because Meat Loaf at that point wasn’t in good health.  I never imagined in a million years that one day the person doing that would be me. We continue to be the weirdest unlikely story of a small little band in the UK making these huge albums. As long as that carries on, I'm kind of happy.”

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