Horror and rock and roll go together like apple and pie. One group combining the two is The Creepshow, a psychobilly/punk band hailing from Toronto, Canada, with songs about losing your soul and brain-eating zombies. The band consists of founders, Sean ‘Sickboy’ McNab on upright bass and backup vocals and the Reverend McGinty on keys and backup vocals, along with Kenda Legaspi on lead vocals and guitar, and Sandro Sanchioni on drums. Early last year, the Gore 4 saw them live down the Jersey Shore in the midst of an icy, snow-filled winter spell [The Creepshow must go on!] And the Gore 4 caught up with them again for the last date on their U.S. tour on July 3 last year, at Roxy & Dukes’ Roadhouse in Dunellen, NJ, where they tore the roof off the joint. After the show, just before hopping in their van for the long ride back up North, Kenda and Ginty were cool enough to sit down for the first ever Gore 4 interview. During that span, we covered everything from William Shatner to Re-Animator. And here it goes:
Gore 4: Alright, so for somebody that’s never heard you guys before, how would you describe your sound?
Ginty: I would say the Stray Cats meets punk rock or Elvis meets punk rock. What do you say?
Kenda: I would agree with you, actually.
Gore 4: When I did a review of the last show, before, in February, I said if Gwen Stefani of No Doubt fronted Social Distortion.
Kenda laughs, and Ginty: Yes, I’d be good with that.
Kenda: Some man once said to us, ‘it’s cool because you guys start off with like the old school kind of stuff that I know, but then you amp it up, and you turn it up completely,’ and I’m, like, ‘oh, nice.’
Gore 4: You turn it up a notch.
Ginty: Turn it up one notch.
Kenda: Just one notch. We don’t ever go to eleven, you know? (Ginty laughs)
Gore 4: So what kind of musical influences would you say you have?
Ginty: I was brought up a Beach Boys’ fan. I do not hate the Beatles, but every time that someone tries to smash the Beatles in my face, I always say, my one answer to the debate, is, Brian Wilson did it first. And that to me ends the conversation.
Gore 4: And he’s a genius.
Ginty: He is a literal genius. So, I’m a huge Beach Boys’ fan…huge Elvis Costello fan…love the new wave, yeah, that’s me in a nutshell.
Gore 4: What would you say, like singer-wise?
Kenda: Singer-wise…a huge fan of Etta James, huuuge fan. I actually used to be a big No Doubt fan, when I was like, a teenager…who else?…ah, Nancy Sinatra, also, yeah!
Gore 4: Now, being from Canada, what about any Canadian artists, like Rush, Neil Young, or William Shatner?
Ginty: We all love the Shat, love the Shat. Kenda: Who doesn’t? Ginty: I own both the solo albums. Kenda: Actually? Amazing!
Ginty: Yeah, I love him. William Shatner’s a genius. Well, maybe not a genius, but he is definitely on the cusp of genius.
Gore 4: He is a living legend, that’s for sure.
Ginty: He is a living legend.
Kenda: Everybody says people who are crazy are actually geniuses. So, you can consider him a genius. He’s a little bit crazy.
Ginty: We used to cover a Headstones’ song. And if you don’t know the Headstones, check ’em out, a fantastic band from Canada. Who else?
Kenda: Alanis Morissette
Ginty: She’s from Ottawa. She used to be engaged to Ryan Reynolds – the ultimate Canadian power couple.
Gore 4: From ‘Re-gee-na’, right? Is that the name of the town?
Ginty: Ah, Re-gine-a’. Is Ryan Reynolds from Regina? I didn’t know that. It’s amazing.
Kenda: So, Alanis Morissette was definitely one of mine. I used to pretend like I was her, except for I’m not. But I used to part my hair in the middle like she did when I was younger, and I would go around to people in my school, and be like, ‘Do I look like her?’, and then I would sing her songs, and like, ‘do I look AND sound like her?’ (Ginty laughs)
Kenda: There was another girl, Linda Marshall, I think she was Canadian.
Ginty: No, no, she was American.
Gore 4: Joni Mitchell, she’s Canadian, right? Helen Reddy
Kenda: You know your Canadians…there’s a lot of really good bands…even now, there are so many good bands in Canada.
Gore 4: Now, you guys obviously have a horror theme that runs through your songs, so, any type of horror films that inspire you guys, or specific movies?
Kenda: The Body Snatchers, I love that movie. McGinty: The new or the old one?
Kenda: The old one, I haven’t even seen the new one.
Ginty: The new one, Donald Sutherland is in. Kenda: Oh, no way! Ginty: Also, a Canadian.
Gore 4: Yeah, that’s a great one, that’s like ’78. Then there’s a newer one, with Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig. That’s just called Invasion.
Ginty: What? Ohhhh Kenda: You know your stuff. I like that. Ginty: I didn’t realize that.
Gore 4: There’s the early one, with Kevin McCarthy, that’s like ’56. Then there’s the ’78 with Donald Sutherland, which is really good too.
Kenda: Yeah, Body Snatchers is definitely one of my favorites.
Ginty: My big horror movie is Re-Animator. I’ve said in many interviews that Re-Animator is my favorite zombie movie ever…starring Jeffrey Combs, and…
Gore 4: Barbara Crampton. Now, have you ever seen the movie, The Thing? John Carpenter’s The Thing?
Kenda: Yes, I have. McGinty: I have never seen The Thing. Gore 4: You have to.
Gore 4: I think it would inspire a really good song, because it’s in the Antarctic, they’re isolated, there’s paranoia and all that. Maybe you guys could write a song about that.
Kenda: Oh, yeah. Psycho, is another one.
Ginty: Psycho, yeah, of course. And, actually, if you watch Re-Animator, (Richard) Band, the guy who did all the music for Re-Animator, stole all the music from Psycho. Kenda: No way. Ginty: But put a backbeat behind it, so it sounded, like modern.
Gore 4: That music’s very distinctive from that movie. Ginty: Oh, it’s a blatant rip-off. But, I can’t tell if it’s homage or rip-off. Gore 4: I’d like to say homage. Ginty: You know what, let’s assume homage.
Kenda: Have you guys ever seen the movie, Nazi Zombies? Ginty: Ah, Dead Snow? Kenda: Dead Snow. Ginty: Yeah. Gore 4: Oh, yeah, that one. It’s good. And there’s a sequel coming out. Kenda: Oh, wow, you know a lot about…everything.
Gore 4: So, I just wanted to ask you, about a year ago, you needed a new lead singer and you found Kenda. So, how did you find her, or how did you find them?
Ginty: We found her because a good friend of ours suggested her. And it’s weird because she grew up in the town that I
was born in, but I didn’t know her, none of us knew her.
Kenda: Actually, it was funny because I was going through my old Facebook feed from like 2008, and it was, ‘going to see, babababuh, and The Creepshow, with the Red Rooster’, this was 2008. I was actually a really big fan. I was in “They All Fall Down”, the music video.
Ginty: She was actually in one of our music videos before she was in the band.
Kenda: Before I knew any of them, I was super nervous to talk to them.
Ginty: I can understand that, because I’m quite handsome.
Kenda: Devilishly handsome. Ginty: Devilishly handsome.
Kenda: Yeah, and so I guess they had seen a YouTube video that I had done, and then they asked me if I wanted to try out, and I said ‘of course’, and there were other girls that tried out as well, but we all clicked automatically.
Gore 4: And what has she brought to the band that maybe you didn’t have previously, like songwriting or whatever?
Ginty: Songwriting. Good vibes….which is really important when you’re on the road. On the road is probably one of the hardest jobs I’ve ever done in my life….and positive thinking. And like you said, it sounds silly, but it is scientifically proven that positive thinking makes for positive environments, and makes for successful and good environments.
Gore 4: Especially when your singing about death, and hell, and all that stuff.
Ginty: Yes, exactly, exactly. It helps to even it out, at least. And so having someone who wants to be there is very key. And it’s all made for a good environment.
Gore 4: Well, it seems like it worked out well, perfect. McGinty: It’s worked out great, actually.
Kenda: Honestly, I couldn’t be any luckier than I am, ’cause, these guys, if I’m sick, or if there’s anything that I need, they are the first ones that are there.
Gore 4: Speaking of sick, when you played down the Jersey Shore, at Brighton Bar, in Long Branch, in February, we had that big snow storm, you had to delay your show a few days. And you were like, sick as hell. You were in the hospital that day, right?
Kenda: I was in the hospital for four hours. The nurse came up to me while I was in the waiting room for four hours, and she’s like, ‘there is this guy here telling me that you guys have to get to the show, but if you want to stay, you can.’ And I was like, oh, that’s probably Sean, or Ginty. And I walked out, and Sean’s like, ‘well, we can stay at the hospital, and you know, get you checked up….it’s completely fine if that’s what you need to do, or we can go and try and do the show.’ And I’m like, ‘well, they already cancelled our first show due to a, quote, unquote, snowstorm.’ And then, I’m like, ‘so we’re not, no, we’re not cancelling.’
Gore 4: I was gonna say, what possessed you to even go on stage being that sick? Or, were you actually possessed?”
Kenda: Maybe I was. McGinty: Ohhh. Kenda: Maybe I was. McGinty: Ohhh.
Kenda: No, we’ve never been the type to ever want to cancel a show….ever….no matter what the situation. We’ve had popped tires, we’ve had….wicked snowstorms in Canada.
Ginty: The only time we’ve cancelled shows is, we had a run with the Dropkick Murphys all set, but getting U.S. work visas is very tricky sometimes, and because Kenda was new, for some reason, they had this bizarre want to have members of the band that had been in the band for a certain amount of time, and so we had to cancel a bunch of shows with the Dropkick Murphys, which was heartbreaking.
Kenda: But that wasn’t by choice.
Ginty: It was because of the U.S., not to harp on your country, but it was because of the U.S. Government. And it was really sad because we were dying to play those shows.
Kenda: We were so excited, I was very excited because I love Dropkick Murphys, I always have. And it’s funny, because any time a show is cancelled, it’s never because we cancelled it. It’s always by some….twisted way.
Gore 4: Or, act of the Devil.
Ginty: Act of the Devil, perhaps. You blame one and I’ll blame the other. Kenda: Exactly.
Gore 4: Well, I don’t know if I coined the phrase, but ‘the Creepshow must go on.’
Ginty: The Creepshow did go on. Kenda: There you go, yes.
Gore 4: So, maybe you can get some shirts made or something. (Ginty laughs)
Kenda: I like that. That’s why we had, ‘the Creepshow never say die’ shirts, ’cause, as much as it’s a Goonies thing, we, A, love the Goonies, B, there is no way in hell that they would ever stop us from doing a show.
Gore 4: And, ‘Life After Death,’ it all goes on.
Kenda: Exactly. Like, Ginty and Sean are the original members of this band, and this is their baby. There’s no way in hell they’re going to give it up, no matter what.
Ginty: Our disgusting, dirty baby.
Kenda: It is their disgusting love child. (Laughs) But, this is something that they’ve also worked really hard on, and it’s something they love, and are not going to give it up for anything.
Ginty: Yeah, but all the new members have worked really hard recently….which I think is why the new album has gotten more positive reviews than any of our previous albums.
Kenda: Because we’re all so excited, we’re all really happy, and we all connect together really well. They’re my family. These guys are my brothers, and I would have their backs for anything, and I know they would do the same for me….I hope.
Ginty: Ahh, I’ll see what happens. Kenda: Ehhh, it’s debatable. Gore 4: He’s thinking about it.
Gore 4: Alright, well that’s cool. The new album is, ‘Life after Death’ It’s awesome, pick it up. And, thank you so much.
Ginty and Kenda: Thank you.
Gore 4: Next to last show, have a good trip to Montreal, and see you next year.
Kenda: And by the way, thank you for the tank top, it’s so clever, it’s so clever, referring to a Gore 4 shirt.
Gore 4: Cool, thanks, awesome. And that’s my first Gore 4 interview.
Kenda: Yeahhh! Congratulations on that.
— interview by Brian de Castro