Is “Thriller” a bit of a snoozer? Does the pelvis thrust of “The Time Warp” fail to drive you insane? When “Partytime” by 45 Grave no longer makes you rip off your flesh and dance like a zombie, then you need some new Halloween music. Like a full-sized candy bar when trick-or-treating, LOVECRAFT is here to lift your spooky spirit. The group – featuring Lil Punkin, Deepkutz, Norman Crates, Scary Ana Grande, Robyn Gothicke, Ghost M’lone, Count Trakula, and DejaVudu – released This Is Halloween Vol. 1 to kick off the Halloween season.
These eleven blood-soaked tracks – full of swirling phantasms, synth beats ripped straight out of the horror section of a haunted VHS rental store, and verses that can only be described as “ghost trap” – will make your Halloween a howling fright. HollywoodLife is happy to premiere the lyric video for the song that makes every Jack O’Lantern smile, “Awooo.”
A terrifying trio from LOVECRAFT – Deepkutz, Norman Crates, and Lil Punkin – spoke with HollywoodLife about This Is Halloween Vol. 1. They also chatted about who’d they like to appear on Vol. 2, and why fans of a certain Netflix show about a teenage witch should get ready to fall in love with LOVECRAFT.
HollywoodLife: How did LOVECRAFT come together? I’m guessing an ambitious DJ possibly read from the Necronomicon ball looking at the mirror and thus opening a portal into the world of frightful dance music?
Deepkutz: I think we’re all really Halloween obsessed, and we just decided to do what we love
Lil’ Punkin: Yeah, we, I think we all kind of grew up not only obsessed with Halloween, but of the genre of Halloween, and everything horror-related: from the music to the movies to just the art form, everything around it, everything encompassing it. So, it’s been a dream of all of ours to do something like this. So we all kind of united and brought our spookiness together to create something that we thought was like timeless and classic. It’s something that felt current but also paid homage to the genre that we love so much.
We felt we wanted to pay homage to the things we loved but also create something classic for the next generation, to maybe inspire the future generation Halloween lovers to make their own music.
Norman Crates: Yeah, we made a sample pack for them.
LP: We actually did a collaboration with Splice and created a sample pack of sounds, spooky sounds, and vocal samples and things that people right now can make their own Halloween music, using our sounds.
DK: I feel like Christmas gets a lot of love. We were looking, and couldn’t believe that there wasn’t new Halloween music. I mean, it’s probably, the “Monster Mash” or “Thriller.” I love those tunes, but it’d be great to have some new ones.
You might have a new Halloween classic with “Awooo.” It’s one of the bounciest tracks on the record. What went into making this new haunted bop?
DK: Sometimes, these things write themselves. You got to write about what you love. I was working with Norman Crates and Ghost M’lone, and we were like, “let’s make the dance floor song.” And I was just thinking werewolves. One of my favorite movies of all time is the American Werewolf in London by John Landis. I’m obsessed with the special effects of that. And then the story of how Michael Jackson reached out [to Landis] and he did the “Thriller” video. That was the main inspiration for me. Lyrically and melodically.
NC: Yea, one of the things that are happening right now is there’s this big 80’s throwback, and we love all those synth things. We have a rack of original synthesizers in the studio. And so we dug deep on some cool sounds and sound effects, and the next thing you know, there’s like a werewolf in the back corner. What’s Halloween without a werewolf? Deepkutz goes howling, and we just threw the mic on. And then it was one thing led to the next and the song, like you said, it really wrote itself. We had already tricked a studio out and completely decorated it with lights and cobwebs and skeletons and pumpkin buckets full of candy. Lil Punkin had snuck in before everyone arrived at the studio and decorated the entire thing. So we were in the mood from the moment we walked in.
LP: I went in there early before we started and like spooky-themed the f-ck out of it. Just transformed the entire studio complex into Halloween, into what we wanted this record to be about into, what we loved growing up. I have an entire garage full of Halloween decorations. I’ve been known to put them up in the off-season and dress up all the time and come to sessions in costume. So, Halloween is a year-round thing and Halloween every day for us.
Like Al Jourgensen said, “Every day is Halloween.”
LP: We were at Midsummer Scream, this huge Halloween convention, and we took a break midway through, and I looked over at Norman and Kutz and said, “Halloween starts today.” This woman was sitting at the table next to us and leaned over to say, “Halloween starts November 1st.” So, I should correct it: Halloween does start November 1st
The title This Is Halloween Vol. 1 indicates you were going for a more Tim Burton vibe than an Eli Roth one. Were there moments in the making This Is Halloween when you thought, ‘This is getting a little too scary?’ Like, did someone suggest a song about Hostel?
NC: “Can You Hear Me” is the scariest song on the record, with a transmission from the grave, and a creepy kid singing. It’s the most Poltergeist-y of all the songs. It was less Hostel and more A Nightmare Before Christmas, in general, because we want people to dance their way into the dark – and we can off them later.
LP: We all love Danny Elfman, obviously, and Tim. But, it was important that we call it This Is Halloween – it was less of a Nightmare reference and more of a way to make sure we had songs that represented ALL of the different sub-genres of Halloween music, sub-genres of Halloween sounds and inspiration that we felt over the year. For us, the entire record encompasses the various aspects of it. Stuff that’s scary, stuff that’s dancing, stuff that’s campy, stuff that’s creepy, stuff that’s retro, retro-futuristic throwback, retro spooky as we call it, stuff that feels like “ghost trap,” as we call it. We really want it to kind of encompass all of the sub-genres of Halloween. For us, This is Halloween is more of what Halloween is about. It’s not just about one song.
DK: I think it gives us a place to grow.
NC: We have lots of places to go for next year’s album. We’ve already started a list of ideas and new things, and some of the music is already being composed because we can’t, we just can’t control ourselves.
Who would you want to recruit into your legion of musically malevolent monsters for This Is Halloween Vol. 2?
DK: We’ve been tossing around some names, and I think Denzel Curry would be really fun. A deeper cut, but I know fun.
NC: We’d love to collaborate with the godfather, John Carpenter. There are some legends in the game that might be amazing if we can convince to come in, maybe we could get them down in our spooky basement and do a little jam.
LP: I mean, he really invented an entire genre of music just by making the soundtrack to his own movie [Halloween]. “I’ll do the music. It’s cool.” And then make the most incredible piece of scary music ever made.
Outside of your own sinister electric sounds, is there a particular song that makes it officially Halloween season for you?
NC: Obviously, it’s “Ghostbusters.” As soon as you hear that one and you’re just ‘well, it’s about to hit.’ I absolutely love this song, and I could listen to it every day.
LP: I’m kind of obsessed with Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me.”
NC: There are so many songs that bring it that come to mind. In fact, we made a playlist of them on our Spotify profile, which you can check out. But even like “Psycho Killer” from Talking Heads with fun stuff like that is on there. And you also do have The Cramps and The Ramones, “Pet Semetery.” I mean that kind of puts me in a mood. “Pet Semetery” puts me in a mood, definitely.
A little bat told me that LOVECRAFT will be featured in the upcoming season of the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Is that a marriage made in hell?
DK: It literally was. [laughs] The Sabrina team reached out and loved what we were doing. We were able to tailor it to their needs for a special episode that’s launching this season, which is really going to be cool. And I don’t think I get to talk any more about it, but it was an awesome collab and, and really kind of put the whole project on the map, which made us feel pretty spooktacular.
Everybody wants to get on the LOVECRAFT train.
NC: We’re calling our fans spooky freaks. So be free to join the rest of the spooky freaks.
LOVECRAFT’s This Is Halloween Vol. 1 is out now.
This interview has been edited for clarity.