Welcome to Creeper’s vampire era. The English quintet crawled out of the shadows once again—on Friday 13th, no less, to commence a new chapter with their outlandish third album, Sanguivore. The album contains their most grandiose, daring, and dark material to date. Knowing their penchant for all things gothic and ghoulish, telling a story revolving around vampires would seem as natural to them as wearing all-black. But to them, the figure of the vampire means more than sucking blood and skulking around at night. For Creeper and frontman William Von Ghould, the vampire represents rebirth.
“We had the idea a long time ago. It was always the plan to retreat into the shadows for the third one and go darker than we’d ever gone before,” the frontman explains. “Doing the vampire thing in particular, it made a lot of sense because of where we were with the band at the time, in terms of breathing new life into something that was dying and reborn, so to speak.”
Creeper’s last album, 2020’s Sex, Death & The Infinite Void, was released against a backdrop of tumult. It was released in the midst of the pandemic—and delayed two months because of it—for starters, but prior to that, the process of its creation was marred by guitarist Ian Miles being hospitalized for bipolar disorder, and he was still there by the time the album was finished. The question of the band going on hiatus, or even breaking up, was raised. But they were cautioned against it by Ian’s wife, who warned that such a decision would leave him nothing to come out of the hospital to.
“We were all pulled apart by his recovery and the pandemic,” Will continues. “This breathed new life into old bones a little bit, in a way that a vampire might. It’s revived us and managed to restart our creative friendship.”
The concept also sprung from Ian and Will’s shared love of vampire films, references to which has continually appeared in the band’s imagery throughout their career. “When we used to post all the merch out, we used to send letters and things alongside it. We had these postcards that said ‘Southampton’ in the lettering, and we cut all the letters out on Photoshop and put vampire faces in them,” he remembers. “The vampire part of the band always existed, but it felt right now because it metaphorically made sense in terms of the rebirth of the band.”
Check out some of Will’s favorite vampire tales below:
The Lost Boys
“I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of the young vampire gang. They riff on ‘the lost boys’ as in [the characters from] Peter Pan, which is obviously one of my favorites. We’ve been referencing Peter Pan since the beginning of our band. The idea of referencing them as the Lost Boys, I’ve always thought was really cool. Because it completely makes sense in the Peter Pan story to the [idea of] everlasting youth and you know, like that the only way you could do that, so there really moments to it.
I think the first time I saw that film, I was really pulled in by the idea of the vampire punk gang, you know, and a lot of the framework for what we do in the imagery for Creeper, all along it’s been kind of Lost Boys-based, especially early on. Now, it feels like a real parallel to when we first started because of the way we’ve been writing songs.”
“It was made for TV, kind of a three-part show that was compiled into a film. I think that’s got one of the scariest vampires in it. There’s an amazing scene where he floats in through the window while the boys are in bed, and it spins up a window about the flip of the window. It’s very romantic for me because it reminds me of Peter Pan, who’s also seen floating through the window. It’s a very terrifying, kind of Nosferatu-looking vampire in that one as well. We watched that not long ago. It was one of the references we were using for my decapitation [Will was ‘decapitated’ on stage at a Creeper show in London in November 2022 to mark the end of the Sex, Death & The Infinite Void cycle]. Charlotte [Clutterbuck, makeup artist, and Will’s girlfriend] had heavily based the makeup around that vampire, as well as from one of the many, many Pinterest groups we have as well.”
“Dracula is obviously huge in vampire lore, probably the most famous story. And I absolutely loved the original Bela Lugosi Dracula, I think maybe more so because of the mythology that he has with Ed Wood, the B movie director who found Bela Lugosi in his later years. Tim Burton made a film about Ed Wood and the cast of characters that made all these amazing B movies. It’s a classically terrifying film as well—it’s black and white and has that amazing kind of universal horror monster.”
The Damned’s ‘A Night Of A Thousand Vampires’: Live In London
“The Damned did a show at the [London] Palladium [in October 2019, which was released as a live DVD in 2022] me and Charlotte went to see it. It was amazing. So what they tried to do was break the world record for the most amount of vampires in one building, and so you had to sign this Guinness World Records form as you went in. Me and Charlotte when it’s vampires, and I had like a pop collar but a white shirt with loads of blood down it. It was amazing because Dave [Vanian, frontman] came out wearing a Lugosi-esque sort of costume, and then in the interval, a curtain came down, and they had his head shaved, and he came back as a Nosferatu kind of a vampire. No one knew it was him until he started singing.”
Let The Right One In
“The film is obviously a remake of Let Me In. It follows the story of these kids—one of them’s a vampire—and the story between the two of them. I’ve always thought that it was a really affecting film for our characters of Spook and Mercy, and they have this wonderful connection. Interview With The Vampire was a big reference for them as well—this very powerful, innocent looking but very deadly and terrifying, and elegant vampire killer, and a vampire who kills.”