Creepoid Makes Maps with album ‘Cemetery Highrise Slum’

By Janelle Abad

Music Director

Alternative grunge band, Creepoid took a stop at Austin’s very own Red 7 in part of their Summer 2015 Tour for the release of their latest album Cemetery High Rise Slum. Joining them at Red 7 were Marriages and local Austin band Ringo Deathstarr, both delivering a high-energy performance on stage.

KTSW’s Janelle Abad spoke to Creepoid members Anna Troxell (vocals, bass), Nicholas Kulp (guitar), Patrick Troxell (percussion), and Sean Miller (vocals, guitar) about touring and the making of Cemetery High Rise Slum. 

Creepoid backstage at Red 7. Photo courtesy of Janelle Abad
Sean Miller, Pat Troxell, Nick Kulp, & Anna Troxell of Creepoid backstage at Red 7. (from left to right)  Photo courtesy of Janelle Abad

Creepoid has frequented Austin a number of times since their formation, performing at SXSW, Psych Fest, and other various shows. Drummer Patrick Troxell is also no stranger to the Austin music scene, as he explained that he was one of the original staff members of the Red 7 venue on Red River St. Troxell further expressed his heavy heart with the venue’s closure due this coming September:

I was really always proud of this place – living in Philly and working at other clubs. I’m really sad to see the actual building itself go. […] I love Austin and being surrounded by family.

Anna Troxell, bassist of Creepoid. Photo courtesy of Janelle Abad
Anna Troxell, bassist of Creepoid. Photo courtesy of Janelle Abad

Their passion for playing music is unequivocal as seen in their stomping and headbanging during their performance. Their priorities on stage include encapsulating the moment of a live atmosphere, and feeling the energy; “that to me,” Bassist Anna states, “is much more important than playing perfectly every night. I think ultimately people respond much more to feeling – like someone’s authentic in that moment.”By the end of their set all of the members were on the floor alongside their instruments, buried underneath the fog. Patrick Troxell voices the amazing experience they’ve had on tour so far despite getting food poisoning twice, and experiencing full blood shed six or seven times:

Every night is amazing. I love playing to 2,000 kids every night. It’s the best thing in the whole world.

In terms of the making of Cemetery Highrise Slum, guitarist and vocalist Sean Miller and bassist and vocalist Anna Troxell describes the themes and ideas behind the album as

All of the things at once – all the states of affairs, and now they’re all simultaneous. Some themes would be discontent, disillusionment; just sort of like looking at the state of affairs around you and asking yourself if you’re happy, and if you are why are you happy? What goals are you ascribing to? Just wanting to be able to succeed, but knowing that in doing so, you sort of buy into this larger problem.

According to Miller, finishing the album was the most gratifying part of the recording experience. Anna Troxell further explains that the recording process in comparison to previous was short, but felt otherwise due to being in the studio every day for 15 hours straight. Bassist Troxell further reveals that recording Cemetery Highrise Slum was “a struggle in a lot of ways, but there were some really breakthrough watershed moments too. Things felt like they were worth it.” Miller continues to define the struggles as “more of the struggle to make ends meet while being able to be flexible enough to dedicate ourselves to the record.” In order to make ends meet the members of Creepoid took on multiple jobs, and even sold personal items including, clothes, shoes, and a large portion of their record collection, which they held a deep love for.

Both Anna and Patrick Troxell agree that mixing was their favorite part of making Cemetery Highrise Slum.

Mixing was a really great process. We’ve never really witnessed mixing happen that sort of way through analog. It was cool to see somebody push and pull sounds and create space for things.- Anna Troxell

Everything sounded exactly as it was recorded. He didn’t do anything in the computer; we did everything in the very last moment, so suddenly everything was changing – like a top spinning – it was just turning. It’s like things started pulling together. – Sean Miller

Sean Miller, guitarist of Creepoid. Photo courtesy of Janelle Abad
Sean Miller, guitarist of Creepoid. Photo courtesy of Janelle Abad

Right after finishing the mixing process for Cemetery Highrise Slum, Creepoid hit the road for their tour. They’ve been on the road for ten months out of the year. Drummer Patrick Troxell also adds that for one of

the ten months latest addition to the line-up, guitarist Nick Kulp was also touring with his other band Far-out Fangtooth in Europe, and in another month in the studio for Cemetery Highrise Slum. Troxell also expresses his excitement for the future of Creepoid:

I’m really stoked for the future, because the more we put ourselves out there, the less we have to stretch ourselves thin. We’ll be able to concentrate more on the due process.

Cemetery Highrise Slum still shares the same swirling grunge sound as their previous records, but does present some new forces with its making and release such as the addition of guitarist Nick Kulp. Anna Troxell mentions the slightly different writing process with Kulp as he brought with him to Creepoid newer styles, his talents and different ways of playing. Drummer Troxell further compares the previous Creepoid albums to Cemetery Highrise Slum as he states:

Those albums were more notebooks, and this album is a map. Those things are put together in pieces. We really take care and are very tender with every piece of it. But this new record is the first time we’ve ever done stuff to tape and to a click – it’s a real rock album. These roads don’t change. The other ones – we kind of feel them out. We feel how we want to do it; we do it with our emotions and how we want to live.

The aftermath of Creepoid's set at Red 7. Photo courtesy of Janelle Abad
The aftermath of Creepoid’s set at Red 7. Photo courtesy of Janelle Abad

Catch Creepoid on tour

Like Creepoid on Facebook

Download Cemetery Highrise Slum on bandcamp

View more photos from the show on KTSW’s facebook page

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