Various styles of metal have been tied to horror movies since their inception, but not only did metalheads were influenced by bleak and scary motion pictures. A lot of punk rock, hardcore and metal/hardcore bands imbued their music with the shadowy menace of obscure horror films, and our today’s guests, Akron, Ohio based vicious, grinding metal punks GRIPHOOK are a great example of that.
The band just released their new murderous album “Brutal Bloodsport”, and we took the chance to ask them for their top 5 DIY bands, top 5 slasher movies and top 5 songs that influenced them to start the band. GRIPHOOK‘s Zach has it covered and you can check out his interesting picks below!
Brutal Bloodsport, the debut full length from Akron’s princes of darkness, clocks in at 13 minutes. More than enough time to kill your neighbor. Best played loud, to drown out their shrieks. Get your tape HERE and digital album HERE.
Top 5 DIY bands, slasher movies and songs that influenced GRIPHOOK:
Chicago’s bastard sons. They’ve been friends of mine since their summer 2018 tour, and we’ve played together a few times since. They continue to release new, exciting music, and push the boundaries of what modern hardcore is. These kids are young, like very young, and they’re more talented than most bands you love.
Dawson, Jake and Joey always find a strong approach to every album, and never disappoint. Their revolving door of bassists and drummers seem to flow very well too, almost as if there’s weeks of grueling tryouts to weed out the weak ones. Cannot recommend this band enough. Every time they release something, it becomes my new favorite release, so I’ll stick to a favorite song instead of a favorite album “The Kingdom of Heaven”, a 6 minute track that will last just long enough for you to reach the gates and see God.
One of the quarantine side projects of En Love, Columbus’ coolest band. Circus is Ilija and Joey’s love letter to Youth Attack Records. Lyrically, this band is disgusting. Sonically, this band sounds like a carnival caravan flew off the highway and blew up. It’s perfect. Their discography is 9 minutes, which is plenty of time to apply your clown makeup and sharpen your knife. Out of all the En Love side bands, this is the only one I’d be okay with outliving the original band.
“Clown Car Pile-Up”, a mosh call where they chant “send in the clowns” is hard to top. When the circus comes to your town, make sure you don’t skip it. Honk honk.
THE country music superstar…trademark pending. Dale Hollow has been cutting his teeth as the best thing in country for at least 4 years. Some people seem to think he’s writing joke songs, but that’s just how Dale talks. He knows what he has is nothing short of pure genius, so he flexes it honestly. Not much is known about Dale’s personal life, he is anywhere between 17 and 25, he has turned down many opportunities to play professional basketball and he has been evading the IRS for a while.
“Mama, I’m Trying to Change”, my personal favorite. It hits hard, it feels raw and honest, while still keeping the charm Dale shows with his newer music. What the FUCK is a kung fu saloon? Nashville is wild.
Hailing from Richmond, Virginia, True Body captures the 80s new wave/dark wave tones, while bringing a much more modern approach. Tonally, Sisters of Mercy and the Cure(the darker albums) could easily be lumped in, but the androgyny that looms along True Body keeps things fresh. Starting in 2015, the music has progressed yet stayed the same. Feeling cold and longing, while red hot and knowing exactly how to get everything they’ve ever wanted.
“Chain”, the keyboard intro, the beautiful bass tone, everything about this is perfect. When my boyfriend breaks up with me in 1987, in his dad’s Honda CR-X, this is the song that will play while I cry in my room and call my best friend on my hamburger phone.
Akron’s best quarantine band (outdoing griphook, if I do say so myself). RSD are a two piece garage band that record all of their music on analog equipment, but refuse to release any of it. You’re pretty much only able to experience it live, or in their basement, listening to an 8 Track they dubbed over. Their setlist is 90% songs about self hatred and suicidal thoughts, and 10% a song about marrying Mano, the vocalist’s, mom before fucking her. I wish I was making that up. I’m not. It’s a great song. Their live sets have included blow up sex dolls being thrown into the pit, and piñatas full of warm beer.
“Chapel Bells”, as someone whose parents are not divorced, this song would be my anthem if my mom was dating. Just hope that you can catch them live, or that Steve Albini releases his entire catalog at once, so these weirdos decide to follow suit.
The ultimate slasher. The movie that took every trope before it, and morphed it into perfection. This is the perfect horror movie. The only downside is that Kevin Williamson let it become a parody of itself with the MTV show, and while enjoyable, even Scream 4.
The original home invasion movie. The better version of Halloween, too. This 1974 Canadian classic paved what many tropes got re used for 20 years before Scream perfected them, and Bob fucking Clark, the same guy that made A Christmas Story and Baby Geniuses made this. Sparking two awful remakes, and a metric ass ton of rip offs with the infamous “the call is coming from inside the house” line, this is my all time favorite slasher, and top 3 all time favorite movies.
Friday the 13th VII: The New Blood
After years of the summer camp slasher being done and re-done, especially in the Friday series, The New Blood really tapped into a strange sub plot. A telekinetic girl goes up against Jason. Sure, there was Sleepaway Camp and some other strange things, but again a telekinetic girl goes up against Jason. Tina not only fights Jason using her powers for gifted youngsters, her fucking dead dad’s ghost comes back to drag Jason into the water. Absolutely batshit crazy.
New York Ripper
This movie is absolutely batshit. It stands alone in a lot of ways. It’s not particularly good, the plot is both thin and confusing. But holy fuck is it violent. This was Fulci’s most feminist film, which I know sounds dumb coming from a cis white male. He made this as a way to show what women deal with every day, and instead people took it as him hating women. My mom and I share a love of this ridiculous piece of work. It tries so hard to stick to the giallo style, but falls so quickly into the early 80s typical slasher archetypes. I cannot recommend it enough. My friend Ryenn watched it and gave me the review, “it was so horny that my roommate asked me if I could close the door the next time I decided to watch porn in the middle of the day”.
I saw Black Christmas when I was 11. It shook me to my core. I was so upset to find out that home invasions were real, and that they could be so violent. I watched this movie when I was 13, and it fucked me even more in the head. Thanks, dad. Part of the French extreme era, High Tension answers the question of just how far someone will go for love. Be sure to go in blind, when they released it in America they gave everything away in the trailer. Also, be sure to watch the uncut French version, not the edited American version where you don’t see the kid die. Watch that fucker get his.
Black Flag – My War
I was in a doom worship band that I wasn’t really enjoying. They kept pushing me to do things I didn’t want to do, make songs that were longer and longer, and I just couldn’t find my footing. I started this band, and was being told what to do? I would butt heads with the other guys weekly, and normally I was the one being an asshole. Naturally, I repeatedly played My War over and over. I felt alone and bitter, so it was the soundtrack for everything. Initially, griphook was going to be a side project named In My Grip, after the Samhain song. But then I got kicked out of the doom band and enlisted some guys to start griphook under a different name.
“Three Nights” is my favorite Black Flag song of all time, it’s just so haunting and eerie. The tension builds and it doesn’t stop. It feels more like a horror movie than “Family Man” ever could. We might not play anything particularly slow, and we definitely won’t be writing any seven minute songs, but this song influenced me a lot.
Cult Ritual – LP 1
One of my friends brought up LP 1’s album cover, and it sent me spiraling down a rabbit hole of Cult Ritual. Being so deep in my Black Flag love, it fueled the flames even harder. This was the best band Youth Attack ever housed. Never got to see them, but one time some friends and I saw Merchandise open for Title Fight. They sucked. Cult Ritual understood Black Flag worship, they understood Youth Attack’s general vibe, and they understood how to keep things interesting even with a 5 minute song that’s 3.5 minutes of the same fucking drum beat over and over. The idea that you can pay homage to something, but still build something else entirely, it really encapsulated here for me.
“Horror Sale” captures the Black Flag worship with the opening riff. Then tears it the fuck down with the rest of the song. Lyrically and musically both, this song makes me want to rip my own teeth out. “Life on the shelf. In your favorite hell”. Goosebumps every time.
Ceremony – Still Nothing Moves You
Originally I didn’t get the hype on Ceremony. I liked Violence Violence. I hated L Shaped Man. I thought they were a one trick pony. I tried Zoo and it furthered that this band was just not my bag. Then I heard In The Spirit World Now and was a changed man. Then I saw them on that tour, and was a believer in the church of Ceremony. I spent time with the discography and immediately gravitated toward Still Nothing Moves You. It was dark, it was weird. It had short, fucked up songs that felt like a more interesting power violence. I wanted so badly to create music like this.
“Dead Moon California(Midnight in Solitude)/The Difference Between Looking and Seeing”, what an insane opener. Nothing but slowly building instrumentals for what feels like forever, then the fucking bomb drops and it goes. The fuck. Off. Anyone that tells you Rohnert Park is the best album knows nothing about punk and is clearly a big fuckin poser. And I’m clearly cool because I’m 26 and just typed poser.
Some Girls – All My Friends Are Going Death
The side project that became the new project, from Wes Eisold of American Nightmare. I’m a diehard AN fan, but I have a soft spot for Some Girls. The music is chaos, it feels rushed to an insane degree, and it’s nearly unlistenable. I love every second of it. It was the biggest influence on what I wanted griphook to be, a wall of sound meant only for a niche group of fans.I read that Wes watched AN reach a height, and they were supposed to be the next band to break it into the big time, and he didn’t want that so he left, moved in with his dad, and wrote a bunch of Some Girls songs. So it seemed natural to lean into the “abandon the past, write new songs, and keep pushing away from what I’m known for musically”.
“Sex and Glue”, Wes’ lyrical ability always stood out to me. The Andrew Eldritch/Morrissey worship, but understanding that both of them were huge assholes, and taking a step back, makes Wes that much better than the other two. Some Girls shows a different side of his ability, the edge break, the absolute wrecked mentality, the new image, the new form of being a broken man. And musically, the rest of the band flexing what they were known for previously, but somehow bringing it all together to make a car crash of a band.
Void – Faith/Void Split
griphook started in February of 2020, a few weeks after I moved out of my parents and moved in with my partner. A month later, COVID started and I was furloughed. I had A LOT of time alone, and A LOT of time to go back to bands I liked in middle and high school. I dug through the Dischord discography, and Void stood out immediately. The music was so fun, the lyrics kind of stupid, and the overall vibe being something that was a very early idea of metalcore. They played something that seemed typical for the 80s hardcore scene, but Bubba’s riffs were so different, and metal, as opposed to quick, simple shit.
“Who Are You?”, the opening 20 seconds alone suck you in. The strings being bent, and then the heavy riff immediately after. And the feeling of being alone, the feeling of disdain and hate for someone that you used to consider your partner, all just peaking angrily.
LeATHERMØUTH – xø
A little bonus, and also me just being annoying and deciding to do a top 6. Leathermouth is a band I’ve worshipped since high school, and they were introduced to me at a time that I was knee deep in my My Chem worship, so it lined up perfectly. Another band that easily influenced what I wanted for grip’s sound. The anger and hate in every song, bled out with broken vocal chords, just feeling extremely honest. Frank Iero has gone on to make some dogshit music, but both times I’ve seen him play shows, he did Leathermouth songs, and that’s good enough for me, lol.
“Catch Me If You Can”, the most griphook song on the album. “I Am Going to Kill The President of the United States of America” is obviously the big takeaway track, and one that we can all enjoy saying again, since the small handed man is out of office and won’t have us hunted down and killed. Anyway! I love this stupid fucking band.