In 2012 we lost what was quite possibly the greatest Horror Punk band of all time, Blitzkid. Over the past 4 years their former frontman Argyle Goolsby has been keeping his ghoulish self as busy as ever! With a new album on the horizon and a much awaited UK approaching, the Horror Punk icon sat down with Devolution to give all his fiendish fans an update on where he’s been and where he’s going in 2016….
Hey dude! How have you been? What’s new with you?
Hey! I’m doing quite well, thank you. 2016 has been action packed so far. Ha-ha. There’s lots of activity going on at the moment. I’ve just finished booking a short tour of the EU as well as a streak across the UK for this upcoming May which I’m really excited about. I enjoy touring overseas a lot so it’s a great feeling knowing I get to take part in that again very soon. The tour is primarily being booked around an appearance we are making at WGT in Leipzig, Germany which is another festival I’ve always enjoyed playing. On top of this particular tour, there are others currently being planned for the states as well as a follow up to the European one for later this year. Outside of touring, most of my time is wrapped up in recording my new record. I began tracking it back in February, and am onto the mixing stage of it now. It’s coming together splendidly, and I think it’s going to grab a lot of people by the collar.
When and how did the idea for The Roving Midnight come about?
The Roving Midnight was a concept that I had been entertaining for some years after the dissolution of Blitzkid, but never fully articulated until the last year or so. I wanted to take the time to let it define itself to me and put me on its path rather than the other way around. Blitzkid had been a very big chapter in my life as well as the lives of many other people, but it wasn’t the entire book. I just needed time to write another good story.
Where do you see The Roving Midnight heading? Do you have any long term goals for the band?
To just keep moving forward as I always have. This is what I do. For better or worse you will see me on stage and releasing music until my fangs fall out.
Saturnalia of the Accursed appears to have a range of different influences and stories behind it. For those unfortunate enough to have heard it, can you take us those please?
Saturnalia of the Accursed is a collection of sorts. After Blitzkid disbanded in 2012, I recorded an EP called “A Dream Not Quite Remembered” that showcased some songs that I had been writing that didn’t sound so much like Blitzkid. Same with the next EP that I put out in 2013 “Under The Witness Stars”. It was the perfect time for me to explore and put out music that wouldn’t have necessarily fit into the Blitzkid world. There were however a lot of those types of songs that did manage to sneak through the Blitzkid barrier from time to time. Songs like “Casque ”, “The Bat Whispers” and “Vanishing Riders” were a few examples of this. They always sort of stood out as dark horses on those Blitzkid albums. The solo thing afforded me an opportunity to put all of these weird tracks out in a cohesive way. They were not recorded to become representations of any direction I was going. I just wanted to put out some songs and throw them out into the ether. Later, when I established a direction, I decided to put both of those EP’s into a collection that ended up becoming Saturnalia. I’ve always loved death rock, dark wave and even new wave. A lot of those influences found their way onto that album.
Are there any up-and-coming Horror bands that you’ve got your eye on or one that you’d like to tour with one day? Any from the UK you’ve noticed?
There are a lot of bands out there in horror rock that I love, and just as many outside of that catalogue. Some of the best horror bands in my opinion were never Horror bands. Bands like TSOL, New Math (later Jet Black Berries). There is some seriously dark shit going on in these bands, more than what you would find in the typical horror band, but I think what makes them so horror is their detachment to it. I’ve always loved The Damned. Again, not so much a horror to the core band, but have that element and use it exceptionally well. I had the opportunity to tour with them briefly years ago and had a blast. I’d definitely love to do it again.
Would you ever consider doing a tour only playing a best of Blitzkid songs?
No, but not because of some weird personal hang up or anything. I just feel like Blitzkid was Blitzkid as it was. It needs to stay where it is in order to remain what it was. I don’t have any problem playing a few Blitzkid songs (that I wrote) in my solo sets because I’m proud of where I’m from and it’s part of the roots of what I’m doing now. The fans also appreciate it, so I want to give them that as well. There are people discovering Blitzkid now that never got the chance to see us live when we were together, so it gives me the chance to show them a little bit of that world. As for a whole Blitzkid set though, it just wouldn’t be genuine and besides while this band bears similarities to what I did in Blitzkid it’s a totally different entity.
What’s your personal favourite track from Saturnalia Of The Accursed? And why?
They’re all relevant to me on a personal level somehow so it’s difficult for me to favour one more than the next, but if I had to pick one I think my favourite would be Spiders and Flies. That song doesn’t necessarily represent the sound, ethos or direction of the band or anything, but its’ lyrics are the most personal to me. There’s not really one song at all on Saturnalia that ‘encompasses’ the direction or sound of the band as it is now. It was more of an exploratory adventure through a host of influences over a course of about two years. There’s a lot of Deathrock and gothic touches to the songs such as “Shadows of Night” and “The Being” which I love writing so those are close seconds.
What’s it like having Shadow Windhawk as your guitarist? He’s quite a character. Does his schedule with The Morticians ever clash with yours or cause any issues?
No there are no conflicts. I’ve set up this band in a way that there are no definite members outside of myself. I’m the only guy you’re guaranteed to see each time you come to a Roving Midnight show. When I was 19 it was easy as hell to go on tour with your best mates because everyone was 19 and living in their parents’ basement. Hahaha. These days it takes a bit more organizing and planning which is why the setup of The Roving Midnight is so ideal. There are a handful of people who I can call on for a tour so chances are there is availability. That’s why I gave the band my name. I struggled with this at first because I didn’t want it to come off as some self glorifying, but the fact is, folks get used to seeing certain members on stage with you. When those persons aren’t around anymore or when you go through member changes people start to consider you on shaky ground. I wanted to eliminate that perception by making it understood from the get go that this is how it’s supposed to be. I don’t expect all of my friends to leave their families and jobs at the drop of a hat to tour which is why it’s me and whoever out of my friends can make it. The Roving Midnight itself is the band I tour with. All recording is still done by me and released as just Argyle Goolsby. It’s been a pretty good and practical formula.
As a fellow Horror fan, what’s your favourite movie of all time and are they any new ones that have caught your attention recently?
Nosferatu will always be the jewel to my horror crown! The whole ensemble of expressionistic (particularly German) Horror as a whole is a favourite of mine. I’m not really a blood and guts for the sake of gore type of Horror fan. I do like those movies, don’t get me wrong, but I’m into more Romantic Horror and Horror that has a weird inhumanity to it. An unrequited love. A tragic figure that isn’t quite good or evil; stuff like that. Those old movies made you FEEL the Horror around you and didn’t necessarily rely on SHOCKING you into sensing it. I always liked that the most. The Babadook was a great newer Horror movie that really utilized this method. I really liked that one a lot.
From Misfits to Skater music, what would you say have been the biggest influences in your career?
This question is never easy, but I suppose important questions never are! Haha I always tell myself I can answer this question without opening a Pandora’s Box of run on paragraphs, but it never happens. To sum it up, my first musical memories was listening to old Doo Wop and 1950’s Rock ‘n’ Roll records on the turntable and on the radio. La Bamba used to fire me up! I used to jump up and down on my bed phonetically shouting out made up Spanish lyrics, and giving the air guitar hell! Same with Buddy Holly, I was like a deer in headlights when I would hear his old records. I was a hyperactive snake charmed out of a basket which is why those records were probably always on. Although he was by no means a Gothic artist, there was something so sombre about his music. There was something so delicately haunted in his delivery that must’ve connected to the undiluted nature of my young age. It was strong enough to establish my long enduring fascination with such musical elements to this day. Sit in the dark and listen to “Listen To Me” by Buddy Holly. Chills!
As a teen I discovered The Doors, and was blown away. This is a band that unjustly gets forced the summer of love reputation upon it, when nothing could be the furthest from the truth. There was no one and there was no band darker and more introspective than The Doors during their heyday; I dare say even nowadays. My discovery of Punk rock overlapped with my discovery of The Doors and really sealed my fate. The first Punk band I ever heard was Minor Threat. My cousin gave me a dubbed cassette of their discography at a family reunion, and the rest of my summer was spent at the local record store thumbing through a giant phone book sized catalogue of albums that I would order from regularly. I found out about a lot of bands that I love to this day just by simply taking a chance on them. Operation Ivy, ENERGY? That sounds great! I’ll order that. Agent Orange, Living in Darkness? That sound’s scary! I’ll take it. And so on and so forth. I’m so thankful there was no internet involved in this. It was a rite of passage finding these bands, like going out in the woods on a vision quest haha. What I found I became. I wasn’t led to any of it.
If the UK tour is a success, when can we expect to see you back again? Do you envisage playing a big UK festival such as Download or Bloodstock? You’d be PERFECT for The Travelling Morgue and I hear The Alt Collective is always recruiting bands….
Absolutely. It’s always a pleasure to tour and visit The UK. It’s my goal to keep this route in regular tour rotation. So do me a favour, come out and see us! I’m not being a cocky/cliché bastard when I say this, but you won’t be disappointed!
In essence, what is Horror Punk to you? What does it mean and what does it stand for, for you personally?
I can only objectively answer the second part of that. I’m not sure myself what Horror Punk is. I don’t think I ever have. I just know that what I have felt, and what I have carried with me my whole life and what eventually translated and morphed its way into words and music has found a resonance in a community (among others) that calls itself Horror Punk. I wave that flag proudly, but it was a flag given to me more so that a flag I specifically designed to stand under. There are so many elements in my music. You don’t have to be a Horror Punk fan, or a punk fan for that matter to enjoy it. We’ve played with everyone from Christian Death to Slayer. It’s all in our live show. So again….come see us.
There are so many elements in my music. You don’t have to be a Horror Punk fan, or a punk fan for that matter to enjoy it. We’ve played with everyone from Christian Death to Slayer. It’s all in our live show. So again….come see us.
Talk us though exactly what “A Corpse With No Name Promotions” is, for those who don’t know.
A Corpse With No Name is the organization that I do all of my work through. Within music it is the umbrella that I release all of my music and merchandise under. Outside of music, it’s the moniker that I perform a host of other services through. Everything from album layout design; album production; tattooing and even weddings. You can visit the page here: www.acorpsewithnoname.com
In the past you’ve worked with J-Sin Trioxin and Dr Chud and you’ve been a part of Gorgeous Frankenstein with Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein. Even recently you’ve been documented performing with Michale Graves. How does it feel to have performed with these icons and to be considered in the same calibre as this Horror Punk royalty?
It’s definitely been great working with many of the artists of whom I looked up to as a teenager; It’s also been a truly surreal experience too. I’ve never once looked at any of it for granted. If anything, it just goes to reinforce my belief that hard work; conviction and dedication to what you love to do can have its rewards. I’ve basically been in a band with Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, The Great Pumpkin and The Fantastic Four. A kid turned adult’s dream come true!
Who’s been your favourite artist to collaborate with and is there anyone that you’d like to work with that you haven’t yet?
All of my friends and bandmates in The Roving Midnight have been great to work with. It means a lot to me getting to work with so many talented musicians that I also get to call friends. I’ve had members of The Cryptkeeper Five, The Crimson Ghosts of Germany, Blitzkid, The Big Bad, Stellar Corpses and Nim Vind all back me live at some point. I’d really love to collaborate on something with both Cinder Block from Tilt, and Michale Graves at some point.
What advice do you have for any advice for young up-and-coming Horror Punk bands trying to break through?
Play. Play . Play. Play. PLAY. Anywhere. Anytime. With anybody. You’re not above this. You’re not exempt. It’s your one job in rock and roll, take pride in it. The internet has unfortunately given newer bands a false sense of permanence and visibility. While I’m very happy at how social media has allowed me to connect with so many fans around the world, I understand this is only part one of a two part process. Go play for real people. Nothing connects you infinitely to another person like grabbing them by the face and screaming your soul into theirs.
You’re a tattooist, is that true? You’ve got a lot of tattoos, which one has your favourite story behind it and why?
This is true! In 2000 I started and apprenticeship at a shop, and by the end of said apprenticeship (much much later) I was given an ultimatum of sorts. I could complete my apprenticeship and become a full time staffed artist, or I could be in my Punk Rock band. It was a hard decision to make, and I fully understood their reasons in making me choose, but I chose music. Blitzkid had just finished recording what would become the album “Let Flowers Die”, and I was fully behind my commitment to it. Besides, I didn’t want to be that guy that was gone for months out of the year leaving an empty chair that could be making the shop money, only to come back and be resented by all the dudes who put their time in daily. Towards the end of Blitzkid, I ran into an old friend of mine who had recently opened a shop and who supported my musical commitments. He offered me a job and ten years after my apprenticeship I was tattooing! As far as my favourite tattoo, I would have to say my back piece. It’s an adaptation of an old French Woodcut that depicts a Giant Octopus wrecking a ship. Framing this are banners that bear the words “All Aches, All Pains, All Drowned” which are lyrics from a Cryptkeeper Five song. I saw the image in a book at my library as a kid and it always stuck with me. It was my Red Dragon moment. A moment that only took 48 hours to experience! Hahaha.
You’re also an ordained minister? How did this come about?!
Just one of those things that happened I guess! You’d be surprised to know how many people have asked me to marry them throughout my career. After so long I finally decided to research the process and went for it. So I did what I needed to do, and now I can make you happily ever after.
You also get involved in producing albums and designing the artwork. Is there anyone that comes to mind who you’d like to produce an album or artwork for?
I love designing artwork. I took 4 years of art in college and actually have a bachelor’s degree in fine arts that I never use so I love the opportunities! Art is something close to me. I had never picked up an instrument in my life prior to starting Blitzkid, and never imagined I would be a musician much less a career one. You’re taking to the former President of his High School Art Club. I was once that cool! I came close to producing my friends in the Big Bad’s last album, but scheduling conflicts prevented it. I’d like to do their next one for sure.
What can we expect over the next 12 months from Argyle Goolsby & The Roving Midnight?
New album, touring, and a shite ton of new songs getting stuck in your head!
Any last messages for the Devolution readers?
Thanks for reading my ungodly long ramblings, and come see us this May when we visit the UK.
If you don’t we will find you and….make you feel really REEALLYYY guilty about it. Don’t underestimate me!