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Track By Track: Creeper – The Stranger EP

Today (Friday 19th February) sees Creeper release their new EP ‘The Stranger’. Frontman Will Gould talks us through the release, track by track.

The Secret Society

This is the first song we’ve ever written like this. We felt the need for a really good introduction song, as our last two records have relied simply on guitar and vocal to open them. Originally I wanted this to sound like the Arcade Fire song ‘Wake Up’. What actually happened was we took that idea and applied some of our hardcore punk sensibilities. There’s influence from AFI here too, but new ideas also from Hannah on the organ and influence from Jim Steinman in the section before. Overall this sets a tone for the journey you’re about to go on.


Again a first for our band, this is a type of song that was a little out of our comfort zone until now. Ian wrote this riff that reminded me a little of The Nerve Agents and we built around it. As the vocal comes in so strong on the song before, we intentionally started it on a dynamic here. Again the chorus for this song was a departure for us, I wanted it to sound like REM. Poppy but not patronisingly so, the way all good pop songs are. ‘I’ve been low. I hate to tell you, but what the hell can I do?’ is maybe one of the most frank lines I’ve written for the band. I wanted this chorus to be an upfront confession, in contrast to the sweeping metaphors of the verse. This was one of my favourites to record.

Black Mass

This is one of my favourite Creeper songs, because I think it’s a good representation of all the things we do summed up in a single song. The verse is fast and brash, somewhere between Alkaline Trio and The Ramones and the chorus could be from a Jim Steinman song. This was one of the easiest songs to write and just all flowed so effortlessly. It hits all of our favourite reference points, there is even a hint of Elvis ‘Lonely This Christmas’ in the middle section.


This was a very hard song to write and sing. I’d been to see The Sidekicks the week before we started writing, and they played ‘1940’s Fighter Jet’ and it really moved me. I decided we should write something stripped back again, Ian and I played around a load and ended up putting together a song that sounded nothing like the one that sparked the idea. The lyrical content was some of the most upsetting to write for me. After it was complete though, I felt a release, almost a weight lifted. 

Astral Projection

This is the fastest song on the EP, maybe the fastest we’ve ever written? It’s also Ian’s favourite on this record. The chords are very unusual compared to what we normally write; Ian had been saving them for a hardcore band. I had a chorus leftover from when I was writing my space musical and we some how fused them together. The song roars along until it meets its end section. We were looking to take influence from some of our favourite post-rock bands for the climax. There is a huge dynamic as the record collapses on itself and to its sad conclusion.

Taken from the February issue of Upset, out now – order your copy here.