The Ottawa punk band The Creeps may have taken four years since their last album, Eulogies, to release their newest album, Beneath The Pines, but the wait has clearly paid off.
By Laura Collins, Photo by Laura Collins
Compared to the previous albums that generally had more singular themes, the band has written 11 contemplative songs about lost youth, wasted time and ultimately, death, according to front man Skottie Lobotomy.
“We never really stop writing. Once we’ve got enough new songs, it’s time to put out an album. We’re old now, so we just do things at our own pace,” he said.
The Creeps, who were initially formed almost 20 years ago when all three members met in the university, started sound-wise as a traditional pop-punk band, aping the moves of bands they admired back in the day, such as Lillingtons, the Riptides, and the Vapids.
“We started as all great bands do, with one member being another’s frosh leader at university. The bassist Ian (Evans) was horribly suited for the task of leading anyone, so he spent most of his time smoking cigarettes with us nervous first year students,” Lobotomy said. “Eventually, he wandered into my dorm room while I was nostalgically playing the CD of the previous band I’d played in and abandoned by coming to Ottawa for school. He asked if I wanted to start and band and of course I did. Ian knew Jordy (Bell) who “was a drummer” (he was distinctly not a drummer, but had access to drums, which was good enough for us). The rest is (ancient) history.”
Since the band’s earliest releases, the songs have slowed down a fair bit, having hints of post-punk influences on the most newest album.
Beneath The Pines was recorded mostly at the Wolf Lake Studios in Lac-des-Loups, Quebec, and brought alive by producer Mike Bond and JP Sadek, and it is been released by California’s It’s Alive Records, long time supporters of the band.
It’s Alive Records are simultaneously releasing a singles collection called Old Crimes, which houses all of the songs that The Creeps has put out on 7”s and EPs over the years.
The band is also releasing a limited number of vinyl records of Beneath The Pines, and on the cover of the album, is a serene old photo of a cottage, literally beneath the pines, by the lake.
“It’s an old photo of my grandparents lodge in Northern Ontario that our family used to spend our summers at,” said Lobotomy. “The line “like memories of pure bliss beneath these sky tall pines” on the song ‘Fall’ is about being under the trees you see on the cover. Some of my fondest memories are captured there.”
The Creeps will be throwing a record release show on May 5 at The Record Centre, and after Montreal’s Pouzzafest and shows in Toronto and London, the band will be performing at the Ottawa Explosion Weekend Jun 13 – 18.
The band will not be rushing into anything else anytime soon.
“The plan is there is no plan. I’m grateful that people still show up to our shows and buy our records, cuz in general I think this “music” thing is a young person’s game, and we ain’t that anymore,” Lobotomy laughed. “We’ll play some shows to celebrate the release of the new record and then probably hibernate until we’ve written another. So, see everyone in another four years or so!”
– Find more about The Creeps: thecreeps.bandcamp.com
– Check The Creeps live: