Fans of Hollywood Undead are eagerly awaiting the rap rock band’s new album and upcoming tour. To celebrate the release of Notes From the Underground and first tour stop on January 8th, we recently chatted with vocalist/lead guitarist Charlie Scene about music and horror.
The band’s first single off the new album, “We Are,” certainly has some horror elements about it. The director, the location and the video content are all on the creepy side. “We were looking at different directors, and Clown (Number 6, Shawn Crahan) from Slipknot came to us,” Scene said. “We found out he was interested, and that was just a no-brainer for us to go with him. He’s awesome, and he’s done a lot of the Slipknot videos… I think all of them. And we’re all big fans of theirs. He had the idea to film it at one of the most haunted places in America. It’s this old abandoned psychiatric hospital in downtown LA, and it was creepy as shit, and he had just so many ideas of all this shit that he wanted us to do. I got to set a guy on fire. It was fucking awesome!”
Scene continued with the details of setting the blaze. “He was burning for like 30 seconds,” Scene said. “Most of the time in movies when I see people get set on fire, you can see a mask covering their face, but this guy wasn’t wearing anything. It was intense. It was my first time lighting someone on fire, and I asked him, ‘How many have you done this.” I thought he was going to be like ‘300,’ but he goes, ‘This is my fourth time.’ I’m thinking, ‘Holy shit, this could go wrong!'”
The location selected for the video shoot was outstanding. Scene talked about the locale. “I think it was on some episodes of ‘Ghost Hunters’,” Scene said. “It was super creepy. We took a tour of the whole place. We went to the morgue and the place where they did the fucking lobotomies. All sorts of shit. Pretty intense.”
The band’s new album, Notes From the Underground, drops on January 8th. Scene dished a bit on the new disc. “We’re super excited about it,” Scene said. “We think it’s our best one yet. We had total creative freedom. We didn’t have the record label or anyone else telling us what kind of songs to write. We got to go in there and write the songs we wanted to write, and it was just a lot of fun on this record. It was the most fun I’ve had recording yet.”
And certainly a band having fun is going to produce an album reflecting that. Scene embraced the creative freedom shown to Hollywood Undead. “A lot of bands run into the trouble of the label wanting them to write pop songs because they sell a lot better than rock records or hip hop records. On this record we had no problems or influence from them. We weren’t trying to write pop songs. We were writing the songs we wanted to write, stuff we would listen to personally. That’s huge for artists.”
Being a fan of the darker side of things, Scene discussed how it creeps into his writing. “It’s weird,” Scene said. “When I’m trying to write a pop song or a happy song, it’s a lot harder. What I write naturally is the darker shit. I can write dark shit all day. It’s just natural for me. I don’t know where it comes from, maybe growing up watching horror movies. That’s just what comes natural. That’s what we like to do. I mean, we have the party stuff, but I think the easiest stuff to write is the dark stuff that would fit on a horror soundtrack.”
In conjunction with the album release, Hollywood Undead is also embarking on a club tour where fans can get up close and personal with the boys. “We want to play all the major markets in the smaller clubs so it’s nice and intimate for the fans.”
Finally, Scene took a few moments to discuss some of his favorite horror films he’s seen recently. “I have Netflix, and I watch a lot of horror movies on there,” Scene said. “There are a lot of shitty ones, but there’s also some good ones as well. The Innkeepers, I liked that. And also Pontypool. It’s super creepy. Those are the two best that I’ve seen recently.”
Watch the video for “We Are” below along with the newly released lyric video for the song “Pigskin.” Lyric videos for the songs “Up In Smoke,” “We Are,” and “Dead Bite” can be seen on the band’s official YouTube channel.
The Underground Tour
1/8 – Hollywood, CA – The Key Club
1/9 – Sacramento, CA – Ace Of Spades
1/11 – Salt Lake City, UT – Club Sound
1/12 – Denver, CO – Bluebird Theatre
1/14 – St. Paul, MN – Station 4
1/15 – Chicago, IL – The Bottom Lounge
1/16 – Detroit, MI – St. Andrews Hall
1/18 – New York, NY – The Gramercy Theatre
1/21 – Cambridge, MA – Middle East
1/22 – Montreal, QC – Corona Theatre
1/23 – Toronto, ON – Virgin Mobile Mod Club
1. Dead Bite
2. From The Ground
3. Another Way Out
5. We Are
8. Kill Everyone
10. Up In Smoke
13. One More Bottle
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