As The Deadhouse continues to grow, I am sometimes afforded the opportunity to interview people I have long admired and listened to for a long time. I’ve had the privilege of interviewing the likes of Shadow Windhawk And The Morticians (the first supporters of the site, and something I will always love them for!) and Argyle Goolsby of Blitzkid and Silent Horror fame, among others. And now, I proudly bring to you a new interview with Joey Southside, of one my absolute favorite bands, The Banner.
The Banner has been around for well over a decade now, with their first full-length release, the epic Your Murder Mixtape, having been released in 2003. The album begins with the vicious Zombie Onslaught which features samples from the 1968 classic Night Of The Living Dead. The album contains many songs that deal with darker subjects, none better than this writer’s personal favorite, Die Fighting, which is the one song I always throw on when I feel the need to have ambition. Throughout the band’s career they have celebrated their unique style on 2005’s Each Breath Haunted and 2008’s Frailty. Having returned in 2013 with the EP Born To Ruin I: The Way Is Shut, the band once again toys with expectations, including an absolutely haunting cover of the Zola Jesus track, Night.
Without further a due, let’s get to the interview.
Who are you?
I’m Joey, also occasionally known as Joey Southside, JSS, The Wolf or that cocksucker from the fucking Banner.
What is your current project?
My current project like band? The Banner is the main one, I’m also in bands tentatively titled Grey Roses and Nerve Block.
has a very distinct horror influence feeding through its lyrics, as well as samples from several films used throughout. To me personally this certainly sets the band apart from many of your contemporaries. Was this always a conscious decision or something that just happened along the way?
I don’t know if it was horror specifically, we obviously lean towards the darker spectrum as far as influences go. I’ve always been more influenced by the soundtracks of movies than the movies themselves when it comes to our music. We had Zombie Onslaught as a song on our first LP and that had some clips from Night Of The Living Dead, and I use lycanthropy and vampirism as metaphors frequently but I don’t feel there an over horror influences to our music. Maybe the horror of life haha.
In regards to the band’s sound, at times it is very eclectic for a hardcore band, none more so than the recent cover of Zola Jesus. Should fans expect more of this kind of experimentation in the future?
Yes, I’m balls deep into my “the kids can go fuck themselves” phase and I plan on fully embracing any weird motivation I get creatively.
Going back to the horror focus, when and how did you become a fan of the genre?
When I was 8 or 9, I had a babysitter who had a teenage son that lived in the attic and was your stereotypical “heavy metal” dude for the mid-to-late 80s. Anyway, this dipshit took me up into the attic and played me some fucking record that literally made me piss myself I was so scared. I was a little piece of shit though and grit my teeth and pretended like I wasn’t scared and said something to the effect of “Does this scare you? This isn’t scary, this is for babies” or something equally intelligent. So he kept playing me stuff and showing me stuff to scare me. Anyway, I just kept toughing it out and eventually got desensitized to everything. I’m a fan of well-written horror on an intellectual level and I enjoy gore for purely comedic reasons.
Are you a fan of the horrorpunk genre? If so, what are some of your favorite bands and/or influences?
Balzac, Blitzkid, Gotham Road, Cancerslug. I like that Goolsby guy. Our old drummer Paul was part of that whole scene and I kinda just listened to what he suggested. I’m not really up on what exactly fits into that genre but I think I answered the question right?
What are some of your favorite horror movies?
I was raised Roman Catholic, so I love (hate?) anything having to do with Hell and possession and all that bullshit. The original Hellraiser movies really fucked me up good and to this day they still make me antsy.
What are some of your favorite non-horror movies?
Anything from Pixar except those fucking Cars movies. The Star Wars trilogy, the Lord Of The Rings movies, GOD, there’s so many I could talk about films all day.
What do you feel it is about the horror genre as a whole that is so compelling?
People are all savages and animals inside. They all want that absolute freedom to just go out and fucking take their personal shit out on people. Porn turns people on in that sexual way, and horror turns on that rabid gorilla monkey in the back of their soul that wants to cave in some guys head because he didn’t say “Thank you” when you held the door open for him.
What do you have planned for horror fans in the future?
I started working on a comic book again, deals with some classic horror themes.
And finally, free reign. Anything you would like to say to fans and readers of the site about anything at all?
Any super hot goth girls or horrorpunk chicks want to get weird hit us up. Daddy issues not a requirement, but are preferred!
So there you have it. I think anyone reading can definitely get a feel for the twisted sense of humor that Joey clearly has, which I appreciate as I am very similar.
I want to thank Joey again for taking the time to do the interview!
Be sure to go out and get your hands on any of the albums by The Banner, you will not be disappointed, and you can follow the band on Twitter here.