Your beloved Deadhouse curator Mister Gore with Argyle Goolsby.
June 15th, 2017. The day that I finally had the opportunity to meet, interview and see Argyle Goolsby live for the first time. As anyone who has been reading The Deadhouse knows, my all-time favorite band is Blitzkid. While I never had the privilege of seeing them live, seeing Goolsby play in Toronto, Ontario at The Rockpile is likely the closest I will ever come to that opportunity.
Before the show, which also featured performances from Canadian psychobilly act The House Of Haunt and the incredible Cryptkeeper Five, I had the chance to sit down with Goolsby to discuss his new album, Darken Your Doorstep and what is next for the man in terms of touring, The Roving Midnight, The Hollow Bodies and his thoughts on the horrorpunk scene and its growth over the past few years.
The Deadhouse: First question I had for you is, it’s been about five years since Blitzkid ended and you embarked upon the solo career. How are things different for you after 15 years of being in a band and then transitioning to being a solo artist.
Argyle Goolsby: Um, really not much has changed, ya know what I’m saying? Like it’s all pretty much the same type of system, the same setup. It’s not different in that respect, it’s different in terms of what I’m doing. In terms of how I do it. I would say the big difference is I’m not playing bass anymore, which was a huge transition for me. I didn’t know what to do with my hands anymore, I felt like Will Ferrell in Talladega Nights, “I don’t know what to do with my hands!”
The Deadhouse: I’ve seen videos of you doing, since The Roving Midnight has been going, the first couple videos of you doing live stuff. The stage presence is insane!
Argyle Goolsby: I’m a little less reigned in ya know? I don’t have to play notes anymore with my hands. I can get away with a little bit more. I’ve always enjoyed the showmanship of putting on a show. I don’t think every band should do it, but for me that’s what always drew me to bands like the Misfits. Even though they weren’t always super theatrical but American Psycho era, they had some stuff going on, like the Crimson Ghost coming out. It’s what I enjoy the most about it. I can’t really say that much is different though. It’s still the same thing in terms of how I feel about it, so it’s been a pretty easy transition.
The Deadhouse: Darken Your Doorstep is the first true full-length album for you as a solo artist. What went into the making of the album that might have been any different and what should fans be expecting when it drops next week?
Argyle Goolsby: Well, when I wrote it, I started writing….I should back up. When I started doing the solo stuff, I had a lot of songs, more or less leftover from Blitzkid that really didn’t fit. If you listen to everything on Saturnalia Of The Accursed, those were songs that I wrote pretty much for Blitzkid. But the combination of having a lot of material and those songs kinda being on the fringe, those songs didn’t make it. After Blitzkid was over, I was like this would be a good time to put out an album that is different from what people would expect. And also, just something to do. I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do after Blitzkid. I was just kind of throwing it out there to see what happened, to test the waters with it. Not so much as to how people felt about it, but even how I felt about it. So that’s what people have had to go on, and a lot of people expect Darken Your Doorstep to follow in that kind of format, but I haven’t really said this officially, but this is a fucking horrorpunk album.
The Deadhouse: Fucking right, that’s what I was wanting to hear!
Argyle Goolsby: I don’t know man, I don’t do it to be shitty, but I like to fuck with people. And I don’t say that in a manipulative way. I like to not really, as cliche as it sounds, meet expectations all the time. I like to kind of, bend it as much as I can. So when I chose the single for the album, I chose the one song on the album that didn’t sound like anything else on the album. “In Votive Light” is the only song that sounds like that, at all. Every other song is, if you just closed your eyes and reached into a box of Blitzkid CDs and pulled it out, you wouldn’t know any different. That’s how I feel. I didn’t do it cautiously, like “I better write a horrorpunk record….”
The Deadhouse: That’s just where you wanted to be…
Argyle Goolsby: Yeah. I got those songs that were kind of like different out there, and I really enjoy it. I’m not straying from that, but for this record I just wanted to completely swing the pendulum the other way. I doubt it will stay that way, I can’t say that it won’t or it will. I suspect the next album will be more of a combination of stuff like Saturnalia and what people are about to hear on this one. It’s not gonna be what people expect, but it will be what people are familiar with.
The Deadhouse: Different, but yet still familiar.
Argyle Goolsby: Yeah, it’s a return to form I should say.
The Deadhouse: I won’t lie, that makes me even way more fucking excited for the album.
Argyle Goolsby: Yeah man, there’s a lot of really good singalongs, and melodic and harmonies.
The Deadhouse: So, with The Roving Midnight, you got basically a who’s who of people within the horror scene. How are you able to assemble such a stellar backing of musicians to back you up on tour?
Argyle Goolsby: I’m just lucky. I mean, I know all these guys, we’ve been playing in bands together with each other. Every person that’s been in this band, I mean 80-90% of the people that have played are people that I’ve known for most of my career if you want to call it that. It’s cool, it doesn’t only work out for me in the sense that I get a great band that wants to be there. Everyone gets along. There’s no pressure to do this. If you were in this band or I called you up and said “do you want to do this” and you didn’t want to do it, there’s no harm no foul.
The Deadhouse: Everything’s good regardless.
Argyle Goolsby: I’m not gonna be like “fuck you.” And you don’t have to feel pressured. And that’s what is great about it. Every time we play, everybody is there ya know, on the same page. It works out for the fans too because like you said, a lot of the guys that are in the Roving Midnight as often as it rotates are people from other bands that people are gonna like. If you like what I do, you’re probably gonna like what they do.
The Deadhouse: Yeah, to be honest for me, I was telling Loki earlier, Wednesday 13 was kind of my gateway band into horrorpunk. Then I discovered Blitzkid and the Misfits. I’ll be honest, Blitzkid is my all-time favorite band. I’m gonna get a Blitzkid tattoo at some point in the near future.
Argyle Goolsby: Aw man, thank you. Send me the pictures when its done!
The Deadhouse: And that’s why I started The Deadhouse. To help spread the word about the genre and the bands.
Argyle Goolsby: I remember you saying the name came from the song too when you first wrote me. And I appreciate it man, thank you.
The Deadhouse: I can’t understate the impact you’ve had on me personally, whether it be Blitzkid or the solo stuff, there’s not a day that goes by I don’t listen to it.
Argyle Goolsby: We try. I mean, that’s the whole reason we do it. I’m not trying to build some kind of crazy fucking empire I can sit on and look down upon. I just like writing music. And that’s why I’ve stayed in the community as long as I have. I like hanging out with people, there’s not a lot of delineation between fan and band.
The Deadhouse: It’s more like a large family. I’ve seen some of the other guys in the scene, like when you go on the horrorpunk Facebook groups and that, it’s always the “horror family.”
Argyle Goolsby: You got some people that like to keep it that way. But just like anything else you get some in-fighting and a lot of drama too. I’ve seen it come, I’ve seen it go. I don’t say this to come off like an elder statesman for the scene, but dude, I’ve been doing this since 1997.
The Deadhouse: Actually one of my later questions is about the scene and talking about that….
Argyle Goolsby: I won’t jump into it yet then. But the point I’m trying to make is I’ve watched it gel, I’ve watched it fall apart. It’s the cycle of any scene really.
The Deadhouse: It’s bound to happen.
Argyle Goolsby: Yeah, you become a target sometimes when you’re in it that long. I don’t get pulled into drama. And when you don’t get pulled into drama they kinda begrudge you in a way. But I’m not here for that shit, it ebbs and flows and at the end of the day I’m still gonna be here writing music.
Stay tuned this Friday for Part Two of my interview with Goolsby to coincide with the release of Darken Your Doorstep!