Recently, I had the chance to interview the New York’s horror-based metal band Kissing Candice.
While I know we (FLH) have been steadily posting articles about Kissing Candice for a while now, I figured the visitors of Faygoluvers could get to know KC better with a (written) interview.
Here is Kissing Candice‘s current line-up. This also serves as a chart for who answered which question(s).
G = Grippo – Bass
J = Joey – Vocals
D = Dreamer – Guitar/Vocals
N = Nephew – Guitar
P = Pak-Man – Drums
Who is Kissing Candice?
G: Kissing Candice is a horror-based metal band from Long Island, NY. However, we now have members from all over the East Coast. Kissing Candice consists of Joey (NY), Dreamer (NJ), Pak-Man (VA), Nephew (FL), and myself (NY).
What made you want to form KC?
G: Joey formed Kissing Candice after leaving his old band. It takes influence from all sorts of areas. The scene was stale, we wanted to do something different. Heavy music was all guys in jeans and t-shirts jamming on stage singing about the same things and sounding the same. So we decided to come busting out the gates covered in blood playing songs about Troll 2. Some people were confused, but we found out that A LOT of people were in the same boat as us and down with what we bring to the table!
What is it about horror movies that inspired you to form a horror themed band?
G: The theatrics of the genre and just an overall love for all of it! Kissing Candice is as much of a show as it is a band. The masks, the blood, the lighting, the props, the music, it’s all rooted in horror and we all just love how it blends together. One of the original ideas when the band first started was to base our appearances on horror movie icons, but that never ended up happening.
Was it the plan from the beginning to use horror related costumes/masks?
G: In the beginning, the idea was for blood and make-up, with everyone having a sort of individuality with how they dressed. If you dig deep enough you can find some promotional pictures from this era. The idea was always for the visual representation of the band to match the auditory aspect. Murder used samples from many horror movies, so the horror image was there at the start. The masks came around right after the release of Conjured. Dreamer had brought them to the video shoot for the song Epidemic of Ignorance. Although, the video was never finished or released, the masks stuck. Once the masks came into play, the costumes and characters slowly but surely began to take on lives of their own and are what they are today.
Within the last year, Walt decided to leave the group and was replaced by Nephew (formerly of Neurotic November). How and why did you decide to pick Nephew to join KC as Walt’s replacement?
G: Dreamer, Joey, and myself were riding back to NY from recording “Taken” in VA trying to figure out what we were going to do for a new guitarist. During our 8 hour jam-fest of a drive we threw on the newest Neurotic November album which sparked the question of what they were up to at the time. We have played shows with the band before and they were friends of ours. Dreamer hit up Nephew to see if he would be interested, and within 48 hours we had videos of him jamming the tunes. He came up to jam with us and we took him out for a few trial shows and it worked great. We also loved how had been involved with the Juggalo family with Neurotic November.
[Question for Nephew] Since you joined KC, I’ve seen a lot of questions regarding your former band Neurotic November. What happened? It seems like the band up and disappeared.
N: Some shit went down that I definitely did not want to be apart of and I had to bounce.
Are hard copy releases of “Murder” and “Conjured” still in the works?
G: We did a limited release of them about a month ago. It went really well so we plan on doing another release of them soon! They will have different artwork than the first release though, to make those first 100 special.
A couple months ago, you released a new song “Taken.” To me “Taken” seems to be different from your past releases, is this something you aimed for when you recorded it?
G: We did have the idea to go for a bit of a different sound when we went to record Taken. It was our first time recording with producer Zach Jones, so we also decided to go a completely different route of recording as well. We cleared our thoughts and went in completely open-minded with a blank slate. 2 and a half days later “Taken” was written and recorded.
You recently and quietly recorded an EP within the last few months. Joey made a post inside the KC Krew group about the possibility of releasing the new EP with a mask as a bundle. What can you tell us about this? Is there a projected release date?
G: I can’t speak too much on this right now. What I can tell you is that yes that did happen. We are very stoked on this new material. The 5 of us came out of that studio feeling the best we ever have. The ideas were really flowing this session, and it was good to have influence from all 5 of us and our producer Zach Jones all stuck in a house in the middle of nowhere Virginia just going nuts for a few weeks. The masks are in the works right now, they will happen!
Can we expect a similar sound on the new album? Or are you planning on going in a different direction with the sound?
G: Everyone went into the studio together, with a similar mindset as when we recorded Taken. While we did use the same producer and engineer, these songs are different. I am beyond excited for everyone to hear what we have.
You’ve announced that once the new album is released, you plan to debut new mask. Can you give us any hints as to what they may look like?
G: Yep! We will be doing new masks for a new album. Honestly, we all kind of do our own thing with our masks and everyone’s a bit secretive with what they’re doing. I probably won’t see anyone else’s until the promo shoot for the new album. Would be pretty awkward if we all showed up with the same masks on, wouldn’t it? For mine personally, I will say think of “EVOLUTION” (the theory, not the movie).
What can we expect in the future from Kissing Candice?
G: NEW EVERYTHING! We are working as hard as we can to step up every aspect of the band. New music, new masks, new looks, new videos, new tours, new festivals, etc.
You’ve toured with Twiztid, performed at the Gathering of the Juggalos and now recently performed as a part of Insane Clown Posse’s annual Hallowicked show, how did the show go for you all?
G: Hallowicked was awesome! We had a great time and it was amazing to share the stage with such an incredible line-up. The crowd was also just out of this world. One of our best shows for sure. We are also lucky enough to be performing on this years Juggalo Weekend Canada, which we can’t wait for! We haven’t been to Canada since Mayhem!
From my point of view it seems like the Juggalos have really taken to Kissing Candice, why do you think this is? How has your experience with Juggalos been?
G: I think the first thing Juggalos like about us is the theatrical aspect of the band. The experience has been absolutely amazing. I feel we have had to prove ourselves. We understand the criticism and what people have to say about us when they first glance at us, I think once they see that live, some of their opinions change. Some people are just not gonna dig the music, which is fine, I totally respect their opinions. I just want to thank the Juggalos for accepting us at their events and tours, and making us feel like a part of their family. There is absolutely no other scene like that which we have been a part of. We love it and we love juggalos to death! Although I am not 100% sure what is going on with it, but as soon as we got the invite to play the Juggalo March, we instantly said YES within an hour of getting the E-Mail. Juggalos have showed their support for us and we will support Juggalos.
What lead to Kissing Candice’s departure from Victory Records? Are you actively trying to sign with another label or have you decide to stay independent and handle all the label stuff yourself?
G: Nothing really lead to it, no drama or bad blood or anything. We love Victory and their staff and are super thankful for everything they did for us! We are rolling with it right now, we aren’t in a rush to sign just to sign. We want to make sure if we sign to a label again that they will be a home for Kissing Candice, someone who gets our vision and what we are trying to do! We operated as a DIY band doing all of our own releases, booking, social media, promotion, etc. so we have no issues continuing to do that. As long as we still have the support of our fans we will keep going, not having a label won’t stop us.
Outside of you’re Facebook band page (which you run yourselves), you have a fan/group page (KC KREW) that you are actively members of. What made you want to create the group?
G: When I was creating the KC Krew page, I thought back to my favorite bands of the early 2000’s. They all had these exclusive fan clubs you could join through the mail, and you would get special t-shirt designs, early ticket sales, newsletters, and whatever else. I thought about how there isn’t really anything like that anymore with social media being the thing now. We wanted to mimic something like that, but make it free. I think the band and fan relationship is important. We aren’t rock stars.. We are fans of masks, horror, music just as much as our listeners are, and we want to connect with them on that and make a community for those things.
Any final words for the readers of this interview?
G: Yes! Be on the look-out for a lot of new announcements coming up! Thanks to everyone who has supported this band in any way, we are excited for the future! Stay up to date on our Facebook so you can find all the information for our upcoming shows. We make our shows at even the smallest of venues worth your time. Be sure to catch us at Juggalo Weekend Canada on Saturday April 8th at Stampede Corrall in Alberta! We also have a small tour routed around the festival so make sure you come check us out on one of those dates as well. Whoop whoop!
4/4 Ypsilanti, MI – The Maidstone Theatre
4/6 Winnipeg, MB – Pyramid Cabaret
4/7 Calgary, AB – Stampede Corral ( Canadian Juggalo Weekend / hanging out!)
4/8 Calgary, AB – Stampede Corral (Canadian Juggalo Weekend / 6:05 PM)
4/10 Newport, MN – Opinion Brewery
4/11 Peoria, IL – Rail II
4/12 Barrington, IL – Penny Road Pub
4/13 Lakewood, OH – The Foundry
Finally, is there any band(s) you think more people should check out?
G: Definitely! Check out every band we have had the pleasure of sharing the road with over the past year. It’s a struggle out there, and these guys are warriors. A Killer’s Confession, Scare Don’t Fear, It Lies Within, and whoever I forgot right now.
If you could collaborate with any artist (alive or dead), who would it be and why?
D: Frank Zappa or Mike Patton, for sure.. Two absolute madmen and geniuses. Their body of work, their creativity, their musicianship and outside the box mentality. Would truly make for something insane.
G: Trent Reznor because he adds such a unique touch to his music. I’ve never heard anyone come close to replicate what Nine Inch Nails does.
J: I’d love to work with Rob Zombie! Both his movies and music are amazing! So if KC worked with him it wouldn’t be short of great!
P: Robin Williams. favorite singer (his impersonations), actor, comedian
N: Dr Dre. I’m trying to get on the Detox.
Favorite all-time Horror Movie?
G: Original Evil Dead
J: I’m a big big fan of Texas chainsaw movies and the saw movies
P: It Follows
N: Tales from the hood.
Favorite horror icon?
D: I’m gonna have to go with a tie between old and new school. Old school is Vincent Price without a doubt. One of my favorite movies ever is Abominable Dr Phibes, plus he was the embodiment of the genre. For new(er) school, it would have to be Bill Mosley. Talk about a body of work!
J: Freddy! Growing up as a kid. He scared the shit outta me! And I feel like everyone know who Freddy is!
P: The Thing 1982, 2011
Suggest a lesser known Horror Movie people should check out.
D: There’s two that I always tell people that I think are bizarre and great in their own ways. First is Tourist Trap and second is Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things.
G: John Dies at The End! It’s definitely not for everyone, but if you like the dark humor and weird style you will definitely love it! Also, I don’t think it is too “lesser known” but everyone should go see Get Out.
J: The boy. It’s just a great twist of a movie !! Check it out!
P: The Ten Steps (short film)
What are some of the artists/band that you all are listening to currently?
D: Really been loving new Plini and Polyphia. I’ve also been jamming the new Blaze Bayley record, Within The Ruins, new Emmure and new Zao.
G: Well I have the classics that I am always listening to which are Nine Inch Nails, A Perfect Circle, Static-X, and Marilyn Manson for me. Right now the artists putting out new material that I have been listening to a lot are Emmure, Suicide Silence, $uicideboy$, Cane Hill, Pouya, Tech N9ne, and Run The Jewels.
J: I’m currently rocking the new Emmure album! It’s fire
P: Cane Hill, Currents, (old) Linkin Park, Destiny Potato, Auras, Killswitch Engage, August Burns Red, Born of Osiris, Prodigy, Misery Signals, Seven Dust, Underoath, Marilyn Manson, Monuments, Volumes, Emmure, A Wake in Providence, Ghost-Aeon
N: I usually listen to the same stuff which is The Black Dahlia Murder, Within the Ruins and Tech N9ne. But I found this new band called Destiny Potato. Them motherfuckers are good. They are like if Periphery, Paramore, Ace of Base, and Protest the Hero were all human centipeded. If that’s even a word.
Interviewer: Punk Rock Juggalo