Ice Nine Kills frontman Spencer Charnas on the best horror sequels and how Nirvana changed his life

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Spencer Charnas enjoys a little drama. When we catch up with the Ice Nine Kills frontman over Zoom, his band is in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, about to play their second show since the pandemic shut the touring world down. As you can imagine, he’s excited to be back on stage, complete with masks, make-up and all things horror-related.

“Yesterday we played Inkcarceration Festival. It was really cool. Huge crowd, lively audience; it was a great way to get back out there. It felt like a triumphant return, you know, I mean, like everybody else in the world, we’ve been sort of rerouted to different programming, so to speak and to get back to what we love doing the most was just an incredible feeling and to do it in that sort of grand fashion with such a large festival and large crowd and huge stage, it was great.”

Kings of Slashercore, ICE NINE KILLS and their fans, known as Psychos, are touring to support the band’s brand new album, ‘The Silver Scream 2: Welcome To Horrorwood’, which recently slashed its way to the highest week one chart positions of the band’s career so far.

The band is known for its over-the-top visuals and theatricality. It must be difficult to keep that level of showmanship up year after year.

“I always loved movies so much, that was like neck and neck with my love of music,” Spencer says. “And I think it was just that sort of natural progression. When I was thinking, what can we do that we haven’t done yet. That could be really fun. And the idea of theming it around things that I really loved from my childhood it just felt like, well, this could be really fun to create, and I’m just glad to see that it ended up working out, not just only for my own pleasure, but for our fans too. So it was just that kind of that perfect marriage for me, the two things that I liked the most. I think any band, if you have some success with a certain style or a certain record, I think there’s that element of pressure, you know, that you want to make sure that what you do next is as good as the first time you did it, just like in movies, you know, you hope that sequel lives up to the original. But for me, I think that’s always in the back of my head, but at the same time, I was just wanting to make something as cool as possible. It’s something that I would think was cool. And yeah, I think there’s definitely an element of like, what can we do here that’s even crazier, what can we do here that’s weird or different, or a different style that people wouldn’t expect. And I think that’s just how you have to approach it, but at the same time, I think you have to remember that it’s all supposed to be fun and not to take ourselves too seriously.”

The Silver Scream 2: Welcome To Horrorwood’, plays on the idea of movie sequels. Spencer tells me what he thinks are the best horror movie sequels.

“There’s so many that it’s hard for me in terms of saying which movie from a franchise I like better, but I will say that I think like Friday The 13th Part 2 definitely lives up to the original. It’s the first time you get like adult Jason. And I think it might even be scarier than the first one, but I love Halloween 2, you know, it’s not as much of a classic as the original, just because inherently it is part two, but there are plenty of movies in the horror world where I love the sequel, so that’s just a couple of them. But yeah, I mean then also it’s kind of funny, like if our second album isn’t as good as the first one, it’d be like, you know, the sequel was never supposed to be as good as the first, it’s intentional!”

Spencer’s love of guitar music started early on, with one band, in particular, inspiring him.

“The first band was Nirvana. That was like the first band I became obsessed over when I was very young. So probably like seven or eight years old. And that was the first time I was like trying to collect like bootleg copies of shows and as much merchandise I could find and rare B-sides. It was definitely Nirvana that made me want to pick up a guitar. I wanted to be a musician from the first moment I heard that band. That’s when I started playing guitar and guitar has always been my first instrument still to this day, how I write most of the songs. My parents were nice enough to let me explore that and bought me guitars and bought me amps and would constantly take me to Guitar Center or local music shops to let me play around with different guitars. And yeah, that’s really where the onset of my love of music came from.”

Watch the full interview with Spencer Charnas below:

To date, the album and the four singles have clocked up 35 million global streams and 8 million YouTube streams to date. The music videos released so far have featured a plethora of cameos from the likes of horror icon Bill Moseley (The Devil’s Rejects, House of 1000 Corpses), Miko Hughes (Pet Sematary, Wes Craven’s New Nightmare), Josh Katz from Badflower, James A. Janisse and Chelsea Rebecca creators of the wildly popular Dead Meat James “Kill Count” Youtube series, legendary character actor Ricky Dean Logan (Freddy’s Dead, Seinfeld, Back To The Future II), Ash Costello (New Years Day) and Jacoby Shaddix (Papa Roach).

The album itself features some huge guest vocal slots from Jacoby Shaddix (Papa Roach), Corpsegrinder (Cannibal Corpse), Brandon Saller (Atreyu), Buddy Nielsen (Senses Fail) and Ryan Kirby (Fit For A King).

The Silver Scream 2: Welcome To Horrorwood‘ is out now via Fearless Records, stream here.

Photo Credit: Cory Osbourne

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