Marquis dug up Children of October's Rick O Mortis and got the inside scoop on the band, touring and more...
H-P: So first off, why don't ya tell us a brief the history of the band. How'd it come together and what's the story behind the name?
RICK: Children of October has been operating in its current capacity for about 5 years. Timmy asked me to join back around 2006. We’ve been the two core members and have done all of the writing and played everything on the albums up til now. In 2006 we released an EP called “Tales from the Darkside”, in 2008 we released a self-titled full length, and earlier this year we released “Die Baby, Die!”. The name “Children of October” came from one of the first songs Timmy ever wrote. There’s no deep meaning behind it or anything, it just fit the band. That song name got changed to “October is Our Time”…maybe we’ll record it someday.
H-P: Can you tell us a little bit about the current line-up?
RICK: The current lineup is Timmy Gibson – guitar and vocals, Van Heller – bass and vocals, and yours truly on drums. As I said, Timmy and I have been at this for about 5 years now writing and playing everything. We hooked up with Van Heller (from Ft. Wayne Indiana’s B-Movie Monsters) while we were on tour this past August. We were without a bass player leading up to the tour and some issues came up with the bassist we were going to have play on tour. Van jumped in and learned our set and we all just clicked. In my opinion this is the best and tightest CoO lineup we’ve had.
H-P: Now, you guys have quite an eclectic sound mixing rock, punk, metal & doowop. Was that your intention and what influnced your sound?
RICK: Our only intention when Timmy and I got together was to make music that we wanted to listen to. The CoO sound is always evolving. We never sit down and say “let’s write a punk rock song” or “let’s write a metal song.” We both write and bring our ideas to each other; then we work out with them and see if we like where they’re going. We both have similar music backgrounds in punk and metal – so that’s generally the direction our songs head. We haven’t had much opportunity to write anything new with Van yet, but we’re excited to have his input and influence in future songs. Collectively our biggest musical influences are Slayer, The Descendents, and Black Flag. I think it naturally comes out in our music one way or another whether by design or by proxy. Like I said, we’re not writing with any end goal in mind aside from creating something that we ourselves would want to listen to; and 9 times out of 10 it ends up being fast, heavy, and aggressive. Music has lost that; especially this genre. I love some of the poppy/melodic bands out there right now, but horror punk, or just punk in general, lost its edge somehow. We’re doing our part to even the scales haha.
H-P: You did a little mini tour over the summer with Aaron Omen, how was that?
RICK: We had a great time on tour in August. We met some really cool people and played with some really great bands. Off the top of my head – Stillborn and Dead End Lane out in Baltimore, The Casket Creatures down in Atlanta, Ft Wayne’s B-Movie Monsters and Grave Robber, Black Cat Rebellion out in Indianapolis…I could go on. It was great to get out of our comfort zone and see that we had a favorable reaction in all the cities we visited. Plus we gained a bass player out of it haha.
H-P: Now, you guys just released a new album, "Die Baby, Die". Can you tell us a little bit about the album?
RICK: “Die Baby, Die!” is the first album that Timmy and I have completely written together. The other two albums were a lot of Timmy’s songs that we re-worked and recorded. DBD was written from the ground up by both of us. We’re extremely happy with the songs on the record and also the reaction it’s gotten. I’d say we wrote maybe 30 songs leading up to DBD and picked the group that we thought would make the best record. We might use the rest of the songs on future releases, or they might get scrapped. You never know. We wanted a strong group of songs that showed a bit of diversity and that fit our personal tastes. I think we succeeded in that. We have some poppier songs like Evil Inside and If I Just Could, some heavier songs like Apartment 213 and One Bite Together, and some songs that don’t really fit any genre grouping like Die Baby, Die! and Stranded. We like to blur those lines.
H-P: Do you plan to support the album? Is there a larger tour planned?
RICK: Absolutely. We have a few shows lined up for the remainder of this year. We’ll be playing on December 10 out in Ft. Wayne, IN with the B-Movie Monsters, then we’re doing a weekends worth of shows December 16th and 17th with Vagora, Darrow Chemical Company, and 1476. Hopefully in Feb or March of next year we’ll be able to do another tour to support “Die Baby, Die!”
H-P: Now Rick, you also played in "Blitzkid", how did you hook up with them and did you find it challenging to do the more melodic style of music that they play compared to the all guns blazing style of "COO"?
RICK: A few years ago they were looking for a drummer and I saw a posting on myspace about it with all the requirements and a song list to play on video. I recorded myself playing the songs, went up for an audition – and the rest is history. Blitzkid songs are a bit different than CoO. Initially when you learn someone elses songs it’s always a challenge. No two drummers think exactly the same. There were places I would have put fills or played a certain beat where there were no fills and a different beat, and vice versa. Once I learned the style of drumming used on each different album it wasn’t hard at all. Compared to CoO I think the drums were a bit simpler, but with more accents. There were a lot of well placed rolls and crashes that added a lot to the songs – and if you missed them the songs lacked that punch and seemed a little bland. The drums I write for CoO songs are a bit more complex and have more changes than Blitzkid. Ultimately they’re easier for me to play because they’re my creation. I don’t think one way is better than the other; it just depends on the style of music and what fits the songs better.
H-P: For a three piece, you guys have a huge sound, for the gearheads out there, what do you guys use equiptment wise?
Ah, for all the music nerds out there…
RICK: Timmy uses a 200 watt B-52 guitar head, Schechter guitars, a Behringer 4 12” cab and a Marshall 4 10” cab.
Van Heller plays a Gothic Thunderbird Bass and a 350 watt Ampeg amp.
I have a custom made drum kit. I made it actually…ordered everything raw and customized it to my liking. All Keller maple shells and Ego lugs. Iso Mounts on the rack and floor toms. Aquarian drumheads: Super Kick 2, Hi Energy (snare), Performance 2 (toms).
8x13 Rack Tom
14x16 Floor Tom
9x14 Snare (Orange County)
Zildjian Z Custom Dyno Beat 14” Hi Hats
Zildjian Z3 Rock Crashes in 17” and 18”
Zildjian Z Custom Mega Bell 22” Ride
Paiste 402 18” China
Iron Cobra Double Kick Pedal
H-P: How can people get a hold of the new album and previous releases by "COO"?
RICK: “Die Baby, Die!” is available on iTunes, Amazon MP3, Rhapsody…all of the digital outlets. If anyone still buys physical cd’s we have both “Die Baby, Die!” and a split cd that has our first EP and first full length (Self Titled) on one album. We’ll have both available at shows. If you can’t make it to a show, write to us and we’ll work something out.
H-P: So what's next for "COO"?
RICK: We have a lot in the works right now. We’re going to be recording a split album with great friends and fellow Pittsburgh natives Under A Nightmare in the near future. We’ll be covering a few songs from each other and maybe put some re-recorded originals or maybe even some new songs on there as well. We’re also going to start working on our third full length. We have a group of songs ready to go and a name for the record…but I don’t want to give away too much right now. We’ve also been toying with the idea of putting out an album of old material and B-sides that will probably not see the light of day otherwise.
H-P: Any final words?
We want to give a big thank you to horror-punks.com
for spotlighting us this month. Also a big thank you to anyone who has come to see us, checked out our music, or let us crash on their floor. We’ll be back out on the road soon and we hope to see you all at the shows.
H-P: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us and we wish you the best!!
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