The Horrids

An interview with Chicago horror punks
by Mike Huberty
October 2010

The Horrids in full facepaint

The Horrids in full facepaint

Straight up Chicago-style punk rock with a penchant for horror movies and gruesome imagery, THE HORRIDS, come racing out of the cemetery out of Lombard, IL with all the ferocity of fast and ugly bands like THE MISFITS and AFI. While they’ve been together for seven years (a veritable eternity in punk years), forming the band in their early teens, they’ve already amassed an impressive resume, opening for the likes of major bands like GWAR, THE MISFITS, and THE DWARVES.Their first album, “Graveyard Anthems: Music Of The Dead” is nineteen lightning-paced songs that would fit perfectly in any horror fans coffin-shaped CD rack.

Their lead guitarist, Pat “Fink” Goray, describes a little about what The Horrids are about. “We were three friends that started out, played together and made music together,” he says, “I’ve always wanted to play rock music, my favorite band is AC/DC. Our drummer’s dad is THE LOVIN’ SPOONFUL’s drummer. He wanted to play because there were always musical instruments around when he was growing up.”

For the influences, Goray talks about his favorite horror movies as well as musical favorites. As he describes, “Some of the ones I love are Dead Alive, any zombie movie, and Evil Dead is one of our favorites (they even wrote a song about it!).” While they might ascribe to horror-rock genre rules thematically, he finds that musically, they’re trying something different. “Lyrics-wise, the dark, the creepy, the horror, that’s what we took from that. But bands like THE MISFITS use the base of the 50’s style rock and roll scales. We don’t use that at all. When I write, I try to write things that people haven’t heard before, but it goes together well.”

Punk rock isn’t really known for the self-control of its bands (besides the straight-edge movement of early 90’s hardcore), but Goray prides himself on THE HORRIDS’ pre-show tee-totaling. “We’re different by being the most professional punk band and most energetic,” he says,“We stay away from drinking before a show and saving it for after, being professional about it is what pushes us higher than anyone else. There’s a handful of bands that I’ve seen that are really awesome because they keep their stuff together and don’t screw up or anything. You can see that onstage how they perform and hold themselves and how they put a good show together. When you watch The Horrids, there’s no talking or nothing. It’s maybe two things we say, and it’s straight through. Bam bam bam, song after song, no stop, no dead air.“

For fans interested in getting into THE HORRIDS for the first time, Goray recommends their track “Rot Rock n’ Roll”. “I think it has everything that you need for a punk band,” he says, “It has the intense, energetic, punk feel to it. It talks about the scene, it talks about the music and going to a show. It talks about getting messed up and getting beaten around but you’re not caring because you’re listening to the music and so pumped up from the music, that you just want to keep moving around.” That song also is involved with some of his favorite live show moments. “That’s probably one of my favorite things,” he recalls. “Anybody that knows it, any fans, anyone that knows the last chant of the song, or is even just screaming out ‘Oi!’ at the end of it. We have anybody and everybody join us onstage and sing along. We don’t care what happens, we don’t care who you are, just come on stage and join in!”

THE HORRIDS are playing the Maximum Ink Halloween Spooktacular on October 30th at The Annex. For a band that’s done everything from have a chainsaw shoot fake blood onstage to carry out the members in a coffin, Goray has a warning for the audience. “Get ready to be amazed and have your minds blown away,” he says. “You better come with your shoes tied tight and your pants tight and ready to rock. Because when we put on a show, we’re very energetic and we make sure that people feel what we’re pushing out through the amps. Our blood and sweat is pouring out of our hands, into our instruments, out of our amps and out to the fans. I love to do it, I love to play, just to get the reaction from people I don’t know. Even if we don’t know anybody and it’s new faces, banging their heads, moving around, and even just tapping their foot. It’s a great time.”

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CD: Graveyard Anthems: Music Of The Dead