Apr 1, 201602:18 PMCulture
Fun and Culture in the Mid-State
Spencer Charnas, Lead Singer of Ice Nine Kills
With the recent release of their album “Every Trick in the Book,” Ice Nine Kills celebrates the influence of the darkest parts of the human psyche. This album pays tribute to the literature of the horror genre, to the reality of life and the issues we face on a daily basis. Allowing a younger generation to witness the struggles of addiction, oppression and all around alienation.
As a result I spoke with Spencer Charnas the lead vocalist of Ice Nine Kills. Spencer gives a look into the new album and their upcoming performance at Launch Music Conference in Lancaster Pa.
Tell me about your new album “Every Trick in the Book”, what can your fans expect from this album that will differ from the last album “The Predator Becomes the Prey”?
The album is a tribute to some of the greatest literature ever written, dating from as early as the 1600’s, to as recent as the 1970’s. These works tap into the dark recesses of the human psyche. You will journey through the horrors of addiction, possession, oppression, alienation, and forbidden love, the quest for immortality, the duality of man, and in other words, the things that make life so complex. Our hope is to expose a younger generation to these stories, which are as compelling and relatable today when they were first published. We feel this album is a major step up from “The Predator Becomes the Prey” in every single capacity.
Every Trick in the Book was your first album released off Fearless records, walk us through your experience with Fearless and how this contributed to the success of this album over the others?
This is our first experience releasing an album with a label that has a strong track record for success. Their resources and social media reach (especially their YouTube subscriber reach) have all helped contribute to our most successful album to date.
A source online suggest that at least three songs stem from infamous horror classics: Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Dracula and The Exorcist. Tell us about these songs and what influence these books provided?
Every song on the album is based on a novel. These three songs in particular were influenced by some of my favorites from the horror genre. Our goal was to not only make the lyrics drenched in references and metaphors inspired by the books, but to also make the instrumentation mirror the atmosphere that the stories are set against. We consciously only used orchestration that would have been available in the time periods that the books were set in. For example, “Me, Myself & Hyde” uses only instruments in the orchestration that would have been available in the Victorian era.
With Launch Music Conference approaching what can you tell us about your performance, do you believe performing on a small stage such as The Chameleon Club gives you a chance to connect with your audience on a broader scale? What are the benefits in your opinion to this intimate atmosphere compared to a larger arena?
I’m the kind of singer that spends half of the show in (or on top of) the crowd so I will always prefer small intimate shows over arena size concerts. My first shows ever were in small and sweaty VFW halls with no stage so I suppose that’s where my love for that kind of show environment stems from.
Who are you looking forward to sharing the stage with this year at the conference?
Bayside is a fantastic band with really great lyrics and melodies. I got to know their drummer Chris a little bit when we did Warped Tour with them in 2014. He’s a great barber and cut my hair several times that summer. Hopefully I’ll get a fresh cut on Launch weekend!
How you do believe a music event such as the Launch Music Conference can influence a younger generation of musicians and music enthusiast?
Launch provides a very unique opportunity for young bands to get meaningful one-on-one time with power house names in the music industry. I wish I had a conference like this when we were starting out so that I could have avoided certain rookie mistakes I made on our journey.
What advice can you give to up in coming musicians looking to you as an influence in their career?
It all starts with creating great music that really moves people and stands out from the thousands and thousands of bands that form every year. Fitting into the trends and being satisfied with the status quo will only get you so far. You need to craft something that people will be excited to tell their friends about - something that is a “must listen” that will spawn word of mouth buzz. Once you have that covered (which can take years to perfect) you need to learn the art of patience and perseverance. In this extremely competitive world known as the music industry you have to work harder than everyone else 100 percent time if you want a shot at really making it. You need to consistently come out with great content and creative ways to market your brand. It’s also very important to remember to enjoy the journey and know that success doesn’t happen overnight. Every huge band in the world started out playing shows where no one was there and no record label would take them seriously. When the frustration along the journey comes to fruition (and believe me it will), just remember that no one in the industry wanted anything to do with Metallica at one point. Over 100 million records sold later, clearly some people underestimated them…
Catch Spencer and the rest of Ice Nine Kills at Launch Music Conference, Thursday, April 21-Saturday, April 23. Ice Nine Kills performs at the Chameleon Club on Saturday, April 23 with The Road to Milestone, From Under the Willow and so many more! For more information visit launchmusicconference.com.