‘Creepy’ Halloween rock

By Emily Ornberg

On Hallow’s Eve 2010, five musicians—Sam Huff, keyboard/organ; Dave Henderson, vocals; Jake Gold, guitar; Ray Knipe, drums; and Benji Jacobs, bass—united as Creepy Band and played their first show at their Wicker Park DIY concert space called The Beerics, 2315 W. North Ave.Influenced by groups such as Black Sabbath and The Doors, Creepy Band unleashes a dissonant, heavy rock sound, combining drums, guitar, church organs and screaming vocals.

The punk rock outfit has immersed itself in the city’s indie scene, toured the country and completed its first full-length album, “The Curse of The Cloak,” set for release Oct. 31 for the band’s anniversary.

The Chronicle sat down with Huff to discuss the making of the album, Jim Morrison and the band’s Halloween plans.

The Chronicle: What was it like to write and record your first full-length album?

Sam Huff: It’s definitely the most serious album that I’ve ever been a part of. It’s been lengthy. We started it in January and spent several months getting everything right and all the details perfected. It’s been a lot of work getting all the album art and the money to produce [the album] so we are able to release it on Halloween.

Critics have consistently compared Creepy Band’s vocals to Jim Morrison from The Doors. How do you feel about that comparison?

We like it. We’re all Doors fans, and we grew up listening to them, so I can really see how it has influenced Henderson’s vocals as he yells and screams and stuff. I am OK to hear the comparison because I feel like we separate ourselves from Jim Morrison to where it’s not too similar. One person told us that we sound like The Doors, [but] instead of influenced by heroin, [we’re] The Doors on cocaine. I don’t really know how I feel about that, but I thought it was pretty funny.

What has your experience been like participating in Chicago’s punk scene?

We’re really into that, and we started the band while we were living in The Beerics. We’ve played a few shows there and played a few DIY shows around the city. I love doing that stuff. You kind of get that feel playing with different bands just in the Logan Square and Wicker Park areas. That’s where you run into bands that have that whole DIY appeal to them, and those are the kind of bands that we feel most comfortable playing with. I think that’s what our fan base and friends are geared toward, and that’s just where we came from.

What do you have planned for Halloween, other than your album release?

We’ve been planning all sorts of stuff for the night. [It will be] The Beerics’ third annual Halloween party. [It’s going to be] a mix of Creepy Band trying to get people to come in costume, combined with The Beerics [projecting] all these different skateboarding montages with Halloween themes. We’re getting a jack-o’-lantern piñata and [merchandise] from Uprise, a local skate shop, to bust out of it. It’s going to be kind of like a festival night with costumes and theatrics. We’re really stoked. We’ve been planning it for awhile.

What has been your favorite experience in the band during the past two years?

Pretty much getting this CD done is one of my favorite things for sure. It’s just the best CD that I’ve ever been a part of making. We’re all just really hyped on it and glad with how it turned out. Another thing for me is I’ve only been living in Chicago for three years now, and we’ve been able to kind of travel the Midwest and explore different cities in all different directions from Chicago. Traveling has been one of my favorite things.

Visit CreepyBand.com and CreepyBand.Bandcamp.com for music and tour information.