Sarah "Sin" Blackwood can't say when, but she knows her psychobilly shock-rock band The Creepshow has played Indianapolis before. The guitarist/vocalist is sure of this because she remembers our "weird license plates," i.e. those that read "In God We Trust."
No one could blame her for her lack of total recall. She and her motley crew of misfits (Sick Boi on upright bass, drummer Matt Pomade and keyboardist Reverend McGinty) blast their cowpunk rage to audiences worldwide. Their second album, Run for Your Life, has been available in their native Canada for a year now. But The Creepshow isn't through promoting it live. Not after signing a new deal with the seminal punk label Hellcat Records. The imprint, founded by Rancid's Tim Armstrong, will re-release Run for Your Life Oct. 27 in the United States and Australia.
Signing to Hellcat "feels pretty amazing," Blackwood said during a recent phone interview. The courtship began in August 2008 when The Creepshow shared a Toronto stage with Rancid.
"We were kind of hoping something would come out of that show," Blackwood said. "But at the same time we were like, well, it's Rancid. They play with a million bands. They probably won't even care."
Instead both camps spent the next year discussing a contract. A deal was formally announced in late August.
"It feels good to know that it's official," Blackwood said.
Run for Your Life better elucidates the band's punk abandon than a debut, Sell Your Soul, which edged into bubblegum pop. The lyrics on Run are less about zombies, as on Soul, and more concerned with everyday life.
"As we move along, we always want to be changing something, even if it's little," Blackwood said. "That keeps it exciting for us too."
Longtime fans should fear not, though. No matter how mature The Creepshow may get, Blackwood assures there will always be horror undertones to their art.
"Mostly what we're trying to get away from is people who say things like, 'I have this great idea for a video: It's got zombies and graveyards,'" she said. Still, Blackwood likes horror flicks, particularly those made in the '80s like the Nightmare on Elm Street series, prefers the handcrafted special effects of yore over today's CGI'd fakery. She admits modern horror overall is more realistic.
"It's not monsters anymore," Blackwood said. "It's real life, to the point where I feel like I shouldn't be watching it because this really could happen to somebody."
The Creepshow may creep in the same general direction, but they haven't forgotten why they combined their disparate musical tastes into one showy stew in the first place.
"For us at the time, not many bands were doing it, and it sounded way more fun than being really serious," Blackwood said. "We just wanted to have fun and get really drunk on the weekends."