Taking equal cues from Twisted, Hollywood Undead, and Slipknot, Sacramento-based trio Oh! The Horror has a new album out in June, entitled 1692, a reference to the historical Salem Witch Trials.
The band has gained their footing by fusing gorey, blood-soaked imagery from horror movies with a guitar-centric metalcore, accented with shades of emo trap. Yet while the spectacle of the band is big by design, Vocalist Jonathon Hellhouse said the album dives into deeper, more substantial issues beyond the surface reference to the Salem Witch Trials. ”We kept the horror theme with this album of course, but it's also a double entendre, some of the songs are about toxic bad relationships as well,” he said.
OH! The Horror's popularity has permeated in part because of their collaborations with the likes of Twiztid, Bunny The Bear, Blaze Ya Dead Homie and others. The new album, 1692 is no exception. Furthering their reach, OtH enlisted the help of post-hardcore/pop elite to make a statement. “We did a song with Kellin Quinn, from Sleeping with Sirens on this album,” guitarist Grady Finch said. “It was fun to work with him, he contributed to the song, Eat Me Alive.”
The band's guitarist in Finch and Jeremy Terror have all been enamored with all things Halloween since they can remember. ”We’ve been fascinated by Halloween and horror movies since we were kids,” explained Finch. As for genre films, Hellhouse confided his passion. “We love horror films, as a genre you can see it in our music videos and hear it in our lyrics too sometimes,” he said. “I can’t pick a favorite, it's all over the place, from slasher films, Evil Dead Freddy Krueger, and Jason, to movies like Puppet Master and so much more. We pull influences from all types of horror movies,” he said.
Despite the events of 2020 and the crushing stall for musicians especially, Hellhouse said he feels fortunate the band was signed to Welcome To The Underground, a label subsidiary of Twiztid's Majik Ninja Entertainment. He went onto share that the timing aligned in a way that allowed the band to really turn their focus to their album without the rush of any looming tour dates. “This happened early on in the pandemic so we didn’t have any tours or shows we had going on at the time, now over a year ago,” Hellhouse said.
“So we just started creating a shitload of content and doing a lot of streaming events, and content for YouTube and TikTok,” Finch added. “We have been weekly live streams on Twitch and YouTube, just to make sure Oh! The Horror is always out there in front of people,” echoed Terror.
Arguably Oh! The Horror appeal is in how unconventional their approach is, even with their instrumentation. “We have no drummer, we program everything,” Hellhouse said. “We’ve never used a live drummer in the studio or live at all. Load in is really fast. It takes us less than 10 mins to load. It's nice.”
Finch, who does all the band’s production, said the band has no use for amplifiers either. “We use these amp simulator pedals,” he said. “Because we don’t use amps, it makes our lives so much easier when we play live. Everything is just plugged into the PA. We just plug in and play.”
OtH's MO is rooted in adaptation - the band's ability to pivot to thrive. Much like their ability to find a way to stay front and center during a historic pandemic, the band's lack of gear happened because they needed to find a way to make it work. “We needed to fit everything into our Ford Focus, and the easiest way to do it was this,” Terror said. “Instead of spending all of our money on gear, we spend way less and sound just as good with a pedal simulator.”
The band's eclectic meld that extracts elements of nu-metal, metalcore, hip hop, trap, and tinges of emo, allows Oh! The Horror to reach a broad range of fans from diverse backgrounds. “When we played shows, usually our fans were anywhere between 9 and 60 years old,” Hellhouse said. "I think a lot of that is because we experiment with so many sounds and types of music it diversifies the crowd quite a bit,” Finch added. “But it always depends on the city and tour we’re playing. Each show is different from the last.”
Though things are slowly beginning to reopen in the USA after the lockdown, Oh! The Horror is anxious to get back on the road and share the album that they have invested so much fo themselves in. “We’re really missing the live shows. It's been over a year and we need to get back out there,” said Hellhouse. “But, we’re still just waiting for things to open up a little more before we go forward with any tours or shows.”
In the meantime, the band remains especially active on al social media platforms ahead of the June release of 1692. “We run our Live Scream, every Sunday on YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook,” said Finch. “It was all through the lockdown, and we took a little break, but
1692 from Oh! The Horror arrives on June 18th via Majik Ninja Entertainment and can be pre-ordered - HERE