For the past couple of years people all over the world have enjoyed the killer sounds of Halloween concocted by genre creative Sean Keller.
This year he returns with his third pumpkin flavoured album The Killer Sounds of Halloween 3D. Bloody Flicks caught up with Sean to talk all things Samhain.
When did you first start looking at a 3rd volume of The Killer Sounds of Halloween?
I wasn’t sure if I was even going to do a 3rd album this year. I was focused on releasing a synthwave vampire-themed EP called NEON VAMPIRES (it’s on BandCamp – check it out). When I was done with it I challenged myself to come up with another 13 Halloween song concepts, just to see if there was anything left in that tank. I came up with nearly 20 ideas in that first creative stab and ten of them made the finished album. I started writing songs in earnest in June ’21.
What can you tell us about the people involved this time around?
I’m incredibly luck to be able to welcome back my dear friends Amanda Wyss, Fayna Sanchez, Graham Skipper, Michael Varrati, Liesel Hanson, Mary O’Neil, and John Steins.
And the rad newcomers are: director/actor/voice-actor Gigi Saul Guerrero, actor/musician Ryan Lambert, actor/host Clarke Wolfe, actor/writer/director/podcaster BJ Colangelo, writer/producer Sean Decker and writer/producer Josh Miller.
Just being able to glean bits from the lifetimes of horror experience possessed by this group is humbling and inspiring to me. They’re all such great people and I’m just happy they all said “yes” when I assigned songs to them.
How do you think your sound has evolved over the 3 albums?
The general concept of a Halloween mix-tape allows for a great deal of creative freedom, so with this album I wanted to specifically make it a tighter concept album. I’m a screenwriter, so I can’t help but create themes and storylines that recur in other songs and interstitials. It’s loaded with set-ups and payoffs one of which is a rather complicated history between two of my fictional performers that you’ll have to dig through the liner-notes to properly understand.
I try to push my limited musical ability as far as I can with each project and really embrace each track’s genre. It’s definitely a little darker and more explicit than the previous volumes, but it isn’t without it’s whimsy.
What’s the nicest compliment you’ve received about the albums so far?
A young dad reached out to me to say he and his potty-training daughter loves “The Clowns are Coming” from the first KILLER SOUDS OF HALLOWEEN and she sings “my poopies are coming” when she has to go to the bathroom. I couldn’t be happier.
What can you share about the writing process for the songs?
The thing about doing an album like this is that styles are all over the map and so the songwriting process definitely mirrors the product. For each song I need content (what it’s about) and context (what style/period is the music) and once that’s decided, I focus on songs of similar styles and figure out what makes them specific to their genre. It’s all about immersion for me. Learning how to play all the parts (there was waaaay too much piano on this album for a guy who can’t play the piano) is how I learn what parts go into the construction of a specific song style.
Halloween was basically cancelled last year, is this why we need The Killer Sounds of Halloween more than ever?
Is the plan to release around Halloween?
The album comes out October 5, 2021. As of this interview, I still have several guest-vocalists I need to record, so it will be a race to get it all done and mixed and mastered, but everything about it is making me happy.
Do you have a plan for a part 4?
My first instinct is no. A trilogy is a great thing. But who knows, maybe in a few years I’ll get the itch again. But I’m thinking a full-on Christmas album might have to come soon!
Look for The Killer Sounds of Halloween 3D this October on Bandcamp.