Creeper performing in 2016. Left to right: Sean Scott, Will Gould, Ian Miles, Hannah Greenwood. Not shown: Dan Bratton and Oliver Burdett.
|Also known as||Fugitives of Heaven (2019)|
|Associated acts||Our Time Down Here|
Creeper are an English rock band from Southampton. Formed in 2014, the group originally featured vocalist Will Gould, guitarists Ian Miles and Sina Nemati, bassist Sean Scott and drummer Dan Bratton. The band independently released their self-titled debut EP in 2014, before signing with Roadrunner Records and issuing a follow-up, The Callous Heart, the next year. At the end of 2015, Nemati was replaced by Oliver Burdett and touring keyboardist/vocalist Hannah Greenwood became an official member of the band. A third EP, The Stranger, was released in 2016 and reached the UK Rock & Metal Albums Chart top ten.
The group's full-length debut album Eternity, in Your Arms was released in March 2017. The album reached number 18 on the UK Albums Chart and topped the UK Rock & Metal Albums Chart. Creeper toured extensively in promotion of the release, including appearances at Download Festival, Warped Tour and Reading and Leeds Festivals. In November 2018, the group announced its break-up after a show which ended in a fashion reminiscent of the end of Bowie's Ziggy Stardust character in 1973. Creeper returned exactly a year later, and subsequently released their second album Sex, Death & the Infinite Void in July 2020.
Formed through their mutual involvement in hardcore punk and post-hardcore groups in the Southampton area, Creeper are musically and stylistically influenced by fellow "goth punk" groups including AFI and Alkaline Trio, as well as more traditional punk rock acts like The Bouncing Souls and glam rock artists such as David Bowie. The band's songwriting is typically led by Gould and Miles, although Nemati also co-wrote many of their early songs. Creeper were hailed by critics as one of the best new rock bands shortly after their formation, winning awards from British magazines Metal Hammer, Kerrang! and Rock Sound in 2016.
2014–2016: Formation and early years
Creeper were formed in Southampton in 2014 by lead vocalist Will Gould and guitarist and backing vocalist Ian Miles, who had previously worked together as members of punk rock band Our Time Down Here, along with second guitarist Sina Nemati, bassist and backing vocalist Sean Scott, and drummer Dan Bratton. It was Gould's idea to name the band Creeper, pleased by how it sounded like the name of a Stephen King novel and there wasn't any genre implied by it, two other names thrown around early on were Coven and Witch Cat. The quartet independently released their self-titled debut EP on 19 June 2014, which was later issued as a limited edition 12" vinyl by Palm Reader Records on 18 December. The band played their first headline show at the Joiners Arms on 1 August, followed by their first performance in London at The Old Blue Last on 13 September and a stint supporting Welsh group Funeral for a Friend. In June 2015 the group signed with Roadrunner Records and played at Download Festival for the first time. The band's second EP, The Callous Heart, was released on 18 September 2015 and launched at a special show three days before. Later in the year, the group toured with Misfits and later Moose Blood, as well as performing at the UK Warped Tour.
In December 2015, it was announced that Nemati had left Creeper in order to "concentrate on his sound engineering career in London", while touring keyboardist Hannah Greenwood was upgraded to a full-time member. The group's third EP, The Stranger, was released on 19 February 2016 and entered the UK Albums Chart at number 130. The EP was promoted on a headline tour with Scottish support band Grader, as well as dates supporting Neck Deep and WSTR. In May 2016, Creeper supported Black Veil Brides vocalist Andy Biersack on his Homecoming Tour, as well as performing second on the bill for Funeral for a Friend at their final show on 21 May at the O2 Forum. In June, the group contributed a cover of Iron Maiden's "The Evil That Men Do" to Kerrang! magazine's Maiden Heaven Volume 2: An All-Star Tribute To Iron Maiden album, and in August they contributed a recording of My Chemical Romance's "This Is How I Disappear" to the Rock Sound free release Rock Sound Presents... The Black Parade, a tribute album to The Black Parade.
2016–2018: Eternity, in Your Arms cycle
After Creeper performed at the Reading and Leeds Festivals in August 2016, the band's Twitter account began posting images of white noise, before their personal accounts were hidden or removed. A Southampton phone number used to promote The Stranger then featured a new voicemail message, which provided a link to a website detailing "the disappearance of James Scythe", featuring references to the band's EPs. In October, the band resurfaced with the announcement of their debut full-length album Eternity, in Your Arms, along with the release of its first track and video "Suzanne". Gould offered the following explanation of the album's inspiration: "Eternity, in Your Arms is a record, this time not only about being young and heartbroken, but about transition, about age and loss. Not only the loss of life, but the loss of ourselves. The pieces of the people we were." The band later supported Pierce the Veil alongside Letlive on a tour of the UK and Europe, which started on 29 October and ran until 6 December.
"Hiding with Boys" was released as the second track from Eternity, in Your Arms on 11 December 2016 when it was premiered on the BBC Radio 1 Rock Show, with a music video released for the track the following day. In promotion of the album, Creeper embarked on a headline tour on 25 March 2017 which included dates throughout Europe running into mid-April, alongside support acts Milk Teeth, Puppy and Energy. At the end of 2016, Creeper topped the Rock Sound readers' poll for Best British Newcomer, as well as being featured at seventh place in the poll for Best British Band and at fourth place in the Worst British Band poll. The magazine ranked The Stranger as its 36th best release of the year. The third song and video from Eternity, in Your Arms, entitled "Black Rain", were released on 14 February 2017.
Upon its release, Eternity, in Your Arms debuted in the top 20 of the UK Albums Chart, at number 18. It also debuted at number 1 on the UK Rock & Metal Albums Chart, and at number 17 on the Scottish Albums Chart. In April 2017, Creeper were nominated in the category of Breakthrough Band in the Alternative Press Music Awards. They were also nominated in the category of Best UK Band at the inaugural Heavy Music Awards, and headlined the awards ceremony on 24 August at the House of Vans in London. The band continued touring throughout 2017, including their first appearance on the main stage of Download Festival and all dates of the 2017 Warped Tour in the US and Canada between June and August. In June they announced another headline UK tour for the end of the year, The Theatre of Fear, which was described in its announcement as "a one-of-a-kind production being brought to six theatres across the country". The band have also worked on a book titled The Last Days of James Scythe, based on the ongoing story of the eponymous character, which is to be released on 30 November 2017 by independent publishers 404 Ink.
Creeper released Christmas on 8 December 2017, a holiday EP which includes covers of "Fairytale of New York" and "Blue Christmas", as well as the original track "Same Time Next Year?" The band supported Neck Deep and All Time Low on tour the following year, and later returned to the festival circuit with performances at 2000 Trees and Reading and Leeds. At their 1 November 2018 gig at London's Koko Venue, the band hung up their Callous Heart jackets and frontman Will Gould stated that "Not only is it the last show of this album, but it's the last show that we'll ever do" – a reference to David Bowie's Hammersmith Apollo gig on 3 July 1973 at which he announced the death of his Ziggy Stardust character. The band then left the stage and a montage of their career highlights was shown, which ended with the words "Even eternity ends". While Bowie continued his career after his 1973 show, no official statement was issued regarding whether or not Creeper would return in the future.
2019–present: Sex, Death & the Infinite Void
In September 2019, Creeper's members began posting images and videos online teasing a return for the band. A few days later, a show was announced for 1 November 2019 – exactly one year since the group's previous appearance – at the 620-capacity venue 229 in London, under the pseudonym "Fugitives of Heaven". After debuting it at the show and premiering it on the BBC Radio 1 Rock Show the same night, the band released the single "Born Cold" on 3 November. In January 2020, it was announced that the band's second studio album would be titled Sex, Death & the Infinite Void.
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the music industry, Creeper delayed the release of Sex, Death & the Infinite Void from May to July 2020, as well as the promotional God Can't Save Us Tour, which moved from April to August. The album debuted at number 5 on the main UK Albums Chart and followed Eternity, in Your Arms in topping the UK Rock & Metal Albums Chart.
The band's debut album Eternity, in Your Arms received praise from numerous music critics. Aggregating website Metacritic reports a normalised rating of 89 based on eight critical reviews, indicating "universal acclaim" for the release. AllMusic's James Christopher Monger praised the album as "consistently compelling" and "genuinely inspired". Rob Barbour of Metal Hammer described the album as "ambitious, yet perfectly executed", noting that it is "packed from start to finish with kaiju-sized choruses and without a single note out of place". Writing for Rock Sound magazine, David McLaughlin claimed that on Eternity, in Your Arms sees the band "living up to their billing as one of the UK rock scene's most compelling prospects".
Style and influence
Creeper's sound has been compared to that of Alkaline Trio, AFI, and My Chemical Romance. In a later review of third EP The Stranger, Connick claimed that Creeper were quickly becoming "one of the country’s most vibrant and vital new bands". Writing in September 2014 about the group's second show, Gavin Lloyd of TeamRock described them as "one of the UK's most exciting new bands", praising them for demonstrating "a refreshing change from the majority of bands in the current rock and punk scene peddling the same ideas". In the lead up to the band's debut album, Creeper were described by numerous publications as one of the "most anticipated" new groups in rock music. Sources have also described their sound as horror punk, emo and gothic rock. 
When Miles and Gould originally conceived the idea for the band, they intended for it to be a New Romantic-influenced take on dark wave, before it eventually developed into a much more punk-influenced sound. The band have cited musical influences including Marilyn Manson, AFI, Jawbreaker, Jim Steinman, Energy, David Bowie, Metallica, Tiger Army, Meat Loaf, Bonnie Tyler, Alkaline Trio, the Misfits, The Nerve Agents and the Cramps, in conjunction with taking influence from the imagery of films like Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet, Joel Schumacher's The Lost Boys and Phantom of the Paradise by Brian De Palma as well as novels and plays like J. M. Barrie's 1904 book Peter and Wendy and its 1954 stage musical adaptation.
- Will Gould – lead and backing vocals (2014–present)
- Ian Miles – lead guitar, keyboards, backing vocals (2014–present)
- Sean Scott – bass, backing vocals (2014–present)
- Dan Bratton – drums, percussion (2014–present)
- Oliver Burdett – rhythm guitar (2015–present)
- Hannah Greenwood – keyboards, violin, backing and co-lead vocals (2015–present; touring 2015)
- Sina Nemati – rhythm guitar, backing vocals (2014–2015)
|2016||Creeper||Best Underground Band||Nominated|||
Heavy Music Awards
|2016||Creeper||Best UK Band||Nominated|||
|2016||Creeper||Best British Newcomer||Won|||
|2016||Creeper||Best New Band||Won|||
Rock Sound Awards
|2017||Creeper||Best British Breakthrough||Won|||
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