The Great American Beast

When Dayton, Ohio's the Great American Beast were described as a mix between 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' and 'Animal House,' it immediately elicited a reaction of "Who the? What the?" Turns out the band is fusing rawk with horror elements, which isn't too far removed from what several cool, fun bands are doing. The band is newly signed to Trustkill, to which vocalist Nick Villars told Noisecreep, "We're all ready to give the world a Beast Infection!" That's significantly better than a yeast infection, no?

As for the horror element, Villars said, "Basically I'm a huge nerd and into all of the things one would find at the local comic shop. Superheroes. Villains. Monsters. Mythology. I consider horror to a part of that whole iconography and try to work some of those themes into my lyrics. Lots of people write from a very personal point of view and display emotions that are easy for listeners to identify with. I guess I do that to a point, but I think it's expressed in a less direct way and gotten across through these strange stories as opposed to just a first person or inner dialogue."

The band's upcoming debut, 'Domestic Blood,' was initially intended to be conceptual, but Villars changed the shape of things accordingly in order to cement a connection with the listener beyond the standard relationship. "Our full length was actually going to be a continuous story from song to song. I had a plot and characters, but it ended up not working after we made some changes to the song order and added a new tune.

"I went back and left some of the lyrics the same as I had initially written them, but on other songs, changed words completely. Everybody has the same set of emotions to deal with, and we've all identified with them through music, but how often does the content an album actually intrigue listeners beyond a melody and an often rephrased sentiment? I know in the big scheme of things, it isn't nearly the majority of listeners out there that will give two s---s about the theme of the songs or investigate into the story behind each one, but I think for the people who are into that kind of thing, it solidifies a relationship between the band and the fan."

Villars considers the Great American Beast a bit similar to Coheed and Cambria, whose "albums are part of a continuing saga, like an author who writes a collection of short stories released in one book. None of the songs tie into each other to a point where you need to consult another track to understand it completely, but the theme is similar. I would say that if each were to be turned into a short story, the genre would be horror-fantasy. All of this goes very well with the type of band and type of people we are."

And what type of people are these Ohians? "We aren't one of those overly serious hardcore outfits that thinks what we're doing is the most detrimental thing that's ever been done in the history of the world," Villars said. "Perhaps in our own little existence, yeah. It's detrimental to us because it's our dream and it's what we've all busted our asses to make happen, but I think it means more to have a good time and play what's fun than to act like you're the scene's biggest hard asses only taking on the most brutal of topics. Yeah, I write about Norse Gods, soul-devouring vultures, dragons and mages. I'm prefect happy with it. I think it's fun."