By Max Sullivan
On this year’s Day of the Dead, the night will end with an evening of very heavy and possibly frightening horrorpunk at the Rosebud in Somerville Thursday night.
Three local horrorpunk bands, along with a Rob Zombie/White Zombie Tribute group based out of Worcester, will play a show that, according to promoter, booker and performer Anderson Mar, will hopefully bring horrorpunk to the forefront of Boston’s music scene.
Horrorpunk isn’t like regular punk. Yes, it sounds the same, for the most part, but unlike regular old punk rock, everything on stage is a little bit spookier. The performers are often decked out in black, ghoulish outfits. The songs are often homages to the supernatural, or even just the terrifying. The Misfits, pioneers of the genre, dressed like Halloween characters and sang songs with lines like Do You Remember Halloween?
Mar, 35, a member of the band Sans Nomenclature and a promoter/booking agent for the past two decades, said the show is an attempt to resurrect interest in horrorpunk in the Boston area.
“The horrorpunk scene is really near and dear to my heart,” Mar said, “Because I feel it’s fun, and its campy, and I come from a theater background, and that was what really attracted me to bands that have that kind of stage presence.”
Mar and her fellow horrorpunk fans look enviously at other regions that have far more prevalent horrorpunk scenes. New Jersey and Ohio, Mar pointed out, are crawling with bands like theirs. They want to make that a reality in Boston.
“I’ve talked to bands out there [in Columbus and Cincinati], and they say, ‘Oh yeah, we’ll play a gig on a Tuesday night and bring in 200 people,’” Mar said. “Even signed bands that come into Boston can’t do that.”
According to Mar, punk fans like herself see Boston as a city heavily infiltrated by “Indie-rock,” a scene that she and other horrorpunk fans can’t relate to. Mar feels there is not enough appreciation in the area for the dark, heavy and theatrical music that she and those in her circle love.
“I hate to say it, but we’re almost totally against the whole indie-rock mind set,” Mar said. “We’re one of those bands that wants to get signed.”
The bill will include four acts, including her own band, which she said sounds something like a mix of the Misfits and the Dresden Dolls; Jimi Halfdead and the Die Alongs, local veterans of the Salem horror punk scene; Mortuus Ortus; and American Hellbilly, a Rob Zombie/White Zombie tribute band based out of Worcester.
Part of what makes horrorpunk a draw, Mar said, is its appeal to more than just punk fans. Goth crowds are brought in by its dark and theatrical nature. Metal fans can also connect with it because the Misfits had many of their songs covered by Metallica. Rock fans across the board have a respect for bands like the Misfits, and that consequently leads to a respect for horrorpunk.
“I think that it’s a cross section of three genres that can come together for mutual enjoyment,” Mar said. “It pulls from different sectors of music fans.”
See Mar with her band, Sans Nomenclature, and the rest of the horror punk groups at the Rosebud next Thursday night, November 1, Day of the Dead. Doors open at 8:00 p.m. Cover is $7, and the event is ages 21+.