While on the whole preferring a good, fluffy feel good rom-com, we're not adverse to a bit of horror here on THUMP. We've interviewed Alan Howarthand watched at least half of Cabin in the Woods once and our favourite documentary is American Movie and that's all about horror. Plus we've seen some pretty scary things in our times in nightclubs, let me tell you that! Thanks, we're here all week!
One thing we don't do very often, though, is read horror stories. The whole hiding-under-the-duvet-with-a-torch-and-an-M.R.-James-anthology thing hasn't ever really appealed to us. Call us wusses, but we view beds as zones of relaxation, rather than a place of exploring our most primal fears. So we've never actually read anything by H.P. Lovecraft, for our sins.
That's changed recently. Sort of. We've still not read anything by him but we have heard a few of his stories, 'From Beyond' and 'The Hound', thanks to a new collaborative project from The Duke St. Workshop and actor Laurence R Harvey, (yep, the bloke from Human Centipede 2) who've come together to combine Lovecraft's macabre stories with a perfectly pitched soundtrack of super creepy, super slow Italo, ethereal ambient and modern classical minimal piano tinkling. In short, the result, the recently released Tales Of H.P. Lovecraft LP on Static Caravan, is a spooky little oddity that we've been spinning late at night with some regularity at THUMP HQ.
We wanted to scare you silly so we've brought you an interview with Duke St Workshop and an exclusive listen to the album. Check both out below.
Were you all huge Lovecraft fans before putting the record together and can you still bear him after it's been completed?
We were all familiar with his writing and the works which he inspired. Yes, we still admire his idea's and the world he created through his fiction.
What is it about his writing that still captures the imagination?
I think what captures most interpreter's imaginations are his stories central ideas. They are very simple ultimately, and feel, somehow, unfinished - occasionally a bit unsatisfying. That more can be written into them, character development, subtexts etc. which is something we were interested in exploring. The diverse range of interpretations his material has generated is remarkable from quite serious to the over the top gore of say Stuart Gordon's films. I kind of use the analogy that his stories are like an old blues tune that you can jam on and make into something else.
How did you find Laurence?
Laurence was a security guard at the local multi story car park...No, we met through a mutual friend Paul who owns the local record shop here in Wigan. I think Laurence discovered Duke St through him. Paul told us he was a fan of the Pines album and suggested doing something together which was a stroke of genius on his part!
What next, Clive Barker's Hellraiser?
What next? Well, we've got a quite a few gigs this year that we're all excited about. There's going to be a limited remix single of two tracks from the Lovecraft L.P. and we're cutting a limited edition single for sale at Abertoir Horror Festival which we're headlining in November. Also, our second "official" LP will be making an appearance at some point.
The album is out now in a limited run of 300 on vinyl on Static Caravan with artwork by Marvel artist Sean Phillips.
The Duke St Workshop are on Facebook