Even if you’ve seen the Creepy Creeps perform several times, you’d likely never recognize any of the bandmembers in public. The reason: onstage, their appearance ranges from dapperly dressed apes to skeleton faces with fezzes. So, there’s no telling who’s hiding behind one of those...well, we’ll get to that.
The surf-punk sextet has a 16-year history of rocking San Diego stages and a fervent fan base to boot. This is attributable to the band’s entertaining shows, which often erupt into all-out dance parties — fueled by the “Solid Ghoul” go-go dancers on each side of the stage.
Forming in 1999 and playing their first show in 2000, the Creepy Creeps released their self-titled debut album on U.K. imprint Inka six years later. They worked to hone their gritty garage sound until venturing out in 2012 to birth offshoot group Creepxotica, equally weird but leaning more toward ethereal exotica — or, as the band likes to describe it, “haunted bossanova.”
These days, Creepxotica, featuring the same lineup as the Creepy Creeps — Dr. Creepenstein (keyboards, vocals), Creepture (guitars, vocals), Dia de los Creep (bass), Creepula (drums), and Creepanzee (sax/percussion) — is seeing more action than the Creepy Creeps, whose last album, Fink About It, dropped in 2009. Next month, Creepxotica has not one, but two albums coming out on vinyl (their preferred format), including the amusingly titled Swinging Sounds from Beyond the Nether Regions.
2230 Shelter Island Drive, Shelter Island
7777 University Avenue, La Mesa
Creepxotica plays the Bali Hai February 23 and the Riviera Supper Club on February 25.
In this no-holds-barred interview, Dia de los Creep reveals what the band thinks about their looks, why they heckle their fans, and the creepiest thing they’ve ever done (brace yourself).
First off, why the Creepy Creeps — because the Creeps was already taken?
We just really liked the name...and we figured if we said it twice people might listen.
Where’s home base for the band?
We’d consider North Park our home, seeing that we have all lived there at one point in time, and two of us still currently reside there.
Like with KISS, do the masks you wear actually make you more attractive?
We don’t wear masks, and yes, we are that attractive. Next question, please.
You’ve been creeping people out for 16 years. Did you ever think you’d ride the wave this long?
Clearly you didn’t, but to answer your question: We are so grateful to our friends and fans here in San Diego for their continuous support of what we do.
Then why do you heckle your audiences? Don’t they put on a good show for you?
Obviously, you have never been to a Creep show. We are the ones putting on the good show and that, my friend, is why we heckle the crowd. But to tell the truth, we only do it because we love them.
...live at Tiki Oasis 2016
Is there any truth to the story that you formed Creepxotica so you could play Tiki Oasis again after The Creepy Creeps were banned the year prior?
Yes and no. We were never officially banned, but we did form Creepxotica to continue to be a part of Tiki Oasis.
I hear you have two new Creepxotica albums coming out. Tell me about them.
Creepxotica does have two new records coming out in March. One is a full-length and the other is a ten-inch — both on Dionysus Records. The ten-inch record features world-renowned opera singer Rachel DeShon. We have Robert Lopez, aka El Vez, to thank for putting this project together. The second record is Creepxotica’s sophomore full-length LP. These records are unlike anything most people have ever heard, and they will not be disappointed.
Any new music from Creepy Creeps in 2017?
The Creepy Creeps are working on a new record, and we are shooting for a summer release date.
Congrats on the recent San Diego Music Award nomination in the “Best Live Performer” category, which you previously won in 2013.
We were nominated? Oh, wow, thanks for telling us. Thank you, San Diego. We love you.
Your shows are known to become dance parties. What’s your favorite dance move?
We like the mashed potato, we do the twist, bring the funky chicken, and do it like this...
Do you appreciate the anonymity your masks provide? Must be nice walking through Trader Joe’s and not getting mobbed.
I’ve already told you that we do not wear masks. And, yes, everyone knows us at Trader Joe’s, but they still charge us the ten cents when we forget our bag.
Be honest, what’s the creepiest thing you’ve done?
Let’s just say it’s probably not the best idea to eat at a taco shop with a C health department rating before a show. Because it is very likely that you will “creep” your pants onstage during your set.
Give me the answer to the question you wish I had asked.