Exclusive

Interview: Hororhaus – The compelling and dark ‘Entrance’ EP

Posted by Morgan Y Evans - Walking Bombs on Saturday, August 8, 2020 at 4:59 PM (PST)

Scott Harris

‘I’m using a black metal format with an intro piece and ending piece (ala Bathory) and how Mortician uses their intro and outros on tracks with movie excerpts, except I tune them down for a more trippy freaky effect’. – Scott Harris

Welcome to Hororhaus. A blend of 80’s synth, horror creep, goth and black metal inspired elements, the Scott Harris helmed project released one of the best EP’s of 2020 with the low key underground banger Entrance EP. Check out a full stream below and an exclusive interview about this sophisticated mercurial marvel of murky and menacing body moving music below. It is one of the best and most haunting escapes you could take during this surreal time.

READ MORE HERE.

How did hororhaus come about as a project. What made you interested in these genres? It is an increadibly vibey trip in a compact amount of time.

Scott – I’ve always been into MANY styles of music including urban dance music since the birth of disco and hearing it on AM radio. In the mid 80s, I started going to dance clubs like Danceteria, Boy Bar, Palladium (when it first opened as a dance club), Pyramid on the LES and Limelight. I was also into Detroit House and the UK rave scene in the late 80s/early 90s, frequented Suzanne Barcht first Monday of the month disco/electronic parties at Copa. When acts like Deee-Lite, Orbital, Chemical Brothers, Daft Punk, Charlatans UK, etc. hit the scene and the show MTV AMP, it really made me think about someday creating some sort of electronic dance music. Autechre’s Tri Repetae was very influencial in swinging me toward darker electronica. When Twilo NYC opened, it really brought me even more into the culture seeing acts like Paul Van Dyk, Dave Ralph, Sasha/Digweed live spinning vinyl. Once I heard Digweed’s Global Underground Los Angeles album, which is Dark Progressive, it really made me want to explore the darker elements, but I didn’t know exactly how I would use that element to springboard into something like hororhaus.

In 2003, I fell in love with extreme metal of many different styles and I knew I wanted to use those elements too. What really made me want to do this was the resurgence of darkwave electronic 80s retro-style acts that have been jump-started by Linea Aspera and by going back and re-listening to the early 80s electronic bands with drum machine I always admired like Yaz, Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode, Berlin’s Pleasure Victim album, Madonna’s self-titled first album, Thompson Twins, early Information Society, early Sisters Of Mercy etc. Once I saw new interest in the 80s synth acts and what the new breed of dark 80s electronic acts were doing, I knew I wanted to mix a variation of styles together and thought I’d give it a go. I didn’t want to make industrial style music like 90s Ministry or Godflesh (although I love those bands) ended up doing with guitars – I wanted it to sound synth 80s retro. I started making beats with the MC-300 Roland Groovebox and use 808 and 909 patches for drums, some key effects with that box along with a mini-moog app which is just amazing for 80s bass sounds combined with some organ patches.

The theme of the music revolves around vocal snippets of horror sounds from my formative years growing up in the NYC area, so it’s sort of my audible nightmares as a kid brought to life, where I’m writing a scene or narrative around those sounds to create a song base. The vocals are the narrative and whispered somewhat ASMR (actually on accident); where I wanted to go for a subconscious effect. Vocally it’s influenced by Daniel Ash from Love And Rockets/Tones On Tail, Marc Bolan, Josh (SGL) from Velvet Cacoon and Mike VanPortfleet from Lycia. I’m using a black metal format with an intro piece and ending piece (ala Bathory) and how Mortician uses their intro and outros on tracks with movie excerpts, except I tune them down for a more trippy freaky effect. The artwork and logo is totally influenced by black metal and some of the key voicing have black metal elements.

There is also a huge influence of horror and soundtrack artists that segue somewhere into this mix that I love that are hinted; John Carpenter, Jerry Goldsmith, Anatole Gerasimov and Helena Zvereva, John Williams, Christopher Young and Carl Zittrer. I thought, why not use atmospheric sampling of thunder instead of a cymbal crash or screams or sounds of a killing instead?

Bottom line – I wanted to create 70s/80s inspired atmospheric horror electronica with some tracks rooted in dance floor and others in plodding doom with synthwave/darkwave minimalism with a black metal/death metal approach. It’s an experiment, completely DIY. No funding, no label.
Very cool. I def picked up on some Carpenter influence. For people who don’t know you – is this your main musical outlet now or what else are you involved with?
I am originally from the NYC area and moved up to the Catskill Mountains area in 2009. I was involved with many bands playing live in NYC but now that I’m upstate I have some other projects that I am involved with. A goth/metal band VASARIA (featuring Baron Misuraca) who I was playing with through the 90s (on Century Media Records) is back doing some music (also w/Chuck Lenihan from Crumbsuckers on guitar). Both of those guys are in Carnivore AD. I have other projects I am working on here and there as well, but hororhaus is my total main music outlet now.

Do you feel like this release has anything to do with a personal reaction to the insanity of 2020?

I started coming up with the concept Summer of 2019 while watching some of the new 80s inspired bands live (Drab Majesty and Boy Harsher, notably) and started tracking November 2019. I wouldn’t say the release has really anything to do with a personal reaction to our current day insanity. The release is completely submerged 100% in a time-warp past fantasy based on my childhood memories and by incorporating 80s style sounds. There is a lyric in one of the tracks ‘nonataya’ which could be related to the current COVID-19 situation; ‘hidden from the light, flapping their wings at night, the world is in dismay, why won’t they go away’, but it is really about the made for TV horror movie Gargoyles 1972.

Tell us about your Bow Wow Wow obsession.

From the first time I saw them on the 1st MTV NY Eve ball, I was intrigued. Annabella Lwin is only 1 year older than me (showing my age here, you can figure out the rest!). I bought sometime in ’82 their first album on vinyl See Jungle, See Jungle. BWW along with Berlin and Missing Persons were my favorite female fronted new wave/early 80s bands (Siouxsie was revealed to me in late ’83 and then I became also obsessed). I think Annabella was (at the time) the only teen singer fronting a band and that was very interesting to me. A teen idol to a teen growing up in the 80s was very relatable. I feel she’s a very underrated vocalist and very charismatic front person. The band to me; while I was young at the time, sounded fresh and as a drummer, loved the Burundi beats. In high school, I friended someone who worked at a local record shop in Northern New Jersey (where I grew up) and she gave me a cardboard promo of ‘I Want Candy’ which I still have and is framed on my wall. I used to go to the NYC import shops and shop for many new wave bands including BWW and I still have all my vinyl. Matthew Ashman (guitarist) had the coolest look to me at that time period; a killer underrated guitarist with an awesome Native American inspired mohawk. When in high school, I was in marching band as a drummer and got the drum section to do a skit with the cheerleaders during football games to I WANT CANDY and the cheerleaders would throw candy into the stands to the crowd. How’s that for an MTV-era obsession?

Amazing. 

Now, many years later; I still listen to BWW and always find something interesting, fresh and new about them. The musicianship is top notch and obvious Leigh Gorman inspired many bass players and Matthew Ashman many guitar players. I can hear their influence especially in the Red Hot Chili Peppers and punk/funk that came after them. They were quite innovative, totally organic, should have been a bigger band, but their September 1983 breakup (i.e firing of Anabella) was unfortunate. It happened often to pre-fab bands although IMO they were totally original and were completely natural. I listened to them throughout the 80s and they are still one of my favorite new wave bands. A mix of amazing Burundi beats, rockabilly/surf guitar, funky/slap/tribal bass and great vocals. They were really a rockabilly band at the roots disguised as a tribal new wave band. Forget I WANT CANDY, BABY OH NO and DO YOU WANT TO HOLD ME as those were just their pop hits – and I’m glad for those songs that gave them exposure but they were so much more than those hits. I found them so much more interesting all across the board over Adam And The Ants (who I did love and still do – let’s not forget those guys from BWW WERE the original Ants). No electronic keys involved, just straight up great live musicianship. They are one of those sounds of freedom to me.

What are your goals for this project? I think obviously the quality of the work speaks for itself.

Thanks so much for the words! I do everything for this project and there is no one else involved. The goal is to create 5 EPs total in which the first EP ‘entrance’ is the introduction. While the first EP is not completely conceptual unto itself, the EPs will fit together conceptually. The EP ends with ‘never leave (ending?!?) which takes the last track down a dark road to where the listener can not leave hororhaus and will be trapped inside until the end of the 5th EP. Or will you ever be able to get out?!? The intro track on the first EP commentary is re-tracked by me and lifted from a Haunted Mansion At Long Branch commercial that aired back in the day. It speaks of ’30 rooms each with its own special surprise’ which to me; means 30 tracks spread over 5 EPs. So it will at least have that long of a life. I wanted the first EP to be like a ‘Tales From The Crypt’ or ‘Creepshow’ auditory experience with glimpses into what could come.

The next EP will be darker sounding focused around haunting and possession. I’m slated to start that sometime in August with a hopeful end of year or early 2021 release. Once COVID-19 nears its end (wishful thinking) and I have enough material for a live set, I plan to take this out live locally and perhaps to NYC for performances.