Shock rockers Ghosts in the Graveyard recently premiered the new music video for “Thirteen Ways to Die,” which can be found on their new album Monsters for the Masses, on Dread Central. The video is a dark, whimsical, and theatrical ride through the world of horror, paying homage to many classic films.
The band’s lead singer, Byron C. Miller, talked with us about the ideas behind “Thirteen Ways to Die” and how it all came together. In addition to starring in the music video, Miller was also the writer, director, editor, and VFX artist.
You can check the music video for “Thirteen Ways to Die” below:
HorrorGeekLife: Can you describe Ghosts in the Graveyard’s style of music and the inspiration behind it?
Byron C. Miller: Our sound is kind of Shock Rock, Darkwave, Synthwave, Postpunk. Paul designs the soundscapes and injects it with all of my influences (Alice Cooper, Depeche Mode, Billy Idol, The Cure, IAMX, Bowie), along with his love of 80’s synth scores and his history of playing in Punk and Metal bands.
The huge driving force behind it is my life as a horror fan. I’ve been watching horror since I was 3 years old. I was the kid that built haunted houses in my room, that convinced my grandma to get me expensive Halloween masks for my birthday every year, that recorded horror host cassette tapes (some of which you can hear on the album). I’ve worked in haunted houses. I’ve directed feature films, all in the horror genre.
The album explores a number of human emotions, but it all goes through my horror brain filter. So it’s not just a love song, it’s about two ghosts in a Dia De Los Muertos celebration. Or a song about having a shitty day and blowing off steam is explained as putting on your Monster Mask.
HorrorGeekLife: Ghosts in the Graveyard has a great new music video out for the song “Thirteen Ways to Die.” Tell us about the stories behind the video and the pieces of horror history you take us through.
Byron C. Miller: Since the band’s inception, I’ve wanted to do a video like this; moving through different horror realities with the three of us playing the heroes and villains. This concept is best suited for “Thirteen Ways to Die,” as the song is all about societies love of charismatic villains of film and literature.
I knew the project was very ambitious, so we kept it on the back burner and did some other rad videos. Fast forward to a month ago, I’m taking advanced Motion Graphics courses and my instructor, mentor Beau Obremski, challenges me to create something ambitious with my combined filmmaking and motion graphics knowledge. Then it clicked, we can totally make this crazy video a reality! I can build all of the sets digitally!
The video really explores the band’s relationship with horror as fans and artists, inspired by our fandom. We begin in the theater with me excitedly watching the movie, like I’ve done my whole life. I’ve seen of 3,200 films, half of them horror. Then we push through to see me, and later the whole band, locked in a padded cell. This is the mind. This is how it sometimes feels when you’re in the act of creation, just your mind in your box, feeling like a crazy person, dreaming up worlds of gods and monsters.
In each world of horror we enter, it changes from who’s playing the victim or the monster. This is because when we watch horror films, just as many times as we want to be scared, we also want to be “the monster.” Horror, and really all genre films and music, are great ways to release all of our fears and anger into a fictional place. Therapy through escapism.
For the journey through the horror dimensions, we chose to do some very direct homages (Evil Dead 2, Frankenstein, Chopping Mall, Halloween) and others that encapsulate an era of horror or a type of villain, like Shelly’s Femme Fatale, or the punks in the warehouse fighting a demon. Of course many of them combine multiple homages like the black and white zombie sequence that’s Night of the Living Dead, but then we push in on an old dark house that could be from Robert Wise’s The Haunting.
HorrorGeekLife: The art and design is beautiful and it’s great to go behind the scenes. I think the black and white NOTLD scene was my favorite. It looked so classic. Which is your favorite scene and why?
Byron C. Miller: Oh man, that’s tough! I love so many scenes. I love the theater sequence, especially the final shot with all of the monsters together. That was fun to build and I love looking at it. However… if I had to choose a fave it would be the “little monsters” sequence featuring creatures designed by Matthew Hopkins and his Nightmerriment company. I really wanted a Gremlins/Ghoulies/Critters/Munchies/Hobgoblins tribute. I love all of those little monster films and it was fun to animate the creatures!
HorrorGeekLife: That was a really fun scene! What are you hoping people take away from the video?
Byron C. Miller: I hope people find it fun and engaging! I hope they watch it more than once and even pause certain scenes to catch all of the references. I hope they go check out our album and have as much crazy fun listening to it as we did creating it!!