Rebel Sound

Since the demise of influential psychedelic noise punkers Chrome, Helios Creed has been releasing albums since the mid-80's. If you're not familiar with Creed then you are certainly missing out on one of the most eclectic, bizarre and unique performers in the underground today. The last few albums he and his band have released have been on Amphetamine Reptile (the first couple are now impossible to find on Subterranean Records), with the latest, A KISS TO THE BRAIN, being one of the best. Helios Creed is a very unusual individual and we spoke to him on his last apparent US tour.

RS: How soon after Chrome broke up did you start performing as a solo artist?

HC: In 1985 was when I really started doing Creed solo stuff. Damon moved to Europe and I couldn't go because I had some other things going on. There was other problems with the band and I didn't want to be part of it anymore because he didn't want to play live and I did. It took me many, many years to get the Helios thing going and playing live.

RS: Can you compare Chrome to what you're doing now?

HC: Well, I'm the main writer, there isn't another person I'm sharing the writing spot with, except my band which write with me. [in Chrome] we had two people writing equally and I guess his influence was in Chrome a lot too. I did do a lot of the vocals and songwriting.

RS: If you had to describe your music to someone that's never heard Helios Creed, what would you say?

HC: Mindwarp, twisted, I don't know... mind fuck, angst, high frequencied low end... I don't have a category for it and that's the problem. If anybody out there thinks of one, let me know.

RS: Do you find that your music is influenced by a lot of science fiction and fantasy?

HC: Yeah, I like fifties science fiction movies and stuff, especially the old black and white ones with the cheesy flying saucers. This latest album has some "Star Trek" lyrics on it off the Eden episode, "Throw Away The Rind." That stuff is already twenty years old, so its already so much history.

RS: When did Amphetamine Reptile start showing interest in the band?

HC: As soon as I talked to Tom Hazelmeyer on the phone, he was already interested in us and that was kind of cool. It was either that or Sub Pop and we didn't get along with Sub Pop for some reason or another.

RS: Did you ever think that your ex-labelmates, Helmet, would go on to the success they've had after the release of their first album?

HC: There's a lot of people that I was surprised to see got where they are today. I'm happy for them, I guess they're doing pretty good. They were playing the kind of music that's happening this year. They happened to be in the right place at the right time.

RS: Have any larger label showed interest in the band?

HC: Once or twice. I might be a little to spacey for them, we're not grungy enough. It probably throws them off because we won't sell that quick million right away and that's what they're looking for. I'm sure they're looking at that aspect. They're not looking at us. We're definitely not trying to do that. I don't know if all of the big labels are on that trip. It would be nice to get a major deal and have a comfortable, cool music release that doesn't have to be pumped up around an industry.

RS: Many of the songs on A KISS TO THE BRAIN are so different from anything.... ever. Where do you get ideas from a lot of your songs?

HC: Out of my head, I guess. After going through Chrome, I made a lot of ideas of what I was going to do with Helios.

RS: Does the band do a lot of drugs?

HC: Actually, amazingly enough, we're pretty straight. We smoke a little bit. We don't smoke cigarettes, we don't drink, we might do a little acid now and then. They [the band] drink, she doesn't drink, I don't drink. I quit drinking a year and a half ago. Our music is pretty stoney though. I'm not down on drugs, I just think they should be properly controlled. I'll do a good drug every now and then.

RS: How'd you first get involved in music?

HC: My mother always told me, if you're going to do anything, make sure it's different from anybody else, if you want to be noticed. If you do things the same as everybody else, you're not going to get noticed, so that always stuck in my head. Maybe it's true, maybe it's not.

RS: What are the future plans for the band?

HC: We're going to stop touring like this and just do special shows like psychedelic festivals and Halloween, just special shows. We just wanted to get noticed first. We'll be making a double record of all different stuff on Amphetamine Reptile too.