Buddy Black and The Witchfinger Project
Story: Lenny Stoute
Photo at right by Rachel Tentcher
This is a tale of love, demonic possession, horrific doings and more love.
It’s 91 degrees in the shade at the Pennsylvania pit stop from which Buddy Black is calling, miles and miles to go before he reaches home.
Where a ‘big reveal’ gig awaits, the full-on presentation of Witchfinger, the cult fave EP inspired by the 1987 classic horror flick Chillers, for the first time ever in Canada.
Black and crew are returning from playing gigs in West Virginia, home state of one Daniel Boyd, writer of the movie and currently creator of the graphic novel Chillers, which gets its release this week.
“ I’m a big horror fan from way back, Tales From The Crypt, all that kind of of stuff. I saw Chillers when I was 15 and it had a huge impact on me. Can’t even say why but I used to watch it over and over. It was MY movie, my friends thought it was a joke but I was totally into it.”
In creating Witchfinger, Black has revived not only his beloved cult film but given the franchise a new life, as Boyd went back to his drawing board to come up with a graphic novel version of Chillers.
For horse race fans, this is the perfect trifecta, with the movie, the album and now the novel. Witchfinger is an explosion of Goth/punk riffs, saturated with melodic guitar carrying Black’s horrific and darkly hued lyrics to a commanding position.
“I carried the idea around for the album for a long time, but it wasn’t until last Halloween that I committed to the project. I’m going to sit down and do this. Then I had one month to write, arrange, take the songs to the band, rework it, get them recorded and the EP out. It was hard work but it was quite unlike my usual way of doing things where I’ll write a song and live with it a couple of days then revisit it for the final take.”
“That was probably the hardest part, the song writing was fairly easy as I was already steeped in the movie and my writing usually tends towards the horrific and the mythological anyway”.
After writing a couple of songs, Buddy became curious and went looking for Chillers writer/director Daniel Boyd online. Having found Daniel, he respectfully asked for his blessing on the project. Daniel was buzzed; not only was he flattered that some kid from Canada loved his movie enough to want to write a tribute album, but he had also been working on a graphic novel, a horror anthology, with stories inspired by the original film.
Buddy Black and Daniel Boyd quickly became invested in each other's projects, and Daniel invited Buddy down to West Virginia to film two music videos featuring members of the original 1987 Chillers cast, and filmed at the original 1987 Chillers locations, a dream come true for Buddy Black.
In performance, Black currently appears in two configurations; one with human backing players, the other with a band of mannequins playing sampled instruments.
“I don’t want to play with the mannequins every time because I don’t want it to turn into the shtick. I want the shtick to be you don’t know what to expect when you come to a show, live band or not. The material is inspired by the movie but the songs can stand on their own, even if you’ve never heard of the movie.”
Saturday night’s triumphal homecoming features Witchfinger as the centrepiece of the set, delivered in its entirety so you don’t want to be late. Oh yeah, for the occasion, Buddy will be backed by a human band. For extra texture, Buddy’s imported Daniel Boyd for a book signing at the Silver Snail, and a tribute concert at the Silver Dollar Room, the first time Witchfinger (The Chillers EP) will be played in its entirety in Canada.
Both the book signing, and the concert will take place on Saturday June 23, 2012 at 2pm and 10pm respectively.
Full details can be found through Buddy Black's official website: www.reverendbuddyblack.com