Anonymous Clown Horde THE INJESTER are already creating a chaotic storm amongst anyone who has the pleasure to listen to their ghoulish music or witness one of their sinister shows. Before their warm-up show at Southampton’s Suburbia, Rock Out Stand Out’s Lotty Whittingham spoke to this band of clowns. They spoke about their sound, mental health and horror characters running escape rooms. Here’s what happened.
For those who haven’t heard The Injester before, what can we expect in your sound?
Ashe: It’s sort of metallic, theatrical metal. It’s stompy, jumpy. Think Rob Zombie, Faith No More; that sort of feel into a big blender.
And how did the story of The Injester start?
Skinface: We had been together in different bands, some have played together previously and others hadn’t played together before this. We decided we wanted to put the theatrics back into rock and metal. It’s a thing we really like, we listen to all kinds of stuff but something we all agree with is that we like the theatrics.
Ashe: There’s no live show anymore, people would just rock up in combats.
Sparky: And black t-shirts, we scream at people and get paid for it.
Skinface: Our previous bands were more or less like that; turn up in your street clothes, rock up on stage and jump off.
Ashe: That’s a good point, it was probably darker in terms of a morose mood and less stompy. This is more fun.
Sparky: I think Stomp are looking for additions for their next stage show. [laughs]
Skinface: We want to put on something that’s fun to watch.
What was the influences behind your appearances?
Ashe: They are all individually done, so mine was done by Sam Agnew whose done bits and pieces for Alice Cooper and various others. She’s from London.
Gaspard: I think we will be reinventing our outfits as we go over the years but we all have our own individual designs.
Skinface: We all decided on something that represented a bit of us that you wouldn’t normally feel comfortable expressing. So when you put it on, you feel liberated.
Sparky: Everyone has their own character, some of the backstories are a bit more in-depth. These will all develop overtime, they will get to know the characters better.
Will these come out as part of the release of your debut album?
Sparky: The part about people getting to know our characters is a slow burner. As we progress further, there will be more to reveal about our characters and how everything intertwines.
Skinface: A narrative will become more clear as we progress.
Ashe: It’s been tough to launch every aspect of things that we would have wanted to over the last couple of years. There are bits that are still to come.
I was about to touch upon that as you formed in 2019 and then of course 2020 came along.
Skinface: Our EP was recorded, we were booked for Download and some other shows, then everything just stopped.
Did that give you more time to work on your characters, write more songs etc.?
Skinface: I mean the album got done in the meantime, that time passed.
Sparky: As soon as we could we decided to get it booked and get it recorded.
Ashe: At the same time, we launched in 2019 and the original idea was to launch at a festival and then play loads. Then into the summer of doing Download. So then with all that stopping; it then meant when we did emerge after the lockdown, we had a matter of a few weeks to get everything together for Bloodstock and get things together for a warm up shows.
Was Download 2021 going to be your launch pad so to speak?
Ashe: We were booked for Download 2020 but of course that didn’t happen. Then there was going to be no Download at all. So from that point, we decided once you do one of those big festivals, you can only do one so we reached out to Bloodstock. It was a bit later in the year and we were lucky to go with that. They did the small Download pilot and we had our slot rolled over to this year. Overall, happy that we got both in the calendar in the end but it was a bit of a protractive process.
Skinface: It was nothing than everything. We were all shut down and then suddenly everything opens up.
Morax: There wasn’t really any messing about it was straight into big things.
Ashe: That was the other thing, we recorded the album and then did Bloodstock alongside other various bits and pieces. It was pretty much non-stop.
Let’s talk about your video Jack’s Box.
Ashe: Jack’s Box was sort of an answer to the first couple of videos we had done because they were dark in mood and fairly heavy. The songs are quite different, this was more of a cheeky more upbeat take on us. The dark stuff will come back.
Sparky: We’re a Ying Yang kind of band. We have some lighter, bouncier tracks but then we do have some dark, twisted songs.
One of our missions at Rock Out Stand Out is spreading mental health awareness. It’s no secret lockdown effected that. What do you think we could do more of as family members, friends so people feel more comfortable talking about their mental health?
Skinface: I think be open about it, not hiding it from people. How do we talk about it if we don’t want to but I guess it’s about being comfortable in yourself. Just because you have gone through something, it doesn’t make you weak or a problem that can’t be addressed. I’ve struggled with stuff in the past. If you’re comfortable enough talking about it, I think it will mean others will feel less uncomfortable raising it.
Ashe: There’s communication methods as well. We’re in a message culture rather than a phone each other culture. In a message, you can’t necessarily tell the tone of what someone’s saying. So if you’re struggling with whatever you’re struggling with, you might read things the wrong way.
Sparky: It’s very easy to get your wires crossed with messages and these can be misinterpreted.
Speaking of messages, it’s so easy to edit what you want to say too. So you really want to write how you’re really feeling but you can decide not to at the last second.
Skinface: I am sure a lot of us have done it where you type out a long message and then you delete it to replace it with “I’m fine”
What do you like to do to unwind?
Sparky: Dress up as a clown and play music.
Gaspard: Order stuff off Ebay and make loads of people wear it.
Skinface: Listening to music. For me, when I am crappy I would rather listen to music where someone screams. A bit of Deicide helps me feel better.
Ashe: Nothing makes you feel better about your life if you have got your life and then you put on a sweaty latex mask you have done numerous gigs in. Life’s immediately worse. [laughs]
Skinface: Then you feel better afterwards.
Which horror character other than Jigsaw would you like to see run an escape room?
Morax: In Friday 13th, Jason got harder as the films went on. The first and second films, you kick him in the shins and he goes down like a sack of shit. So probably early Jason.
Skinface: I reckon a really good one but I wouldn’t want to be there, Freddy Krueger because you fall asleep and you think everything is alright but then you’re fucked.
Sparky: Let’s be real, you wouldn’t want to be stuck in a room with all these horror characters. One of the ones that would get me, it’s not necessarily horror but The Thing because you wouldn’t know it’s there until it’s too late.
Do you have a message for readers and listeners of The Injester?
Sparky: Hope you’re enjoying what we have put out so far. We might see you at our shows and all that. Come say hello, we don’t bite. We might look a bit scary.
Skinface: We love a photo opportunity.
Ashe: Dress up.
Sparky: Get into it, come and dress up. Be different.
Skinface: We have had people turn up in fully decked clown gear.
Ashe: Make sure you check us out, not just the pictures. We are on Sunday morning at 11am on the Dogtooth stage. Come down and make your own mind up.
Thank you so much for speaking to Rock Out Stand Out and best of luck with your show tonight and Download.