Day Creeper interview with Aaron Troyer

October 15, 2013

Day Creeper interview with Aaron Troyer

Treading a thin line, maybe a nonexistent
line in fact, between punk and good old fashioned 60’s and 70’s garage rock,
Columbus, Ohio’s Day Creeper bleed a DIY aesthetic honed over the last
half-decade.  Their debut full-length
Hell Is Real is no exception.  Recorded
at home, the long delayed album is finally available via the geniuses out at
Tic Tac Totally, the guys behind The Hussy’s Weed Seizure one of the best
albums of 2012 without a doubt, and makes no compromises with the production or
songwriting on any level.  Hell Is Real
is definitely Day Creeper’s album and no one else’s.  Fiercely original and fairly prolific despite
minimal output, while they were waiting to put out the Hell Is Real album they
self-released the Raging Beast 7” EP during their latest tour, Day Creeper show
no signs of slowing down anytime soon! 
Founding member Aaron Troyer took some time to fill me in on the details
of where Day Creeper came from and where they’re headed.  So take a seat, get comfy, stick on some
tunes and enjoy an article why don’t you?
while you read: http://daycreeper.bandcamp.com/

What is the band’s current lineup? 
Have you always had this lineup or have there been some changes over
Right now, it’s me playing guitar and singing, Dan plays drums, and
Laura plays bass and sings occasionally. 
Day Creeper started as a two piece, with me playing guitar and singing
and my oldest friend Shawn playing drums. 
Laura joined a year later and threatened to hit Shawn with her bass, so
he jumped ship.  Dan joined three years
ago or so and has been holding it down since. 
Laura’s also pretty mean to Dan, but he likes it.
Are any of you in any other bands at this point?  I know it’s pretty common place for people to
be in several groups at one time these days. 
Have you released any material with any other bands?  If so can you tell us about it?
Laura plays drums in Bloody Show. 
They’re relatively new and they haven’t released any music yet, but they
do kick ass.  Dan plays in Turquoise
Feeling, who have a tape out on Snow Clone. 
I played drums in Outer Spacist, but we aren’t playing currently.  We had a couple 7”s and tapes out as well as
an unreleased album or two.
Where are you all originally from?
I’m from a smaller town in mid-Ohio. 
Laura’s from a small town in Pennsylvania and Dan is from a small town
in Maine.  We all came to Columbus to
fulfill our rock and roll dreams, and get useless degrees.
Were your households very musical growing up?  Were your parents or any of your relatives
musicians or very involved/interested in music?
My parents weren’t really very musical, but they always supported me in
my artistic endeavors and pretend to be interested in my music.  My mom likes stuff like Sheryl Crow, but my
dad likes some pretty cool music like Johnny Cash and Neil Young.
What was your first real exposure to music?
My parents got a BMG music subscription in the early 90’s, the kind
where you get eleven CDs for a dollar, but you also sign a contract and promise
to buy a CD every month for the rest of your life.  They let me pick one CD and I chose
Aerosmith’s Pump.  It changed my
life.  I didn’t give a shit about
anything but Aerosmith for about three years after that. I was hooked.  I got their Greatest Hits, Get a Grip, and
Gems soon after that.  I got to see them
with my Mom’s coworker when I was twelve on the Get a Grip tour, which in
hindsight was kind of weird, but was an awesome show.  Jackyl opened for them and did a chainsaw
solo, which I thought was super badass at the time.  I still love most Aerosmith and don’t give a
shit about what anyone says, Jackyl sucks pretty hard though.
When did you decide that you wanted to start writing and playing your
own music?
I’ve been writing, playing and recording my own music since I was a
teenager.  I just love doing it and I
will never stop.
When and how did you all meet?
Laura and Dan played in Night of Pleasure together.  Laura lived with members of Outer Spacist and
they would have parties and shows and we all became friends through those.
What led you to form Day Creeper and when exactly was that?
I had been playing in a few bands since moving to Columbus in 2004 but
never really had a band where I was the writing all the songs.  Day Creeper came out of just wanting to play
my songs out live rather than making recordings on my own.  It’s much more gratifying to play with other
What does the name Day Creeper mean and how did you go about choosing
the name?
I wrote a song called “Day Creeper” about a fictional weirdo/lurker that
would, you know, do creepy shit.  I
thought it sounded pretty cool, so I decided it would be a good band name.
Who are some of your major musical influences?
Well, Aerosmith obviously, Neil Young, Rolling Stones, Modern Lovers,
Cheap Trick, The Stooges, Curtis Mayfield, MC5, The Kinks, Bruce Springsteen,
The Jam, Stiff Little Fingers, Velvet Underground, The Nerves, Ike and Tina,
Leonard Cohen, The Ramones, Gram Parsons, Richard Hell, Prince, Big Star, Radio
Birdman, Skip Spence/Moby Grape, Pretty Things, New York Dolls, Johnny
Thunders, Wilson Pickett, Dictators, The GC5 (hometown heroes!), Swingin
Utters, early Hellacopters, Townes Van Zandt, Flamin Groovies, The
Replacements, Wire, Bowie, Dead Boys, Love, New Bomb Turks, Hunches, Thomas
Function, Home Blitz, Total Control.  I’m
gonna stop there.
Can you tell us about Day Creeper’s songwriting process?  Is there a lot of jamming and exchanging
ideas or does someone come to the rest of you with a riff or a more finished
product to work on and finish with the rest of you?
I will usually have a verse/chorus written, we will play it a few times,
talk about structure or whatever, then I’ll finish the lyrics and we’ll flesh
it out from there.
Do you all enjoy getting into the studio and recording?  As a musician I think we all love the end
product.  There’s not a lot that can beat
holding that album in your hands knowing it’s your music and you made it.  Getting into the studio though, it can be a
little bit rough though.  How is it in
the studio for you all?
We operate better in a home-recording set-up.  It’s more relaxed and there’s less pressure
to get everything done on time.  We’re
really picky and temperamental when it comes to recording.  We’ve only done one “official” studio recording
and, while it was a good experience, you always feel like you’re on someone
else’s schedule and that every minute wasted is money down the drain.  I’m really cheap, so I’d rather just do it
myself or with friends who don’t charge “pro” rates.  I also really enjoy doing overdubs in my own
basement where I can really experiment with different set-ups and approaches.
How do you approach studio time? 
Do you do a lot of preparation and composing songs or do you just play
things more by ear and get done what you can and let the chips fall where they
We just practice a bunch of songs until we think they’re ready and then
figure out a way to record them. 
Sometimes the recordings work, sometimes they don’t.  We have a lot of recordings that will never
see the light of day for various reasons.
In 2008 you released your debut single a split 7” with Night of
Pleasure.  What are your memories of
recording that first single?  When was
that material recorded?  Where was it
recorded?  Who recorded it?  What kind of equipment was used during the
That was Shawn and I recording in my old basement on a Tascam 488.  We recorded drums and guitar live and then I
overdubbed bass, vocals and glockenspiel. 
It turned out pretty cool, I think.

Who released that Night Of Pleasure split?  Was that a limited release?
We did it ourselves.  There were
300 copies.
You followed up that split single with the Blah 7” EP on Tic Tac Totally
Records in 2010.  Can you talk a little
bit about recording that material for that EP? 
Was it very different than the session(s) for the Night of Pleasure
Yea, we recorded that EP, along with a bunch of other songs with Nick
Schuld on reel-to-reel and lots of other nice equipment.  Nick is a total sound-nerd and knows how to
make shit sound real good.  That was the
last release with Shawn playing drums, although we did another recording
session with him that’s buried in Nick’s computer.  Nick also recorded and mixed the bulk of the
full-length that just came out. 
Was that EP limited?  Is that
still in print?
I just Googled it.  It’s still
available on Midheaven and E-bay.
You recently self-released your Raging Beast 7” EP.  After having worked with a label, why
self-release the new EP?  Is it a limited
Matt at Tic-Tac-Totally is an awesome guy and super passionate about
good music, it just took him a really long time to get the LP out.  So, while we were waiting we recorded more
music, liked it, and decided to put it out ourselves.  We mainly did it in order to have something
to sell on our last tour.  We also
pressed 300 of that EP.
Can you tell us about the recording of the material for the Raging Beast
7”?  When and where was it recorded?  Who recorded it?  What kind of equipment was used in the
We recorded it in Laura’s basement with Elijah Vazquez on the same
Tascam 488 that the first EP and the LP were recorded on.  I think we did it in February of 2013.
If I understand correctly you have an upcoming LP on Tic Tac Totally
coming sometime soon.  Is there any news
on when that album is going to be released or what it will be titled?
It’s called Hell Is Real and it is out now!!!!!!!
Did you try anything radically new or different in the writing or
recording of the new album?  What can our
readers expect from the new album?  When
was the material recorded?  Who recorded
it?  Where was it recorded at?  What kind of equipment was used in the
recording process?
It was all done on the Tascam 488. 
It was recorded in various basements and living rooms in Columbus during
2011.  It took a long time for it to be
birthed and we’re really proud of it.  We
are planning on recording again this winter and have more than enough songs for
another LP.
Can we take two-seconds to talk about Aaron’s side project Day
Creep.  How many releases are there under
that moniker?  How did those originally
come about?  Are they material that
didn’t fit or work with the rest of the band or were they composed solely for
the Day Creep project?
I’ve done a handful of CDR’s and two tapes on Snow Clone, a small tape
label in Columbus run by my friend Jesse. They’re songs I recorded on my own
because I enjoy spending time alone in my basement for extended periods of
time.  I also finished a full-length this
year called Through the Void.  I’m
dropping the “Day Creep” name because it’s confusing/stupid and just going with
my God-given name on this album.  It may
or may not be released at an unforeseen time in the future.  I also might just put it up on Bandcamp for
the hell of it.  I’m pretty proud of it.
Does Day Creeper have any music that we haven’t talked about yet?
Oh yeah, tons.  Most of it sucks
and nobody will ever hear it!
Are there any plans for any other releases planned or on the horizon at
this point?
No plans, but like I said, we will be recording this winter.  Ohio winters can be pretty long and
depressing, which makes for great art and music.
Where’s the best place for our U.S. readers to purchase your music?
Midheaven mail-order for the Tic Tac Totally releases, e-mail
aarondestroyer@yahoo.com for the Raging Beast EP, or get one through Florida’s
Dying, Sorry State, Grave Mistake, Permanent Records or Underground
Medicine.  There might be a couple others
that I’m forgetting.
What about our international and overseas readers considering the insane
recent postage rate hikes?
Midheaven, I guess.  Also, I can
just e-mail people Mp3s if shipping sucks.
Where’s the best place for our readers to keep up with the latest news
like upcoming shows and music releases at?
We post things on Facebook sometimes and will put samples of releases on
Having dealt with a record label as well as releasing your own material
what are the upsides and downsides to working with a label?  What about doing it yourself?
Working with a label is great because you don’t have to pay for it and
you get a bunch of free records.  Also,
Matt at Tic Tac Totally gets the word out really good too.  Waiting for records can be a pain, but
they’re free so I’m not gonna complain. 
That’s like complaining about a free lunch because it wasn’t your
favorite sandwich.  Who cares?!?!  Buy your own goddamn sandwich!  The DIY approach is fine, but it’s expensive
and you gotta work really hard to get the records out there.  We’re kind of lazy and don’t tour a whole
bunch, so it takes a while.
Does Day Creeper have any goals that they are trying to achieve in 2013?
Not really; playing, recording, a little touring here and there.  The LP’s out, so I feel a sense of
fulfillment right now as far as my musical endeavors go.
What do you have planned as far as touring goes for the rest of the
Nothing really.  We might do a
weekend or two.  We’ll probably get out
on the road in early 2014.
You have played with some seriously cool bands, Nobunny is absolutely
phenomenal!  Who are some of your
favorites that you’ve had a chance to share a stage with?
Thomas Function, So Cow, Home Blitz, Davila 666, Estrogen Highs as well
as many others that I am having trouble thinking of at the time.  Also, we’ve played with lots of great
Columbus bands; Guinea Worms, Turquoise Feeling, Nervosas, Cheater Slicks, Pink
Reason and Messrs to name a few.
Do you have any funny or interesting stories from live shows that you’d
like to share with our readers?
Old weird drunk dudes always hit on Laura, which is pretty entertaining
for everyone except Laura.  A guy in
Atlanta gave us fifty-bucks to “jam” with him for about two minutes in the
basement of a Nashville Pussy show.  He
was really lewd and said some really gross stuff to Laura, but he gave us
fifty-bucks which was more than we got paid playing in a basement at a
Nashville Pussy show, so that was cool.
Who are you on tour with in your dreams?
collect music.  I don’t do it because I
think it’s trendy or to pass the time. 
To me each piece of music that I own is a piece of artwork to be admired
and enjoyed, dissected and absorbed. 
Having something physical to hold in my hands, artwork to look at, liner
notes to read.  Not only does it serve
for a glimpse into the mind of the artist who created it but it makes for a
more complete listening experience, at least for me.  Do you have any such connection with physical
I like records a lot.  Mp3’s are
nice because I download them for free and stealing digital music is so easy,
but yeah, I like records the most.
Looking at your back catalog the answer would seem to be apparent, but
with the wide array of choices available to artists today I’m always curious
why musicians choose the mediums that they do for their releases and why.  Do you have a preferred medium of release for
your music?  What about when you are
buying and listening to music?
Records are ideal, but sometimes a tape or CDR is just quicker and
Do you have a music collection at all? 
If so can you tell us about it?
I’ve got a bunch of records and CDs, there’s a little bit of
everything.  Lots of 60’s and 70’s rock,
soul, folk and punk.
If you can’t tell I’m passionate about music and music collecting.  When digital music first came on the scene I
didn’t really know what to make of it. 
It allows me to take my entire music collection on the go but I feel
like it makes music more of a disposable experience, far less tangible.  I guess there are two main schools of thought
on the subject, on one hand it exposes me to a whole world of music that I
would never otherwise have the chance to listen to.  On the other hand it’s destroying decades of
infrastructure inside the music industry. 
As an artist during the reign of the digital era what’s your opinion on
digital music and distribution?
Like I said earlier, Mp3s are for stealing in my opinion.  If I really like something, I’ll buy the
record.  I have a day job and don’t ever
anticipate making any real money in the music industry, but that would be
pretty cool.
try to keep up with as much good music and I can, I spend hours every week
pouring over submissions and doing research online as well as bin diving at the
local shop trying to find my next favorite band.  Some of the best bands I’ve found though haven’t
been from my own research but from recommendations from hip musicians such as
you.  Who should I be listening to from
your local scene or area that I might not have heard of before?
The bands I mentioned earlier are all great.  Columbus has got it goin’ on.  Also, EYE is a really great band.
Thanks so much for doing this interview, I know it was kind of a war of
attrition but I really dig your sound and hope you dug the interview.  Is there anything that I missed or that you’d
just like to talk about?
Nah, I think we covered everything!
Day Creeper/Night Of Pleasure – Day Creeper/Night Of Pleasure Split – 7”
– Self-Released (Limited to 300 copies)
Day Creeper – Blah EP – 7” – Tic Tac Totally
Day Creeper – Raging Beast EP – 7” – Self-Released (Tour EP Limited to
300 copies)
Day Creeper – Hell Is Real – Tic Tac Totally
Interview made by Roman Rathert/2013
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