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Turn Your Run-of-The-Mill Everyday Punk Band Into Horror Rock With These 5 Simple “Woahs”

The woah is the very essence of horror rock. Some say it was first used by the king of horror rock Glen Danzig to invoke the sounds of a lonely specter haunting the halls of a long-forgotten gothic castle. Others say it was first used by Danzig simply because he couldn’t think of lyrics to parts of his songs. Either way, it’s spooky season, and with these very simple woahs, your generic-ass punk band will be a horror novelty act in no time.

Every punk musician knows that punk rock is all about “3 chords and a pissed-off attitude.” But this is horror rock, and “3 chords and some woahs” is the name of this ghoulish game. So swap that smug punk look off your face for a half-dead looking, black eyeliner stare and you’re on your way to capturing the perfect creepy aesthetic that would make even Grandpa Munster proud.

Punk is all about the passion behind the intensity of the music, as well as the lyrics to the songs. Bands like Dead Kennedys and Conflict come to mind. Horror rock, in a sense, is no different. Think of it as intensely played Freddie Cannon-sounding songs with passionately EC Comics-inspired lyrics. A horror rock band’s well-placed woahs can get you to think just as much as any Subhumans song.

Your songs are short. Two minutes tops. This is the perfect amount of time to cram in as many Vampira or Zacherle references into your horror rock band’s lyrics as you can. Really, even beyond the punk genre, the classic woah can turn any song into a kick-ass, frighteningly catchy horror-punk song. For example, throw in a lyric about some highschool sweetheart being bitten by a vampire, add woahs to the “doo do doo” parts, and that shitty “Semi-Charmed Kinda Life” song would be a spooktacular horror classic.

If you want to separate yourself from the pack and run with the ghouligans, you’re going to want to count your songs in with a good “woah, woah, woah, woah!” before firing on all cylinders. Sure, it might sound like you’re telling movers to be gentle with your prized Boris Karloff “Frankenstein” replica bust, but the boils and ghouls in the crowd will be chomping at the bit to get their own woah on once the music hits.

Last but not least, what every horror rock band needs are good, effective stage banter. Most punk bands ask the crowd, “How the fuck is everyone doing tonight?!” If you want to scary-it-up a bit, ask them, “Hello kiddies!! Is everyone having a rotten time?! Ahh hehehehehhehe!!” In your best Crypt Keeper voice. Or just simply yell, “woooooooaahhhhhhhhhhh!?!?!?!” at them and you’ll have them all in the palm of your cold, clammy hands.

One thing about the woah is certain, and that’s the fact that woahs in horror punk can never be overdone. In fact, you don’t even need catchy choruses or a rhyme scheme. Your entire album could just be woahs. Everything from the title, to the songs, to the lyrics to even the music itself. The key to a successful horror rock outfit is basically to “go with the woah.”