You can say this about Living Dead Girl: they know what they’re doing. Led by band founder Molly Rennick, the Canadian spooky groove metal act have their sonic profile down to a T: syrupy, hard-hitting riffs; staccato rhythms with driving forward momentum; and Rennick at the center of it all belting out layered, goth-girl-you-can’t-ignore vocals. Fans of In This Moment and Ice Nine Kills will immediately know what to do with this, while newcomers will be inexorably drawn into the album’s forcefully accessible sounds.
The new single and video from Living Dead Girl, “Poltergeist,” takes this style to a psychological place. The track isn’t a hard-hitting, let’s-have-fun anthem like many of the others on the band’s debut album Exorcism. Instead, there’s an ethereal quality to it, with menace taking the place of full-on punch. It’s a cool way to illustrate the many different sides of this up-and-coming act.
We spoke to Molly about what went into the creation of her magnum opus…
First, we have to ask: when was the first time you ever heard Rob Zombie’s “Living Dead Girl?”
Not until after I came up with the band name! When I came up with the band name at age 15, the only Rob Zombie song I’d ever heard was “Dragula.” Long story short, my parents thought I was a stillborn, because I was born blueish purple and wasn’t breathing. My parents told me I was born dead for the first five minutes, so I used to joke that it’s fitting that I was goth now, because I came into this world already dead!
Exorcism took four years to make and get out — what took so long? What was involved?
I feel like the part that took so long wasn’t the actual creation itself, because honestly, when I was in the studio with Mitch [Marlow, producer], there were some songs that we wrote and recorded in under six hours. The thing that took a long time for me was finding people I wanted to work with. I worked with a few different producers and wrote with a few different guitarists, and I didn’t know what I wanted it to sound like originally, because I started this band when I was 15. It took a lot of experimenting and lot of gaining experience in the studio, and learning what the outcome was even supposed to be. At first, our music was REALLY heavy — just screaming, no singing. And I love screaming, I wanted that to be the main vocal point. But after performing it for a while, I thought, Our music’s not fun! I really wanted our music to be a bit more upbeat, to have a party vibe to it, and I wanted to have fun performing it.
As someone making such dark music, what inspires you to make these songs so exciting and fun?
Honestly, music is the biggest thing in my life. It’s completely how I express myself. I’m the kind of person who’s pretty honest and open and tells it like it is. But music is my platform for doing that. Things that I feel strongly and passionately about, I turn it into my music. I use that to drive my lyrics. I’m just so passionate about writing and singing and creating things that, even if I’m expressing anger or sadness or depression, or talking about a really crappy situation I went through, I’m still really excited to be making music. It’s relieving to get it all out — I’m talking about this horrible thing I went through, so here’s my healthy outlet for that instead.
As a woman fronting a metal project, did you ever receive any pressure to over-sexualize your image? Like, every picture in a corset, overdoing the term ‘female-fronted’…
I actually get the opposite! We’ve had times before where people say, ‘Oh, we already have a girl,’ or, ‘We already have a female-fronted band, that’s good enough.’ I’ve heard those excuses so many times. And usually it’s me — I’m usually the one being like, ‘Let’s use this as clickbait. Let’s put a picture where I look super-hot as a thumbnail.’ We were actually just laughing about this this week in our band group chat — we were talking about what the thumbnail for our last video should be. And I purposefully said, ‘Let’s do one with a ton of cleavage, so people will click on it!’ They said, ‘I don’t think that works as well as you think it does…’ And I just keep sending them screenshots of people in the comments being like, ‘I literally just clicked on this because of the thumbnail, but I stayed for the music!’
Check out Living Dead Girl’s “Poltergeist” video below:
Living Dead Girl’s Exorcism comes out Friday, June 11th, and is available for preorder.
Words by Chris Krovatin