HorrorAddicts.net 128, A. Craig Newman

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a.craig newman | leper | the strain

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Terror Trax: Leper and Skot Shaw


Leper is the musical and artistic expression of Skot Shaw. Using hauntingly melodic vocals, driving keys and brooding guitar, Leper orchestrates a compelling sound combining elements of goth, industrial, dance, and rock. All the while, Leper exudes the shadowy, emotional eeriness that defines a goth band. Leper’s influences and inspiration are drawn from many different sources creating a musical tapestry woven with the threads of despair, struggle, and redemption.

The band consists of:xvn
Skot Shaw—guitar, vox, drum programming, synth, lyrics
Jennifer Mercy—backing vox
Justin Filizole—synth
Anastasia Bird—synth
On occasion Otto Jensen or Craig Weitz

Their musical inspirations are Men Without Hats, The Cure, Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Pink Floyd, Resurrection Band, Saviour Machine, LSU the choir, and Star Flyer 59.

Skot initially became interested in music as a child, but he didn’t get his first guitar until he was sixteen. “I started playing along with whatever albums I had around at the time,”

“I started playing along with whatever albums I had around at the time,” Skot says. “Usually about three hours a day, every day.” He then graduated to playing in his youth group at church. Later, other garage bands he could sneak into.

10941822_10152650018290806_8875543476140406334_n (1)Recording has been Leper’s greatest achievement so far and their label, Grrr Records, is excited about the Leper release, Beautiful Gray Day. This full-length album mixes electronic, industrial and rock genres and features dark, emotional themes of loneliness and malaise that are rimmed with romance and hope. Even the album title, Beautiful Gray Day, communicates the idea that the beauty of love and hope can be experienced in something as seemingly dark and depressing as a gray rainy day.

When not playing music, Skot likes to write in cemeteries and is inspired by nature like the rain, lakes, and woods. He’s an avid horror movie viewer and his tastes sway more toward the classic style found in The Exorcism of Emily Rose, The Others, and The Woman in Black.

4When asked what the scariest night of his life was, Skot had many answers. The tragedy of losing his cousin in a motorcycle accident and his brother being burned by gasoline top the list. He’s tormented by spirits.

“The feeling you get right as your falling asleep, that something malicious and horrible is there in the room with you. You know if you could just wake up it can’t bother you anymore or if you could just say the name of Jesus or something it will leave. It becomes a question of faith and willpower. Who has more?”

Coming in the future, Skot is working on two different side projects: “All is Vain” by E.V.P., which is reminiscent of Pink Floyd, and “Pivot Claw” by Ball Peen Hammer, which sounds more like Nine Inch Nails.

If you’d like to see Leper live, they will be at three festivals in June and July. To find dates and locations, as well as Grrr Records Releases, go to:  http://www.grrrrecords.com/leper and if you’d like to hear their self-releases, go to: https://leper.bandcamp.com/