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HomeMusicHaunted Mound Rapper On New Mixtape 'Bloody Angel' & Extra

Haunted Mound Rapper On New Mixtape ‘Bloody Angel’ & Extra


It’s comprehensible if, within the hearth hose of media consideration paid final Friday to a sure celebrity’s yee-haw flip, some much less mainstream drops didn’t register on each radar. However in a really totally different, angstier, and albeit extra XY-chromosome-dominated nook of the music universe, followers of the underground hip-hop collective Haunted Mound had been tuned into the discharge of Bloody Angel, the newest challenge from the group’s fearless founder, chief, and provocateur, Sematary.

On his tenth mixtape in 5 years (there have been EP’s as effectively, together with final yr’s King Of The Graveyard), Sematary, aka Zane Steckler, has by no means sounded higher or bolder. Whereas the document delivers loads of the blown-out, buzzsaw, horrorcore rap that’s turn out to be his signature — snarling, slurry vocals, lyrics from a spot of nihilism, menace and mysticism assembly drop-ins of air horn and evil cackles, a recipe that’s lots of enjoyable — there are additionally surprising strikes.

Bloody Angel additionally leans into beat-driven tracks, on propulsive pre-album single “Wendigo,” one among Sematary’s most exhilarating songs thus far, and a right away, infectious “Useless Timber,” a collab with Haunted Mound’s Buckshot that attracts from ’80s synth acts and is as near a dance document as Sematary has ever dropped. An avowed black metallic fan, he samples “Transilvanian Starvation” from Norweigian vets Darkthrone, on “Hearse Truck.” There are options, from Haunted Mound rapper Hackle Down On Em (on “Hockey Masks 2” ) and Lil Flash, from Chicago’s Glo Gang (“Black Wings My Crew”). Two tracks borrow from Tolkien, “Mordor” and “Barrow Wights,” on which Sematary is joined by the late nice GothBoiClique’s most enduring alumnus, Wicca Part Springs Everlasting. And all through Bloody Angel Sematary’s vocals are extra melodic than ever, elevating the query of whether or not “singer” must be added his resume.

Rapper, author, producer, graphic artist, and entrepreneur are already included. Or perhaps “world creator” is easier, as that’s what Sematary has accomplished since 2019, when as a loner child from a self-described “redneck-y” a part of Northern California, he graduated from highschool and set about going for his musical dream after which some. Impressed by underground/overground DIY heroes Chief Keef, Black Kray, and Yung Lean in addition to the gloomy environment of witch home OG’s Salem — he’s gotten to work with each Sosa and Kray prior to now yr — he crafted a hybrid sound all his personal, and visuals to associate with it. Most of it was accomplished from Sematary’s HQ, the Butcher Home, an precise early twentieth century abattoir within the sticks the place uninvited company will not be welcome. The place’s weathered roof really caved in a number of months in the past, and Sematary continued to stay there till he was capable of repair it.

The art work on mixtapes from Sematary and the entire members of Haunted Mound is an aesthetic that may be described as “B-movie horror meets Southern Rap,” a form of slasher-Money Cash. Then there are the audaciously grainy, DIY music movies and the wildly standard Haunted Mound merch, the group’s actual money cow. Usually emblazoned with their irresistible mascot, a screaming tree referred to as Harold, Haunted Mound’s clothes and memorabilia has confirmed to be a windfall. Till they started touring a yr in the past, it was the collective’s important supply of revenue.

The one actual bumps within the highway have are available in Haunted Mound’s lineup, which has been a fluid factor over 5 years. Whereas Sematary says he’s not all in favour of drama, it appears to observe him, and actually his journey started with some: the oft-told story of Sematary’s teenage good friend Ghost Mountain, who teamed with him for a uncooked and arresting 2019 debut LP, Grave Home, and a follow-up, Hundred Acre Wrist. However Ghost quickly checked out, not all in favour of committing to the challenge. That left Sematary to construct a bunch from scratch, recruiting rappers, producers and creatives from many corners of the globe: Eire, Australia, Wales, Utah, and, in Hackle, a NoCal homie. There have been defections, although, and dismissals. Tales abounded of various credibility, about an unauthorized leak of disparaging texts; members allegedly abusing companions and followers; a reported cease-and-desist order, even doxxing. A lot of it was obscure and unconfirmed, and among the claims had been downright ugly. However that didn’t cease the extraordinarily passionate, on-line and at instances straight up poisonous Haunted Mound followers from operating with them.

“By no means a boring day within the Haunted Mound Subreddit,” one fan pithily and precisely characterised the so-called Hauntaholics’ most well-liked gathering place not way back. The, erm, mound of opinion, theorizing, hyper-analysis and rumormongering in regards to the group that goes on there’s unending. And March 11 was an particularly non-boring day on r/HauntedMound, as rapper Turnabout and producer Gonerville — two-and-a-half-year members and, not too long ago, key contributors to the collective — abruptly introduced they had been leaving the Mound, lower than a month earlier than the brand new Angel Tour was set to launch. In separate, almost equivalent statements, the 2 had been transient, and blunt: They had been every splitting “on mutual phrases.” Nothing extra. That lack of element solely fueled “sky is falling” reactions among the many fanbros, and half-baked theories of what had occurred: Absolutely there was a falling out with Sematary? It needed to be one thing huge, and sudden? Overeager Hauntaholic YouTubers posted their very own wildly speculative rants, and all of the whereas the chief of the mound stayed quiet.

Sematary has lengthy averted commenting publicly on Haunted Mound’s periodic lineup upheavals, not eager to gasoline any fires inside a devoted however risky fandom. (The aforementioned celebrity’s Beyhive might have the Hauntaholics beat in numbers, however not in devotion. One HM fan even made a widely-distributed “Haunted Mound Tracker” Google doc to maintain up with members previous and current.) However on condition that Flip and Goner’s defection might be the most important jolt to the lineup for the reason that Haunted Mound’s difficult formation, Sematary did agree to talk to Stereogum, to some extent, in regards to the newest departure and what it’s meant for the brand new tour, which begins tonight in St. Petersburg.

I linked with Steckler over Zoom from Los Angeles, the place he’s been staying along with his producer and tour DJ Anvil, sooner or later earlier than Bloody Angel‘s launch. We additionally talked in regards to the fiery new challenge’s idea and influences, and his willpower to stay DIY and by no means signal with a label. He confirmed off some wild new merch items that can quickly be accessible, refuted notions of a supposedly “controlling” popularity, and mentioned whether or not Haunted Mound actually is perpetually.

Zane! Your tour begins in lower than every week, proper? How’s it going?

SEMATARY: Yeah, thankfully. Issues are nonetheless going! On the 2nd we roll out.

I see on the poster it’s your self and Buckshot and Hackle. So are you all three gonna do units?

SEMATARY: Yeah, so it’s gonna be Buck and Hackle, both of them are gonna go first, after which the opposite, and Anvil is gonna do a DJ set, after which me. And Oscar [Oscar18] is enjoying stay guitar.

Are you aware how a lot of Bloody Angel is gonna be featured within the set, what number of songs?

SEMATARY: Most likely about 5 songs. You possibly can’t play all new stuff, trigger folks wish to hear stuff they know, you’ve obtained to stability that. I want I might play all new stuff however that’s simply not the way it goes.

That is now your tenth mixtape, plus the EP’s, so you’ve gotten a lot to select from, and I might think about there are some older ones, like “Haunted Mound Reapers” and “Slaughter Home” that you need to embrace.

SEMATARY: Hell yeah, however I like enjoying them! Taking part in the hits, watching folks go loopy. You’ve all the time obtained to incorporate the hits.

That is now your third tour, after Butcher Home early final yr, after which $uicideboy$’ Gray Day tour final fall. Any modifications by way of visuals this time round?

SEMATARY: Actually, no. We don’t fairly obtained the cash for the large ol’ visible factor but, however hopefully subsequent one. I want to do this. You sort of simply see the rappers themselves, and we put up a giant flag with our Haunted Mound emblem.

Which in fact is Harold, only a genius emblem. Who initially designed him?

SEMATARY: That was me.

You probably did?

SEMATARY: Hell yeah I did! I used to be like, “I want a emblem. I want a scary tree emblem.” So I gathered a bunch of clip arts and sort of mashed them collectively from all these. And I drew the face myself.

What was it a couple of tree that appealed to you?

SEMATARY: I grew up, sort of in deep forests of bushes? And I hadn’t actually seen a emblem that was like a scary tree. And it’s one thing I rapped about quite a bit, like these bushes from Snow White? Just like the scary ones? I assumed it could be sick.

Though you’re in LA proper now, you’re nonetheless mainly dwelling on the Butcher Home, proper?

SEMATARY: Appropriate.

And the roof fell in?

SEMATARY: Yeah, trigger it’s from 1905, it’s actually outdated, California. Some outdated girl lived in it earlier than us, and I feel she died in it?


SEMATARY: I feel so! So, most likely haunted. Makes the music higher. However yeah, the roof caved in at one level. It’s fastened now! Simply an outdated roof. I do wish to transfer in some unspecified time in the future. Most likely subsequent yr. It’s been a superb 5 years there.

Talking of which, I feel Bloody Angel is nice. I just like the older data too, however this one is particular, and I feel in some methods totally different. Do you are likely to strategy every challenge with a theme, or idea in thoughts?

SEMATARY: Uh, yeah I do, do this. Like with the final EP, King Of The Graveyard, I needed to go for a extra metallic sound, samples and stuff, and this one is extra — I sort of like, you already know Salem, the witch home group?


SEMATARY: Yeah, so it’s sort of these sorts of synths, and nearly, like, ’80s horror film, American desolation and crappy synths sort of vibes, and outdated Gucci Mane, after which heavier anthems. Type of like Chief Keef, Glo Gang-type anthems? There’s all these influences. And there’s nearly some like rockier, like Sort O Detrimental was an inspiration too.

Talking of Glo Gang, you’ve gotten Lil Flash on one monitor, “Black Wings My Crew.” Did you join by means of Chief Keef?

SEMATARY: Simply on-line, he’s in Chicago. Simply trigger he fucks with us, sees the affect he’s had on us, they usually’ve all had. So I simply hit him up. And we did the track actual fast, it was simple.

However you additionally did hyperlink with Sosa, or he did a function on the one “Fuck The World,” with you and Hackle.

SEMATARY: Yeah, final yr. By way of Zac FTP. He made that occur, linked these dots.

In addition to one other huge affect, Black Kray, you set to work with final yr.

SEMATARY: Yeah on the Butcher Home mixtape. Went tremendous laborious.

So that you’re sort of checking your idols off your bucket record! You want a Yung Lean collaboration now.

SEMATARY: Yeah that’s proper! That’s the final one. [laughs] And I’ve obtained Wicca Part on Bloody Angel too. Which is tremendous cool, he’s been a giant affect on us. I hit him up a very long time in the past, and I used to be like, “Yo, do you wish to do a track someday?” and he was like, “Sure.” And that was actually all he mentioned! However then only recently we did that track, and I used to be speaking to him and we’ve turn out to be pals. I’m undoubtedly gonna work with him once more, he’s like tremendous GOATed and one of the skilled folks I’ve labored with. That track got here out actually laborious.

That monitor is known as “Barrow Wights?” What’s that?

SEMATARY: It’s like these demon, ghoul issues from Lord Of The Rings, that they didn’t put within the films? I’ve learn the books a pair instances as a child, so I’ve been realizing about them, and it’s only a cool phrase? Attention-grabbing identify for a track! I needed to clarify that to Wicca too, and he was like, “Yeah that’s sick.”

You see your Haunted Mound producers Grimoire and Oscar18 quite a bit on Bloody Angel, however the identify that turns up greater than any is Anvil.

SEMATARY: Yeah, it’s trigger I’ve been staying at his home in LA. I simply needed to get out of Butcher Home. I used to be about to lose it. It’s very rural, and it was simply me there. You possibly can actually lose your thoughts on the market, and I didn’t wish to make one other mixtape on the market, alone! Trigger I made like 5 mixtapes there, alone, and I didn’t wanna do this once more. However Anvil and Oscar did lots of the guitar riffs on this shit. Like they’ll do a guitar riff for me, and I’ll put it right into a wider beat, and blend all of it, and incorporate all of it.

“Wendigo” was the primary style lots of people had of Bloody Angel, and dude, what a tremendous track.

SEMATARY: Thanks. Admire that.

I really like what you may name the extra conventional Sematary sound, however there’s something totally different about it that track, a propulsive high quality to it.

SEMATARY: Yeah, for me, nevertheless the drums are in that — New Wave? Put up-punk? I don’t actually do genres, so I don’t actually know — however I’ve all the time listened to love Pleasure Division and New Order and people sort of songs? And people have all the time influences just like the synths I do? So I simply put that along with entice music and shit. So that is sort of simply extra me singing like that. It’s extra straight-up that affect. However that’s all the time been an affect for me.

It’s additionally obvious in perhaps my favourite track, “Useless Timber” with Buckshot. It’s like Sematary meets New Order’s “Blue Monday” or one thing.

SEMATARY: Precisely. That’s what I used to be going for. Yeah, folks like these songs quite a bit, trigger they’re very totally different. I’ll most likely do extra with that sound, however I additionally love entice music deeply and can by no means cease, so I’ve to hit em with that. It’s like, I began with entice music? Black Kray, Yung Lean, that’s the place I began. However including bands and different influences is form of the spice on high of it. I begin with entice music and go from there. So, doing different genres is sort of a huge step for me, and I wasn’t certain if folks would fuck with it, however they prefer it!

Are you comfy with the phrase “collective” to explain Haunted Mound?

SEMATARY: I feel collective. Or a label, that I based.

I’ve seen folks debate whether or not it’s a label.

SEMATARY: Yeah, we’re. But additionally “collective” I feel applies to us as effectively. But it surely’s undoubtedly a label, I imply all our releases, it says “Haunted Mound” on them, you already know?

It’s fairly apparent there could be no Haunted Mound with out Sematary. However would there be a Sematary with out Haunted Mound? May you’ve gotten managed this five-year journey by yourself, as a solo artist?

SEMATARY: I imply, I might have, however I didn’t wish to although! That’s why I made this, as a result of I needed a group. I didn’t wish to do it solo, it’s quite a bit. The music business is brutal. It’s quite a bit simpler when you have pals with you.

Nonetheless little interest in signing with a label?

I might solely ever use that system for like, distribution — that’s all we’d like from them. However you by no means know. If it’s like a loopy, one-album factor, then, perhaps? However I don’t assume we’d like that. We will do all of it ourselves. Why would we trouble together with different folks in it, who would then assume that they’re gonna have a say within the artistic? Like, fuck that.

I’ve coated “collectives” from Wu-Tang and Ruff Ryders to Odd Future, GothBoiClique and Brockhampton. And one factor you typically discover is that even when they’re huge and sprawling, the buck stops with one particular person.

SEMATARY: Yeah, that may be me, for us.

Oh, I do know that! However I do ponder whether folks may generally have the fallacious thought, that Haunted Mound is a pure democracy.

SEMATARY: I imply, youngsters discuss shit on the web. I don’t take note of it. Typically they provide different folks credit score for founding it, which I take exception to. I based it. However past that I don’t waste time what neckbeards speak about on the web. [laughs]

You do have very devoted, I might say in some instances obsessive, followers. However I assume that cuts each methods, proper?

SEMATARY: Yeah. It’s cool to promote T-shirts! I prefer to promote T-shirts. It’s not cool to have your home doxxed.

Precisely. And I do know that’s occurred, and different drama has occurred through the years.

SEMATARY: Yeah, I want it hadn’t. I don’t like drama, nevertheless it comes with the territory I assume.

Which brings me to the elephant within the room — the newest drama that occurred on March 11, when the Haunted Mound followers went loopy as a result of Turnabout and Gonerville straight up introduced they had been leaving. They usually didn’t provide a lot element of their statements. Are you able to make clear what occurred? It felt very sudden.

SEMATARY: Yeah. I used to be simply as blindsided by it as everybody else. We had been simply working issues out internally, and we obtained hit with that earlier than we might work issues out. And that’s as detailed as I’m gonna get.

Trigger you already know, two weeks earlier than that, I had gotten a press launch on the document, the tour and every thing, and their names had been there as a part of the tour. It seems to be such as you guys had been…

SEMATARY: Yeah, they fucked us over fairly good with that. However thankfully I’ve extra people who journey for me, that hopped on the tour and had been like, “Yeah, we’ll do it.” However I used to be simply as blindsided, which is unlucky. We had been simply having disagreements about how some issues ought to go. And I all the time make an effort to work issues out with folks. I’m going to nice lengths to ensure I’m not like a tyrant. And I assume they weren’t blissful, earlier than we might even work issues out. They give up.

You didn’t actually attempt to persuade them in any other case? Was it similar to, “Bye?”

SEMATARY: The best way they hit us, that wasn’t actually an choice. Which sucks, however better of luck! Individuals are gonna do what they wanna do.

I went again and regarded on the Montreality interview you probably did final fall, and it’s bizarre trigger it’s the 4 of you. They’re sitting on both aspect of you and Hackle, and it was simply…I don’t know.

SEMATARY: Yeah, it harm quite a bit.

I’ll say, it says one thing in regards to the energy of Haunted Mound which you could, on a couple of weeks’ discover, can — I assume you needed to scramble to remodel the tour a bit?

SEMATARY: Yeah, we had to determine a brand new lineup. However thanks for that. I recognize it. It’s been a tough time.

If Sematary as a solo challenge had been to take off, exponentially, might you see Haunted Mound ending some day?

SEMATARY: Fuck no. Positively not. I’ve it tattooed right here [shows Harold tattoo on his forearm] — it’s a everlasting factor. And that may be fairly fucked up! To simply get hella well-known, and simply go away your boys behind? Fuck that.

I wasn’t saying it is best to, I simply didn’t know of that was a chance!

SEMATARY: No, my aim is to get as huge as I can, after which to get every of my guys as huge as they will. Simply trigger I’m form of the busiest one, and been across the longest, it’s simply—you already know, do these items with me, after which to construct them up, and do issues for them, too.

Together with the Angels Tour, which is about to launch, there’s new merch?

SEMATARY: Yeah, we’re promoting all of it on the tour. We’re promoting uh, these hockey masks, like what I’m carrying on the quilt. [He holds up a hockey mask with a screaming face]. It’s the face that’s on the Harold tree. So we’re promoting these on tour, and polos like Chief Keef used to put on, and t-shirts and necklaces with the tree, and socks, beanies, all kinds of shit. So for those who’re studying this, come to the tour and purchase some shit!

Haunted Mound hardly performed stay for the primary couple years of its existence, and this can now be your third tour in a yr. How’s the touring a part of touring? Do you take pleasure in it, or is it extra, “That’s the way you make cash, it’s what it’s”?

SEMATARY: Um, undoubtedly that, however I’m blissful to have the ability to tour? I’m blissful I can see my followers in actual life, and we’re profitable sufficient that we are able to do this. I’m blissful we’re not simply an internet-only collective with songs that individuals would by no means really play in actual life. Like, I’m glad that it interprets to actual life. Trigger that’s sort of how I make my songs! I take into consideration how they might play stay. If I’m like, “Yep! This might rip stay”—I actually take into consideration that quite a bit after I make songs. Like, you already know, how the beat will cease and it’s simply the vocals after which it comes again in, all that’s a giant factor for me! So sure, I like touring. Clearly it’s a fucking grind, it wears you down, however I prefer it. I like going to a metropolis and earning profits, and leaving!




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