The Devil’s In The Details; Spirit In The Room gets ghoulish with Halloween music

Originally started by Dennis Sanders (who has served as guitar tech as well as bandmember alongside Wes Borland) as a studio project in Oakland back in 2009, Spirit In The Room has since grown into an intense live experience.

Currently based in Los Angeles, the band has a few notable releases under its belt. In 2014, they released The Holy Phobia, which started with a more moody, electronic feel than what it has progressed into since. A year later, a full length titled  DEMON was born, which favored an aggressive, industrial sound with live percussion and fretless bass work by Chuck Doom (Crosses, Saudade). Consistently busy, in 2016, Spirit in the Room released the Color Coded EP, which gained the attention of Lars Ulrich, who then featured the track “Future Glue” on his Beats 1 Apple Music Show.

Spirit in the Room is difficult to categorize, taking in everything from Black Sabbath, Refused, and Nine Inch Nails to The Birthday Party, Jesus Lizard, and Joy Division.” The band has opened for Deftones and Crosses (Chino Moreno’s side project) as well as The Mentors and Scour (Philip Anselmo’s side project), and, securing a solid lineup after numerous changes over the years, plans to tour extensively in 2020.

The latest “But It Do” single was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Sanders at his home studio. The b-side release, “Sunset Nightmare” features guest vocals from the legendary Keith Morris (Black Flag, Circle Jerks, OFF!) and it is available today digitally. Preorder, here. Accompanying dog-themed merch (shirts, stickers, patches) will raise money for Best Friends Animal Society.

Below you can enjoy the accompanying video, which was conceptualized by Sanders and shot and edited by Shawn Doster in Malibu, California.

To help celebrate the release, and the holiday on which it’s released, Ghettoblaster caught up with Sanders to discuss his favorite Halloween songs. This is how they rack and stack for him.

The Walker Brothers: “The Electrician

Creepy, dreamy, haunting and maniacal. Scott Walker is a tremendous influence. Sad to hear of his passing earlier this year. Such an incredible singer and lyricist.

Claudio Simonetti, Fabio Pignatelli, Massimo Morante. aka GOBLIN: Tenebrae

I dig this one. Great track to get the night started. Some say it’s not their best work but who cares. It’s still awesome. 

Walter Rizzati: “I Remember

From House By The Cemetery by Lucio Fulci. I saw this when I was a kid. It definitely sparked my interest in the genre. When he stabs that chick through the top of her skull and the blade comes out through her mouth! The slow creaking of the door when he drags the body across the floor, as the music builds. The music sucks the air right out of the room and time stands still on the back of your neck. “NO! NOT THE CHILDREN!” This whole score is amazing. It was re-released by Death Waltz Records a few years ago. Check it out! Also, I’d love to know what kind of flanger pedal they were using on the guitars back then. 

James Bernard: “The Devil Rides Out

Classic Hammer Horror theme. I wouldn’t be too far off to say that James Bernard may have done the most to define the sound of Hammer Horror. Everyone knows his stuff whether they KNOW it or not. 

Donald Rubinstein: Tales from the dark side opening theme song

When I’d hear this come on the tv as a child, I would immediately start crying. It still freaks me out to this day. 

Portal: “Outre” 

From the moment you realize it’s coming, until the end of your rope. This band and this record are as devastating and as horrific as it gets. This is my favorite album of theirs because it sounds like it was recorded in a giant cardboard box full of fog on an industrial shop vacuum as a mixing console. All of their records sound different but maintain that relentless and brutal hysteria. It is incredible. Not a dud in the lot. Crank it up, turn off the lights and wait. 

Popol Vuh: “Bruder Des Schattens”

Eerie and beautiful. Very haunting. 

I saw Werner Herzog’s 1979 tribute to Nosferatu the Vampyre when I was a small child and it also had quite an effect on me. I remember wondering if my great grandmother and Count Orlok were related because they both had that frail and pointy figure. Long fingers and that greyish translucent skin. I was probably six years old… I don’t know but it freaked me out for sure. I always put this record around this time of year. 

The Residents – “Whatever Happened to Vileness Fats?”

It’s not easy picking one creepy song by the Residents. They’re one of my favorites. Brilliant artists. Trippy music, creepy narratives, huge catalog. Incredibly prolific to this day! I love it. Everyone should love The Residents. I chose this song which was on a soundtrack to a film of the same title that they started in 1972 but never really finished. 

SPK: “Kontakt”

The sound of this industrial noise group from Australia has been described as “Nihilistic”, “Disturbing” and “Psychologically Disorientating” when they first started the late ‘70’s. They opted for a more accessible sound later in their careers. But those first three releases are where it’s at. They disbanded in the late ’80s. I recently found an original German Pressing of the Auto – DA – FE’ and I’m still glowing about that one. 

I find this music incredibly inspiring. A lot of the time, it’s the noisy aspects of our sound and live shows that excite me the most. I hear hooks in the fog that keep me up at night for sure. 

Satans Pilgrims: “Ghoulash”

I don’t know much about this band but I found their record and bought it on the spot because of the album cover and description on the sticker. I got home, put it on and was not disappointed. Great creepy surf rock in minor! Gotta love it. 

Stelvio Cipriani: “Magia Nera”

There are literally too many great horror movie scores to list. I have way too many. To the point that I don’t even remember exactly what I own. But this one comes to mind at the moment. I love his work and his score for Mario Bava’s “Baron Blood” is really great. Very shiny, poppy turned atmospheric, creepy, seductive and a little psychedelic at times. But this piece, in particular, is a favorite of mine. This and the music for the final sequences. Dig in. 

Chelsea Wolfe: “Primal / Carnal” / “Mer”

I love Chelsea Wolfe. She’s great. I heard Apokalypsis when it came out and it became an instant favorite. I wore it out. I played it for everyone I knew. Everyone I met. That beginning intro though. that shit freaked me out. Especially when you love an album so much that you put it on repeat and get lost in it and then that sound comes out of nowhere and hits you when you least expect it. You’d be lucky to hurry up and skip it in time to avoid getting creeped out. The second track “Mer” is perfect as the follow-up track. I definitely creeped myself out on accident with that one a few times. 

Tom Waits: “What’s he building in there?

Wow. What a fucking song. I don’t know what else to say about Tom Waits that hasn’t already been said. He’s a fascinating human being and a tremendous talent. This song is brilliant.

Swans: “She Lives

Another brilliant band that is definitely a challenge to pick one song from but right off the bat ”She Lives” comes to mind. Creepy music Searing. Bleak. Haunting and punishing lyrics. I love it. 

Diamanda Galas: “Double Barrel Prayer

This is the type of song where you get lost in someone else’s funhouse and you end up being fed to pigs in the basement. Some real people under the stairs kind of thing. “The dogs have come today. The dogs have come to stay. It’s time to get your gun out and drive the dogs away.” 

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