The Renfields: The Night THEY Came Home

by WVRockscene

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The Renfields are:

The Abominable Vincent Renfield (Voghouls/Guitar)
Dr. Herbert Von Renfield IV (Drums/Hacking Vocals/Re-Animation)
The Fiend (Bass/Hacking Vocals/Shovel)
Lucio Renfield (Hacking Vocals/Lycanthropy)
Jaymee Lee Renfield (Pipe Organ/Hacking Vocals/Machete)
Dick-Ramsses Renfield (Guitar/Hacking Vocals)

Undead Transylvania Pogo Punk Band Invades Huntington Saturday Nite

Reposted w/permission from The Huntington Herald-Dispatch

If there's one thing The Renfields know about, it's horror movies.

That, and turning their favorite horror flicks into catchy punk rock songs.

The undead Clarksburg, W.Va.-based "Transylvania pogo punk" (horror-based punk music where the listeners dance up and down) outfit comes to Huntington Saturday, July 10, for a show at Shamrock's Irish Pub with a new CD and a re-animated lineup.

You can say that on their new release, "Stalk and Slash Splatterama Part 2: Exploitation Extravaganza," they've taken on more of a death metal or thrash sound. But, just because there's a werewolf in the band, you won't catch The Renfields at the new "Twilight" movie.

"Absolutely not a fan of the 'Twilight' series," said singer-guitarist Vincent Renfield in a telephone interview. "It's not horror. It's some sort of romantic fairy tale for teenage girls.

Without a doubt, vampires playing baseball is (expletive). We're not big vampire fans. There are no vampires in The Renfields, and never will be. Of all the people in Transylvania, vampires are the most whiny and least desirable to be around, kind of like emo kids here in the states."

While bands are known to write songs about their favorite kinds of rims, Satan or who they want to be president, all of The Renfields' songs are about horror movies. That, and life as an undead teenage punk band growing up in Transylvania.

Fitting into a particular music scene with their fun, horror-themed punk rock stylings and onstage costumes has not always been easy for the band. But Renfield said that events like the Zombie Walk at West Virginia University and horror conventions like HorrorHound Weekend in Cincinnati, and Cinema Wasteland in Cleveland are and will continue to be friendly environments for The Renfields to play.

"Whenever we go to a horror event, I always feel like that's our scene," he said. "When we can walk around and meet people in horror shirts, they understand the lyrics, and they get the music, they understand exactly where we come from. If there's anything I focus on, it's the lyrics, and making them relevant to the movies and including as many quotes from the movies, and having little "in" jokes; it's always cool."

While The Renfields were originally more influenced by the fun and catchy punk sounds of bands like The Ramones and The Mummies, more recent influences include King Diamond and Mercyful Fate, Renfield said, explaining the harder, scarier tone on the new CD.

"I wanted to reflect the tone of each film in the songs, and just being that it was the exploitation genre, it came out more death metal or thrash or whatever," he said. "When I sat down to write "New York Ripper," it's violent, with over the top gore, and in my mind I wanted the song to make me feel the same way when I watch the movie. Trying to make every song fit the movie and make it feel like another aspect of watching the movie instead of fitting lyrics into the standard four chords.
"We didn't intentionally try to get heavier, I just think it was based on the subject matter," he added. "I thought it was kind of cool we could go the opposite way, away from the past punk sound."

The Renfields' love of all things horror includes playing extended samples of the movies in between and inside of their songs about the same horror movies. It's a total package, he said, one that they'll never stray from.

"As protective as I am about the samples and keeping them intact, I am about making sure our songs are about horror movies or Transylvania," he said. "I want to make sure that that we stick to what we're doing. A lot of times bands get to the place where they've done whatever it is they're singing about and they get pretentious or sing about something ridiculous. But for us, horror is the cause. If we're ever gonna ever organize a rally, it will be to protest some awful horror movie remake."

So, after turning what was a one-man operation, recording songs on a four-track with a drum machine in mono, Renfield said the band is where it will always be, on the couch watching horror flicks, and making music in true punk rock fashion.

"I don't know if it has to do with setting your goals ultra low," he said of the band's journey. "I don't know really how to play guitar or really know much about music. It's my basic rudimentary skills, and wearing pumpkin makeup just to get out of the crypt or the basement.

There were no expectations or anything, we just wanted to play songs about our favorite horror movies."

If you go:
What: The Renfields, Down Goes Frazier, Enoch
Where: Shamrock's Irish Pub, 2050 3rd Ave., Huntington
When: 10 p.m., Saturday July 10
Cost: $5

A Very Scary (and punk) Christmas...The Renfields come to Charleston

Reposted w/permission from The Charleston Gazette

For The Renfields, it's okay to say that punk is dead. Okay, more like undead.

Fairmont's own Transylvania pogo punk band comes to the Blue Parrot this Friday for their first show in Charleston. After starting out as a solo project five years ago, the band has been gaining members, fans, and is now set for regional shows. And, if you're looking for that perfect gift for that special someone who loves horror movies and catchy punk rock, they've got a new CD out.

The Renfields are way more horror-core than your band. "Horror films have had a profound impact on each member at one point or another," singer-guitarist Vincent Renfield admitted. "We are horror like some people are straight edge," he joked.

The band (Vincent; The Fiend, bass; Dr. Herbert Von Renfield III, drums; Jaymee Lee Renfield, synth/vocals; Set-Ramses Renfield, samples; Lucio Renfield, vocals/crowd control) is set to release their new "Stalk and Slash Splatterama" EP today at Vintage Lanes in Grafton, and make the drive to Charleston for the Parrot show Friday night.

"We're just excited to do shows outside of the Clarksburg-Fairmont area," Vincent said over the phone. "We're always excited to play for people who haven't heard us yet."

Allegedly created through an ungodly Frankenstein-like process with the hearts of the dead Ramones ("Rock and Roll's fallen heroes" as they say on their Myspace profile), you'll hear obvious nods to The Ramones and The Misfits in The Renfields' songs. Like The Ramones, The Renfields each take the band name as their own last name. But the Renfields dress up in costumes like it's Halloween for every show. They don't sing about Rockaway Beach; their songs are about their favorite horror movies.

It's good, clean fun for punk fans of all ages, except for the fake blood on their clothes.

"Stalk and Slash" is like their previous releases "The Night THEY Came Home" and "Bastard Sons of Ed Wood" in that it features super-catchy, blaring punk songs about horror movies, with samples from the movies spliced in between the songs. "Splatterama" features an extended sample of Jamie Lee Curtis in the original "Halloween" for the song "Halloween Night" and has an explanation for why Christmas Eve is so scary on "Silent Night Deadly Night."

In the age of mp3 downloads, The Renfields' songs and samples give you a reason to want to listen to an entire CD, if you need it. The samples and spooky organ sound are a recent addition to the band's live act. Jaymee Lee and Set-Ramses handle the synth and samples, and Vincent said without them it wasn't the same.

"We have a lot of songs that were written that didn't sound right live without the organ, like 'A Creature Walks Among Us,'" Vincent said. "It helps to have the full sound live. Right now we have the lineup I feel like we should've had all along, with six members. The more people we have, the more we wind each other up. It makes the show better."

Also like their previous efforts, the new 5-song EP was recorded at Morgantown's Smart Mouth Studios in "blood-curdling" mono (not an STD), something inspired by their favorite movies. "When we talked to Jawn [Campbell] at Smart Mouth about the new CD, he wanted us to record it in stereo. But we stuck to our guns and told him he'd have the best stereo-sounding album, recorded in mono," Renfield said. "We knew Jawn was our guy when he told us he was a huge fan of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre."

"We were finally able to have the drums sound the way we want to," Vincent said of the new effort. Before the band used a drum machine ("The Invisible Man") to record the drum parts. "Also, as opposed to the other albums, we were finally able to have each member do their individual parts. Only now do I feel as if the Renfields are complete and as we were always intended to be."

Vincent was excited about the Dec. 18 release of "Hatchet" on DVD, and wasn't too concerned about The Renfields running out of inspiration for songs. "You can always find new horror movies," he said. "If we get to the point where we're writing songs about big budget Lindsay Lohan movies, we'll quit."

The Renfields: Undead Transylvanian pogo punk from Fairmont

Reposted from Graffiti Magazine

Do you like old horror movies? Do you like old punk rock? Are you a member of what they call “the undead”? Even if you’re still alive, you will love the four-piece undead “Transylvanian pogo punk” outfit from Fairmont calling themselves The Renfields. These four guys are more into watching 80’s slashers and old horror movies by the likes of Ed Wood than they are in making killer punk, which they evidently do in their spare time.

So singer and guitarist Vincent Renfield found himself on his undead cell phone Sunday, April 1, from a horror flick fest, Cinema Wasteland in Strongville, Ohio. Instead of being in the studio adding a few more songs to their upcoming releases “The Night THEY Came Home,” and “Bastard Sons of Ed Wood,” they have their priorities. “We’re getting too close to the release date and we’re watching way too many horror movies, it kind of hinders us at practice, because we kind of get off track and start watching horror movies” Vincent admitted over the phone. “We hit as many horror conventions as we can, but we try and hit this one every year. It’s the best one we’ve found so far,” he added.

The band (Vincent; “The Fiend” on bass; Dr. Herbert Von Renfield III: drums; Luccio Renfield: organ/samples/vocals) is set to release their CDs fittingly enough on Friday the 13th this year, so that’s kind of scary. Having struggled to keep a lineup intact for several years, the band is now ready to bring it’s spookier version of punk rock to live venues. “We haven’t really paid our dues on the local music scene here in West Virginia, but we’re okay with opening for bands,” Renfield said.

The Renfields were allegedly started when the band went to New York and dug up the remains of the dead Ramones and through some process now sound like The Ramones wrote songs strictly about horror movies. It’s all here: Vincent’s got the punk vocals down; the “whoahs” and cool vocal harmonies are there; and the samples and spooky organs on some songs are cool. The band records in “blood curdling” mono (an ode to the Mummies), so the sound is loud and in yer face, with a plug-in-and-go attitude.

If you visit the band’s Myspace site ( like I suggest you do, you’ll hear the undead teen anthem “Prom Night” but, just because you’ll play the song over and over again, don’t think for a second that your school will book The Renfields to play your prom. “We’d love to play that song at an actual prom. It’s our dream actually to play at a prom, because one of our favorite, umm, tastes, as far as human flesh and blood goes, is prom queen and football players. They never show up to our shows, unfortunately,” Vincent jested.

Vincent, resigned, closed on a conciliatory note, okay with the band’s undead status. “The biggest problem at shows is from people who come with the expectation that we’re gonna be some kind of tough guy act like The Misfits. We’re just normal teenagers from Transylvania playing the kind of pop punk rock that we like.”

4/21: The Renfields @ Stealy Rec Center
Duff St., Clarksburg, WV
5 p.m. w/The Science Fair Explosion/Chernobyl/Cryptorchid Chipmunk/Hello Canteloupe/Hope On A Rope


released January 1, 2007



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