Creeper’s William Von Ghould: “I think it’s the most incredible thing, to be an outsider”

His first gig was Ozzfest 2001 when he was 13 years old, and he still remembers turning up with his older cousin wearing a dog collar and a long-sleeved Slipknot shirt. “The first time you’re around other moshers, that feeling is incredible,” he says. “It’s a very binding experience, and it makes you realise that there’s more people out there like you [than you thought].”

As a teenager, Will would escape his reality through horror films and punk rock, falling in love with the likes of Misfits, AFI, The Offspring and The Sisters Of Mercy.

“Finding something that scared you, but was yours and fought back for you against the world, is really validating,” he says. “I’ve leaned into that my entire life.”

The real world had no such sense of mystery or intrigue.

“I didn’t have a lot of discipline in my life,” he considers, often spending time on his own while his mother worked long shifts as a nurse. Meanwhile, as a “weird, awkward kid”, the school environment felt oppressive and lonely, particularly after he moved to Southampton following his parents’ divorce and struggled to make friends.

At the same time, following the split, his mother lost her Catholic faith and Will found himself doing the same.

“I think it made me angry that they teach you those things as fact. I was like, ‘Why wasn’t I allowed to make these decisions for myself?’ The church was something that made me feel very weird – I was really repressed. When I was younger, I was very lucky to find scenes that took me in, and the goth scene really felt appealing because a lot of it felt very critical of the church as well.”

Even now, having just turned 36, it’s easy to sense that Will still carries his younger misfit self with him.

“I think it’s the most incredible thing, to be an outsider,” he asserts. “Suddenly, you have this whole world you can disappear into. It makes it difficult to interact with the outside world sometimes, and I’ve got better at it. But when I was younger, I always longed for something more.”