Ice Nine Kills’ Spencer Charnas: ““When Will Smith slapped Chris Rock, I was like, ‘That motherf**ker!’”

Ice Nine Kills Spencer Charnas
(Image credit: Press)

Spencer Charnas has made a career from his obsessive love of horror, so he’s hardly going to be scared of your questions. “I saw the one of these that you guys did with Gene Simmons. It was cool, bring it on!” the Ice Nine Kills frontman grins before we start. For the next hour he tackles your questions like a pro, happily riffing on obscure slasher flicks, quoting lines from cinematic masterpieces that range from Wayne’s World 2 to A Few Good Men and indulging in his cruellest fantasies of cannibalism and worldwide purges like the sick little puppy he clearly is. 

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Arrange these horror bad guys in order of greatness: Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger. And who’s the fourth of Horror’s Big Four? Kassie Mabelle, Facebook

“For me Jason and Michael are sort of tied. You can’t argue [with the fact] that Jason wouldn’t exist without Michael, he’s the godfather, but I’d tie them together at No.1. I would say up next is Freddy Krueger – it took the simplicity of the slasher archetype and turned it into a more supernatural kind of thing. I’d put Ghostface from Scream as the fourth. He really respects and is influenced by those other characters, so it all comes full circle.”

Have Kirk Hammett or Rob Zombie invited you round for movie night? Charles Clarice, Facebook

“No, but I’d love to! If they’re reading this, I’m down, pass on my number, Metal Hammer! I’d put Silent Night, Deadly Night 2 on – it’s a lesser-known slasher film, but it involves so many interesting ways to kill people, including the killing of a man with an umbrella. He puts the umbrella up when it’s inside him and it’s really funny.”

If me and my friends came round to your house, how would you entertain us? And what would you cook for us? Tristan Beck, Facebook

“I’d kill two of them then feed the other two their dead friends. Towards the end of the meal I’d provide video imagery of me killing their friends and making them into the ravioli that they were currently eating. I’d call it a scare B&B.”

If you hadn’t been a musician, what were you going to do as a job, and would you have been any good at it? Chester Myron, email

“I’d have been an undertaker… not like from the wrestling, an actual undertaker, and I’d have been fantastic at it. I just feel like, if I can’t work with horror movies or horror music, I can at least work with cadavers.”

Pretend you’re a politician. Now convince me to vote for you. Alexander Anderson, email

“Damn. I don’t know, it’s a difficult one. If I were elected then I’d dismantle all governments and turn the world into a 24/7 purge. That’s how I’d get you to vote for me. Sounds good, right?! That isn’t going to work for everyone, but it’d work for that guy! That was what the question was and I can tell what kinda guy he is, he’s my people.”

When was the last time you got near a creature that could have killed you? Marina Keane-Ward, email

“My ex-wife, about 15 years ago.”

Ice Nine Kills

(Image credit: Press)

When was the last time you found yourself star-struck? Tristan Beck, email

“I’m not sure if star-struck is the word, but we recently performed at a convention called Spookala in Florida and it was full of the actors who I really admire, the guys who have played Jason and Michael Myers, and it was a really cool thing to be performing songs that were inspired by their work in front of them. They came back afterwards and they seemed to have just as much respect for our performance as I do for theirs, which was amazing.”

More than half the people in Iceland believe in elves. Where do you stand on the issue? Luther Anthony, Facebook

“I don’t know what they’re smoking, but I would dearly love to try some.”

You started out playing covers. What were the best and worst covers you used to play? Rene Calderon, email

“Anything in the punk/ska realm was well done. Here in Your Bedroom by Goldfinger was one that we did really well. As for bad, we actually tried to cover Forgot About Dre by Dr. Dre and butchered it, which is a shame because it’s a really great song. We weren’t the band for it. I really miss hip hop of that era, that was the golden age of the genre. I can’t get into the modern-day hip hop.”

You’re on Death Row. You can listen to one song before you die. What is it? Jody Melton, Facebook

“I would probably say Tuesday’s Gone by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Every time it shows up in a movie – and I think of Dazed And Confused and Happy Gilmore the most when I think of that happening – it just really puts a smile on my face.”

When was the last time you swore at the TV? Nichole Parrish, email

“I think probably when Will Smith slapped Chris Rock. I was just like, ‘That motherfucker!’ I think any kind of real violence when it’s not in self-defence or really warranted is disgusting. It was such a pretentious thing to do. I think it exemplifies the sad state of the world where no one can take a joke. I stand with Chris Rock!”

What’s your top tip for surviving a zombie apocalypse? Duane Roger, Facebook

“God, I hate that question! I’ve been asked it so many times! Such a stupid question! I would probably blow my brains out with a shotgun. No one survives a zombie apocalypse, so I’m going out on my own terms.”

What can Spencer Charnas do that no one else can? Jed Frank, email

“I can quote lines from movies like no one else. Not just horror either. I’ll do the entire last act of A Few Good Men – you know the Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson courtroom drama? ‘YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!’ That’s an incredible film… it was Aaron Sorkin who wrote that, and that’s why the dialogue is just so freaking amazing.”

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever put in your mouth? The Big Marky, email

“Cilantro [known as coriander to non-Yanks]. I don’t know what the fuck happened, but one day I woke up and they were putting cilantro in everything. I think it started being used in Mexican food, but I have to ask them not to put it in my coffee now! Apparently, there is a genetic disposition that makes it taste like soap… but I love the taste of soap!”

What’s your favourite non-English swear-word or phrase?  Ruby Saunders, Facebook

“‘Merde’, which is ‘shit’ in French, or ‘schiesse’, which is the same in German. We actually had that in our song about Hostel, Würst Vacation – we interplayed some German and English and we found it really funny.”

If they made a film of your life, who’d play you? Leonel Villarreal, email

“Who I would want to play me would be Skeet Ulrich from Scream, The Craft and Riverdale. He’s a great actor and has a fantastic presence, and we’re really excited because we’re doing this convention called the Silver Scream Con in August, just outside of Salem, Massachusetts, and he’s there. I’ll have to talk to him about the biopic. He’s a bit older than me, so he can play me in five years’ time.” 

What’s the biggest diva strop you’ve ever thrown? Thelma Blankenship, Facebook

“A what?! Diva strop? Like rock star bullshit stuff? OK, yeah, we have a very specific rider and it says we only want brown M&M’s and the multicoloured, regular M&M’s turned up, so we had to venture to a candy shop on the edge of town and we had to negotiate with the store owner and his bodyguard tiger. In the end we had to beat them both to death with their own shoes.” 

Ice Nine Kills’ Silver Scream Con takes place on August 26-28 in Boston, MA


Stephen Hill

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.