Horrorcore has been a staple genre in the underground music scene for well over 20 years now and spans multiple styles of music from Hip-Hop to Metal and everywhere in-between, but no one is doing it quite like Texan native Thommy Nekro the Solanum. Blood, stitches, chainsaws and rotting corpses are just surface layer to this artists ability to convey a scene of mass disturbance and terror. Lyrically the songs have your typical elements of murder and macabre at times, but isn’t limited to just that; there are personal songs about love, life, depression, anxiety, betrayal, loyalty, life and death. Showing his range in songs like “Slit Wrists”, he reveals the struggle of everyday life and the thoughts that can creep into the dark corners of ones mind.
More along the lines of Nekro’s blood dripping, hair raising and gruesome style is the song “Thomas Hewitt” and the fan film he wrote, composed, produced and edited. Tailored to the story of “Leatherface”, and the infamous Texas Chainsaw Massacre story. Shot in the Purgatory Scream Park in Kingwood, Texas this video has all the elements of an underground occult film; from the broken down car with innocent, stranded bystanders, to the bodies and slabs of cow meat hung high on meat hooks. Thommy Nekro adorns a terrifying mask with blood and viscera smeared in various places as he stitches skin on an old fashioned sewing machine, and a rendition of a helpless group of people at the hands of psychopathic, disturbing, cannibals plays out with scenes of Thommy moving and rapping in between massive cuts of skinned bovine while brandishing a butchers cleaver. If your eyes go wide at the sight of screaming innocent people being held as guests to a not-so-vegan friendly meal, then this is right up your dark and scary alleyway.
Getting to have a talk with the well known Texan Horrorcore artist, Thommy Nekro the Solanum gave me some insight into his vision. “Well I have always had respect and love for the originators of the genre, but I think a few things that separate me are that I’m not as bound to horrorcore as some artists. I play drums and guitar etc., so I have metal projects, punk projects and if I get bored with what I’m doing I have the option to try a different flavor. That being said, I also feel that I bring diversity and genre fluidity to the table. I bring metal influences, hip hop, punk, goth, reggae, horror, kind of all in one depending on mood or the song. I can’t say I’ve mastered any one style but whatever my style is for better or worse, nobody sounds like me” True to his statements, you can clearly hear the multi-genre influence on songs like “Gimmie One Day” where you can hear layers of phasing guitar, and a vocal that carries quite well for the feel of the song. I honestly had never even heard the word “Solanum” before talking with Thommy, and he happily explained “The Solanum is a virus that causes the dead to return to life and re-animate. This is a reference to a book called “The Zombie Survival Guide”. I was 14 when I overdosed on opiates. I’m somehow still here so I in a way, relate to zombies. Also, zombies represent restlessness, and relentless motivation. They just can’t stay down, not even death can stop them. So that was inspiring to me and I chose that name in 2012 too, when the world was supposed to end.”
One must be extremely dedicated to producing a sound or style like Horrorcore in such a way that it strays from the overdone, and the only way to do that according to Thommy is by living it everyday, in more than one way. “Horror is my entire life, so I definitely try to involve it in every aspect. I make horror music yes, but when I’m not doing that, I watch and study horror movies like a historian. I read horror comics like Creepshow and Tales from the Crypt. I am in the works of directing a few full length horror movies myself as well as an avid haunt fan and I visit haunted houses and even work at one, I play a completely different character, I won’t say who and break kayfabe. In fact, we shot a few music videos in Purgatory Scream Park, lovely place, I also am a graphic artist and horror is my original genre there as well,”
Horrorcore isn’t crashing the Billboard charts, toppling the top 100, or even getting national coverage, but Thommy Neckro is doing is part, his way, to keep it alive…..sort of.