Pete Mills Of The Sweet Kill And His “Night Terror Creeper” Watch the stunningly dark new video and check out our Madame Siam Interview!
LOS ANGELES, CA- The Sweet Kill is a music project by lead singer, producer, multi-instrumentalist Pete Mills. Driven by “darkwave synths, masculine punk attitude, minimal urban beats, and a neo-emo message”, The Sweet Kill’s music has got a visceral edge that straddles the line between ominous and hopeful.
Blurred Culture was able to host Pete and The Sweet Kill for an evening at Madame Siam, and we were only able to recently catch up with him to talk about his new album Neon Black and the stunning video for the lead-off single “Night Terror Creeper”
Hey Pete, first of all, I want to thank you for performing at our showcase a few months back. How’s it been going since?
It was an honor to play such a rad night! I really appreciate the well-curated Blurred Culture events! I’m currently finishing up the debut album from The Sweet Kill entitled Neon Black I’m very excited to reveal the lead-off single Night Terror Creeper for a Halloween day! The actual album premieres on November 15
You let me preview the video for “Night Terror Creeper” and I got to say that the aesthetic of it looks really amazing. Do you mind telling me a little bit about the song, its meaning, and how the visuals tie into it?
Thank you so much, man!! A lot of blood (literally), sweat, and tears went into the production of this. The song is about the night-terrors that have plagued me all my life. As a teenager, my parents would run into my bedroom waking me up from turning my room upside down in my sleep. Later on, in life I would punch massive holes through the walls, and once sleeping at my friend’s house in Echo Park I woke up to blood everywhere because I punched through the window, the neighbors called the cops and it was a tricky situation to explain. Thus, the song Night Terror Creeper was born
Whoa, that’s heavy.
As I have suffered alcoholic torment over the years … especially in sobriety … I have learned that the subconscious, which rules the roost when sleeping, is where the disease of alcoholism resides. The subconscious surrender is necessary and can only happen when I don’t exude grandiosity and defiance thus living a humble and willing existence.
Is that what you’re trying to express in the video? The nightmarish manifestation of the disease?
Over the recent years of spiritual growth and healing, I’ve been night terror free but from where I come I feel the visuals of this video display the frantic mind of the disease of addiction. I’m bound and helpless as aliens and panthers are aggressively attacking me. In a tribal way, I feel the ritualistic dancing and torturing are well executed.
How’d you bring the video to life?
My dancer friend Andrea Feyler introduced to me by Tamar Levine (the director for The Sweet Kill video “Radioactive”) choreographed 3 amazing pieces for the 3 drops of the song. The other dancers Luliia Lozovaia and Paradise Brittain were phenomenal and executing Andrea’s vision. Also, all 3 dancers improvised everything else individually to such a high level of talent. This is the type of video where it’s a must-see over and over to catch all the insane nuances. My intention was to create the scariest video ever period and of the story. Now a black panther is a majestically terrifying divine animal. I’m lucky to live in a part of the world where this whim I had to put one in a video is actually doable. The Panther was an experience.
That, in and of itself, must have been terrifying!
The whole production team had to be in a cluster, the 3 trainers explained that if the panther got free from the safety leash that you must not run but stay put. Also, the cat likes classic rock so we had KLOS blaring. The Panther gets “paid” in chicken and won’t eat any pork. The director Jamie Mitchell was happy to hear the panther is Jewish just like him.
We shot the panther for 4 hours and had him pacing back and forth as I was bound by a straitjacket sitting in a chair. I was not afraid just concerned that I was unable to use my arms however I felt a bond with this wild animal kind of like 2 violent ships from 2 very different parts of the world passing each other by. It was surreal, to say the least and very calmingly meditative. Filming Murphy the panther surprisingly was the easiest part of the video production.
I also heard that there were some non-panther accidents on set.
After that, I was having a fake seizure and fell out of the chair and hit my head on the cement so hard I saw triple and split my head open …but the show must go on so 90% of this video I have a concussion and don’t know it. The make-up artist Jessica Southard had her hands full trying to stop the blood in between takes. Then costumes for the dancers that were custom made all ripped and fell apart after one take so we pulled the plug on the production for another day. I found the company that made the costumes for American Horror Story and they assured us they were able to make costumes that could withstand the frantic choreography for the dancers. We had issues with the all black and all white lenses so we had to get those customized. Then scheduling conflicts and finally, we had another shot to get the dancers’ performance.
That was the blood and the sweat now the sad part about the making of this video was the director my close friend Jamie Mitchell relapsed and died Aug. 20, 2019. He shot 3 videos for The Sweet Kill starting with “Soul Satellite” then “War” then “The Girl Who Kissed The World Goodbye”. This devastated me and I dedicate this song and to him my befallen friend.
I’m so sorry to hear that, Pete, and my sincerest condolences. At least you have those beautiful visuals to remember him by. What can your fans look forward to for the rest of the year? Will you be putting out more music, and visualizing some more of your other music that’s currently out? Are there themes that you want to delve into further?
I have a show headlining Bar Sinister Saturday, November 16. This is my first ever official record release party in support of my debut album entitled “Neon Black” which is being released the day before November 15. Neon Black is an upbeat aggressive throwback to electronic rock at its finest ala NIN. I’m making use of my baritone voice screaming way up high way up hitting high notes. The intention of Neon Black is to hit the listener right between the eyes with the powerful production of electronics mixed with aggressive beats and guitars with unrelenting vocals. This is a refined proof of concept as I am looking into festivals overseas and nationally to spread the good word of the epic darkness giving birth to the light of hope for all those experiencing the human condition. I always feel the duality within and with my relationship with the world outside and its dysfunction is definitely inspiring. I love the extremes of any and all situations so the very name “The Sweet Kill” generally catalysts any and all songs I’ve written and will continue to write. I love writing to support a concept and thus the name of the band depicts a struggle and eventually redemption.