It’s about time the people started their own holidays—Christmas is expensive, Thanksgiving is a perennial bummer, and Arbor Day’s gone so commercial. Enter the brainchild of the World/Inferno Friendship Society, Hallowmas, an annual concert/bacchanal that’s a jumble of old-timey hedonism and the moxie to imagine a better world. To describe it, the group’s frontman Jack Terricloth asks: “What if Leni Riefenstahl had said no to Hitler and moved to Hollywood? What if Paul Robeson had gotten an even break?” We’d say: If Juggalos were more into cabaret than Faygo, this would be their Gathering—in a good way?
Equal parts punk Mardi Gras and Dexys Midnight Runners, the World/Inferno Friendship Society is a soul-revival sermon for weirdos. Consummate showman Terricloth is entering his high holy week of sorts, in preparation for the group’s annual concert/bacchanal. Historically held in New York City (or sailing around it on the Hudson), the ridiculous event comes to Philadelphia this year on Oct. 31 at Union Transfer, with World/Inferno Friendship Society, Melt-Banana, and Mischief Brew. Beforehand, we caught up with Terricloth to ask about his best and worst Halloween/Hallowmas memories.
Best: “So, let me get this straight. We’re going out to threaten the neighbors for candy, and if they don’t give it to us we can take terrible retribution? What’s the catch?”
Worst: “What happened to our windows?”
Best: “A hobo in fishnets kissed me.”
Worst: “She was my friend’s girlfriend.”
Best: “My friends and I, back in suburban New Jersey, used to hang out in an abandoned quarry off Route 22. I don’t know how far underground it went, but it was maybe a 10-minute walk once you entered the tunnels. It was covered in candle wax and dated punk-rock graffiti. One year we boosted a gasoline-powered generator and put on a show—one mic, two amps, kit, gang of bands, maybe 75 kids, but it seemed like a lot. I was shocked to see the sun when we emerged.”
Worst: “One year I had a broken heart and stayed in alone just to show the world I didn't care. So stupid.”
Best: “Oh, this Monday!”
Worst: “You’re on the guest list.”