Ghostbound Interview 16.5.21
MM: Can you tell us about your Band and whos your biggest influences
Hello! We are a quartet based out of NYC and its surrounding areas. We play a cinematic brand of atmospheric rock/metal with nods toward black metal, post punk, and innumerable other genres, to boot. My own influences as a songwriter are myriad and complex, but if I were to put it under a microscope, I daresay that I look towards any band that has a palpable sense of atmosphere and mood. This includes many bands that could be considered "post punk" or "goth" such as The Chameleons, Cocteau Twins, Fields of the Nephilim, The Cure, Depeche Mode, Swans, Big Country, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, as well as quite a few avant-garde and/or extreme metal/rock artists like Voivod, Thought Industry, Agalloch, Arcturus, Anathema, Ulver, Ved Buens Ende, Darkthrone, Dissection, Immolation, among many, many others. I also take a lot of influences from film and international cinema, such as the work of Ingmar Bergman, Akira Kurosawa, Andrei Tarkovsky, and Bela Tarr, among many others.
MM: Where do you draw your inspirations and ideas from
I think of music in a rather "synesthetic" way in that I prefer to evoke some manner of image or otherworldly place with a riff or chord progression. This can come from anything I see, hear, or read. Sometimes, I can be reminded of a certain elemental "glimpse" by just strumming one chord for hours on end and listening to its cadences. Mostly, however, it just comes from what kind of subject I want to explore in the lyrics. For instance, I knew that our new EP, Extended Play For My Sweet Mary Thyme, was going to have a pronounced maritime or "oceanic" concept to it, so most of the songs have a gently rollicking, 6/8 feel to them so as to evoke to sound of waves as they hit the shore. Additionally, I wanted a sense of forward motion to a song like "The Gallivanter", off of our first record; I kept pushing the tempo on it so that the faster, blast-beat-inflected portions of the song would sound as if they were almost about to come undone at any moment.
MM: What would you say is your band's favourite song ?
My own personal favorite song of ours is probably "Nighttime Drowning", off of All is Phantom. I feel like it has the greatest amount of tension to it, and it was also one of the first songs I wrote that went into the realm of some manner of fictional narrative, as opposed to my own personal experiences with loss and grief, which all of the other songs dealt with, in some form. Off of the new EP, I am quite fond of the opening song, "And We Are Already At Sea", as it explores a certain sense of joy in going to a safer, happier, warmer place. Additionally, it represents a deeper sense of collaboration between my bandmates and I, as everyone worked on its orchestrations and arrangements outside of the basic skeleton of the song.
MM: Plans tour and festival wise for 2021
That remains to be seen. I take a dim view of these bands who are rushing into performing live in the wake of the pandemic. Lest we forget, Covid-19 is still very much out there in the world, and simply because most of us are getting vaccinated, it still remains to be seen how effective it will be in the face of it. Until then, we should all be responsible citizens and remain with our masks firmly on. Even with the vaccine, it will take a long time for the world to return to normal, if it ever does. Until then, I am going to keep composing and recording for the next full-length.
MM: What can we expect from you guys live
We tend to "ROCK OUT" a bit more than one would expect; I tend to throw myself around as if I am getting attacked by a swarm of bees and generally ham it up in proper frontperson fashion. We do not have much concern for playing the songs exactly as they are on record, but we may add a keyboardist or perhaps a third guitarist in an effort to fill out the sound and capture a bit more of the layers that get lost in translation from recording to stage.
MM: What do you like best and worst about touring
In all honesty, the most touring I have ever done was a three-day stretch as a member of Kosmodemonic (www.kosmodemonic.bandcamp.com) where we played with Mountain God and Godmaker throughout NYC and Philadelphia. It was not so much a tour as it was just "playing for three nights in a row" as I was able to go home and sleep between every performance. I do not fancy the idea of going too long without showering, however. Additionally, I value my creature comforts, so if I were to ever tour, it would only be for short stretches of time.
MM: Which three Bands would be your ultimate touring buddies
I feel a genuine camaraderie with the band Dawnwalker, out of the UK. Additionally, I feel like it would make sense for us to play gigs with Dead Register, out of Atlanta and Massachussett's own 1476. All of these bands exhibit a certain sense of vision and atmosphere that goes beyond mere "rocking out."
MM: What's the most memorable concert you've been to (other than your own) and why
That would have to be Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds on their 2001 tour in support of No More Shall We Part at the Warfield in San Francisco. My parents went with me to the concert, and I wish I could adequately explain in words the sheer transcendental feeling I had watching all of these favorite songs of mine being performed with what was arguably The Bad Seeds' greatest line-up. During "Oh My Lord", which slowly builds and builds to a raging crescendo, Bliza Bargeld and Warren Ellis were literally staring each other down in an effort to see who could play the noisiest and the fastest towards its end. It was an experience I will never forget.
MM: What do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment so far with
I daresay that gathering the man-power, wherewithal, and funds to record All is Phantom entirely on my own with no outside help, after nearly 15 years of composing it, is my biggest accomplishment as far as this band is concerned. I put everything I had into our debut record and I remain eternally proud of it.
MM: Which are your Two favourite Albums of all time
It is, of course, eternally difficult to name just two, but I am going to go with Faith No More - Angel Dust and Thought Industry - Short Wave on a Cold Day. One or either of those records is subject to change!
MM: Can you remember the first time you ever played live and how it felt to have people watching you?
I come from a theater background, so I am no stranger to performing in front of a live audience. I think the first time I ever did a play was as one of the chorus kids in a school production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat as a third-grader. Actors are nothing if not vain, so I loved it. I remain the same way with any time I perform live. The transference of energy at a live show is a very real thing.
MM: Growing up which Bands posters did you have on your bedroom wall.
From what I remember, I had a Maudlin of the Well poster and a Novembers Doom poster on my wall circa-2001. The Knowing remains one of my all-time favorite metal records, in fact.
MM: Who do you think influenced the world of Metal / Rock more than any other person
At the risk of coming off like a pill, I feel like entirely too much in the ways of brain power goes into this kind of research. It is similar to the amount of research and intellectual argument that goes into Oxfordian Theory and the controversy surrounding the authorship of Shakespeare's plays. My take is this: who cares? We have this wonderful genre of music just as we have this wonderful canon of plays. In the case of metal itself, it is downright impossible to narrow it down to one band or person, Black Sabbath included. Like anything, it was a confluence of bands and inspirations that spawned this genre we know and love, AND...it is still changing and growing in equally important ways even today. I feel privileged to be a part of it.
MM : What's the most important thing to the band right now?
At present, we are focusing on preparing our new EP for release. In addition to this, we are also hard at work in writing music for the next full-length record.
MM: If you could do a cover of any song which one would it be and why?
We actually make a regular habit of covering songs we know and love. We already covered one of the main ones in the form of this:
It is a live, in-studio cover of Manic Street Preachers' "4st 7lb", one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite records. We would love to cover other songs down the road; possibly The Walker Brothers' "The Electrician" or something by The American Music Club. We are all about paying homage to what influences us on top of getting eyes on bands that most metalheads would not be aware of, necessarily.
MM: Tell us why we should buy and listen to your Band
We provide something a little bit off the beaten path that is both heartfelt and free of the constraints of "genre" in addition to expansive, other-worldly atmospherics that are tied to a singular vision.
MM: Four words to describe your Band
Otherworldly, cinematic, honest, unique
MM: Final Words for your fans and our readers
To your readers - thank you for taking the time out of your day to read through my pretentious blabberings!
To our fans - we wish there were more of you!