Interview: [Ghost This]
The following is an email interview I conducted with a nerd rock band “Ghost This“. The band had a lot of amusing and interesting things to say, which made the interview a lot of fun to work on. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. When you finish, be sure to check them out on Facebook or Twitter and get more acquainted with their music. And now, I present to you: Ghost This.
1) How did you all meet?
Alex, Claude, and Sam grew up together in small suburban village quite similar to those found in the beginning of many Japanese RPGs. They spent their days frolicking in the sunflower fields, watching Toonami and judging their peers. After their high school graduation the three decided to do what every group of high school friends do when they are on a long standing television show: go to the same college. It was there that the three encountered a wild Jeremy, a fearsome yet majestic creature. After observing it in its native habitat, they promptly subdued and captured it. Having tamed the mighty beast, the trio trained Jeremy to be a fantastic drummer, but neglected to teach him some skills which some would deem necessary in a civilized world (such as language and bowel control.) From there they become a mighty foursome – bound by music and contractual obligations, [ghost this] was created; and God, for the first time in all of eternity, felt the emotion known as fear.
The lamer, yet more truthful version:
Alex, Claude and Sam grew up together in Mt. Kisco, NY then went to college together at SUNY Binghamton. There we met Alex’s roommate Jeremy, who we found out could play the drums. From there [ghost this] was officially started and has since progressed to where we are now.
2) What made you want to specifically focus on nerd music?
Its not so much that we chose to focus on nerd music as we chose to write about what we know and like. We all love Batman, so songs about him come easy. As for songs like Twilight Sucks, Green lantern is better, the Twilight portion took… research. A huge portion of why me make music is because its fun, so we write about things that we think are fun.
3)What things did you nerd out over growing up? And what do you nerd over today?
Today we all nerd out over music, movies, Adult Swim, Batman, stuff like that.
As for specifics:
Alex: growing up – Batman, music, Ninja Turtles, Darkwing Duck, Biology, Orchestra
today – social media, the music industry, and how they relate
Claude: growing up – Power Rangers, Goosebumps, Animorphs
today – Comics in general but specifically Green Lantern (and its greatness relative to Twilight), One Piece
Jeremy: growing up – Band geek, Pokemon, video games, Power Rangers, gaming magazines
today – Sports, being in a band
Sam: growing up – LEGO, Star Wars (I wanted to be a Jedi when I grew up), science (just in general), ReBoot and eventually computers.
today – Minecraft, technology in general, Firefly
4) I noticed that some of your songs are stylistically very different from each other (ex: Cape & Cowl is much rougher than Chemical Dreams). Do different members write different song styles, or do you all contribute and that creates the wide range?
Some of the differences come from how we recorded the songs. Our first attempts at recording came before we picked up any actual recording equipment. Cape & Cowl was originally recorded with the built-in microphone in one of our computers while it was sitting on top of a washing machine. As for the overall song styles, we just sort of write whatever kind of music we’re feeling at the moment. Since we didn’t go into this saying, “this is how we’re going to sound,” we have plenty of options for exploring different sounds and styles of music. We’ll write music ranging from rap to rock and from blues to metal.
5) What are your plans for the immediate future? And where do you see the band heading down the road?
Right now we’re working on writing new music, recording said music, and trying to get people to listen to it. Now that we’ve made progress on more new material, we’re going to start playing more shows, which should be a lot of fun. We’ll take the band as far as it’ll go. As long as we can keep coming up with new music and people seem to like it, we’ll keep it going.
6) Do you see nerd music becoming more mainstream someday? Is that something that you would even want?
Nerd music lyrically appeals to a certain audience, and while the nerd population seems to be growing at an astounding rate, the direction in which mainstream music is heading doesn’t seem to point towards nerd music. But who knows? As Alex once sad “When 80s music got too poppy, grunge came along as a reaction. When music got too trippy and complex, punk music came along to bring it back to basics.” So could nerd music be the gross afterbirth of today’s club-centric music? We can certainly hope so. As for us wanting it becoming mainstream, if it means we end up making enough money to do this full time without starving to death, then maybe nerd music becoming mainstream wouldn’t be so bad.
We’re really just in this to have fun and make good music for people to enjoy. We’re also having a blast on twitter; interacting with fans and getting real feedback from fellow nerds with excellent ears for music. We love that music fans aren’t passive observers anymore in the music experience – they’re a part of the experience, even a part of the creative process. We try to respond to every fan who talks to us, and look forward to interacting with more of the awesome people who like our music.
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