Hi there, thank you for taking the time to answer some questions. How are things going since the release of your newest album ‘These Hollow Gods’?
Hi Elisabeth, since the release things have been busy, but in a great way. We are still enjoying just being able to physically hold the CD and see it being sold out there in all those stores that still exist, some of which we have grown up buying music for the bands that we have followed over the past twenty years and can now see our very own album being sold next to them, surreal!
To get things started, I want to congratulate you guys on your new album ‘These Hollow Gods’? I personally really enjoyed it and I still listen to it frequently. So, at this place I have to thank you for the music, the new year just started but I’m pretty sure that this will be one of the biggest surprises for me this year! But how have others reactions been so far? What was the nicest thing you have heard and have there been worse words too?
Thanks for your kind words and for the great review you wrote on the album, it's great to hear when people, especially those in the music business, get where our music comes from and what we are trying to achieve. Unfortunately not everyone is going to be a fan or understand the musical content or amount of hard work that goes into a debut album, but you have to take the good with the bad I suppose. So that being said I think some of the nicest words apart from your own have been about how the listener has interacted with the music, such as "emotional and goosebumping", "dark, but enlightening journey", "abyss of powerful emotions", "songs that get under your skin". As for the harshest words that we have received from a reviewer it has to be "It's tough to find a moment in the album that doesn't irritate or perplex me" still at least our music is provoking a emotional reaction from the listener, his loss though.
As I’m pretty sure that most of our readers are not familiar with Chasing Ghosts (yet), would you mind to introduce yourself ?
We are a dark rock/metal band from the UK with a Brazilian singer, so quite unique I think. We have been together now for over two years, but are all very experienced musicians from many previous bands. Our main aim was to write and deliver uncompromising emotional rock/metal music, with dark undertones, drawn from our influences such as Paradise Lost, Anathema, Moonspell, but in our own unique way. We do absolutely everything ourselves from promo posters, cover artwork to video content and storyboarding, we invest a lot of time and emotion in every detail, such as lyrics, song titles and imagery to try and engage with our audience the best we can.
Could you also tell us what each member of the band brings to the band both musically and personally?
Nelson our singer brings the emotional range, to convey the lyrics in the best possible way, he also brings a lot of energy to our live performances. He is very determined to succeed, having made a new life for himself in the UK and working several jobs, but still managing to commit to the band. Ashley plays mainly rhythm, but also some lead, he is extremely reliable, he helps support me ensuring that all of the boring stuff gets done that leads to the good enjoyable stuff, such as booking hotels, rehearsal rooms, hire vans, find venues etc he also is very reliable on stage until he breaks a string or five :) Harry our main lead guitarist is one of the most gifted musicians I have worked with, he picks up the songs very quickly and makes them look effortless to play, he is also really good at getting the right effect sounds for the right tracks. I myself am the bass player, keyboard player and songwriter, I have a strong vision of how I want the band to progress and it is uncompromising, which I know must be hard for the other members to work with sometimes, but thankfully does appear to be one of the reasons why we are succeeding, where many of our previous bands fell apart. Regarding our drummer slot....well that's still up for grabs, so if there are any drummers that fancy joining us, please do get in touch, although I think the commute to the UK for rehearsal might be an issue :)
What bands do you listen to yourselves, and did they have had any kind of influence on the way you write and record your music?
Our influences are extremely varied individually, Nelson is more from a grunge background, such as Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Alice in Chains etc Harry's are Gojira, Opeth, Sylosis, Metallica. Ashley and mine are quite similar, our main influences being Anathema, Paradise Lost, Therapy, Pink Floyd, Type O' Negative, My Dying Bride, Moonspell etc However as I am the songwriter it's the darker, more emotional elements of these bands that penetrates our sound.
How are the lyrics tied to your personal lives, is there a connection and who is responsible for the writing?
I write the lyrics, but they always come after I have written the music, I prefer to work this way. The lyrics are very personal, but I try to also make them as abstract as possible so that people can relate to them in their own way, like people interpret a painting in their own personal way. I definitely would not have been able to write these lyrics twelve years ago, only by experiencing such intense and cathartic emotions and drawing upon many life experiences can I convey such lyrical content. I think when we experience loss, regret, sadness and pain, it's easy to feel like we are all alone, but I hope the songs on this album can give the listeners some kind of comfort that this happens to many of us and it can be turned in to something positive and hopeful.
Can you tell us something about the recording process of ‘These Hollow Gods’?
The recording process actually took place over twelve months in three different studios, due to money, time constraints, other band commitments and several changes to our lineup, but this worked in our favor as the songwriting became stronger and stronger and allowed us to add songs that would have not otherwise made it on to the album, as they wouldn't have been written at that time. The best studio we recorded at was 'Chapel studios' in Lincolnshire, where many of our main influences above have recorded at. The acoustics, the live room and even the surroundings were perfect in allowing us to capture the sound we wanted. As the name suggests, it was a converted Chapel, with some gothic architecture that helped set the mood, but I think the best part was not being able to get a mobile phone signal, which allowed everyone to solely focus on the music. Overall we are very happy with the way the album came out, but would definitely like to record the next one in just the one studio over six weeks or so.
What are the plans for the coming year for Chasing Ghosts? Is there anything we can really look out to.. like a gig in the Netherlands?
We have just come back from playing our first European festival, so we definitely want to do more of them, especially in the Netherlands if you can put in a good word or two. We are currently in negotiations with a global booking agency that should lead to many more live gigs, festivals and hopefully a supporting tour slot with an established band across Europe. We also have some great new material that we will want to record and release at some stage, so will probably do that in the form of an EP release later in the year.
This wraps it up for now. So you have any last words for our readers or something else you really would like to mention?
We just want to say thank you for supporting us and we hope your readers enjoy our album, which can be purchased through targetshop.dk as well as many other sites and if they can even like our Facebook page to help spread the word. This is just the beginning for us and we look forward to sharing more 'holy bananas' (as per LOM review) music with you in the future.