Joe Bosso of MusicRadar.com conducted an interview with one of the nameless ghouls from Swedish occult rockers GHOST prior to the band’s July 28 concert at Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
MusicRadar.com: How did the band’s makeup and presentation — the whole aesthetic — begin and evolve?
Nameless Ghoul: The very unsexy start was that GHOST was a project, just a few songs and a vocal. Very early, when it was that embryonic, the few of us that were into the project knew that it wouldn’t fly if it was going to be just a band. What I viewed for the presentation was big and bombastic, this huge fucking thing. [laughs] But that wouldn’t work if you’re just standing there in a shirt, being a dude. At that point, we were like, “Let’s get it together and build it.” We needed to jump over some of the steps that everybody else was doing. We managed to get a record deal and a fan base — this was back in the days of MySpace — and all of a sudden we were sitting there, and it was like, “Gigs… Oh, shit! We need to get a band together now.” We got everything together, and yeah, now we look back and it doesn’t look cool. But what you’re seeing at the moment is just the start; we’re looking to 2017.
MusicRadar.com: OK, seriously, how freaking hot does it get wearing that hooded robe on stage?
Nameless Ghoul: You get used to it. It’s not a big shock anymore. We’ve had some shocks, like the time we played in the basement of Webster Hall in New York for the first time. That show was unbelievably hot; it was probably 100 degrees down there. The show was oversold by 100 people or so, and there was no air. As soon as you get into that phase where you’re concentrating on breathing, it’s pretty strange and disorienting. Playing outdoors is always tricky. We’re in this game of trying to make it, so we have to play certain places that aren’t ideal — for now. Some outdoor shows are very hot, but some are pretty cold, too. When there’s a really cold breeze coming at you, that’s something you have to be prepared for. Imagine if Papa lifted his arms — he’d be a sail.
MusicRadar.com: To what lengths will you go to try to protect your identities? You’re pretty young, but back in the day, the members of KISS would hide their faces in nightclubs — photographers everywhere were trying to unmask them.
Nameless Ghoul: I think that we’ve been able to sustain our thing so far because there hasn’t been that kind of level of interest in the band.
MusicRadar.com: But that will change.
Nameless Ghoul: That will change, so it’s something of a paradox. To go further as a band doesn’t run parallel with being anonymous. I read an article in the paper the other day, this piece in which they compared bands that had anonymous members. It was everything from SLIPKNOT to us to DAFT PUNK; there was THE RESIDENTS and one act I didn’t even know about, and THE KNIFE. It kind of ranked the level of fame to how anonymous we are, but they forgot to mention how popular everybody was in the context of present day. So this guy I didn’t even know about got full grades because he’s still anonymous, and I was like, “Are you fucking kidding me?” [laughs] Obviously, he’s not very big, and not everybody knows who THE RESIDENTS are, either. People know who SLIPKNOT are because they’re a million-selling band. It doesn’t go hand in hand, though, the fame and the anonymity.
Read the entire interview at MusicRadar.com.