A Q&A with Ghastly Murder
Theatrical industrial Goth from the Welsh hinterlands…
What’s the title of your latest release, and what does it mean to you?
My latest release is a 6 track EP entitled ‘The Rise & Demise of Gory Emminence’ – the title itself comes from an idea that I would love to expand upon by recording more songs and expanding the EP into a full album length’s worth of songs based on a loose concept of a world (‘Gory Emminence’) that is ravaged and the people are feral tribes in a post apocalyptic wasteland.
What was the hardest part about putting this release together, and why?
This is a solo project which within itself has issues around it. I had to finance the recordings of the songs which was a struggle. I also needed to find other musicians to help me create the music, which again was full of people letting me down. But I persisted and in the end I worked with some fantastically talented musicians who were great to work and record with and totally understood what I was trying to do. At one point I was considering forming a band to help me record but the searches for the ‘right’ people seemed a bit fruitless so rather than letting the idea stagnate I decided to go it alone because it ‘had to’ come out
Who produced the release – what did they bring to it?
I worked with a drummer Sam White who stepped in on a recommendation and was great. I also worked with a couple from the band Birdeatsbaby in their home studio (The Nest). Mishkin (Fitzgerald) produced it and added a couple of backing vocals to some of the songs – she’s a great singer herself – and her partner Garry (Mitchell) who put down a lot of the instrumentation and mixed it. It was a tight working team and I would love to work with them all again in the future. To produce it I had to send over home demos and chord sheets, then a lot of talking on the phone and online (I bet my home instruction videos still haunt them) as I explained what I wanted and the sound that I wanted… and they were great. For me this is a new method of working from afar and calling the shots and I am sure I drove them all mad with my suggestions and demands and I know that I took them into some unchartered waters, but they were open to suggestion and criticism and as a unit I think it worked great – from my perspective anyway. You perhaps need to ask them – but we are still talking to each other, so not all bad.
What do you want the listener to take away from listening to your music?
I like the listener to be immersed in the music and its textures as well as have a connection to the words. The world of GHASTLY MURDER is a 3D experience, I hope. The music has an energy and a power that is counterpointed with sinister (at times) vocals – it aims to be melodic and chaotic and a constant ear worm to all who hear it.
How does a track normally come together? Can you tell us something about the process?
A song from me will come about in various methods. It might be a chord structure that I have been fiddling with on a guitar, or I might attempt to write on an unfamiliar instrument so that I go places that are not so obvious. Or a song might come out from a turn of phrase or a narrative that I want to follow. After a few attempts of home demoing with different approaches I eventually get something together in the form of a song which (if I am working with a band) I will at that point send out for feedback. I found by working solo that I was now the judge and jury of what went forward, which in a way was nice as the ideas get less filtered. However, I am not opposed to working in collaboration for future songs for GHASTLY MURDER but during the lockdown it was a case of needs must, so I just worked alone (actually as I do with my other band where I am the primary writer).
What band/artists have influenced you the most since you started this project, and why?
I always wanted the songs to be ‘widescreen’ and have a sense of drama about them and not partially an easy listen at all times. I like music that has that pathos and the dramatic highs and lows so I suppose I was listening to acts such as Rammstein and Nine Inch Nails in order to see how they achieved this – but not wanting to copy either band, btw.
What countries would you like to tour? Are there any standout venues you’d like to play in?
I am interested to find out where this music lands hardest. I am not opposed to playing anywhere in any country as long as people like what I am doing and understand what we are about – the world is my oyster! I do plan to make this a visual show bringing to life the deprivation of a post apocalyptic world. I have always been a visual artist so it needs to look like what it sounds like and that would be for all musicians playing the music – no room for jeans, trainers or t shirts – I want the band and audience to live it. So yes, any established festival audience or any rock venue would suit – I am a live performer and I feed off the energy of a crowd. Perhaps this is why I am not a fan of stadium gigs, I am sure that the money is fantastic but for me, the punter, it all feels a bit remote
If you could pick one track for our readers to listen to in order to get a taste of your music, what would you pick, and why?
I would suggest they try the opening track of the EP ‘TWICH’ but then juxtapose it with the slower and darker elements in the song ‘CHLOROFORM’ – I think there lies the essence of what we are about musically.
What ambitions do you have for the band/your career?
World domination obviously, to be creative for as long as humanly possible and wait for the world to wake up and catch up – feel free to enter the world of GHASTLY MURDER.
Finally, as you leave the stage, what are your parting words?
Thank you all for coming out to see us, in making the effort and for giving us your undivided attention… now BUY SOME MERCH & DOWNLOAD THE MUSIC… good night!
For more info visit: facebook.com/MrEsGHASTLYREDRUM