TRACK-BY-TRACK: Ghost B.C.'s New EP
, November 11th, 2013 10:51
The band talk us through If You Have Ghost, which you can stream in full below
Photograph courtesy of Infestiss
Next week, Ghost B.C., the doomy Swedish crew of heavy rock ghouls, will be releasing a new EP, recorded and produced by none other than Dave Grohl. If You Have Ghost, out on November 18 via Spinefarm Records, features four covers - Roky Erickson, Army Of Lovers, Depeche Mode and, oh yes, ABBA - and a live recording of 'Secular Haze' from this year's Infestissumam album.
Ahead of the release, we've got a full stream of the EP, and, what's more, Papa Emeritus II and his Nameless Ghouls took a break from their current UK tour supporting Alice In Chains - have a look at the dates at the foot of the piece - to talk us through the record. Listen and read below, and head over to Spinefarm's website to pre-order.
‘If You Have Ghosts’
“We didn’t just select this Roky Erickson cover because the title made sense – I’d already played around with and performed the song in a previous projec - so when we got to Ghost album no. 2 , and we were toying with the idea of doing a few covers, this one was high up on the list.
“Obviously, we experimented with it, and we added the big ending, which isn’t really there on the original… And we’ve just performed it live for the first time, at Alexandra Palace in London on November 9.
“You know, I feel that Roky is someone who deserves more attention; I actually found out about him, like most people in Scandinavia, because of the band Entombed, who covered his song ‘Night Of The Vampire’ back in 1995. I’m told that more people are now checking him out on YouTube because of the Ghost cover, and I’m pleased about that…
“Of course, the whole EP was produced by Dave Grohl, and I have to say that his work ethic is very high; he brought lots of energy to the studio, and his approach to recording worked well with our own philosophy. He was very picky, he wanted really good takes, and he was a stickler for tuning.
“For a musician, he’s a great partner, because he’s a highly successful musician himself – and a multi-instrumentalist, of course, so he can relate to every instrument being played. He knows what he’s talking about.
“Plus, he played drums on two songs, ‘I’m A Marionette’ and ‘Waiting For The Night’ and the rhythm guitar parts on ‘If You Have Ghosts’ are Dave, too…”
‘I’m A Marionette’
“Let’s face it, ABBA are an important part of pop culture everywhere, and in Sweden they completely overshadow everyone else. I grew up liking them for sure, but we didn’t choose to cover this song because it was written and recorded by Abba, we just wanted to do this particular track – it works well with the concept of Ghost.
“Plus, we felt we could rebuild it in a more percussive way – you could say we put a Faith No More angle on the track, and because of this approach, it made sense for Dave to lay down the drums. Obviously, we wanted him to be able to shine – it made more sense for him to play on a track like this than, say, an AC/DC song with a much straighter rhythm.
“Our intention was to make this number our own, and I think that’s important in general – to put your own spin on things, and sometimes you succeed, sometimes you don’t. There are so many bands who have just replicated songs, another generic copy of, say, ‘Search And Destroy’, and it’s just so boring, especially when the original is a kick-ass version to begin with. It’s just more interesting to seek contrast, to record a non-metal cover; in fact, in the future, we might even look at recording some domestic Swedish songs with Swedish lyrics, which we’ll translate into English. That way, we’ll be working on tunes that no-one outside of Sweden is aware of, and hopefully it will help to turn the spotlight onto some relatively unknown acts.”
“This was originally recorded by Army Of Lovers, one of the big Swedish bands at the start of the 90s. In Sweden, they are high-profile media people, and they’re probably known more for that than the music, but internationally I guess they’re remembered as one-hit wonders.
“We did like the title of the song, but we actually looked at some of their other numbers, too – they have one called ‘Obsession’ that I think is actually a more beautiful piece of work, and I’d like to take a stab at that at some point; and there’s another one called ‘Candyman Messiah’, which is probably a better lyric for us, but the song itself is not as interesting as either ‘Crucified’ or ‘Obsession’.
“We wanted to do one of their songs, though, because it’s always fun bringing a homoerotic composition into the oh-so-hetero metal community!”
‘Waiting For The Night’
“It’s a Depeche Mode song, and I do like their music. In its original form, ‘Waiting For The Night’ is a very sparse number, so we figured we could best make our mark by playing it organically as opposed to the original approach, which is digital and poppy.
“Then when Dave came on board, he said, let’s try to do a Trouble version, a really sludgy doomy take on the track. Maybe we’ve taken it too far in that direction, I don’t know, but it works! As for ‘Personal Jesus’, another Depeche track that might have worked for us, I think that one has been done now – after the Johnny Cash version, it would have felt quite redundant for us to record it, I think…”
‘Secular Haze’ (live at Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn)
“We weren’t sure about including this, but it does relate the EP to the current album, and that’s a body of work we’re very proud of. Plus, we were keen to provide a taste of the band live. Sometimes in the studio songs can be too tight, too perfect, part of the edge and the spirit can be lost…
“Like when Kiss released their debut live album, Alive!, in 1975 after their first three studio outings, it was a much better representation of what they were truly about – listen to those early studio albums after hearing Alive! and the production just doesn’t hold up!”
Mon 11 - Academy, Manchester
Wed 13 - O2 Academy, Birmingham
Thu 14 - O2 Academy, Glasgow
Sat 16 - Centre, Newport