One of the Nameless Ghouls from Swedish occult rockers GHOST was interviewed on the October 31 edition of “Whiplash”, the KLOS radio show hosted by Full Metal Jackie. You can now listen to the chat using the widget below. A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On the lyrical and musical themes that will be covered on GHOST‘s upcoming follow-up to 2015’s “Meliora” album, tentatively due in the fall of 2017:
“Let’s just say that it’s a continuation of ‘Meliora’, but it’s sort of a response, where… I’ve used the word ‘pre-acopalyptic’ on ‘Meliora’. It’s sort of the height of civilization; it’s symbolism for… Just look at the cover. It’s, like, skyrisers and everything; you don’t even see the ground. It’s all covered and built material. And, obviously, there has to an end to that. So there will be a call and response. And the next album will be the response to that. So if there was an absence of a God, there might be a return of a deity, which usually comes in horrible form. So it will be a darker album.”
On whether he has had a vision of where he wanted each album to go from the beginning or if he is doing it as he goes along:
“Both. A little of both. I mean, in the beginning, it was a little shooting from the hip. I mean, just making the songs for the first album was… I had no idea where it was going, but then, as it materialized from nothing to something in the sense that all of a sudden we were a touring band and, ‘Wow, this is a job, apparently,’ then obviously you quickly need to reassess. And I think that there were… Even though I’m still proud of the first album, I guess there were a few things on there that had I known beforehand, lyrically, some of the things that were said in there, was gonna be resulting in material that you were gonna play potentially for the rest of your life, it might have looked different. But that’s why I’m glad that we never knew. The album came out of a purity and naïveté that, obviously, you cannot fake. But then ‘Infestissumam’ was starting to shape up your writing a little. And with ‘Meliora’, it was definitely more of a… There was a point. There was way more… This is basically what I wanna describe, or the mindset I wanna have people put in.”
On the evolution of GHOST‘s sound:
“Being the main songwriter, I tend to wanna write songs that will complete our live show. So it’s almost like a double perspective, where on one hand you have to write a record, an album, or a collection of songs, downloadable and in a certain order, that will be compelling and tell sort of a story. But ‘Square Hammer’ [from the latest EP, ‘Popestar’] is definitely an example of, I guess, myself and us as a band, you pick up on the vibes needing a straighter song, basically. Ever since we started touring six years ago, we’ve always opened up with the opening track of the album. And every album has started with this weird, [sped-up] waltz prog number, which is great. It’s fun, it’s cool, but you wanna run to the hills in there as well. And that’s why I guess when the embryo of ‘Square Hammer’ came up, which was just that [opening] riff. And that’s how it started; I basically hummed that into my phone. I think I still have the file somewhere.”
On GHOST members staying anonymous:
“I don’t think it’s funny at all; it’s just a nuisance. From a practical point of view, of course it would be more convenient to just be a normal band and you can just put a fly on the wall, as they say, and just let it happen and just be yourself. Everything nowadays is about content. Content means online chatter about clips, news, a picture — anything that creates ‘likes’ and comments. If we were a so-called ‘normal’ band, we can just create twenty posts a day, just filming what we just ate and how it looked when it came out and ‘We’re here now,’ and ‘We’re doing this,’ and all of this sort of unnerving hysteric things that most people do. From a personal point of view, I’m very happy that we’re not — or at least I am not personally — doing that. I have no Facebook, I don’t have Twitter, I don’t have Instagram. I have an old Hotmail address. I managed to sort of dodge the whole social-media thing, which I’m happy that I’m not… Obviously I live in a world where that surrounds me, so I know what’s going on, but I don’t follow it.”
On social media:
“I think that there’s definitely a backside to the world of social media. I think some people that didn’t have a social life before probably might have had magical things happening to their lives, which I fully bless and condone. Absolutely, if you were a sad person before and now you have a social scene, absolutely fantastic. Information to the people — right, great, fantastic. But I know so many people that are so unhappy because of it. It ruins a lot of things. So for the majority of the people that used to have a somewhat working life situation in the past, I don’t think we know yet the downside of this. We think of conveniences as something that helps us, but the more conveniences that we allow for in our lives, the less purpose we have as persons. You know, Uber is great, but Uber will suck if Google is gonna make self-running cars with Uber in it. And that’s just one example of how we dive headfirst into conveniences that end up biting us in the ass.”
“Popestar” was released on September 16 by Loma Vista Recordings and is available online and in record stores on CD, vinyl, and digital. The surprise five-track offering also contains covers of selections by ECHO & THE BUNNYMEN, SIMIAN MOBILE DISCO, EURYTHMICS and IMPERIET. “Popestar” was recorded by Papa Emeritus III and his Nameless Ghouls in Linköping, Sweden and produced by Tom Dalgety (PIXIES, ROYAL BLOOD, OPETH).
Additionally, GHOST released a deluxe version of “Meliora”, their acclaimed 2015 Grammy Award-winning album. “Meliora Deluxe” contains the “Popestar” EP as a bonus disc (CD or LP or digital).
The arrival of the “Popestar” EP coincided with the launch of the band’s 41-city U.S. headlining “Popestar” tour, which kicked off on September 16.
GHOST is known for its eccentric performances and is composed of six members easily recognized for their satanic attires. Five men who call themselves as Nameless Ghouls play the instruments while the lead vocalist is known as Papa Emeritus. The Nameless Ghouls who are wearing identical devil masks and costumes represent the five instrumentalities or elements (fire, water, air, earth and aether or quintessence) while their leader Papa Emeritus represents the group’s anti-pope symbol.
“Whiplash” airs every Monday night from 10:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. on the Los Angeles radio station 95.5 KLOS. The show can be heard on the KLOS web site at 955klos.com or you can listen in on the KLOS channel on iHeartRadio. Full Metal Jackie also hosts a nationally syndicated radio program, which can be heard all over the country.
To see a full list of stations carrying Full Metal Jackie‘s show and when it airs, go to FullMetalJackieRadio.com.