A Nameless Ghoul From Ghost B.C. Talks Anonymity, Influences + More
A nameless ghoul from Ghost B.C. was the guest on Full Metal Jackie’s radio show this past weekend. The ghoul expressed his thoughts on whether the members of Ghost B.C. will ever be revealed and about the eclectic variety of music Ghost B.C. enjoys, as well as his own personal record collection. If you missed Full Metal Jackie’s show, check out her interview with one of Ghost's nameless ghouls below:
Phillip Anselmo, Duff McKagen and James Hetfield are all Ghost fans; Dave Grohl produced and played on the b-side cover of ‘I’m A Marionette.’ What aspect of this high profile love of Ghost surprises you the most?
Well it’s hard to say now since we’re in the midst of it, obviously a lot of that support that we’ve been getting from high profile people in the music scene in general has played a large role in taking us to the point where we are at right now. We are very happy that we are managing to move people and you’re moving people who have moved you in the past and to some extent keep on moving you – it’s a great honor. We’re thankful for that, it feels great.
Ghost gets categorized as metal but there’s pop and prog elements too. Do you regularly listen to non-metal music to pick up ideas to bring to Ghost?
We listen to a lot of different music all the time and we’ve done so for a long time. A lot of the metal purity is from the metal perspective, I guess is preluded by a lot of other things. According to ourselves, that’s the way to make an audio experience really pleasurable, it’s always more interesting trying to have a roller coaster than your sort of digestion – you can’t eat the same food all the time, your intestines will die. [Laughs] I think it has a similar affect on your mind but that’s up to each and everyone. People get moved by different things, we just happen to have love for a lot of music.
Is Ghost a collaboration in terms of what ends up on the albums?
To some extent, yes, most of it originates from one source which I think is possibly the easiest way to holding a band together material wise. Some bands have historically made a lot of good material collaborating, that might be their sound but traditionally it comes from one seed and maybe there’s a group of gardeners making the tree looking the way it does.
How has the anonymity of the players best served the music in terms of this new album?
Well contrary to popular belief, people don’t really know who’s behind the mask and even if they did know I don’t think that it would matter because we aren’t really from big bands as people tend to believe. So there’s not a lot of heritage from other Swedish bands that would have been shining through our music.
Do you think that there will ever be a point in time where the members will be revealed?
I think what we’re doing with our anonymity is very hard to maintain because it makes our lives miserable to some extent – what we’re working towards with everything else in terms of we want to put forth a grander show and in order to do so we need to reach a lot more people. Since we have been at the mercy of the good will of people liking the band for so long I think the further we reach above the radar, people that aren’t into the band will be more prominent. For anybody that wishes to just f--- the band over it’s very easy to do so, so I think it’s just a matter of time before someone will go, “Oh so you’re anonymous right?” and then they just take a photo and “Here they are, here you go.”
I think as long as we don’t screw with our music or our performances and how we like to present the band on a live basis – having an image and being covered up onstage is not the same thing as being anonymous, those are two different things but they go hand in hand in our case. Therefore, I think that even though people would generally have an idea of who the band members were, I think as long as we don’t change anything in terms of our appearance – it doesn’t really matter. I hope so at least, I think the music is strong enough now to stand on its own. I don’t know, let’s find out, we are about to find out at some point I guess.
When the album was coming out, we all heard that several U.S. CD manufacturers refused to produce the new album because of the artwork. Does a cultural imbalance between Europe and the States make Ghost more vulnerable to controversy in this country?
Yeah, definitely – Europe is not a country in the same way the United States are but in comparison to a lot of the corporate portions of the United States, Europe in general is way more liberal. There is sort of a corporate hierarchy that is very hard to deal with in terms of being a band that is sort of edgy. Obviously from a corporate point of view, we are extremely edgy. From a metal point of view, we’re in a twilight zone between originating from the extreme metal underground where what we are doing is just a very padded version of everything we have seen or listened to . When you present that to a corporate sphere they can react very differently from what you’re used to if you’re Metal Blade, that’s completely different.
The chain of command is so much stronger that whatever discussion you have with the person or persons that signed you to the company – they might be all for it, took us under their wings and brought us into the corporation whereas there’s always the legal department and share holders and they don’t give a flying f---. When it reaches down to actual manufacturing you have to realize, these are printers in the Midwest in the U.S.A. that are used to printing large quantities of country music, so obviously when they get something like us in there, it’s like, “This is too much.” It’s nothing compared to a lot of the s--- I have in my record collection.
Could you tell us a little bit about your record collection?
Well I collect records and I have everything from ABBA to Venom and I like a lot of different things. I’ve always had a sweet tooth for underground, especially death metal and black metal and metal in general – everything that was produced between 1980 to 1991, maybe 1992 and then it gets not too good except for the black metal movement that was in Scandinavia during ’91 to ’94 then it completely sort of died. We listen to a lot of different things, it’s everything from extreme metal to pop to rock. A lot of what Ghost is originates and leans heavily towards classic rock, the big usual bands like Kiss and David Bowie, Alice Cooper, of course, to Pink Floyd and the Doors, all that stuff.
This coming weekend, Full Metal Jackie will welcome Jeremy Spencer of Five Finger Death Punch and Johan Hegg of Amon Amarth to her show. Full Metal Jackie can be heard on radio stations around the country — for a full list of stations, go to fullmetaljackieradio.com.