‘Ghost Adventures’ Host Zak Bagans + Lords of Acid’s Praga Khan Create Spirit-Filled ‘NecroFusion’ Disc
Most know Zak Bagans as the host of the Travel Channel paranormal series, 'Ghost Adventures,' but he's taking his expeditions a step further by teaming with Lords of Acid's Praga Khan to create a spirit-filled album called 'NecroFusion.'
The newly released album features eleven new songs that tell the stories of departed souls who have yet to cross over into the afterlife. Armed with his SB7 Spirit Box, Bagans has been able to record "electronic voice phenomena," known as EVP, over the years and he's showcased some of those cases on 'Ghost Adventures.' However, the idea came about over time for Bagans to translate those voices in a different kind of way, and that's where Khan came into the fold.
Loudwire caught up with Bagans, who shared how the idea initially came about, if he thinks that by making the album he's helping some of the spirits to cross over, and he shares one of his more terrifying experiences researching spirits at a music store.
Can you discuss how the idea to record this album came about and how you ended up working with Praga Khan from Lords of Acid?
The idea behind 'NecroFusion' came about when Praga Khan of Lords of Acid contacted me after I started making a bunch of Twitter posts about how big a fan I was. Lords of Acid was my favorite band in high school and Praga is a true pioneer of that style of electronic music. He’s done songs for films like 'Austin Powers,' 'Basic Instinct,' [and] 'Virtuosity.' He’s a legend.
I started tweeting how I was a big fan of Lords of Acid, and his manager contacted me and asked if I wanted to do vocals for a song called 'Paranormal Energy' on the band’s 'Deep Chills' album. Apparently Praga was experiencing some paranormal events in his studio in Brussels, and things just fell into place. So I went down to L.A., I recorded with Chris Vrenna from Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson and we did that song, it turned out really good, it hit the Top 5 in the Electronic music charts, it was a big hit.
After that, it’s been revolutionary, and my paranormal research with these spirit voices that I’ve been getting -- I use a couple of different devices, the SB7 Spirit Box, and also a digital recorder. About two years ago, we started getting absolutely insane, crystal-clear, intelligent voices from the dead. I tried debunking it. I’m very skeptical of our own evidence until we find those logical explanations to prove it as paranormal. Once we were able to put these voices up on a wavelength so you can see the waveform in an audio program, you can see that the spirit voices were laid on top of these sweeps through the Spirit Box, so we eliminated it as any contamination. The voices were intelligent, we had voices give us details about a murder-rape that happened in the 1970s in Denver that we shared with the Denver police department, and they were absolutely astounded by the findings. I’ve had another spirit tell me what color light that was making our electro-magnetic detector go off, and I established visual communications. So it’s 100 percent, and now that I know I’m documenting these spirit voices, I thought it would be a great way for the most powerful vocal messages of our time to be combined with music, the most powerful way to send a message.
If you think about it, when you listen to music -- music makes you cry, it makes you happy, it makes you dance, it makes you mad, those are the same emotions that I experience when I feel the energy of a spirit when I’m contacting the spirit and communicating with it. So it’s a full supernatural experience while you listen to these songs.
Praga obviously has the musical background with Lords of Acid, but many of the samples he's using came from you and what you've recorded. How much input did you have into deciding what would and would not be used for the record and can you talk about the process of putting the songs together?
I had a lot of input on every song. Ideally, every single spirit chose the lyrics for every single track. At times, I would be sitting doing hundreds and hundreds of sessions because you don’t always get spirit voices. Over the course of a year, I did hundreds of sessions, maybe in one session at one haunted location I’d ask 150 questions, I’d get no response. Another time I’d ask another 150 questions and maybe I’d get a spirit response from two questions. So I had to take those two questions and use them for a song, and I never knew which questions would be answered by the spirit. That’s why I say that the spirits answered the questions and chose the lyrics for the songs.
What’s really interesting is that once I got the spirit voices, I would then tell Praga the emotions that I was feeling during that time, because when I communicate with spirits, I feel that spirit’s energy. They don’t have a body. They don’t have a mouth. It’s just their energy. And so, if the spirit was angry, if it was sad, I would feel that energy. I would explain that to Praga and together we would choose the right tone and tempo of the music and the display and the presentation, so that the listener could be calibrated with that emotional level, that experience of when I was communicating with that spirit, and the emotion from the tone of the spirit, so it’s a full, emotional, personal experience.
The spirit voices are complimented by the music that is establishing the emotional tone originally set by the spirit. So, you have the full-on experience. And you never know, you’re listening to these spirit voices, and the spirit may know that you’re listening to the music and their voices, so you’re really helping the spirit to be at rest and have closure and maybe be free from being trapped, just by your listening to the song. The music has so many different purposes.
Obviously you're used to hearing the electronic voice phenomena that you've recorded over the years, but what was it like the first time you heard it put to music?
The first time I heard the EVPs put into music, it was awesome. On my show, 'Ghost Adventures,' you just hear the voice. You’re not there so you don’t get the full experience. You don’t feel the energy of that spirit that’s talking to you. I like to say it’s like being in a bubble – you lose track of time, you lose track of everything. It’s like being in the afterlife, but you’re still alive. You can feel that, and it’s actually a great feeling. Sometimes it’s scary as s---, too.
But the first time I heard it in music, it put me back in that moment of feeling the energy when I captured the voice. The spirit voices are immortalized through the music, but the music brings you that emotional energy as well, what I feel when I talk to those spirits. So I’m bringing that full, first experience to you as you listen to it.
Having completed the 'NecroFusion' album, do you think that it's helped any of those whose voices are heard on the disc or was this just an interesting thing to put music to?
Yes, I believe I’m helping these spirits to possibly be free from being trapped, being stuck here by allowing their voices to be heard. If you think about it, I believe a lot of spirits are trapped, because they’ve been trying for 100, 200, 300 years to tell somebody a clue to their unsolved murder, or just something they need to say or they want to contact someone. So now, with the evolution of technology, I believe that’s to my benefit.
The technology that I’m using, we’re able now to tap into these spirit frequencies and listen to them. It’s no different from a cell phone, or being able to send a picture or a video through space. This technology is now allowing us to tap into these frequencies and hear these spirits, and I think it’s helping these spirits.
On the track ‘Sing for Me,’ where you hear the female sing -- when I was conversing with her -- I tried for months to get a spirit to sing a song, and once this woman did -- you can even hear her go, “I … sing …,” and then she gives us a note. I don’t know what she’s singing, but during that moment, I remember I was very emotional, extremely emotional. And the tone of the music in that song reflects my emotional experience when it was happening.
I believe that putting these spirit voices in this music is helping to free them because their voices are finally being heard. Not only that, but I’ve already gotten tons of feedback from people saying ‘thank you so much, I had a friend who committed suicide, you’re now giving me that closure that I needed to know that there’s an afterlife.’ I’m helping the dead and I’m helping the living with this music.
You talk about many of your demonic encounters happening at Bobby Mackey's Music World, and in particular one case that inspired the song 'Poor Pearl' (as seen in the video below). Would you discuss your research into Pearl and your thoughts after hearing the demonic response to whether or not she was fine?
For some reason, my investigations at Bobby Mackey’s, Pearl Bryan was very sad. We did an investigation there, and one of the EVPs we captured, you hear a girl crying, and they you hear a male voice going, ‘Precious … No.’ Pearl Bryan was murdered by her boyfriend –- Scott Jackson and Alonzo Walling were two devil worshippers who killed Pearl –- it was a documented case. When they were being hung in the gallows, they said that they would forever haunt Bobby Mackeys [the building that today is Bobby Mackey’s club was a slaughterhouse when the murder was committed).
I believe that it is those two spirits who haunt that building today. I believe that the EVP we recorded there was Pearl, and it makes me sad to think that she may be being held hostage there, that she’s trapped there, being held there by these two evil spirits. I believe that these two spirits opened a portal to all of the demonic attacks that have taken place at Bobby Mackeys.
Bobby Mackey is a strange guy. He doesn’t believe in the hauntings there, yet he’s had 19 sworn affidavits from police officers, clergy, officials who have signed their names to having had paranormal experiences there that were all demonic. But Bobby is the only one who hasn’t had a paranormal experience -- the only one who doesn’t believe in it -- yet every single person in his family has had severe experiences there. So I thought it would be a great idea for him to do a song with me and dedicate it to Pearl Bryan, so that’s what we did.
I actually documented a voice, I believe that the spirits of Scott Jackson and Alonzo Walling have followed me, have attached themselves to me, having caused my demonic possession at Bobby Mackeys, to where I had to have a demonic exorcism performed on me. It’s been a horrific place. At one point during the investigation and on the song, I said ‘I think Pearl is safe now…’ and unexpectedly, we got a crystal-clear voice that said, ‘Is she?’ mocking me in a sarcastic manner, and I believe it was the voice of one of the two guys who killed her and chopped her head off and threw it down the basement’s well that was used by the slaughterhouse to drain all of the blood into the Licking River. So I believe that they opened up that place to hell. I believe that they came through and said, ‘Is she?’
What was the most interesting track on this album for you and can you explain why it stands out?
'Demonator.' I did that song to say ‘f-you’ to the demons who have wreaked havoc in my life. The track starts with two EVPs who were captured during a live event. These EVPs were witnessed by about 25 people as they were captured in real time by a Spirit Box. My friend Tara, her daughter’s voice came through saying ‘mommy’ and Tara immediately knew it was her daughter who was back home. That’s what they like to do, these demons, they like to f--k with you, mess with you, they like to mock your voices.
The second voice you’ll hear on ‘Demonator’ goes ‘Guys, be careful.’ That’s MY voice that was captured at the event as well. The problem was, I was in the basement doing an investigation with 15 people, and that voice was captured upstairs with Dave Schrader [fellow paranormal investigator] and another group of people, and the demon was mocking me and used my voice. So I thought it would record a track and dedicate it to all those demons who tried scaring me with these voices. Now I use these voices in a badass song called ‘Demonator.’
You can pick up Zak Bagans Vs. Praga Khan's 'NecroFusion' album via iTunes here. You can also enter to win an SB& Spirit Box, a 'Ghost Adventures' DVD catalog, a signed copy of 'NecroFusion' and a copy of Zak Bagans' book 'Dark World' at this location or by clicking the banner below.
Watch Zak Bagans Talking About His Connection With Spirits