Hot on the heels of releasing their debut album, “Illuminated” in just 2 days, Speaking with Ghosts sat down with us to talk about everything music and what’s going on in the band’s life lately. In the interview you can expect to find out more about, “Illuminated” such as the writing and recording process, the meaning behind the cover art, getting signed and more.
When we first start interviews, we like to get to know the band a little better and have a fun question to break the ice. With that being said, If you were to make an album inspired by a cartoon you watched as a child, what cartoon would it be about?
Courage the Cowardly Dog. I feel like that’s one that might not be picked all too much but many people have enjoyed. I specifically remember watching it as a kid and both loving it but being terrified at the same time, so it’s a cartoon that’s stayed with me.
There are a lot of metalcore band’s out there in our music scene. Many of which seem to be compared to each other and are looked at as “Unoriginal”. What do you think makes Speaking With Ghosts stand out from the rest of the bands out there in our ocean of metalcore?
We’re not afraid to scrap a song. I think what keeps us fresh is the idea that we know we’re not always going to nail it first try, but we keep rewriting and revising till we all enjoy it. On top of that we always want to grow and try different ways to write so that definitely helps keep things moving as well. Giving ourselves goals and different ways to approach writing continues to challenge us and keep us on our A-Game.
Getting signed is on a lot of artists/band’s bucket list but it also shows that the company sees something in that said group or musician. What do you think Famined Records saw in you guys to want to sign you?
I’d like to think that Famined saw the spark that we always talk about. We’re a fairly young band but we’ve been able to accomplish quite a bit. We set goals and push to complete them, simple as that. Whenever we’ve been faced with a roadblock, we simply push through it. While I realize it’s a lot easier said than done, I think we have the right group of people in our band that support each other through hardships. That being said not much really phases us, and I believe that shows. When you bring that mentality to the table and have all the material ready, it’s a little easier to be taken seriously. Even after saying all that though, we are incredibly lucky to end up where we did. Now we have an incredible team here at Famined who is also just as excited about our music as we are, and for that we’re thankful.
Not only is getting a signed a big deal, it can also be a hard decision as it’s an important move to make as a band. Could you tell us a little bit about you guys deciding to accept a deal from Famined Records and how it came to be?
It has always been a milestone of ours to become a signed band, however we had a more planned than hopeful approach to getting there. As our band progressed we knew that signing a record contract was pretty much the natural progression of things. The only question was, “with who?” Like I stated before we are a fairly newer band so we don’t really get to choose who has their eyes on us, but we made sure not to jump the gun when an offer came up. We spoke with our manager Chris Cave (Defiled Management) about what we wanted from a label, and what we needed before anything was worth considering. Than basically just set up goals to reach while we expanded our bands natural fan base. Set out to start touring, playing large events and festivals. We wanted to make sure when someone saw our band that we had been keeping relevant and maintaining consistent activity.
Moving forward, you guys are just about a month away from releasing your debut record, “Illuminated” which you guys spent most of 2016 writing. While writing your debut album can sometimes be stressful on deciding what’s worthy to go on your first full-length, could you give us some insight on the writing process?
It is stressful because you always have the thought that what you write may not be good enough. Despite spending the better half of a year writing material I think that a very normal thing for musicians to feel. Thankfully we had done some research on who we wanted to record with and when it came time to record everyone was there to make the best album possible. I really want to stress how important finding a producer like Cory Brunnemann is. We already had every song written almost in entirety before showing up to record the album, with the exception of lyrical revisions, there wasn’t really anything missing. However Cory spent an entire month with us revising songs and encouraging us to make changes to specific parts and song structure entirely all to benefit a bigger picture for the album.
Listen to the band’s latest single, “Uncrowned” below:
Album art is one of the first things many people look at when a new album is on it’s way and most of the time the art symbolizes something about the record. Is there a message or anything special about the album cover for, “Illuminated”?
We’ve always kept a lantern as our centralized theme since our motto “Shine Light and Inspire” came to be. However we wanted a more mature imagery than our previous release Searching for Direction. Our lantern has been such a powerful icon to people who enjoy our music and we knew that this was the answer. Keeping the simplistic approach and only having just the lantern was the only thing that seemed fitting.
Continuing on track with your new record, you guys have said you are influenced by bands like The Ghost Inside, Kingdom of Giants, Fit For A King, and Parkway Drive just to name a few. On the second track of your upcoming album you have, Kingdom of Giants, Dana Willax featured. Could you tell us how that came to be and what it’s like having someone you’re influenced by be on your debut full-length?
Naturally when being influenced by an artist you mimic similar stylistic approaches. When writing Roadblocks I was absolutely thriving off of at the time Kingdom of Giants most recent album Ground Culture. Some time last year they were touring through and I last minute saw that they were playing Chicago and dropped everything to attend the show. I wanted to see them first off because I consider them to be one of my favorite bands, but also because I had never been presented the opportunity before. Now I don’t shy away from opportunity so while at the show I spoke with Dana asking if he would be willing to record on the song that just so happened to be written based on his influence. Dana was an incredibly down to earth and humble person, which made working with him easy. The experience has definitely left me inspired and made for one kick ass song!
Another huge way to express the meaning of a song or even an album is by releasing music videos. You released a music video for your first single, “Woven In Gold” back in September, Could you tell us a little bit about what inspired the music video and what the meaning was exactly?
The video is a creative interpretation of the song directed by Arron Palmer. The song was actually loosely based off of Hercules specifically pertaining to a golden thread and the three Fates. People sometimes pose the question, “Are we Sealed by Fate?” Which is how we came up with the title, Woven in Gold. In Hercules his thread is golden, thus making it unable to be cut and leaving him free of the Fates influence. We like to believe we all have choice, can push through every obstacle, and most importantly endure.
Kicking off an album with a release show is very common for bands to promote the new album. You guys have decided to do a full mini-tour to celebrate the record drop. What made you decided to do a tour rather than just a one night release show the day of?
We have hope to maximize its impact. We still have our hometown show but we want to get this album to as many people as possible.
Before we wrap up the interview, we would like to thank you for taking time out of your day to sit down and talk with us. Lastly we want to give you guys the stage to say anything you want to the readers and fans.
Thank you for having us. Snag a pre-order while they are still available! We still have more releases to come and exciting shows to support so always stay tuned as we stay busy. Again thank you everyone for supporting us and continuing to enjoy our music. And above all else Shine Light and Inspire.
Watch the music video for “Woven In Gold” below: