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Edward Ruff...

01. Ancient Tales (Spa) - Malignant Tides '93 (Demo)...CDR
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Monday, April 11, 2011


Interview with 'Ghost In The Static', 11 Apr '11

Firstly welcome to 'OfTheTwilight', please tell us a little about your selves. Who's, who, when did you first form etc?

We formed in the summer of 2009, based around the idea of doing some Industrial Metal as a side project for the other two initial members (Gareth - Guitars, backing vox and extra Synth and Lewis - lead guitar, synths and backing vox) who were already in a band, and as an outlet for some ideas I had carried for a concept based project for some time. Mike (my brother) joined us as a live bassist towards the end of 2009, and Martin (drums) joined us more recently to complete the line-up. Everyone is now part of the full band, live and creatively as we wanted to expand our influences and ideas as much as possible to stop ourselves writing in too formulaic a fashion.

We sat down together with little or no knowledge of how to make Electronic music, and just plotted out what we wanted to achieve.

I had a basic 'plot' for the album, involving tracks which would act as 'scenes' akin to a movie. We started with the intro track 'prophecy' and just started writing. It was actually a very easy and exciting process as we had given ourselves complete musical freedom to get to the end result, and we found that our personalities complimented each other very well.

How long was it before you started to create the form and sound that you wanted? Plus what were the first initial reactions like. Can you remember you're first live Gig?

I think it took 3-4 months before we really started to realise that we were on to something with Ghost In The Static, as I started to improve Vocally, and Gareth and Lewis' other band broke up, meaning they had more time and drive to put behind the project. I think once we had Pursuit, Change and Downer semi-finished, we could see that we were already very different to what was out there, certainly in the local area at least. It was around then we started discussing playing live, and how we would handle both the technical aspects and the show itself.

Quite early on we had spoken about putting on a 'show' which is still something that is a bit of a faux pause in the music scene outside of a few bands, with most going with the Jeans and a band shirt whilst jumping up and down approach.

We realised that with such a different sound, and a grand scheme behind the music we were making, that the only way to compliment that is to ensure we have the visuals to back it up. We spoke about projectors, movies and costumes from very early on, and it was always part of our aim.

In the first show, we used a CD player for the backing track as I recall, and we had problems with the CD skipping throughout the gig at key moments, but were able to cover most of them up with some improvisation. I was a pretty rubbish vocalist back then, and we were still finding our feet, but I think the impact in being so different from what people were used to be the important thing, and we learnt a lot from our first gigs.

The CD player was actually a last minute choice, I remember we were originally going to go with a laptop, but it kept overheating, so we all went into Curries and bought a cheap CD player. The bloody thing was determined to ruin it for us, but we got through it.

'Sands Of Fate', I believe your first official release, what’s the Story behind it creation, and what’s the tale behind its lyrical base. What made you choose the whole Middle Eastern sound, for the opener?

Ironically, Sands Of Fate was the last track we had written before we went on hiatus in early 2010, long after the album was effectively finished, and the first we had written that was made with out a concept or 'scene' in mind.

It stemmed from me trying to incorporate elements of tracks I had heard by Nitin Sawhney and 'Jagged' by Gary Numan, without really knowing what I was doing (a familiar theme you will find).

I researched some eastern scales, and built the core melody around them. After that it was simply a case of piecing a song around it. I still remember sitting at my computer, singing what was to become the chorus hook to myself and getting a tingle as I realised that this song was coming along nicely.

I then took it to Gareth and Lewis who took the pieces and made a song out of it. They really excelled themselves in managing to get it sounding as good as it does, and I think it still stands as one of the best examples of what we have achieved.

The lyrics stemmed from a difficult time in my personal life, where I was being forced to choose a path I didn't want to walk, and I lacked the courage at the time to do anything about it. So my frustrations emerged as 'I won't walk these steps to hell, I won't, I can’t. Accept this future you have shown me, I believe in a better tomorrow'

I never realised the significance of those words until much later when the dust had settled and the problem was solved.

The whole alternate, Future idea has baffled and intrigued man for many Centuries. Be it the great Science Fiction Writers, or Legendary Movies, such as 'The Terminator', 'Blade Runner', or say 'Ray Bradbury'. Is there any one particular source that has inspired you the most?

Personally, I have always been a Sci Fi fan, and fascinated by the future, but I think the 3 biggest things that drove me toward the dystopian future theme would be 'The Matrix', 'Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep' by Phillip K Dick and the artwork of 'Giger'.

There was something fascinating about all three of these things, wonderfully dark and yet very relevant. All of them had contemporary commentary hidden in their essence, whether it is the dangers of conformity, the arrogance of believing Humanity is the pinnacle of evolution, or how easily the veil of civilisation and morality can drop when our own desires are involved.

There is also a little of my political ideals in there, as I see a lot of dystopian stories being achievable if people don't take more notice of who they are electing to power.

I think I have always looked back, rather than forwards. History, rather than Sci-fi was always my main interest, and it gives me a whole different out look on the dystopian future scene. I think normally, people look to the dystopian future as the end, the ultimate culmination of the conservative state. I see it more as a phase humanity will go through, just as it has always entered and emerged from darkness throughout it’s time on Earth. For me my influences would be times like the dark ages, and the Black Death. Periods of absolute bleakness for mankind as a whole. How a man deals with these situations will not change on a personal level, regardless of it’s placement in time.

Where would you say you're personal 'Dystopian', ideal fits in? Could you almost bring in say 'Steam Punk', idealistic?

Personally, I see dystopian stories in the same way that people see parables in the bible.

They help me focus on living the right way and avoiding a path that can lead to '1984' or 'Equilibrium'. I don't pretend to the most dedicated 'Rivethead', 'Goth' or alternative type, as I don't often dress the part, and I am not strongly aligned with any group of people.

But I do hold at my core a belief that apathy is more dangerous than zealousness, and that if people do not take responsibility for those they assign to power, they may find themselves in a 'V for Vendetta' world.

Steam punk is an interesting genre, and not one that I pretend to be very knowledgeable about, but I suppose they see the same problems I do, but see a different solution to them.

When shit hits the fan. Man always wants something to blame. Be it GOD, or is it more 'DARWIN', I.e.: were evolving into bloody idiots. Where do you think were really heading, and is there anything to blame but our selfish selves?

There is always a danger in mistaking development with evolution. Evolution is a series of random mutations that happen to be beneficial, and this leads to this trait featuring prominently in future generations due to the increased odds of survival of that phenotype.

Where humanity is concerned, we have artificially improved our chances of survival through technology and 'civilisation'.

There is no blame to be assigned, as it is in our nature of overpower, dominate and consume and to blame a human for greed or aggression would be like blaming a dog for barking.

The problem lies with the hypocrisy that underlies it. If we are truly 'civilised' and 'enlightened' and hold ourselves to a moral standard, then we should stick to it.

It is always the way for the existing generation to decry the next, and say that with their ascension, the world is doomed. However in reality, a situation can emerge overnight. Take the recent Middle East revolutions, this time last year, no one would have predicted these events, but all it took was a single spark and their world was alight. One of the biggest factors is chance.

The World right now is in utter Chaos. The West seems to be the Bully, and we perceive the East, as almost primitive. Yet in hindsight that is the more evolved. We who rely on technology which fails, or an Arab with a sharp twig?

Evolution is relative, I can't breath underwater so am I less evolved than a fish?

We have developed in our own way in different parts of the world, and we are now clashing over what we perceive to be the 'right' way to do things. People need to learn to agree to differ on some things.

It depends on the situation, drop me in the jungle and I would die of starvation, drop a Jungle Tribesman in the city and the same thing might occur. We are all the kings of our own little bubbles.

The Bombs are falling, you're ushered in to a Bunker, you've gathered you're lover. Food isn't a problem. The head Paladin say bring minimal items due to space. You have Space for 30 CD's, which 'FIVE' would you consider the most important?

Hmm an interesting setting....

Gary Numan - Pure (Fave album ever)
Metallica - S&M
Celldweller - Any of them..
Skunk Anansie - Stoosh
Zeromancer - Eurotrash

Muse – Origin of Symmetry
Iron Maiden – Brave New World
Rammstein – Mutter
Queen – The Greatest Hits
Aqua – Aquarium (Because we’ll need evidence of where we went wrong)

NIN – Pretty Hate Machine
Metallica – Master Of Puppets
Flogging Molly - Drunken Lullabies
Nightwish – Dark Passion Play

You're debut LP has an immense great flowing structure. So many different styles and sounds. Be it METAL, and naturally INDUSTRIAL elements. Yet the voice stirs for me, elements of PROG, DOOM, be it like modern 'Anathema', that kind of soft gentle foreboding sound of despair etc ?

Honestly, I don't listen to a lot of Prog rock, and the only Doom Metal band I ever really got into would be Paradise Lost. I think it’s because we all have such varied tastes and influences that we can swing between several genres without settling anywhere too long.

Vocally I am still learning, and the vocalists that have been the biggest influence on me would probably be Gary Numan, Scott Stapp (Creed), James Hetfield (Metallica) and James Maynard Keenan (Tool/APC).

Once again, it is the same thing with me. We all have so many influences in our music that if we settled somewhere for too long, we may find it would get a little boring. There’s nothing quite as dull as the same repetitive crap over and over and over and over…

From your perspective, who would you most love to support. I can see you more befitted alongside the naturally more Guitar, driven acts. The Likes, of say 'Midnight Configuration', or even maybe 'Descendants Of Cain', be it the Occult Dark Style, Nefilim, any band that paints Darkness ?

Personally, my dream would be to support Gary Numan, but others would include Deviant UK, Zeromancer, The Prodigy and Celldweller.

I see us as fitting best with high energy Industrial acts, as opposed to the more club based acts. but we are equally at home with melodic metal or gothic bands.

With the debut, would you say, their are particular favourites. be it the fans request particular songs, and what you would say you personally enjoy playing live the most. Really love 'Hope', myself the most, such an awesome chorus line ?

Hope was pretty special in as much as that from the first time we put all the parts together in a practise room, I think we all knew that chorus would be great. I spend a lot of time on trying to find vocal hooks that do justice to the rest of the song, and I think that and SOF were the quickest to come together in that respect.

As for favourites, we all have our own, in fact I think each band member has a different favourite track! Fan favourites vary from 'Change' to 'Sands Of Fate' and more recently we have seen a lot of interest in 'Nihilism II' which led us to making a remix EP based on it.

My favourite live track is probably 'Pursuit' at the moment, as it allows me to play some keytar live, and allows me to rock out for a bit.

For me it would have to be Rammstein, at our heaviest we do take some influence from them, and they have one of the greatest live shows on Earth.

There would be many bands, I would be so excited to play with Celldweller though… we could fit with quite a few bands due to our diverse sounds though

You’re currently under way working on a new and yet Untitled LP, how’s it going. Having heard a new opus 'Not Enough', things seem most promising. OK it's a rough working, at the same time, just bloody awesome?

The new album is being put together in a very different way. We had a lot of song ideas already floating around, and rather than try to force them to fit a concept, we decided to have a free form album and just write songs as they come to us.

This has meant a little more freedom, but a bit less control so we are all interested to see what happens.

'Not Enough' is the first track that we have 'finished' (whatever that means) mostly due to its simplicity of purpose. It’s a high energy song that thunders along, and we are working on it to get into the live set as soon as possible.

Our production and song writing skills have improved tenfold since the first album, and this next one should be a real humdinger, and we are hoping to have the album out for early 2012 if not before.

The overall feel is very different, also as the band has expanded from G, Lewis and Steve, to include myself and Martin, there are some new elements in there which while not radically changing the overall ethos of the band, are providing new ideas.

This is an interesting one, the writing format is currently taking a different path. Before, it was me, Steve and Lewis sitting in a room together and making music until it was done. This time round we are getting mike and martin involved, and a lot of the music ideas seem to come from us working alone and bringing it to the group before we develop it. Not Enough was one of those moment where we all worked together though. It is an exciting time, and if you liked the first album, this could be very promising!

Thank you Gentlemen.............. Any last Words ?

Thanks for the opportunity.

The music scene can be what we want it to be, so get out to gigs, buy albums and support your favourite artists!

Yeah, thanks for this, and for the readers, keep supporting the music scene!


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