Interview: Ghost Eyes
Published on May 31st, 2011 | Jonny Abrams
Last week, Rocksucker awarded the inaugural Single O’Week title to Ghost Eyes for their decidedly banging debut single ‘Phantom Mountain’; not to mention the rare achievement of making zombies look sexy in their rather spook-tacular (“oh, give over”) video (see below).
Eager to know more, we volleyed over a bunch of questions to the Ghost Eyes camp.
Would they let their guard down and reveal their apparently mysterious identities? Well…no, not really; but at least they served up an entertaining read…
Tell us a bit about your debut single ‘Phantom Mountain’.
How did it come into existence? How would you describe it to the uninitiated? Where can one buy it from?
‘Phantom Mountain’ has a choir of African kids, an out-of-tune guitar and some dutty bass.
Think we were trying to rip off an Alicia Keys track when we wrote the beat.
Trying to distort Alicia Keys sounds weird now but it worked at the time. We wrote one riff and recorded it quickly, then didn’t add anything else so the second verse and chorus is just the first verse backwards.
To come up with the vocals I put the riff on a loop and stared at this image for ages…
I don’t remember the rest. We describe it as a hands-in-the air prayer to the joyous blues.
This week it’s on the stands at Rough Trade but buy it from us direct at http://ghosteyes.bigcartel.com/ as we are money-hungry capitalists and we have hungry mouths to feed. Every time you don’t buy a single from us, a fairy dies.
Where do you hail from?
We all come from different places but I grew up on a farm and spend a lot of time in different places. The One Who Plays The Drum lives by the ocean and The One Who Plays The Keys lives in an old house in London with a cat.
Tell us a bit about your modus operandi. How do your tracks come together? Who’s doing what?
We always start with a beat, get that as snapping and rude as the Lord will allow and then jam some riffs over the top, record everything really quickly and try to cover it up later. Lyrically we use automatic writing so whatever comes out, and something from your subconscious always bubbles up. I don’t think I dream so this is my brain’s way of processing information.
Who are the rappers on Elephant?
That’s Lil’ Kim, although we are not taking sides on the Kim/Minaj beef.
Is an album close to completion?
Yes, kind of. We have enough tracks for an album although some are scraps and sketches. We couldn’t afford to do an album unless we were to write out the sheet music by hand.
Are you working on any more remixes?
Yes, currently chopping and screwing our souls by remixing a massive new pop band, and just about to complete a remix I’m very keen on for a great band on the Upset The Rhythm label, which will have a great video to accompany it also.
How were the gigs with Gold Panda? Are you a fan of his?
That man is a joy to behold and to know because he really truly does not give a fuck about anything other than making tunes. We could all learn a lot from him.
What’s the best/most exciting gig that you’ve played so far? Any particularly big ones on the horizon? Any festival appearances lined up for the summer?
Eat Your Own Ears have always been one of our favourite promoters so headlining their Roundhouse Rising festival was great (own trumpet-blowing aside). Our first show was to an audience of one via Skype to the other side of the world. We played with Blondes the other night: that might have been our favourite so far.We’re playing Underage festival and some others this year. Really want to play European festivals and get out of this grubby city and slightly embarrassing country.
Who or what would you list as your main influences?
The search to find some magic in the world.
Any top tips as to other up and coming artists?
Finally, would you be able to name – as of this very moment – your top three albums of all time?
Sonic Youth – Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star. MIA – Arular. Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl – Official Soundtrack.
Ghost Eyes, thank you.
Ghost Eyes’ debut single ‘Phantom Mountain’ is out now on 7″ & digital. 7″ includes download to remixes by Stopmakingme, Minotaur Shock & The Enormous Shadow.