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Interview: GHOST BRIGADE
Title: Hungry soul eaters

Since their album „Until Fear No Longer Defines Us“, published in the late summer 2011, it got suspicious silent about this strongly philosophical Finnish souls.

No wonder: after the publication of this third longplayer the five-headed ghost bunch had to overcome wide-ranging hurdles.

In the course of this even a fairly substantial modification of the line-up had to be achieved by the sensitive troup. Now Ghost Brigade return supposedly suddenly with another album back to the melancholy.

And the new release „IV - One With The Storm“ provides the abyssic sombre arranged Melancholic Dark Doom Metal of the idiosyncratic Formation in completion.

With Joni Saalamo and Joni Vanhanen came a new bassist and a permanent keyboarder to Ghost Brigade, as guitarist and founding member Wille Naukkarinen reports.

The 4th album … did you ever expected to get the band for nearly a decade?


„Honestly, no. Ghost Brigade was born as a project band and we never even planned to record an album, nevermind four of them. It's crazy, we turn 10 years in 2015!“

What still counts most for you in making music with Ghost Brigade?


„To me personally, it's all about challenging yourself as a musician and as a composer. I want to write songs I would like to hear myself, songs that give me goosebumps. It's not rocket science you know. Write songs that make your world a better place and do it with your best friends. That's what it's all about and always has been, since 1993 when I joined my first band.“

„Fear No Longer Defines Us“ came out in 2011. Please tell about the main reason(s) for a 3 years album pause!


„There were a lot of reasons actually. Negotiating a new record deal took a while, then Tommi and me did the Sons Of Aeon record in the middle of everything. On top of that Janne decided to leave the band to concentrate in other things in life. After him leaving, we didn't really know if we wanted to continue so we had to have a little break to figure that out. That break took six months. After all, me and Veli-Matti played with Janne in different bands for almost 20 years so it was kind of a big deal. Then, when we decided to continue and asked our long time friend Joni to join us as the new bass player, it took some time to rehearse both old and new songs with new line-up. So many things happened at the same time.“


The new material is definitely your proven style, but sounds fresh and on it's own. Please tell a bit about the work at the main songwriting in general. Any changes to name?


„I think the biggest difference was how I approached the writing this time around. On the previous records I have always demoed one song at a time. This time I had 6 songs playing in my head for over half a year before I demoed anything. I wanted to see if giving the songs time to grow and develop inside my head without hurry would make a difference. And it really did. I like how the new songs have a bit weirder arrangements and generally more riffs and more thought-out content than before. Thanks to not hurrying with demoing. And of course a new bass player and bringing in a permanent keyboard player made a huge difference too. They are also based in Jyväskylä which means that for the first time in our history everyone lived in the same city and we were able to rehearse much more than before. It was a different vibe and to us “old members” the whole change feels like a breath of fresh air really.“

How long took the complete songwriting for the new album and who are the main composers of these new stuff?


„I wrote all the basic “skeletons”. We then arranged my skeletons at rehearsal space together just like we've always done. The new members brought a lot of cool ideas to the songs too, without them the album wouldn't honestly sound so rich and layered as it does now. I wrote the first 6 songs in 2012 and the rest of the stuff was written during 2013. So all in all it took about a year and a half to write these songs, which is pretty much the same as before.“

Is it allowed to ask you about nowadays special musical & personal influences?


Haha, I think I've answered to this question in interviews for almost 20 years now and it's always the trickiest one of them all. I mean, I don't really have any musical boundaries, I've never had, I listen to anything that I think sounds good and I think it all influences me in one way or another. Lately I've been really into sixties and seventies rock; Buffalo, Pentagram, UFO, Rainbow, Thin Lizzy, Canned Heat, CCR, ZZ Top...you know, all that classic stuff. I have a sixties rock radio station on my iPhone which I listen to almost daily. I don't know man, it seems like the older I get the more I kind of withdraw myself from newer music. I've been listening to 80s and 90s alternative a lot too. Bands like The Cure, Sisters Of Mercy, Dinosaur Jr for example. Out of newer heavy bands I really like Wolves Like Us from Norway and Talbot from Estonia.“


Be so kind and describe us the main musical character of the upcoming album release „IV - One With The Storm“! (What main content could be named the „soul“ of the album?)


„If any of our albums is an entity more than just a collection of songs, then this is it. I mean, our record label for example wanted to release an mp3 off it the other day and since we couldn't choose a song from the album we had to throw the idea into the trashcan. It just feels like all of the songs have such a strong character and together they form something special that you can't really tear to pieces. If we released a single track from it, it would've felt like we almost would betray the album, you know.“

Do you guys felt as „one with the storm“ sometimes while the songs were created?

„In retrospect, yeah, in a way. But for us the title is more about the difficult times we had in the studio and overcoming a lot of things that seemed impossible. And with time, becoming one with them.“


Please report the readers about the main content in general of the newest lyrics!


„I write about the same subjects I have always written about. Stories from personal experiences and life in general. I guess Mannes sources are more or less the same but we really write from totally different angles. I'm the more hopeful one I guess.“

© Markus Eck, 15.10.2014

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