I caught up with the lovely guys from pop-rock band ‘With Ghosts’ before their home show in Swindon on their latest tour. I first found these guys when their video for ‘Just A Ghost’ appeared on my Facebook and I’ve been keeping up to date ever since. We talked about their inspirations, how they named the band and where they think they’ll be in 5 years.
Where did the name for the band come from?
Nathan: Well, it’s a very interesting story. We got a piece of paper and we thought what would be a cool name and we wrote a list and that was the best one.
Louis: But we do have a better pretend story if you want to hear how that. It’s kind of deep though.
N: Well, obviously most bands write about their past and stuff and what’s happened to them, it’s kind of like our bands about what has been.
L: Past experiences. I can remember when, actually, we were looking at mental asylums when we were looking because we wanted to have the same name as a mental asylum. But there were no good names for us to use.
How did you guys all get together?
N: We were pretty much all in separate bands, myself and Louis were in a band and then Ben joined and then later on Josh joined.
J: I was the last one.
L: Third time lucky because he was the third drummer for the band. We’re gunna move onto the fourth soon though so don’t worry.
So what inspired you all to be a musician?
L: Girls. [Laughs]
N: I don’t know, we’re not really like sporty people.
Ben: No. Wait a minute.
N: When you’re young you kind of either play sport or you play an instrument and we kind of never stopped.
L: Yeah, I got given a guitar at the age of 5 and told, there you go that’s your life.
N: Shouldn’t you be better by now?
L: Yeah, I know, well you’d think.
What’s the process when you write songs?
L: Listen to Nathan and do what he says. [All laugh]
N: Yeah, I write a song and then they’ll play it.
L: We’re allowed to add small ideas and adapt, but these ideas have to go through a serious review process before they’re allowed into the set.
J: Nathan does most of the writing, basically.
And in your opinion, what’s the hardest, the easiest and the most important part of a song?
N: Easiest is writing it, hardest is getting them to learn it and then the really hardest is getting Louis to add his bits. It’s weird, some songs are easy and you can write it in 5 minutes and it’s done and is really good. Then other times it takes days to write a song and it’s not even that good.
L: And what’s the most important bit of a song Nathan?
N: Vocals, gotta be good, catchy. I mean the bass, the bass is most important.
L: Getting the right hardware for the drums is important.
If you could suggest a song to someone who hasn’t heard your music, what would it be?
N: I don’t know, we just recorded some new songs so we’re quite excited for people to hear them because they’re different. And better hopefully.
J: Maybe we could give one from the old EP and one from the new one.
N: From the old EP, I’d say ‘Just A Ghost’ is probably my favourite. I don’t know about you guys.
B: It’s definitely up there, up there with the best.
J: I think with the new stuff, they’re all very good and very different from the old stuff.
N: Bury me is a good one.
What would you like to achieve through your music?
L: Girls and groupies! [All laugh]
N: I don’t know, I just want to do something that’s different to what everyone else is doing, we’re in the middle young to adult transition, everyone’s having babies and stuff and we’re not ready for that yet.
L: I couldn’t do a 9-5, so there’s that.
Who would you say influences your sound?
L: Nathan. [Laughs]
N: I’d say it’s quite wide, a lot of bands kind of have their favourite band and they carbon-copy it. Whereas we try and take all the bands we listen to, which aren’t necessarily the same genre, and mix it and add our own twists. Like, Louis likes heavier music so he’ll put a more ambient tone to it. Josh likes a bit of everything, but he plays quite heavy and Ben’s kind of like a bit more old-school. He’s a few years older than us, so his taste in music is a little different to ours.
What’s your earliest musical memory? Some people can remember things from when they were like 2 years old!
J: I don’t remember anything that far back.
N: I got my first guitar when I was like 13.
J: One of mine would be when I was 16 and I went to Download Festival for the first time, that was pretty cool. That’s one of the earliest things I remember.
L: You don’t remember anything before?
J: My brains just mush.
What would be your fondest musical memory?
L: What have we done that’s cool? We’ve played with some cool bands; Moose Blood, Gnarwolves, Creeper.
N: Getting to do music videos is great.
J: It’s hard to pinpoint one specific thing.
B: I think the great thing is we’re always getting better over time, we’re not stagnant.
L: One of the best things is looking back at what we’ve done and where we’ve got to, we’ve done quite a lot now.
If you could create a band out of anyone, living or dead, who would be in your dream band?
N: These guys.
L: Couldn’t ask for a better bunch than these lot.
J: That’s a hard one actually.
N: I don’t know, everyone that died this year I guess.
N: Bowie, Jackson, Prince. Freddie Mercury. But then I wouldn’t be able to sing so, I’d be out of the job.
L: Bring in Sam from Architects.
J: Lots of different people. It’d be one big band.
Have you ever met an idol and freaked out about it?
N: Well, this morning I looked in the mirror and I was like wow. There’s my idol. [Laughs]
L: I met some guys, but I wouldn’t call them idols. I try not to have too many idols, because it’s somewhere where we’d want to be in a few years’ time so to call them an idol is a bit farfetched. But we have met some cool people.
N: I met Tom DeLonge which was pretty cool.
L: I met a couple of the You Me At Six guys. Tom DeLonge just trumps everyone really.
N: I met Mr Motivator once.
What would be your dream tour?
N: Blink. With Tom DeLonge.
J: Mayday Parade.
L: Mayday Parade would be awesome. We’re just naming bands that would show us up.
N: Busted and Blink and McFly.
L: Justin Bieber. If we were heavier then maybe Architects.
J: Who’s on my Spotify list recently that would be good? Don Broco would be pretty cool to tour with.
L: Five Seconds of Summer.
J: Bring Me The Horizon would be cool.
N: Yeah, they’re massive now.
Where would you be, ideally, in 5 years?
L: I think where Blink were doing 15 years ago.
N: In 5 years I think we probably won’t be a band, unless we get a lot bigger. But ideally we’re touring and recording.
J: Best case scenario we’re making a living, doing nothing but playing shows, touring, recording – that’s the goal at the end of the day. Being able to make a living from solely making music.
They really were a lovely bunch of guys and I’m a big fan of their music. I highly recommend grabbing their EP and keeping an eye out for new music. If you are in the UK try to catch these guys live because it will be worth it.
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This interview took place on 23/6/16.
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