THE GHOST OF A THOUSAND
The latest on work on their new album, and more...
The last time Rock Midgets interviewed The Ghost of a Thousand (Click HERE to read), the band had just put out their stunning debut album This is Where The Fight Begins to widespread critical acclaim (Click HERE for our glowing review). Twelve wildly successful months down the line, after racking up a host of tours since with the likes of Alexisonfire, Poison The Well and Gallows, the Brighton-based five-piece have barely been off the road for a minute as they sought to continue building on the early momentum.
With February seeing the band embark on their first ever full headlining tour of the country, bringing along Blackhole, The Plight and Hexes in tow, Dan Jones grabbed a few minutes with guitarist Andy Blyth before their show at the Camden Barfly to discuss the past year's endeavours and how their second album is shaping up:
This evening marks the seventh night of the tour, how's it gone so far?
It has been really good, all four bands are playing really well. Watching all the other bands every night - they're all great bands and good mates with us - so it makes us want to be the best band we can. There's been really good turn outs and lot of kids in the shows, so it's been a lot of fun.
Did you know the other bands that well before the start of the tour?
Yeah, we've toured with Gallows so we'd met most of the Blackhole boys through that. At Reading and Leeds they were there, I know Richard [Blackhole vocalist] quite well so we knew those boys. We'd played with The Plight before once in Leeds but we didn't really know them and then obviously we know Daniel Carter [Hexes] from the Radio 1 Rock Show.
He has supported you quite a bit hasn't he?
Yeah, he's really, really been behind us since day one so it's good to have him on the road with us.
I interviewed you guys twelve months ago and Jag mentioned in two years time you'd like to be headlining venues like the Barfly, and here we are a year later and you already are. Things appear to be going ahead of schedule for you.
Last year we just dedicated it to touring as much we could. This tour came around and we were really apprehensive about doing it just because it was our first headline tour. We didn't know how the turn outs would be or how well we'd be received, but it's worked out well and it does feel good. We've all said to each other in the van, it really is nice to see an end product after last year's hard work
You've just come off the longest break you've had for a while, did it feel good?
We really actually haven't had any time off. The last thing we did was the Alexisonfire tour which was in November and ever since then we've just been at home in Brighton writing our second album.
How's the writing been going?
We're really, really looking forward to writing the second album because, you know, it's cool playing the first album but for us it's getting a little bit… [groans slightly]
And wasn't the first album finished about six months before even it got released?
Yeah, and some of those songs on the album were written like two years before the album even got recorded so they're quite old songs for us and so it's really exciting to do something new. We're changing the sound a little bit, but I think that it's a natural progression.
So what's it shaping up like?
It's sort of gone more rock'n'rolly less hardcore. It's a little bit more melodic, it's a little bit more groove based and a less technical than the first album.
Have you started playing any new tracks live yet?
Yeah, we've been playing one new track on this tour which has been really well received so we're really stoked about that.
What's it called?
It hasn't actually got a title yet, it's just called new song [laughs]. It's good to play new stuff.
How many new tracks have you got in the locker so far?
We've got that one that we're playing and then we've got a library of riff ideas and song ideas 'cos Jag, our other guitarist, has got a home studio so we've just been getting down rough ideas and riffs. So we've got quite a library now so when we get off this tour we're going to try and piece together some other tracks and work on existing ones we've had for a couple of months now.
So when this tour comes to an end, is that when you're hoping to sit down in earnest and start working on the album?
Yeah, we've demoed up a few songs anyway, but we're looking forwards to do more demos of new songs and really analyse them, and not be anal about it, but we're sort of perfectionists when it comes to the band, so we'll record a song and listen back to it and try and make it the best it can be.
Have you got any timescale in place for when you want to start recording?
Not really as of yet. We just want to write the best record possible and not rush it. Because the first album felt a little bit rushed, it was like you've got ten songs, now go in the studio, you've got twelve days to do it and then it was done. We want to make sure the process isn't compromised this time so we're trying to take more care and effort to really craft the songs.
You've toured almost relentlessly this past year, what would you say has been the highlight. Earlier today on YouTube I was watching you guys play Brixton Academy on the Alexisonfire tour, that must have been great?
Yeah, that was a massive, massive high for this year. Playing Brixton, playing Manchester Academy, playing all the venues with Alexisonfire just because they're so big. But that's great and everything, but at the same time for a band like us, because the music is so fast and aggressive it doesn't really translate well in large venues. Although that was a massive high and a massive support slot to get, that tour that we did in the summer with The Zico Chain and Flood of Red, that three week tour of little venues, that was also a really good time and one of the highs. Hanging out for three weeks with some good guys and playing some small shows which was cool.
What are your touring plans for the rest of the year? Have you got any festival appearances lined up?
We haven't arranged any festivals this year, hopefully we'll do the festivals next year after the second album has come out rather than play the same set that we played at Download, Reading and Leeds this past year. We don't want to do it all again. So really we're just trying to get a few tours lined up, we've got that Reuben tour in April and then any time off we're going to write and demo songs really.
Finally, are you happy with the way things have grown for you this past year?
Yeah, I think there's been a natural progression. I don't think we were ever going to be one of these bands who were an overnight sensation and the fact that we haven't had the hype machine propelling us to stardom and the fact that we built it up slowly means a lot to us.