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Q&A with Team Ghost

Q&A with Team Ghost

by Tom Baker, 23 November 2012

The 405 caught up with Team Ghost to talk musical influences, 70s horror films, what to expect from their current sound and where they fit into the current French music scene.

How would you describe the music of Team Ghost?

Our music is a mix of all our different influences: Noisy Rock, electronic, ambient music. We try to mix electronic textures with heavy guitars and drums.

Your first two EPs are based heavily around mood and texture, while as Dead Film Star is a lot more immediate; was that a deliberate change?

Well, Dead film star is much more a pop song than all the stuff we've been releasing so far, yes. We try to make pop music anyway, maybe a little bit weird sometimes, but we try and make real songs.

How did the video come about?

We wanted something a bit creepy, like a tribute to all the 70s horror movies we love. But actually, Simon Cahn wrote and filmed the whole stuff. He's very talented and working with him was very easy, as he understood perfectly what we wanted. We love the result!

A lot of your music is very cinematic-sounding; do you draw from films a lot?

Yes, a lot. I'm a huge fan of horror and sci-fi movies, especially the Italian ones from the 70s and the 80s. We've been influenced a lot by the films of Lucio Fulci and Dario Argento, which contain amazing soundtracks. I love to watch these kind of movies at night, and then work on new stuff. It's a huge inspiration.

What can we expect from Rituals?

Well, we're very proud of this album. I think it's much better than the previous EPs. We recorded live, and now we really sound like a band. Even if it's not very different from our previous records, I think it's way better!

Did working in a professional studio - as opposed to at home - affect how you wrote songs?

Not really, as we wrote the whole stuff before going in studio. But recording live made our music sound more rock. Some of tracks are really energetic!

Does the album have a theme?

No, not really.

Going back a little, can you tell us a little about how Team Ghost got started?

Christophe and I formed Team Ghost a few years ago. Then Felix (drums) and Pierre (bass) joined us. Benoit joined us after producing our second EP.

How have things changed since then?

We are a real band now. And we spend a lot of time working in Benoit's home studio, as he has many great synthesizers. Benoit really changed our sound, as he's very creative and talented.

What are the influences of Team Ghost as a whole (musical or otherwise)?

Noisy rock (Sonic Youth, Blonde Redhead, Pavement), Krautrock (Neu!, Tangerine Dream, Ash Ra Tempel), New wave (Joy Division, The Cure.). And cinema, of course. We also feel influenced by discovering new landscapes, having sex, smoking weed, computers, nightmares. A lot of things in fact!

What are the influences on Rituals specifically (musical or otherwise)?

Well, a mix of all these things. We wanted this album to sound rough, but we wanted to write short, melodic pop songs. It's a very eclectic album.

You released two EPs before getting to your first LP, which is somewhat rare nowadays. How did you decide on that?

We had the opportunity to release two EPs on a lovely label (Sonic Cathedral), so we did it. It also gave us the opportunity to tour the UK, and support Crystal Castles on their European tour.

How did that help you grow as a band? Do you think it had an effect on the LP when it came time to record it?

I guess we've been patient; we didn't wanna record a full length album too soon. We wanted to find the right people to work with, and when we had enough good songs, we recorded them.

How does the band set-up work live?

We have three guitars, a bass, a drum kit and a few synths. I guess Team Ghost sounds a bit rougher on stage. We want our shows to be very energetic.

Can you identify where you fit into the current French music scene (if at all)?

Well, I don't know where we fit into the French scene. There are many good bands in France, such as Yeti Lane, Turzi. But I'm not sure we sound like a "typical French band."

Are you looking forward to touring?

Yeah! And we'll tour a lot I hope. Playing live is a real pleasure for us. We'll be on the road in early 2013.

Team Ghost's EP Dead Film Star is out 3rd December on w-Sphere. You can catch Team Ghost live at The Sebright Arms in London on the same day.

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