A Nameless Ghoul landed in Paris, a few months before the release of “Meliora”.
Hello sir how are you?
A Nameless Ghoul: Fine, I’m very fine thank you. I’ve been in London doing some interviews and came to Paris yesterday.
“Meliora” will soon be released. It means “better” in Latin. In which way this record is better then?
A N G: It’s not a title to describe the album, it’s not a comment on what we’re doing and on what we’ve done. “Meliora” seems “to become better”, it’s not the fixed word “better”. The title is what the album is about, what we sing in the album. But I think it’s better also.
Last year, one of you said that you wanted to have your “Black Album”, is it the case now?
A N G: I don’t know. I think it’s the “Brown Album” right now. Of course you can always go back to that album because it feels so universal and big but it doesn’t really matter of what you think of it, you’ll still hear that’s a fucking great album you know, in terms of how self-confident it sounds and I don’t know if that’s the case here but I think it’s our… well we’ll see.
You released a first single “Cirice” why this track was the best choice as a single?
A N G: We listened to the whole album and tried to figure out what would be a good way to present what we were doing right now and we didn’t listen ourselves only of course, brothers and sisters. It’s a pretty long song, six minutes long “hmm this one won’t be played on the radio probably”, but let’s try and see what people think of it. I don’t know it’s one of the songs that people found the easiest to attach the quickest so why not but it seems to be very liked, I’m happy about it.
How did the transition go with Papa Emeritus III?
A N G: He brought a new costume that’s it, nothing at all. He just went and sing his part.
You worked with producer Klas Ahlund, how did you end up with him?
A N G: We had spoken about working with him as an experiment many years ago but we pretty thought that probably the record company won’t believe us with this idea because he makes pop music
Yeah he’s not a metal producer.
A N G: Yes and we don’t want to work with metal producers at all because then there won’t be anything special. Like a rather want to make a sushi with an Italian chef and see what happens you know. Well so when we were discussing producers for the new album, our record company came back out of nowhere with “there’s this Swedish producer Klas Ahlund” and we were like “WAIT WHAT?” “Call him immediately that’s THE guy!”. We called him and had some meetings and after a while it was okay.
Why don’t you want to work with metal producers?
A N G: I’d like to work with metal producers that are good with recording but a producer? I’m not so interested in that because if you listen to today’s metal, it sounds the same and we’re not interested in that, it got nothing that tickles me in any sense of course they can teach us a lot. We know what the guitars, the bass, the drums and the voice would sound like but we don’t know a lot of other stuff, what’s the best we’re arranging these songs and make them sound extra heavy. Of course the metal producers know how to make it sound heavy but mostly by creating the sound but a pop producer will understand the dramaturgical side of it, they have a wider perspective and also Klas is an old metalhead so he’s not like he never saw a guitar so he knows tons of stuff.
What is the writing/recording process in the band? Do everyone throw ideas on the table?
A N G: No they throw them directly into the garbage can. (laughs) There’s like 2 people writing songs and that’s basically that. When it comes to arranging the songs, pretty everyone is involved but it’s not like we sit down and have song meetings. This time we had a pre-production for two months, we went up to Stockholm and we finished writing the album with the producer. I remember Papa came with a chorus for a song, he liked it but the producer said it was shit so he went home, pissed out and write it again in a mean and dark way and it turned out ten times better. We constantly write, there a constant boil of writings, ideas, videos, lot of stuff you know.
Do you always have the live approach while writing?
A N G: Yeah a lot. We write pretty much everything for achieving them live.
Do you consider the band more as a studio or a live band?
A N G: I’d say both it’ll be unfair that’s a live band or a studio band. We love being in the studio and recording as well.
A N G: My favourite track is “Absolution”, my second one probably “Mummy Dust” actually and “He Is”. “Absolution” felt so great when we finished writing that one that was one of the last songs that came together, for many reasons I like it, it’s easy to play, not that many parts and it’s a song I like to listen. “Mummy Dust” because of it feels like MadMax and “He Is” is actually an older song written 8 years ago long before Ghost.
As the 2 previous records, this one is about 40 minutes. Do you think that’s the best format for an album? To keep it short and compact.
A N G: Yeah I think so. If I’m listen to Brian Eno or Jean-Michel Jarre, of course those records could be about 60minutes or so because it’s different but if I listen to heavy metal or rock I rather have eight or nine songs that are really good rather than fourteen because after a while it’s like there’s too many people at the party and they don’t speak to anyone.
By the way the sound is pretty organic, any comment on that?
A N G: We struggled for that and we’re happy about it.
Your US tour is called “Black To The Future”, I presume that you’re Marty McFly fans?
A N G: I wouldn’t say that, we’re more a Biff fans. Of course we like the movies. Part of making music and videos also came from movies especially movies from the 80’s and 70’s, the ones that we saw when we were kids and that were magical at the time; not so much in modern days.
Would you be interested about making soundtracks?
A N G: Oh that’s a dream! If not with Ghost, I’ll do it on my own or with another band. I love soundtracks.
The band learnt a lot in only 5 years since the first record, do you have any advice to youngsters?
A N G: Be very playful when you write songs, be aware that everything you do is being looked upon. Writing music, that’s one advice and don’t be afraid of anyone. Look up at what you’re doing, take your favourite band and write down everything you like about them. What do they have? Why do you like him/them? Why is the guitarist cool? Why the songs are great? What do they do really with their verses and chorus?
If you had the opportunity to realize a dream, which one will it be? A part of the soundtracks like said before.
A N G: Travelling time. Writing a book. Making a movie.
Finally, any memory of your gig at Hellfest last time?
A N G: Yeah I remember than the whole power of the stage went out (laughs) and I also remember, days before that, I’ve been sleeping at a friends’ house in Malmo, I had my 2 arms tattooed and slept very hardly and playing that show at Hellfest did something to my back. I was in so much pain but I managed to play the show anyway!