Rock-Expert Special Interview With Season Of Ghosts
- Category: News
- Published: Friday, 24 May 2019 10:39
- Written by Dewa Nugraha
- Hits: 1115
After recently presenting you guys with some excellent stuff from Season Of Ghosts, we at Rock-Expert finally have the opportunity to do an interview with them. Although it may take a while, but we finally manage to get it together and set to present you guys with this lengthy information to us closer with this talented musicians.
There are plenty interesting stuff that they shared in this interview, we won't be spoiling too much early, but they're dream collaboration idea with One Ok Rock and Dance With the Dead. Moreover, you music cans can also find out which musicians who inspired them to start their musical journey until they become Season Of Ghosts.
Here is the full interview:
First of all congrats for your latest album, “A Leap Of Faith” I truly enjoyed it.
Thanks for listening! It’s an album that was long due, it took a good amount of time to take shape, but we’re satisfied with the result. It encompasses our true and honest feelings, just like every previous work. We like to keep it real.
Talking about your new album, it was released four years after “The Human Paradox”. Was the timing planned? Or you guys just go with the flow?
Honestly, we just go with the flow. I don’t believe bands should release music every year, but 4 years is a little too much. That happened mainly due to my personal health issues, which prevented me from wanting to create any music. I had very different priorities and making music just seemed like another burden I kept avoiding due to my psychological condition at the time. At some point, Sam and the guys insisted we started the album and that’s how I also got motivated and got out of my shell. I owe it to them.
You guys mentioned that “A Leap Of Faith” is not really a concept album, so is there any main theme, idea or inspiration for the record?
I get inspired by the experience of life itself and I compose intuitively, it’s my personal policy to not jump on bandwagons, look at what others are doing because that way you’ll only lose whatever makes you unique, however little that is and that’s where the band can and will go to hell. As a fan, I hated it when my fave bands tried to sound mainstream and “sold out”, so I don’t wanna be *that* artist.
A Leap of Faith is like a diary of memories, a written introspection. In most songs I speak to myself, apart from “Listen” and “How the story ends” perhaps. It’s about evaluating your current life situation, cutting off bonds and associations that no longer serve you, in order to take off and create a better life path.
Were there any major difference in the writing and recording process of the new album compared to your previous ones?
Yes, plenty. The Human Paradox started from a bunch of piano and voice notes I had on my phone, along with references that served as guidelines for the production team. The result is a crazy huge mix and match, but it’s 100% me, so I don’t regret a thing, however the team wanted to kill me for giving them a hard time, hahaha~ Well, Zombie Sam was one of the team and decided to stick around, so he became a regular member for this album, which is awesome. Recordings were done in a ton of different places, we had the Millenium Orchestra (that’s members of RAI Orchestra, Italy) record the tracks for Road to Acheron and The Human Paradox, my vocals were recorded in Greece and Italy, all other instruments in Italy. The album was mixed and mastered by my long-time work partner, Ettore Rigotti, who’d previously worked on Blood Stain Child and Princess Ghibli.
A Leap of Faith brought change on every level. First of all, the songwriting process started from Sam’s riffs, not from piano melodies. All recordings, mixing and mastering were done at Fusix studio, Italy. Andrea Fusini is top class in his job and gave us lots of help and precious insight for the album and the vocal production. He’s a real gem and if the album sounds several levels up from the previous one, we owe it also to him.
Where or how do you guys normally look for inspiration to write the songs in your album?
I don’t look for inspiration, inspiration looks for me usually. Things just land, you know? And when they do, I take notes. For years. Between albums. When something feels 100% right, I know it’ll end up in the next album, so I write it down or record it immediately. I let the Universe and its creations inspire me, I encompass various spiritual concepts in the lyrics and the song atmospheres. I like speaking about personal issues, self-improvement, motivation, fighting the good fight, facing your weaknesses and walking forward, no matter how many scars or bruises you might have. It doesn’t matter, as long as you don’t give up. That’s pretty much the recurring theme in all my works ever, since Epsilon.
How satisfied are you with your new record?
I have a strict no-fillers policy, so I don’t like releasing songs that feel like b-sides. I want every song to sound like a single, so consequently, I’m very happy with A Leap of Faith and all members agree wholeheartedly. You listen to the songs and tears come to your eyes, because of how real they are and this truth they embody, has a very specific vibration. Combined with the emotion expressed through the music and the vocal lines, the message becomes even deeper, stronger, impactful. It’s an album we all love listening to, even though it’s us who created it.
Any favorite tracks from the new album?
I can’t really choose, but if I have to pick one I’d say A Leap of Faith, since it’s the title track and encompasses the vibe of the album, it’s the ID track, the summary of what we aimed to say with this album is right there, in those lyrics.
Sam loves “Listen”, it’s his favourite track. That’s a killer riff, I admit!
Talking a bit more about the band, what inspire you guys in the first place to collaborate and create Season Of Ghosts?
The story is a little more boring than most people might think. SoG started as my solo project in 2012, while I was still in Blood Stain Child. I wanted to play electro-industrial for fun, so I made this band with a friend in Tokyo. He couldn’t go ahead for his own reasons, so I was left alone with a ton of ideas and question marks. 1/3 of the album had already been composed by then, but it was not released until the end of 2014, when The Human Paradox came out.
Speaking of which, as mentioned above, Zombie Sam came to the rescue when I was in despair about how to work on Season of Ghosts as a solo artist. He offered incredible insight and tons of work hours and asked for nothing in return. That’s quite huge, coming from a new friend, isn’t it. We’d just met each other, after our mutual record label asked me to help him with his band back then and we recorded Hallow Tale and The Awake for Self Conscious Insanity in 2013.
At some point later, after 2 years as work partners, we decided to be together as a couple and we’re a family now. Sam decided to get more involved in SoG, since he enjoyed the process and introduced another two session members, Max and Paul. Max still plays in SoG these days.
You have strong connection with Japan, what interest you most with the country? How influential does the Japanese music scene eventually influence you guys?
Well, anyone who knows me even a little, probably knows I live and breathe Japan since I was a kid. I love most of Asia in general and I have a lot of respect for the teachings of Buddhism. Everything interests me, honestly, even the little, mundane things. I probably sound like a weaboo and at some point I probably was too, but there’s a deep connection there. If multiple lives exist, I bet I spent a bunch of them there, I can’t explain it otherwise. It just feels natural and harmonious and normal, as if it’s always been that way. It also pains me I don’t live in Japan anymore, but I make sure to go back for work and fun and to see my friends.
I’ve been listening to Japanese music since 2005 almost exclusively, so I guess this shows in my own music too. Sam is in the picture now too, so his American influences are very apparent as well. It’s an interesting mix.
How did you guys came up with the name Season Of Ghosts? And does it have any special meaning ?
Just like everything else, the phrase just came to me one day. I never force things, I go with the flow and allow ideas to come the way they please. So Season of Ghosts came to me and I asked my Japanese friend if he liked it and he did.
The name is a way to express the times we live in, or at least my own perception. It’s a season of ghosts because I believe humanity is coming to an end. Not THE end, but the end of how we knew it until now, it’s transforming and not in the best way possible, I think. So at crucial times like these, certain energies come together to form synergies that aim to save the day, so these “ghosts” of the past come in different forms, as divine inspiration, conscience, as art perhaps, to speak to us, to warn us, before it’s too late. Many people are opening up to spirituality in the last few years, neo-paganism is also on the rise, there’s a lot of people who are in good contact with the earth, the universe and themselves. I wonder if this mass awakening is enough to save us from extinction.
What band or musicians that inspire you guys to start playing music?
There’s no one specific, but I always admired The Smashing Pumpkins and Billy Corgan specifically, as a leader. Very controversial and impactful, I feel he influenced me a lot as a teenager. Then later on, I was listening to metal and then I found out about Visual Kei and I wanted to be a guitarist, so I learned how to play the guitar. My teacher back then told me “if you’re not famous until you’re 25, you’re done for”, so I kinda got disappointed and gave up on guitar, but I kept on singing and at some point it became my job. My 20 year old, social anxiety self would never believe that. It still feels weird sometimes, especially when I haven’t played a show for a long time. I see pictures of shows and I’m like “who’s that? What the hell?”.
Do you guys still listen a lot to other bands or musicians ? Any new bands that interest you recently?
For the past few years I listen mostly to ultra old stuff, like bossa nova, smooth jazz, golden classics. Stuff like Barry White, Frank Sinatra and Julio Inglesias, lol. I love Michael Buble though, he’s new. I find myself seeking peaceful environments, peaceful music, that inspires calmness, warmth. I also enjoy some post-rock bands like The Best Pessimist.
My latest fave band, that accompanies my gym workouts is Dance with the Dead. The whole 90s comeback gives me butterflies to my stomach you know. I wish I could go back there. Innocent times.
Any favorite musicians that you guys are keen on collaborating with in the future?
I don’t ever think about stuff like that, but since you’re asking....hmm... Dance with the dead would be cool. Or ONE OK ROCK.
After releasing “A Leap Of Faith”, what is your plan in 2019?
We’re touring this spring and hopefully later on this year too! Here’s the tour dates
SEASON OF GHOSTS ON TOUR SPRING 2019
April 21st - Quinphonic Festival, Birmingham, UK (Tower of Song)
May 4th - Heaven & Hell Festival, Sheffield, UK (The Royal Standard)
May 9th - Weinheim, Germany (Cafe Central)
May 10th - Rotterdam, Netherlands (Baroeg)
May 11th - Essen, Germany (Turock)
May 12th - London, UK (Underworld)
13th May - Paris, France (Petit Bain)
Many thanks to Season Of Ghosts and their management team for this exciting opportunity, our sincere apology that they interview can't be posted a bit earlier due to certain problems.
For those looking for more information about the band, their music and other projects can once again check them out at: