How did you guys decide who got to be 1 or 2? Did you flip a coin?
“Well, I’m the main music writer. I play the solos, and I play lead guitar, so... there you go.”
What kinds of bands were you in before Ghost? What was your musical development?
“Collectively, we’ve explored a really wide landscape of different genres. Most of us hail from rougher sort of underground music – extreme metal, punk and hardcore. We all met through an intense interest in exploring classic rock. We’ve done a little bit of everything.”
It’s interesting you say that. Ghost is hard-edged, but the band doesn’t have the same kind of monochromatic grind of a lot of death metal.
“It’s hard to label what we do because we tried to come up with something that isn’t so… easily labeled. There are elements in our music that death metal bands wouldn’t incorporate at all. There’s violence, but very little. It’s unflattering to talk about this – it inflates your sense of your own importance. I do feel that we’re different from a lot of contemporary bands, and I think, intent-wise, we have more in common with a lot of bands that are not at all into hard rock. Hard rock and metal are very much about heritage and tradition. Some of those fans who are more anal might lot like us because we don’t incorporate a lot of the typical or modern heavy metal elements that they want. We’re trying to be more of a proto-metal band.
“Obviously, we know our metal, and some of the influences in our music are from the ‘80s – nothing from the ‘90s, and nothing beyond that. The golden heydays of extreme metal were between ’83 and ’89, maybe; after that, there were moments that were good, but it completely died after that, probably by 1994. The proto-metal of the ‘60s and ‘70s was golden.”