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© Albert S. Llop/Demotix/Corbis
Did you make use of some of the vintage guitars and amps at Blackbird?
“Not the guitars, but we did use a lot of Nick Raskulinecz’s stuff, his guitars and amps. He’s got a ton of stuff. We did use some of Blackbird’s microphones and effects, though. Our whole time there was great. Nashville was a funny, interesting place for us. For as great and diverse as our record collections are, taste-wise, country is poorly represented. Going into some of the stores there was like going to a Star Trek convention when you’re a Star Wars fan: ‘Well, I can’t find anything here.’ You know, we're aware of Hank Williams and Johnny Cash and those artists that broke into the mainstream, but being in those record shops was like being in a steakhouse when you’re a vegetarian.”
How did the band’s makeup and presentation – the whole aesthetic – begin and evolve?
“The very unsexy start was that Ghost was a project, just a few songs and a vocal. Very early, when it was that embryonic, the few of us that were into the project knew that it wouldn’t fly if it was going to be just a band. What I viewed for the presentation was big and bombastic, this huge fucking thing. [Laughs] But that wouldn’t work if you’re just standing there in a shirt, being a dude. At that point, we were like, ‘Let’s get it together and build it.’
“We needed to jump over some of the steps that everybody else was doing. We managed to get a record deal and a fan base – this was back in the days of MySpace – and all of a sudden we were sitting there, and it was like, ‘Gigs… Oh, shit! We need to get a band together now.’ We got everything together, and yeah, now we look back and it doesn’t look cool. But what you’re seeing at the moment is just the start; we’re looking to 2017.”