Following the release of their spectacular latest single ‘Hectoring’ we decided to catch up with Ghost//Signals, a Newcastle/Sunderland based indie, dark-pop band. We spoke to the band about the aforementioned single, the music scene in the North East, the future and more!
Hi! We’re Rick, Andy, Mark and George. Two of us are Newcastle/Gateshead based and two of us from Sunderland.
We’re mainly indie by nature. The band was largely born out of Andy and I (Rick) being on a bit of a downer, taking a 3 year break from a plethora of failed bands, etc and swearing we’d only ever start things again for a bit of fun. During that time I got married, got a proper job etc but wrote a few ‘comedy goth’ songs such as ‘Trauma, Trauma, Trauma’ and ‘Start Families:Avoid Shit Parties’. Cue new band with Mark on drums, and in typical fashion, this ‘just for fun’ band escalated somewhat.
You recently released your second single this year ‘Hectoring’ and we loved it! It’s something a bit different with clear influences melded throughout, but if you could sum it up in three words, what would they be and why?
Aw, thank you and thank you for the review!
My three words would probably be ‘sad city anecdote’. Lyrically, it’s just about destructive relationships driven by living in a socially/economically deprived urban environment and being too apathetic to change things/keep voting for the status quo. “We’re deader than the dance floor, I don’t care cos it’s only what we asked for”.
There are lots of upcoming bands coming out of the North East at the moment. Are there any other new artists/bands from the area that you’d recommend?
Oh loads! It’s hard specifically picking a few without feeling like I’m discrediting others, so I’ll stick to recent finds in the last month or so!
A couple of weeks back we played the BBC Introducing Takeover of the main stage at Lindisfarne festival – on straight after us were a fellow northeast outfit called Talk Like Tigers. Quite pop by nature, but had an 80s alt edge to them. Excellent stuff.
More recently on the local circuit I saw a Sunderland band for the first time called Picnic – hard to describe… Take the best elements of Paramore, The Sundays, Beautiful South and throw in some horns(!) and there you go! Really impressed!
A lot more established, and obvious shout is Sam Fender. Took me a lot of time to ‘get’ the guy – commercial indie music at the minute seems quite dominated by ‘soundtrack to the sesh’ type bands. Not complaining – people like what they like. Sam has a level of substance to him that I’ve not seen in a long time, and legit seems to be adding a much darker tone to all that stuff. Fair play to him. Let him lead the way.
If you could work with any band or artist on a new song, who would it be and why?
Brett Anderson – since Suede’s inception he’s essentially just bottled the grittiness of London and transposed it onto their music. Would love to learn how to deliver that same vibe derived from Northeast observation.
I’d also love to co-write a Christmas song with Kingsley Chapman.
Finally, have you got anything to share regarding upcoming gigs and what have Ghost//Signals got planned for the rest of 2018?
After many failed attempts we finally get to play Sunderland (Independent) on November 2nd. Also York on 23 November. We’re trying to minimise Newcastle gigs at the minute.
From there – we plan to release a single called ‘A Bag For Death’ sometime in November also. Sounds a bit despair-driven on paper, but hopefully people see it’s a play on words!
We’d like to thank Ghost//Signals very much for their time! You can check out their latest single ‘Hectoring’ below and also find them on social media via the following links.