It’s been one of those years for The Ghost Of A Thousand. Despite the release of the highly acclaimed ‘New Hopes, New Demonstrations’, they had to pull out of this year’s Download festival. Now opening the Eastpak Antidote tour I caught up with Tom Lacey and Andy Blyth for a check up.
How’s the Eastpak tour been so far for TGOAT? Feeling the burn yet?
Andy Blyth (Vocals / Guitar): Not at all. Until yesterday I’d been home for five days. We’ve been doing the shows but I’ve been going back to Brighton everyday.
What should anyone going to the any of the later dates of the tour expect from a TGOAT set?
Tom Lacey (Vocals): Us getting everyone ready for the rest of the bands. I think we’re a good fluffer. We’re the fluffers to the tour.
I’m sure you draw a dedicated crowd…
Tom: Yea we do actually. We’re just trying to bring our own brand of carnage to a bigger audience.
Andy: It doesn’t feel like we’re first on. To be fair everyone’s been really great. It’s been better than any opening slot we’ve done before.
You’ve toured with Alexisonfire before, back in 2007. How does it feel to be back on the road with them?
Tom: It’s great. I think we’re a lot more ready for it this time. We weren’t exactly confident in how we dealt with big stage back then, but we feel much more prepared now. But yea, it’s really cool; they’re good people and an awesome band.
Andy: We knew Anti Flag as well before we came on the tour so to be able to hang out with friends and play shows is cool.
Congratulations on your latest release ‘New Hopes, New Demonstrations’. How would you describe the album?
Tom: It’s an emotional rollercoaster… black-hearted rock and roll…
Andy: …Minimal rock and roll document of five guys sharing difficult times over 12 months…
Tom: That’s poetic.
You recorded it in Stockholm, what effect did that have on the album’s sound?
Tom: Well we had no daylight for five days. Yea that was good. We went out there with a little Swedish wizard – Pelle Gunnerfeldt. I think he brought out our more eccentric side. It made it quite a weird little record.
Andy: When we were recording it, we picked him for obvious reasons – he’s done all The Hives stuff – like the sounds and the tones on their records, he definitely brought out our more rock and roll side. I thought if anything it might make the album sound less heavy, but if anything, it’s made the album’s heavy parts sound heavier than the first album, and there’s a lot more textural diversity to the other songs, and more melody.
Tom: It’s just a lot more personal record. It’s got a lot more personality I think.
Earlier this year you had to pull out of a tent headline slot at Download festival due to family issues. How disappointed were you?
Tom: Yea it was tough to have to pull out, just sometimes real life gets in the way. I’m sure we’ll play it again, it’ll be fine.
On a more positive note, you’ve recently played well received sets at both the Reading and Leeds festivals, in the Lock Up tents…
Tom: I think they were the best shows we’ve had all year to be honest. We had a really good crowd for both of them.
Andy: My favourite part was at Leeds fest. There was a special note that went round the security guards. We weren’t suppose to see it but our mate the stage manager showed it us, it read, “Expect raucous crowds for The Ghost Of A Thousand”, as like a special added note for security which made my day.
Clearly a sign that you’ve made it…
Tom: Yea, made us feel like we’re a security a threat.
What can TGOAT fans look forward to from you in 2010?
Tom: Well in this country I’m not so sure. We’re going to be touring hopefully in Australia and Japan, so they can expect a little break, but then hopefully we’ll come back with a new record written.
And finally, as 2009 draws to a close, other than your own, what are your favourite albums of this year?
Andy: There’s an album called ‘Monsters of Folk’ with M Ward and Conor Oberst. I really like that record.
Tom: I really like the new Pearl Jam. Really like The Horrors album, that’s cool. Flood of Red’s new album is really good. That’s not out till Monday but yea. Plus the new Camera Obscura album is amazing