Friday, April 3, 2015

These Mountains Are Ghosts Interview

1.Can you give us an update on what has been going on with the band since the recording and release of the new ep?

After recording the ep, we have been working hard on rehearsing the new songs so we would be confident in playing them live. Besides this, we have been busy organising the release show and contacting many people to try and get as much shows as possible. After all, the most fun part of releasing new music is being able to play it in front of crowds.

2.Recently you have released a new ep, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?

In general I think we focused much more on songwriting for this ep, so the songs are less riff-oriented. In terms of the sound we got a bit heavier in the heavy parts, and a bit more musical in the chorus parts. We have also been experimenting a lot with pitch shifting to get some weird and layered sounds, (hopefuly) without overdoing it. There is also much more room for clean vocals, besides the hardcore screams, so I guess that this ep will be more accessible to metal fans who are not into hardcore vocals.

3.The new ep is a concept album, can you tell us a little bit more about the lyrical topics that are on the new recording?

“Legacy Of War” is about Hannibal (the conqueror, not the cannibal) and in general the second Punic war. We start the record with a song that represents the legacy of war passed on from his father (Hamilcar Barca), which explains the title of the ep. From then on we basically follow Hannibal and his army throughout their journey. He took his army, including war elephants, through the Pyrenees mountains (March of Dead Men) in order to travel to his enemies in Italy. The third song (Born In The Grave) deals with the practice of slavery in the Roman culture. Then we get to a blood-soaked battle scene (Die A Thousand Deaths), and the final song describes the aftermath of all this bloodshed, in this case a glorious victory for Hannibal (Horns Ablaze).

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'These Mountains Are Ghosts'?

To be honest, we didn’t choose the name with a certain meaning in mind. We wanted something that sounded interesting and could be interpreted in different ways depending from person to person.

5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?

We had great fun playing shows at Ieper Winterfest, Rock Herk, Funtime Fest, Muziekodroom and Magasin4. Describing your own stage performance seems a bit difficult, so maybe it’s easier to ask somebody who was at one of our shows, or even better: come check it out for yourself! :-)

6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?

We have a few shows planned in Belgium in the coming months (for instance a cool show supporting Tombs and Black Anvil in Antwerp), but we are definitely still on the look-out for opportunities. So anyone can contact us if they are interested in booking us (either at or through our booker Ruffstuffmusic at ).

7.Currently the band is unsigned, are the band members open to working with another label?

Our previous record “Demon Horde” was released on Funtime Records, which is a great label for Belgian punk and hardcore music. For this ep, we decided to keep it on a smaller scale, with only a limited run of 12” vinyl, so we decided to keep it completely in our own hands. In the future, the possibility is still there to cooperate with Funtime Records again, and we really appreciate everything they have already done for us. On the other hand, if other labels are interested in supporting us, we are always glad to talk about it.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of metal and hardcore?

For now we have mostly stayed within Belgium, although we have played a few shows in the Netherlands as well. It’s quite difficult to make this step abroad, because you would really need to do a tour together with a bigger band to make people abroad notice you. Up to now we haven’t had that opportunity. The response at the shows in the Netherlands was always good, even though their musical taste in heavy music seems to be more stoner-oriented (I wonder why... ;-) ).

9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?

That’s quite difficult to say. For now we want to concentrate on getting our music out there and reaching more people with it. After this, the next logical step seems to be to start working on the next record again, which will probably be a full album, although nothing is certain yet. What that will be like musically is something that I can’t answer, because it has to come naturally while writing the music.

10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?

Internationally, I think the wave of “new” metal bands has greatly inspired us. By this I mean Mastodon, Baroness, Red Fang, High On Fire and all this kind of heavy stuff. In Belgium, we were very impressed by bands like Raketkanon and Drums Are For Parades. We were also fortunate to be the support act for that last band at a show in Antwerp (Kavka). There are also some great bands in the line-up of our booker Ruffstuffmusic, like Your Highness and The Guru Guru.

11.What are some of your non musical interests?

I guess the five of us are quite different in this aspect. Our singer is a real family guy, who likes to go biking in the weekends. The two guitar players are into video games and guitar effects, so they are also making video demos of guitar effects for Effects Database, a Belgian but internationally well-known website. Our bass player is quite busy with work, but he’s also getting into beer-tasting. Our drummer loves comics and movies, like the Marvel stuff, and he likes going to comic con gatherings.

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts

Thanks for the nice review, and good luck with your website! 

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