INTERVIEW: Ghost//Signals | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Ian Smith

Inspired by the likes of The Cure and Echo and the Bunnymen, Newcastle’s dark indie rock band Ghost//Signals are finally blessing us with new music. While they’ve always made a huge impact on the live scene, their incoming debut album, Lives Defined By Winter Skies, will be their first released music since before the pandemic, and their first under indie label SwissDarkNights. “I think we were so focused on getting it out there, we probably didn’t take too much time to think about how long we had been away until it was actually out!” Front person Rick Lanning admits.

The first single from the album, I Beat My Demons Via Decision, confronts the mental health issues we all face daily. “It stems from my own experiences in my early 20s,” says Rick.There was just so much desire from others to tell me that my problems were fixed. That’s what the song title is derived from – in a boxing match you try and knock out your opponent to gain victory, but if you can’t manage it a judge steps in and says you’ve won anyway. The world just constantly felt like it was on fire back then.”

Themes around the trials of youth are reflected heavily the album’s semantics. “The whole album’s theme is largely about that point in everyone’s childhood. You go from generally not having a care in the world, to realising that the world isn’t always a good place. I believe everyone has that moment, it’s at that point your life becomes defined by the winter sky.”

The whole album’s theme is largely about that point in everyone’s childhood. You go from generally not having a care in the world, to realising that the world isn’t always a good place

This is also reflected in the storytelling of the album’s art, depicting a child wearing a Halloween outfit during dusk. “That’s actually my three year-old daughter Addy anonymised via costume!

It was just an image that popped in my head whilst being in the zone of finalising this album which we then recreated. I think there’s something in Halloween being a night of the year where you can shed your own identity and no-one will question it.”

Lives Defined By Winter Skies is an incredibly strong LP, and one that will go down as an instant classic. Some of the highlights include the fierce Kill The North, and the reflective and melancholic title track. I asked the band how they’d want this album to be looked at in 100 years’ time. “My uncle was in a punk band in the 70s, you can still occasionally pick up their original 7 inch at record fairs today! 50 years later…it’s like your creativity is immortalised. I hope that will be the same for this album. I would hope in 100 years they would reflect on songs like English Fictions and Kill The North and think ‘I’m glad that attitude doesn’t exist any more’.”

The band are capping off the album’s roll out with a UK wide tour that’ll see them travel from Scotland to London, but most importantly Newcastle’s Zerox on Saturday 10th September, where music lovers will be enthralled by tracks new and old, including A Bag For Death and fan favourite Avoid Shit Parties.If you have a crowd who know it already it’s a really good laugh. We’re not all doom and gloom.”

Ghost//Signals release Lives Defined By Winter Skies on 30th June. They play Zerox, Newcastle on Saturday 10th September

 

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