To capture a Holy Ghost! you really do need to call the Ghostbusters.
Holy Ghost! fans were left shocked and saddened in 2009 after they were forced to pull out of (what would have been) a massive summer festival season for them due to the tragic death of their drummer. Nearly a year later, Nick Millhiser and Alex Frankel will finally be haunting our shores with their 80s synth sounds as part of the line-up for Parklife 2010.
With aptly titled tracks like I Will Be Back, and the ability to float through walls, chatting with Alex was never going to be easy. After a trinity of obstacles (a NY cab ride, giving someone street directions and the Brooklyn Bridge) we finally caught our Ghost.
There are so many new electronic acts coming out of Williamsburg in NY at the moment like The Drums, you guys and MGMT. Is there something in the water or do you just feed of each other as inspiration?
I think there is a bit of myth about NY that’s there this scene happening in Williamsburg. There is a scene happening there but it’s not like we’re all, um, I guess from a business side. To be honest its like you get to see a band do so well and then we’re like ‘maybe we can do that too’. When MGMT’s record Oracular Spectacular did so well you have to take some time and sit down and listen to that and go, ‘how did they do that’? But that’s not really our style of music.
True you both have very different styles. MGMT are very modern were as you guys seem to have a genuine 70’s and 80’s style and sound. Is that because you’re children of the ‘80s?
Yer, we’re 80’s babies (both born in 1982). Both our parents were really musical, so we grew up listening to the music of that time, whether it was Michael Jackson or Steely Dan. My mom was really into dance music, she used to go out to discos and stuff… so that was playing in the house.
It’s not like we’re trying to be cheeky or ironic, like Calvin Harris, no offence. It’s not like we’re taking the piss. It’s more than nostalgia, it’s just a really big part of who we are, and we both think records just sounded better then.
So the old sound boards in your video clips, are they more than just props?
Yeah, the gear we use is almost all from that period and the way that we master our tracks. From the first stages to the final stages we try to avoid new technology ‘cause we think it just doesn’t sound as good.
What was the first album your bought?
Naughty by Nature, Kriss Kross and Black Sheep on cassette. I went to the record store and got them. It was a big problem ‘cause they all had parental advisory stickers and my parents didn’t approve of them.
So Missy Elliott must be big on your list to see at Parklife.
Definitely. I really hope we’re not on the same time slot as her. We tour a lot and it’s not a name that we see often, so there’s something special about that.
What about Classixx? We spoke to Tyler a few weeks ago and he said they were originally supposed to join Holy Ghost! but couldn’t due to “scheduling issues”.
That’s their line but I’ll tell you the truth, the parts were too hard. Tyler just couldn’t cut it. No I’m just kidding, they actually were too busy. Those guys know all the songs though, so maybe they can jump up on stage with a guitar or something.
Michelle Sawyer, July 2010