Interview: Simian Ghost.


Swedish chillwave/electro troupe Simian Ghost released their seven-track EP Lovelorn on November 14th, through Hiest or Hit Records. We think they’re great, we wanted a word, and they very kindly gave us a few.

Firstly, can you talk us through your decision to produce this record yourself…

It wasn’t so much of a choice really. Lovelorn is a collection of songs I’ve made myself at home just to keep myself occupied. I can’t really relax if haven’t got some project going. I produce myself out of two reasons; one is that I want total control over what I do. The other is that I just can’t afford studio time. I think that might be the biggest reason. Not living the rock star life just yet.

It seems evident with ‘Lovelorn’ that the environment in which you write your music has a big effect on the overall sound of the album. What was the ideal location when creating this album?

I don’t think there’s an ideal place for making art. Whatever works is my rule of thumb. Our next album is produced in Mathias basement, so it’s a little more classed up production wise. We used three microphones rather than my usual set-up of one. I get what you mean though, and I really like how the environment, in a very tangible way, sometimes manifest itself within the work you’re doing. The kind of softness in “Gently Submissive” for example, comes from the fact that I recorded it at night and didn’t want to wake the neighbors. I was just trying out some melodies and the next morning I looked back at it and really liked the whispering vocals. I think the best art is 50 percent hard work and 50 percent lucky accidents. A great artist is the one who knows how to make good use of those accidents.

There have already been some complimentary comparisons in M83 and Active Child. If you could be compared to any band right now, who would it be?

I don’t know really. I feel a connection to Thom Yorke. He inspired me a lot when I was younger and I too fall very far to the left in terms of political ideas. But I really don’t know who I’d like to be compared to. It’s a great way to discover new music, to read what others compare your work to. Active Child for example, was totally new to me when people started discussing our similarities. I like that. GZA is a strong influence on my songwriting too. I’d love to be compared to the Wu-Tang Clan.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

Right now I’m listening a lot to Mount Kimbie, Moderat, Pantha Du Prince, Panda Bear, Caribou, Gold Panda, Luke Abbott and other interesting electronic and semi-electronic acts. I tend to float between listening to a lot of electronic stuff and more traditional guitar based alternative music. That’s where I come from originally. I always listen a lot to Sonic Youth.

Who were your major inspirations when writing ‘Lovelorn’?

These kind of questions are very hard to answer, because I listen to so much music, and you really don’t have much insight into how your subconscious sort and rearrange the ideas you lift from others. I’d say I was very inspired by the ideas of Robert Anton Wilson at the time. And also I had just downloaded the holy Bible, the Koran and the Bhagavad Gita in app form to my phone.

Are you planning a visit to the UK any time soon?

We’d love to visit the UK. There are some plans being made right now as to how and when we’ll get there. Hopefully before the end of this year!

Was the decision to sign to Heist or Hit Records a natural, smooth transaction or did it take time to commit?

The people on Heist or Hit are great. They work from a roots kind of perspective and they’re super nice people who really cares about their artists. That’s the kind of people I’d like to work with. And I’m not just saying this, I’ve worked with some real asses in the past.

And finally, when life gives you lemons…..??

I make lemonade. I squeeze those suckers and drink their juice.

From Richard Mutimer.

Sucking Lemons.

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