‘I wouldn’t let Mark Ronson near our tunes, he’d just fill them with horns!’
Gigwise finds Simon Lord, one half of dance/electro/gothic partnership Black Ghosts, to be a pleasant, open young man - that is until producer of the moment Mark Ronson is mentioned and he suddenly becomes very possessive of the duos work! Quite frnakly we don't blame him. Unfortunately his other DJ Theo Keating can’t join us today but no matter Lord has words enough for the both of them.
The one thing we must point out about Black Ghosts is, notwithstanding their macabre name and the fact that they decided to join forces during Halloween 2005, their music is a far cry from ghoulish, if anything it’s soulful and dreamy. Their ‘It's Your Touch’ single, released earlier this month, is smooth and easy on the ears: reminding Gigwise that they share a record label with Armand Van Heldan and they’re heading to Creamfields this year. However, comparisons for the London based duo flow more freely towards the likes of Hot Chip and Klaxons.
We start by broaching the subject of how The Black Ghosts manage to keep both dance and indie camps happy in the current climate over crossover overload. The pair work together on the material for the band however we really get the feeling that this was of many projects for both guys: “I never stay in one camp," explains Lord. "I mean both Theo and I have side projects we work on. He’s always off doing sets, and I’m writing music.I wasn’t really into dance and electro music for example, but the combination of melody and beats works well.”
Simon talks mainly about his love of music; stressing he was in it for the artistic direction. Now all clichés aside, gigwise thinks he's genuine in his passion for his 'art'. We ask him about how they plan to stay ahead of the game after the success of early single ‘Anyway You Choose To Give It’ at a time when so many artists are ploughing similar territories and trends are just a flash in the pan of the latest buzz word. “Well, people have been doing what we’re doing for ages,” he says. “We’re just put a different spin on it I hope. As for being trendy, I pick up NME and it’s so repetitive these days, there’s a quick turn over of bands, which can be daunting. If you think too much about how cool or trendy you are, the magic disappears.”
It may be Simon’s background that allows for such quite confidence. Now after doing some digging, Gigwise discovered Simon’s grandfather was a classical musician who played oboe on the Beatles’ 'A Day in The Life' and even contributed to the Star Wars theme tune, while his dad invented synthesizers for a living!
Moving on from the band themselves we ask now that The Black Ghosts have developed their own sound, who does Simon rate on the modern music scene? “I really admire Jamie Lidell at the moment, he’s respected on the electro scene, as well as catering for many different tastes. And he does it really well.”
Lord obviously values his melody and lyrics, he’s the one taking care of that side of things. So, Mark Ronson aside, does he become possessive over his tunes once they’re written and produced? “No, my songs aren’t so personal that I feel protective over them. It’s cool to re-mix tunes, so they come alive with a different character." He moves on to add: "Like I said, I wasn’t really into dance music but I like the fact that Black Ghosts engages with indie and danceheads. Dance music has gone through a renaissance in recent years and I’m happy to be a part of it.”
Before we ask about the bright future for the dark Ghosts, we remember Theo in all of this. Theo Keating seems to have injected the gothic into this partnership. His background seems just as colourful as his partners, Gigwise discovers from Simon that the Theo’s godfather directed big horror movies 'Satantic Rites of Dracula' and 'The Two Faces of Evil'. We know whose responsible for the skulls, however comedic, on Black Ghosts artwork now!
Looking ahead then, the duo take on Creamfields in Augusts before their is released later this year. The next ‘proper’ single will be ‘Something Through This’, accompanied by a cool video, “We’ve got some film maker friends of ours to work on a city made out of lego. Theo and I will be walking around it as it forms! We want all of our videos to be like this: we’re recreating our childhood hobbies on the screen. Fantastic!”