Interview: Ghosts Of Torrez
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
I think we’ve all always been into music from a very early age, none of the band are particularly sporty or competitive, so music is the perfect outlay for people like us. If we weren’t in a band we would be making low budget horror films, mainly in the folk-horror genre (we are that specific in our creative endeavours).
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
We hibernate, like a big cuddly, brown bear. We are all kind of sloth-like, so we make music, sleep for months, wake up refreshed and make another song.
How long has your band been around?
We started as an acoustic duo around the late 2000’s, then decided to take a new direction before lockdown, so acquired a third member, rearranged who was playing which instruments and recorded a number of songs during the lockdown period. We are now releasing these digitally, with the aim to put them all on a vinyl LP at the end of the year. We also have a flexi-disc version of our latest track ‘The Wailing’ coming out early March, we are very excited about. Do you remember flexi-discs? They used to be given away free with copies of the NME and Smash Hits. They are like a cheap, flimsy, plastic 7” vinyl type thing. Absolutely terrible quality, we can’t wait. We are looking at other formats to release our other tracks on like eight track cartridges or wax cylinders.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
Leafy Hertfordshire, near Watford which is famous for bands like the Gallows, Wham, a member of the Spice Girls and Elton John, all of who have no influence on our brand of psych-folk, shoegaze, post-rock cowjazz, at all.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
It came to us in a dream … or it was the name of an IT technician, or something like that.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
We played a gig where one of the acts on the bill announced that it was the first time back, after
their last appearance and the ‘heart attack’ issue - our imaginations went haywire trying to figure out what could have happened.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
The Pumphouse …. Of broken dreams!! Juicebox Promotions in Herts have a monopoly on the finest venues in the area, The Horn being the best for sound and atmosphere. Gloucester Guildhall is another great venue. 2000 Trees is our current, favourite festival but I think our sound would fit their sister event Arctangent, so we would like to play there, please.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Wouldn’t mind, as long as we are listed above the Puppet Show!!
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Go, make noise and don’t care about anyone's personal opinion on your sound. It’s meant to be fun and if it’s not, stop (like gambling)!! To my younger self, absolutely nothing, you have to live to make mistakes and learn (or not) from them.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
We have a song called Air 306, which was the default name given to it by the Tascam eight track we recorded it on. Damn I miss that eight track!!
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
All our songs merge into one, live. People tend to say ‘I like that last song you played, the long one and we are like “that’s actually four songs”! The most requested song is “You’re boring, get off” which strangely is not actually in our set.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
I tend to write bad Eighties synthpop type songs that I then send to Rob, my musical partner. Who strips them apart and rearranges them. Eliot our guitarist adds his magic and Bob’s your Aunties live in lover!! 80’s Hair Metal is my main song writing inspiration, I always think “ What would Blackie Lawless do with this refrain” or “How would Blackie Lawless approach this melody”
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Be calm, meditative and stop fucking up the planet
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
With humour, we tend to spend more time laughing at our stupidity than disagreeing.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
New LP out at the end of the year, a few more songs released digitally and then the ultimate global domination, when we get the inmates of Monkey World to invade the neighbouring Tank Museum and take over the world with our Tank driving Monkey army!!!