Ghost Avenue was a band I had never heard before, but when I heard the metal sounds of this band oh I wanted to do an interview with them and well here it is:
How are things with the band these days and over in your part of the world?
Hey! Things couldn't have been better at the moment! Our second album is being released these days, first album on a proper label, and some reviews have already started pouring in with some really promising feedback! The future is looking bright for Ghost Avenue now and we can't wait to get our music out to the masses, both on cd and live. Not even the temperature showing that winter is starting to come closer up here in Norway will chill down our enthusiasm nowadays... :)
I just your newest release and we will talk about that later. So in reading your bio, the start of the band began many moons ago before we you are today. Fill me readers in on what I am talking about.
The band started out back in 2002 when our vocalist Kim and guitarist Oystein decided to form a band. Trying out different drummers and Oysteins brother Asbjorn on bass, it took until 2008 before the current line up got together and things started moving forward in a more focused manner. Up to this point lots of music had been written, but no live shows and only a demo had been recorded. Drummer Petter and bassist Magnus joined the band along the way and the line-up was fulfilled with André joining as a second guitarist in 2008.
Now after members came and went in 2008 you played your 1st live show. How was it and did you just play all originals or did you mix it up and were you nervous at all before you went up and played?
All of us had played in different bands in the past, so we were not first timers on stage at this point. Of course it is something special to play the first live gigs with a band after years in the rehearsal studio so you get a bit nervous, but that's part of the game and keeps you focused. We played all originals from the start and we usually doesn't mix in any covers.
Before we go any farther, how did you end up with your name and were any other names considered?
Back in the early beginning of the band the name "Ghost" was chosen. We've tried to explain the name with us playing "old" music as a ghost that comes back to haunt you, but in reality it just popped up in the head of our lead guitarist as a catchy name that has been with us until we signed with Pitch Black and changed our name to "Ghost Avenue". The reason for the name change might be quite obvious as we got tired of being compared to our quite successful Swedish name brothers and wanted a more "unique" name.
Now in 2009 you went and recorded an Ep. What was the name of it and was it recorded to have something to sell or do send to record companies or both? What was the response to it like?
Our 2009 EP was named "Days Undercover" and featured 5 songs. Two of those songs later ended up on our first album. The reason for recording it was mainly to be able to spread our music. We didn't even send the EP out to record companies, but wanted to "capture" our music in a decent recording for our own sake. We were quite satisfied with it so we focused on writing and finishing songs for our debut album instead of promoting the EP. But we ended up with some quite good reviews on that thing though.
Now for somebody who has never heard the band, what would you describe the music as sounding?
We play classic hard rock / 80s heavy metal. Being huge fans of the 80s hardrock/metal scene we blend our influences with our own twist and even though we are not coming up with something brand new with regards to the genre, we feel we bring new life to a genre that really deserves to be kept alive. If you like hard rock / heavy metal bands from the 80s, we're sure you'll enjoy our music!
Now in 2010 you went and recorded a full length this time. How was it going into the studio this time as opposed to the 1st time.
Recording our debut album "The Engraving" was much the same as recording our EP. Paying for the studio sessions ourselves we were well prepared to go in and "getting the job done". The album was out 2 months after we started recording and was officially released at a support gig we did for JORN (Jørn Lande ex. ARK, Masterplan etc.) in May of 2010.
Now your new release that is out. I love it and it is fantastic. I assume you’re happy it as well. Tell my readers a bit about it, what label it is on and where they can buy the bloody thing.
Yeah, we are really happy with the result and are really proud of this album. The album was recorded at Sparkle Sound Studios (local studio in the outskirts of Oslo) and mixed/mastered in Germany at Maranis Studios by Vagelis Maranis who did a great job! The album is filled with kickass melodies, catchy riffs, awesome twin guitar leads, great solos and thundering grooves! It will be released worldwide on October 8th and is released by Pitch Black Records. It will be available in physical format hopefully at your "local" internet record store and from our labels webshop (store.pitchblackrecords.com) and also digital through all the normal channels. So buy it or regret it!
Now in Norway these days have the churches stopped being burned down by all those stupid kids back in the day?
Haha, I think that stopped back in the early 90s. At least we're not running around with lighters and gasoline. Even though it kind of made the hype of Norwegian black metal even bigger, I don't think even the black metal dudes supported those stupid acts.
So what are your plans as far as promoting the release as far as tours and stuff go? Do you feel you are a strong live band?
We are promoting it through different digital media and with backing from Pitch Black Record this time we hope to spread the word about the band and record even wider. When it comes to gigs and tours, we're currently planning that as well and hope to get out and play as much as possible early next year. Some bigger rock festivals this summer would also be awesome, so we'll see what the future brings. We feel we've evolved as a live band the past few years and are currently rehearsing a live set with the material from the new album.
Speaking of live, are there any up on You Tube and places like that?
Yes, it exists some live clips of us on You Tube, but they are not that good quality-wise. So if you want to see us live, book us for a gig bring your friend some "beers and a whiskey too, for Ghost Avenue"! :)
Do you feel you’re an original band?
We strongly believe that we are an original band. It's not that we are playing a whole new type of music, certainly not, but we think we sound different than any other classic rock bands out there. We are true to our style and pay justice to the music we love so much. Basically we make music we want to listen to ourselves and we think we're making fucking great music!
What were some artists or bands you admired when you were younger?
Well, as we are five guys in the band we do have different bands that we loved, but the ones that probably stands out and all of us loved and still do, is Iron Maiden, Metallica, Kiss, Judas Priest, Queensrÿche and Mötley Crüe.
How does a song end up coming together? Where was the weirdest place a song idea popped into your head?
As our music and genre in general is quite guitar based, new songs usually starts with and revolves around guitar riffs. From the guitar riffs songs are usually jammed out at rehearsals where each band member brings their own stuff to the table. We try (and have gotten better at over the years) to work out songs as a band and not being afraid to try out new ideas or throw around on song structures/riffs if we are not satisfied with how it's sounding. As for weird places ideas are popping up it can be anywhere. For instance our lead guitarist often gets some ideas in his head after going to bed. He then "sings" the riff while recording on his phone and presents some weird mumblings at the next rehearsal. It sound pretty funny, but he is then then able catch it, remember it and be able to play it on guitar later on...
What are some things you like to do when not doing music related stuff?
When not doing music related stuff, we're some boring dudes doing our daytime jobs or spending time with our families... Not very rock'n roll, but that's life. :)
Tell me something about yourself that might surprise people?
Come see us live and hang out with us and we'll give you some surprises! ;)
Over where you live, does TV over there have all these stupid singing shows where the winner gets a recording contract and crap like that?
Yes, we do have TV shows like Idol, X-Factor and The Voice. The best thing about these shows is the first auditions where you get to see people who think they can sing. That is good entertainment.
How would you describe a fan of the band?
She is a hot woman with almost no clothing! :)
Craziest thing you ever saw at a concert?
We had this Norwegian rocker (Jokke, he is sadly dead now). At a concert in Oslo he was so drunk that he was carried on stage, just so that the audience should see him before they carried him backstage, and the show was cancelled. This had happened before so it was not a strange thing for his fans. The concert was gone, but the party was on. They just turned on his music on the Hi-Fi... :)
If you could join any band, what band would it be and why?
This is a boring answer, but I think I speak for everybody when I say that we're all happy to play in Ghost Avenue. But hey, Iron Maiden could probably use a forth guitarist right? ;)
Please plug any websites you have.
Any last words thanks for doing this interview.
Thanks for the interest and kind words about our music! For the rest of you, please buy our album and if you like what you hear, help us spread the word and the music!
Interview by Chris Forbes
Answers by Andre Berger (g.) & Magnus Liseter (b.)