Observing the Ghost - 10.17.11

Interviewed by
Observing the Ghost - 10.17.11The following is a mini interview of generic questions that we posed to all bands that wanted to answer:


1. How did you get your band name?
It's a mixture of two different names that we thought of when trying to think of band names. Jimmy (vocals/guitar) came up with The Observants & Brad (Vocals/Guitar) wanted to name it after the Placebo album Sleeping With Ghosts as it is one of his favourite albums. We sort of just fused the two together and that was it.

2. How did this band get started?
We started when our two frontmen Brad & Jimmy decided to start writing together in February 2011. Brad's old band The Devil's Conspiracy had just broken up after supporting ex Placebo drummer Steve Hewitt in Love Amongst Ruin. And James' previous band Yesterdays Notion, who were also on the local circuit playing with bands such as Johnny Foreigner, went on a break. We recruited the drummer from James' old band, Billy, then a week before our first gig we met our bassist Ben Ysselmuiden at James' 18th party at the end of March. By this point we had a whole EPs worth of material written and started recording & gigging regularly. The only aim we had for the band when we started it really was that it had to sound big. Really big.

3. What bands are you influenced by?
We have loads of different influences from all over the place. Everything from breakcore/electronic music to metal to acoustic stuff. Our main influences though have to be: Placebo, Radiohead, Incubus, The Mars Volta, Angels & Airwaves/Blink 182, and Senses Fail. We like bands that sound big & atmospheric which is why we like a lot of bands with electronic influence such as Radiohead, but we also like more in your face/raw stuff, as well as melodic/poppy music. We like to try and make a decent blend of it all.

4. If you could tour with any bands past & present, who would they be & why?
We'd love to play a tour with Radiohead or Placebo - that's the real dream as they are our main influences. But it would also be really fun to tour with bands like Blink 182 or the Foo Fighters because of how funny it would be and the ridiculous shit you'd get up too. We'd tour with anyone really, we'd be happy for anyone to take us. It would also be really cool to tour with Pink Floyd, but we're talking impossible now. We're just as likely to tour with these bands as we are to start our own festival on the moon that we were headlining and being supported by The Beatles & Jimmy Hendrix.

5. Best food to eat on tour?

6. Why should people listen to your band?
Because we're trying to offer something new and original rather than churning out the same bullshit that's already been done countless times and because we're good people apparently.

7. If you could be an athlete, which athlete would you switch places with?
Stupid question. None of them. Because we play music. Next...

8. If you won a grammy, who would you thank?
My guitar.

9. If you could change something about the music industry what would it be?
That labels still had the money to be able to invest in new artists that are actually good.

10. Memorable tour experience?
We haven't actually been on tour yet but I'll let you know after we have in April. A memorable gig experience was getting locked backstage at The Joiners, which is a famous venue in Southampton near where we live. Also playing The Wedgewood Rooms in our home town of Portsmouth was pretty incredible because every good band has played there at some point before.

11. What does AP.net mean to you?
It's a cool place for down to earth kids to talk about music. I like the fact that they also do a lot to promote new/small bands.

12. What is your favourite song to play?
A new song we've written called "Testify." It's indescribable how fun it is to play, it was made for playing live.

13. What is your vacation spot of choice?
Countries where we can tour and countries where we can smoke.

14. What music reminds you of your childhood?
Blink 182 & Nirvana mainly. Kind of an odd mix really.

15. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why?
The power to make people like our music enough to buy our merch and come to our shows so we don't have to work shitty jobs and we can do what we do best for a living which is play and write music.

16. Any pre show rituals or superstitions.
Always always always have at least two whiskeys because they calm the nerves. Also pace around in doubt that the soundmans done a good job for once.

17. What is something that most fans don't know about you?
I hate Ben (our bassist). In fact, we ALL hate Ben. Most people outside of our band don't really know that.

18. What do you think the current state of the radio?
I don't know because I never listen to it as 99% of the time it's shit.

19. What do you like to do in your spare time?
Our bassist Ben likes to kill cats, our drummer likes picking wild opiates in his local park, our electronics/3rd guitarist Ben Brockway likes being a nerd, Jimmy likes being indie & I like being a dick, personally.

20. What kind of hidden talents do you have?
All of them.
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