INTERVIEW: Ghost Parade
By: Jett Black
"...it is the nature of the Rock and Roll Beast to have a revolving door."-Jim Myers - Ghost Parade.
Halloween approaches and Ghost Parade appears now on the billing of the Queen of Halloween Ball with GWAR, 4 other bands, plus 4 djs, and 5 cabaret acts, collectively providing performances throughout the night of October 26th at the Roseland Theater in downtown Portland, Oregon.
IMWT: How did this gig come about?
Jim: Well, we wanted to do this event last year and didn't. We didn't have our live sound together yet. Up until September of last year, Ghost Parade was more of a studio project. Well, a year later, and after going through some growth as a band, we are now doing more live performances. We all belong to the PIG (Portland Industrial Gothics) e-list. When I saw a post to the e-list calling for performers for the Queen of Halloween Ball event at the Roseland, I jumped on it.
IMWT: And what more can you tell us about this Halloween Ball?
Jim: I remember from last year that it was huge!! Ghost Parade is a band that is all about Halloween! If you saw most of our houses, you would think that it's Halloween year-round. The promoter, Goddess Severina www.goddessseverina.net has been very generous with us and we are all feeling really excited about playing this Halloween event. It's a perfect show for Ghost Parade.
IMWT: The Roseland Theatre has a capacity to squeeze in many more than 1,300 fans. What does Ghost Parade have planned for this event to wow the audiences?
Karina: Ghost Parade always puts on a great stage show. We have some really talented performers here in our group. People who have been doing this for to many years to say and still be cool. We can promise that the audience will be more than satisfied with the audio-visual experience as long as Ghost Parade is on the stage.
Jim: Seeing Ghost Parade is more like seeing theatre. It's more of an experience than just a typical rock performance.
IMWT: How does Ghost Parade extend its music to underground music enthusiasts everywhere?
Karina: www.GhostParade.com provides info on the band. We post to message boards, and our members get out there and meet people we really enjoy talking to our fans person-to-person. Some bands don't think it is necessary anymore to recognize the fan base face to face, but we love our fans.
IMWT: Where is your music available online for audition and for purchasing?
Jim: At this point all we have is music online via our Mp3.com site. We have an album people can purchase on that site and also free music downloads. We will have a local outlet to get our music out in the Portland area soon. Once we begin work on our next album we will be giving out CD sampler again. People interested can get on our mailing list and we can let them know when and where the samplers will be available.
IMWT: Describe audiences most likely to tune into Ghost Parade.
Lorenna: I would say that audiences that are into Goth rock and old school 80's glam rock would appreciate Ghost Parade's musical style.
Eric: I think I would honestly say anyone with a grasp of what going on in ones head. The music is so down to earth and yet out there it gets personal and at the same time it steers one to another possibility. Goths, I don't really know I think our music will grab everyone.
Jim: we have been labeled gothic in the past, I think the reason for that is that we write allot about darker subject matter even if we have a darker edge I feel like we appeal to a larger fan base that the gothic crowd. I think allot of our audience is mixed between the old school gothic crowd and a new crowd of people somewhere in between gothic and mainstream.
George: various types of people ranging from mature teenager to adults who want to hear something a little more than the average pop crap that they are bombarded with by the current media.
IMWT: Ghost Parade line-up changes?
Eric: it seems that the only ones that seem to be permanent are Jim George Karina and I. To be honest with you, our changes will being us closer together and help us be more productive as a whole, as a band, meant for the world.
Jim: Yes, it is really about the core writing team when it comes to Ghost Parade. Everyone has always had the option to contribute in that way, but I have always relied more on the core-writing members of the band to create new material because I know that they are there for the long haul. If you look back in history, the bands that have always made it have always had a core, and the rest of the players come and go. The songwriters always stick together. There is a huge difference between artists and musicians. The artist's are the one's who create. I would like to see a permanent line-up for Ghost Parade, but it is the nature of the Rock and Roll Beast to have a revolving door. I have been working with Karina now for over two years and Eric who I consider a permanent member of the band, and I have done some incredible work in the studio and with writing. That should say a lot about the core of this band. The core will always be there as it always has.
George: Just like any relationship. Some things work out, and some things must move on.
IMWT: Ghost Parade features which member musicians now?
Jim Myers - Vocals, guitar, lyrics
Robby Russell - Lead Guitar
Lorenna Thompson - Bass Guitar
Eric Sosa - Keyboards
George Buck - Drums
Karina Cottrell - Lyrics
Robby: The Queen of Halloween Ball show will be my last show with Ghost Parade. I am taking a break from music, and going to work on something new.
Jim: Everyone listed at www.ghostparade.com is currently in Ghost Parade. The Halloween Ball will be Lorenna and Robby's last show with the band. Ghost Parade is going into the studio to write and record a new album after this year's Halloween event at the Roseland Theatre.
IMWT: Tell us about the Ghost Parade theatrical crew.
Ivan Polk - Stage Manager
Karina Cottrell - Clothing, Creative support
Carly Poe - Make-up artist
Jillian De Gazelle - Clothing assistant
Jim: Ivan and I have been playing in bands since (oh shit, I am about to age myself here) 1988. He is the only person that I trust with stage biz for Ghost Parade. He is the one that makes sure that the sound and lights are good, and also, that we are set up well. And he keeps and eye on everything for us. Karina has been making custom designs for Ghost Parade for over a year now. Karina also helps out with emotional support for the band and is a key part of the songwriting core of the band. Karina and I have been a songwriting team for over two years now. She will be taking on that role once more with the new album. Carly has a lot of acting and theatre experience. In addition to doing make up for ghost parade, Carly also brings lots of ideas to the band for image and stage theatrics. Jillian helps Karina with making clothing for Ghost Parade.
IMWT: Aside from the Queen of Halloween Ball on October 26th, where does Ghost Parade plan to gig next?
Jim: We plan on touring to support our new record in spring 2003. We will most likely play a New Year's event this year.
IMWT: Where does Ghost Parade reside and perform most often?
Robby: The band was formed in Portland, Oregon and most of our shows are in the Portland area.
Jim: Yes, we all live in Portland. We plan on making a wider mark outside of Portland next year.
IMWT: Reading from www.ghostparade.com, band members seem to be spread out from Oregon to Southern California.
Karina: we all live in Portland we COME from different place but we all live here now.
IMWT: What soundscapes does Ghost Parade unleash?
Lorenna: A style similar to the Cure, Peter Murphy, and a bit of Modern English.
George: Spiritual escape from reality.
Karina: Ghost parade is a very modern sound reflective of a very old idea.
IMWT: Who produced Ghost Parade's 9 track EP?
Robby: Jim actually did. We worked in his studio.
Jim: Yes. The material that is on our album at Mp3.com was recorded and produced in this big recording studio on Park Avenue called Audio Labs. 70% of the recordings were done there. The other 30 percent were recorded in a more scaled down studio, after I decided to sell Audio Labs. I have been doing production work pretty much all my life, and I feel very comfortable in that environment. We use digital recording formats, but we use them more like analog. All we really do is capture the live performance, and use the tools to mix. I do very little editing in digital, and I don't believe in the whole cut and paste thing.
IMWT: Tell us about the Joy Division cover track.
Robby: I have always been a huge fan of Joy division. When we searching for a new drummer last spring, we needed something to keep us sane and motivated. I brought the idea to the table, and the band loved it. I think the outcome was very well produced, and illustrates the overall sound that we are able to create as a band.
IMWT: What is Ghost Parade doing, or striving to do, through music?
Robby: I am personally striving to find every outlet to get something out into the world.
Jim: It's very much an artistic out let for me. I do it to create. I also enjoy performing live. That's when everything comes together, and you get a payback for all the hard work that goes into it. I think we are striving to have something to showcase our talents. Once we have that, we will be on the road to promoting and getting it to the masses.
George: Striving to create the new sound for the 21st century.
Karina: We are creating an emotional kaleidoscope of music and ideas. The things we are singing and playing about are real life. We want to get them out there, and for people to enjoy it.
IMWT: Tell us about any praise-worthy feedback Ghost Parade has received from fans and gigs.
Robby: The Bassist from Sumerland (David Gibson) said that we were, "the Gothic Guitar band of Portland", or something along those lines after a show last Spring. We are a rock band. We always wanted to have a "wall of sound".
IMWT: Now, open up the Ghost Parade resume and talk about any of your proudest moments/accomplishments thus far.
Karina: Writing our names right under Kurt Cobain's in a real popular club here, though mostly the mission is to party and play hard.
IMWT: If you weren't exploring and unleashing music, what else might you be doing?
Robby: Working a 9 - 5 job in some corporate office, spending my time at the coffee machine to escape work ...oh, wait! That is my life. I would probably have more time for a social life and find answers to all of life's great questions like, "where is my mind?"
George: Playing hockey!
IMWT: Tell us about the next music release planned by Ghost Parade. Any remixes of Ghost Parade available, or in-progress?
Karina: our next release will be our album in February. It will be our Valentine's Day present to Ghost Parade fans. No remixes as of yet, but we are open to it, if any D.J. wants to kick down a mix, or two.
IMWT: What will Ghost Parade be unleashing for fans between now and next Summer?
Karina: An all new website, line up, and album. We are hoping to contribute some amazing stuff this fall and winter.
George: New attitude, and another slap in the face to the music industry.
IMWT: What more words and news would Ghost Parade band members like to share with our readers??
Jim: Ghost Parade is going into the studio this fall to begin work on a way overdue album. The album will be full length and available on Vinyl and CD. We will be playing shows to support the new album as early as spring 22003 keep your eyes open for CD release parties near Valentines Day. Also there will be new music on our mP3.com site as soon as late October.
George: Come out and see our show, support our band. Hear a band play real instruments instead of just keyboards and computers.
Karina: Jim is single. Eric is not.