Ghosts – our top tip for 2007

Predictions are easy things to make when a band has songs as good as Ghosts' and so VF discusses lesbians, classic songwriting and sleepovers with wide eyed frontman Simon Pettigrew.

[r-zone1]Ghosts formed at school just outside London and for over a decade Simon Pettigrew (vocals and guitar), Robbie Smith (bass), Mark Treasure (keys) and Johnny Harris (drums and production) have been creating music together in one form or another. They’ve refined the sound of their previous incarnations to what we have now. Ghosts have written the year’s sing-along anthem ‘Stay The Night’, which will be their first single released in March.

You’re not rave and you don’t have a fat lesbian for a singer, why should we care about Ghosts?

Being rave or having a fat lesbian singer aren’t reasons alone to care about a band – I think people care about Klaxons and The Gossip bacause they write great music, and I think we do too…we’re not part of any scene, we don’t have any gimmicks, we’re not gonna go around slagging off other bands to get attention (it always seems like a symptom of insecurity to me), we just write great songs with lyrics that hopefully people can relate to. I know that sounds like a cliche, but cliches are cliches because, generally, they are true. I love all my favourite bands for the music they make, regardless of how fascinating Kurt Cobain was, I wouldn’t have cared about Nirvana if they hadn’t have made great music.

[r-zone2]You’ve been together as a band for ages, do you share girls and drugs like the Stones? And what habits that the others have really piss you

When you first start a band you think it will be a good way to impress girls, but at the start you’re rubbish which impresses noone, then it takes so much work to get good enough to impress anyone you realise that your social life has disappeared in favour of endless hours in windowless studios, which isn’t exactly an environment swarming with women. So no, we don’t exactly have underwear thrown onstage or anything like that! And even if we did, I doubt there’d be any sharing going on. We aren’t exactly the biggest drug band in the world either, its not like we are spacemen 3 and everyone is heavily addicted to drugs, then one person scores a huge amount and refuses to let anyone else have any! We all have our vices, but it’s always better to share…

[r-zone3]You’re on tour over the next few months, what festivals are you hoping
to play?

We’ll play anyone who’ll have us! So ideally all of them, but if i had to pick 3 key ones I’d say Glastonbury (obviously, but I’ve never gone before and its been a long standing ambition to play), Roskilde and Fuji Rock…

What are your best festival moments as punters?

There are so many…mostly involving Reading Festival. Top three moments are probably:
1. The Verve playing Man Called Sun in the tent at Reading 1997 after they’d reformed,
2. Being deep in the moshpit and looking back at the whole main stage crowd going apeshit to that big scream in Sabotage by the Beastie Boys in 1998 (or maybe 99? at that moment i was too battered to know what year it was)
3. Neighbourhood (power out) and Rebellion (lies) by Arcade Fire in 2005. Made drugs live up to the hype…

[r-zone4]Your first single Stay The Night could be the feelgood hit of the summer. Who was it you were trying to shag and was she worth it?

I wouldn’t be inelegant enough to name names, but she knows who she is and she knows she was definitely worth it!

You blew some of your advance flying abroad to write songs, how did that shape your album?

Yeah, we signed a small publishing deal in March last year and quit our jobs and flew straight off to Sweden…we spent 9 weeks in a tiny cottage in the middle of nowhere (an hour south of Gothenberg), 10km from the nearest bar, no car, walking in the woods the only alternative to recording. We probably wouldn’t have got a record deal without that trip, we wrote 10 songs of which 5 are on the album, including Stay the Night, The World is Outside, and Musical Chairs which are all gonna be singles…hopefully we’ll go back for album two…

What was recording with Coldplay’s producer like? Did he tell you about Chris Martin’s addiction to crack and whores?

It was great, we chose him because he didn’t want to fuck with our sound too much, the idea was to just improve the demos and keep the spirit. It was wierd because it was so natural, it was as if he would have been one of our best friends if we’d known him in a social context, we were all pulling in the same direction…plus he didn’t mind that Jonny, our drummer, did a lot of the producing himself – when it came to mixing, Jonny did a large amount himself. I imagine a lot of other producers wouldn’t have put up with us! He did tell us a few interesting stories about the Coldplay boys, but I am sworn to secrecy!

What band would Ghosts be able to take on in a backstage drink-off?

I challenge any band to outdrink Jonny. I don’t know how he does it…Motley Crue would hold no fear for him.

Tent or hotel?

Tent. You can’t have the proper festival experience whilst lording it up in a hotel. Its always a bit minging, but i love that feeling of everyone being in the same boat. They should make all the bands slum it.

Listen to Ghosts and check out their tour dates at their MySpace page