Ghosting Season


Written by Tshepo Mokoena
Photos and illustrations by Sebastien Dehesdin, Gary Wolstenholme
19 Sunday 19th June 2011

No seriously, Ghosting Season are sort of like an experimental offshoot of the dark electronic outfit worriedaboutsatan. Members Tom Ragsdale and Gavin Miller realised they could no longer contain their new musical direction under the 'satan name, so have a new record and EP out today as Ghosting Season. Fret not though: worriedaboutsatan hasn't been vanquished forever. This was just a much-needed break and chance to really stretch their musical bounds beyond their first band's framework. When we met at Islington's Lexington, talk got onto band name misconceptions, lugging desktops to gigs, and rumours of a third musical project.  This is the start of the Ghosting Season.

How are feeling about the shift from one band to the next, and introducing Ghosting Season to the world?
Tom: Well at first we didn't really think about that. We just made the music and thought it'd be the next worriedaboutsatan album, but listened back and realised it was something different. We thought, 'why not just start another band'?. It's been quite easy for us to get it down, now we've got Zoe (manager) handling stuff and saying 'yeah' to our ideas.
Gavin: Seeing as we've said we've got a new band, new single, and new look I think it's making people go 'woah' a bit more than just saying worriedaboutsatan has a new EP coming out. The impact's bigger, so it's kinda nice to be able to release something without all the preconceptions that came from releasing under the worriedaboutsatan name. I mean, we sound like we'd be a death metal band or something, but when they see two kids and a laptop we can play without any of that devilish baggage.
So how would you compare the sounds of the two different bands?
T: GS is a lot more like dance music. Not like, 'dance', but when you hear Underworld and that sort of dance. Worriedaboutsatan is more like electronica. The best way we've been describing it is that worriedaboutsatan's for kind of 4-5am and Ghosting Season is for 1-2am. (Gavin laughs). It's a bit more full-on.
G: Yeah, 'satan has more atmosphere that sometimes rendered itself to be these big big washes of reverb. With Ghosting Season we've taken that and whipped it into shape a bit, making these eight taut minutes of dance music that still keeps the other atmospheric elements.
What's your musical background? How have you evolved from more of a guitar focus into what worried is, and Ghosting Season now is becoming?
G: Well, we grew up on rock and metal and all that sort of stuff. We still listen to it, but just stripped it of its instruments. We thought 'how can me make that sort of music, with post-rock influences, without all the band members and live drums?'. Yeah, we started as a pretty serious post-rock, wannabe Mogwai band then just got kinda bored doing it.
T: Back then we started off using these massive old desktops that we'd carry to all our gigs. 
Really? Are we talking Windows 95 stuff?
G: Yeah, they cost £40 but still had floppy disk drives and stuff.
T: We had a big keyboard, and a wired mouse attached to these huge monitors. We did think after a while, we should just get some Macs. This is getting ridiculous.
When did you lose the drums and other major live instrument elements?
T: I suppose May 2009, when Arrivals came out. We started going to pure techno nights, and less of the sort of rock nights. We realised that obviously when you're playing guitar you can't do stuff with a laptop at the same time so thought, one of us needs to be the more DJ guy. He can put the guitar down and play with the synth, or the laptop, or manipulate the sounds a bit. Seeing how laptop DJs performed with loops really inspired us.
We've been hearing rumours that you may have a third project in the pipeline now? On the multi-tasking, huh? What can you tell us about that?
G: Well the way it works, I do a demo and sketch some ideas, then together we flesh them out to make a whole track. Just after Arrivals, we had loads of demos kicking around. One became the Heart Monitor EP, but there were still all these leftover tracks that just didn't fit. They were really hard and huge and didn't really work with our usual guitars or washes of ambience. They're not as focused as Ghosting Season's dance-y stuff, so we thought we might as well start another band to bring them out.
T: We don't know what's gonna happen with it yet, but something will. It's all happening! The Ghosting Season album's totally mastered and ready though, so we're now just scouting for a label. It should be out sort of winter or autumn time.


Far End of the Graveyard - Ghosting Season
What are your thoughts on handling all this material yourselves, with different DIY releases?
G: Well, we've always been fans of DIY since we had to do it out of necessity for ages.
T: Yeah, having management and actual PR representation now is definitely strange. It's the first time we've had anyone in five years do anything for us, and sort of organise stuff for us. [Gavin laughs] It lets us relax and just focus on the music.
EP artwork
Far End Of The Graveyard cover artwork
Finally, what was the scene in Leeds like [both laugh raucuously] for receiving the kind of music you two were and are making?
T: Well, we're moving out in two weeks. Manchester's the next step.
G: Leeds is a bit.... Well, when we first came out we were still playing through amps and focusing on riffs. We started to move away from that as Leeds got really into riffs and Pulled Apart By Horses kinda rock stuff. The electronic promoters started moving out and we were sort of left out in the cold [Tom laughs].
T: It's pretty weird that in Leeds we really struggled to get gigs, but here we get picked up and can play with people like Apparat and stuff in no time. Every couple of weeks there's another exciting opportunity in Manchester too, so it just makes sense to move there.
Ghosting Season's Far End Of The Graveyard EP is out today (June 20th, 2011). You can listen to it in full on the band's Soundcloud, and find out about the rest of their summer dates on their site and Facebook page.

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