Monday, January 16, 2012

Interview: John Spinelli (Ghost In The Addict)

Ghost In The Addict is the brainchild of John Spinelli, the only official member of the band, being a sole singer and a multi-instrumentalist, merging a multitude of genre into a pleasant, melancholic but powerful result!

pdn: Good evening, John! How did you come up with this name for your project?
John: I had a dream that an extraterrestrial came down and spoke to me telepathically. I don't remember a lot of what I was told - it was telling me about other dimensions and things that I could barely wrap my head around. But I remember that it told me I should stop trying to get a band together and just make music on my own, using the name Ghost in the Addict. I think it was a dream anyway...

pdn: And how did you come up with the idea for this one man band of yours, when did you start making music?
John: I started playing the drums when I was a little kid and I taught myself guitar, bass, and piano as a teenager. I always wrote fragments of music but I didn't really have my own distinctive style. Then one time I took acid on Halloween with some friends and we went walking in the forest. Somehow I got separated from the group and had no idea where I was. I wandered all alone in the dark, lost in the forest for hours and hours. Eventually I came upon an open field with an amazing view of the October sky. I sat in the grass alone that night and had a long conversation with the moon. And that's when I started writing songs the way that I do now. Something happened to me that night and it changed me forever.

pdn: What influences you when you write the lyrics and put your sounds together?
John: I think I tend to be more influenced by life events than I am by music I listen to. The sound that comes out of me is just the sound that comes out. It might be too melancholy or pretty for some people or it might be too dark and moody for others. All I can say is that it's honest. I don't know how to make any other sound besides the one that comes out of me. I have a terrible rebellious streak coursing through me. If someone tells me to go left I'm going to go right. I sometimes think my music is a reaction in that way. I feel like I'm "supposed" to make hard, fast, loud, angry music because I'm a boy. So I make slow, moody, melancholy, emotional music. It's a strange kind of "fuck you" I guess. 

pdn: What are some bands that were meaningful pillars in your life and in the initiation of Ghost In The Addict?
John: There have been a lot of bands and artists that have been important to my life. As a male living in this culture I have always felt the societal pressure to not be emotional, not be vulnerable... to be tough and hard and manly and all that bullshit. I think it's unfortunate. Because of these cultural demands a lot of guys go through life denying a large part of themselves because they've been conditioned to think that it's not cool to be reflective, thoughtful, emotional, and things like that. I think some of the music which really had an impact on me years and years ago were albums like Pretty Hate Machine by Nine Inch Nails, Siamese Dream by Smashing Pumpkins, Disintegration by The Cure... albums where male artists weren't afraid to explore fragile emotions and openly express them despite the cultural attitudes which often force guys to feel ashamed of feeling. I have great admiration for people who feel the full spectrum of emotions and do it without shame. Fuck shame. 

pdn: If you were to collaborate with other artists, who would they be?
John: When I was recording Wishblister I think William Control's album Hate Culture had just been released and I was listening to it a lot. Our music is quite different but I feel like some of the emotion is similar. He's an artist I hold in high regard, in terms of his ability to articulate emotions that are the sort that most people stuff down and never let out. I think there is a certain kind of magic inherent in expressing the things which we are told we should not express. All my life people say "smile!" when they take a picture. They never say "be honest" or "be yourself" - too many people want something phony instead of something real. I love artists who are able to do something real.

pdn: What are your plans for the near future?
John: Right now I am recording the follow-up to Wishblister. I have music written and recorded to over 20 new songs. The next step in the process is to track vocals, which I should begin doing after the first of the year.

pdn: Thank you so much for your time! Any message for the readers that you would like to add?
John: You're not alone. There are lots of us. Let's take over.

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