8 WITH A. SWAYZE & THE GHOSTS!
Delve into the minds of our Corner Award shortlist artists with our ‘8 With The Top 8’ questionnaire!
Hello! Firstly, congrats on making this year’s Corner Award shortlist.
Thank you, our band are very proud to be considered. The recognition behind the nomination is flattering alone.
Basics first, how long have you been performing as A. Swayze & The Ghosts and how did it all get started?
The formation of our band is a pretty boring story. In short:Three years ago four friends formed a band with the intention of writing music and playing shows, which they did. Even our band name comes out of a very boring conversation. A boring band from a boring origin – perfect.
*Note: A Swayze and the Ghosts are actually far from boring.
Can you tell us about your most recent release, what inspired it?
I don't recall a singular event that inspired the song, it's more a collection of events that turned into an over all feeling – pesimism.
The song's theme is quite easily defined within the lyrics: there is a problem with how we're treating ourselves as a society – perpetuated by our misuse of the internet. I see the simple task of creating a facade online as a detriment to our society's state of self esteem, I also see the ability for corperations (including the government) to monitor our behaviour under the guise of convenience to be something out of a George Orwell novel, which doesn't boat with me.
What’s your writing process like? Do you start with lyrics, music.. a beat?
It's very unconvential actually - we sold our souls to the dark prince Satan, so songs just appear in our heads at 3am.
How do you push through the ol’ writers block when it strikes?
I don't push through – I stop.
I've spent a lot of my precious time rushing to get results by whipping a dead horse, when I could've just left it until I felt inspired again and probably done a better job or added somthing more interesting. Some of the songs we play feature lyrics that took months of evolving and resting but the final product (for me) is always better when it's been given some time to breathe.
What’s your favourite thing about performing live?
I enjoy the feeling of teetering between absolute confidence and sheer catastrophy. It's kind of like a dream in that you're always the protagonist and everyone is moving toward and against nothing other than you. I enjoy an attempt to have control over spontaniety.
What’s the best show you’ve ever been to as a punter?
I've just sat here for five minutes reflecting on some incredible shows, It's hard to say what the best one was. Shellac playing The Republic Bar was probably among the top.
Hennie, Zac and I went along with some others who were equally shocked that 'The' Shellac were visiting Hobart.
The venue was packed from every angle, Steve Albini had been in the room the whole afternoon tuning the P.A so it sounded incredible, and we'd been out the back smoking cigarettes containing other dried stuff preparing for the show - It was the perfect precersor to the perfect post-punk-math-fuckin' sickdog-show ever.
I stood at the crowd barrier after the show for quite some time planning to steal Steve's Travis Bean guitar. The guys talked me out of it thankfully.
Has there been a moment that has made you stop and think “yeap, this is where I need to be, I’m doing the right thing” throughout your career?
I don't know whether there is a 'right' thing I should be doing, I've just been following this path comfortably for a while, so in those moments that are meant to be filled with retrospect I just feel the next thing. Although, there is an over all feeling of contentness that comes with making a career out of doing a thing that allows me freedom – I feel something like that.
What advice would you give to budding musicians?
“Refer to question three.”
No, but honestly: the measure of success is weighed against integrity, keep the latter your priority.