The Midnight Ghost Machine are busy touring Europe as I write, promoting their current album “Cold Was The Ground” and we at TINAS appreciate them for taking time out to answer a few questions.
The band has been working hard out on the road supporting current album “Cold Was The Ground“. How is it going?
It’s been going excellent. The album is selling great, shows have been really well attended and all in all (for the most part) things are going as smooth as possible.
Have there been any shows that are your favourites?
Barcelona is always a favorite for us. But we did play Hellfest this year, that was quite an amazing experience. Played for a lot of people. Was pretty awesome, to be able to showcase our band for such a large crowd.
How do you pass the time when travelling on tour?
We go to movies on days off. We all read a lot. We bring our poles and tackle box on tour and go fishing a lot. We also bring baseball gloves and play catch whenever we can. I’m a big baseball fan so playing catch and watching the games is awesome for me.
What influences inspired the “Cold Was The Ground” album both musically and lyrically?
I wouldn’t say any certain aspects influenced the album or the lyrics. It’s all just kind of a big mash of things over time that has come together. We basically just had a plan for this album, to make this as much as a punch in the face album right out the gates. I think we definitely achieved that. Mostly just bouncing ideas off each other, and trial and error, and listening to a lot of old blues records.
How much of an influence does Kansas have on your sound?
I don’t know. I honestly don’t think any. I don’t believe that a home dictates who a person is. I believe a person dictates what their home is. We make Kansas what we want it to be and take what we want from it. It doesn’t make up who we are.
The album sounds like the band have gelled as a unit and it grooves with a purpose. It has a sound that can be easily transferred to a good live experience. Was that the aim?
Absolutely. Our live show is always the number one most important part for us. It’s where these songs shine the most. We love writing music that translates into a live show.
The vocals are quite gravel-toned with a hint of the theatrical about them. They remind a bit like latter day Tom Waits, especially on the track ‘Arvonia’. Is Tom Waits an influence?
Of Course he is. But then again what musician isn’t influenced by Tom Waits, whether they know it or not? He’s a genius and has always been a massive influence on our music’s structure, and the vocals of course.
The lyrics on the current album are often quite dark with images of revenge. Are they influenced by any real life events or just a vivid imagination?
Nah, they are just stories. Something to grab the listeners attention and hold them in place. I’m not really one for writing super personal lyrics, except for the track ‘The Little Sparrow’.
Also, on ‘The Little Sparrow’ the lyrics are of music being a form of torture instead of being a savior. Are you referring to the songwriting process?
Not so much the writing process, but the act of living the life of a musician. The hardships and struggles that you go through in order to spread your music, and the unrequited love that exists between the artist and his music.
Your schedule is busy until the end of the year. No doubt a rest will be needed and then are there any plans for writing for the next album?
Absolutely. We are already starting on getting things together for it. We never rest, it’s just a waste of time. When we are off the road we are working harder for this band than when we are on it. We refuse to be lazy and take anything easy.