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A Dirty Dozen with ALEC A. HEAD from GHOSTBOUND – June 2021

| 29 June 2021 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Ghostbound was founded as the long-gestating vehicle for the songwriting of Brooklyn-based musician/actor Alec A. Head (ex-Kosmodemonic). Founded when he was still in his teens under the name of Timshel, Ghostbound did not truly take form until 2013, at which point he began to seek like-minded musicians in an effort to complete what he had started over a decade prior, with the goal of creating expansive, cinematic music that drew holistically from all genres. In its formative years, the band was a duo consisting solely of Head and bassist Noah Shaul with the help of session musicians. Ghostbound would expand its ranks in early 2018 to include guitarist Talha Alvie (Skeletonflowers, The DA Method), and drummer David E. Richman (End of Hope, St. Bastard, Witch Taint) in an effort to play live and solidify its line-up.” We get Alec to discuss new music, influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Our new release is a mini-LP, of sorts, entitled Extended Play For My Sweet Mary Thyme.  It is a 30-minute “suite” of songs that deals ostensibly with the ocean.  I am a huge fan of nuggets both hidden AND visible, as it were.  As it happens, this record is full of both.  I am not sure if we have any fans that could be considered “diehard”, at this point, but there is a very stupid inside joke hidden SOMEWHERE in the liner notes that only those who have procured the physical vinyl version of the record can witness.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

Both of my parents were quite heavily into music, and they shepherded me from an early age to appreciate good songwriting vis a vis Elton John, Phil Collins, Avalon-era Roxy Music, Pink Floyd, and The Beatles, among many others.  When I would listen to music, even at an age as early as 6 or 7, I would almost always imagine myself performing it in front of an audience, using a pen as a microphone or a broomstick as a guitar.  Of course, these fantasies would change and refine themselves over time.  I was given a guitar at around the age of 10 or 11, but I do not recall actively wanting to write music until I started to get rather heavily into underground music as a teenager.  Essentially, I knew that I wanted to create atmospheric, somewhat dark music that defied easy categorization as early my freshman year of high school.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

There are MANY songs, albums, singers, et al that guided my way, but if I had to choose one, it would be Faith No More’s Angel Dust.  I have stated this in other interviews, but that record is probably the most bewildering album to ever be released on a major label. To hone in on it even further, I was specifically enamored with Mike Patton’s performance on it, and how he seemed to have every facility for every style imaginable, at least to my untrained ear.  I taught myself how to sing, basically, from singing along to his vocal parts.  As I got older, I discovered Jeff Buckley, Dax Riggs, David Sylvian, Nick Cave and, perhaps most importantly, Scott Walker.  All of these singers informed my musical DNA as someone who wanted to sing over darker music, as it were.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Again, it is hard to nail this down to just five influences alone.  Scott Walker, Nick Cave, Mike Patton, Arcturus, Devin Townsend, The Waterboys, Ulver, Swans, Agalloch, In The Woods…, The Cure, Depeche Mode, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Voivod.  These are but a few of the bands that I would say actively inspired me.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

I would probably die if I could somehow get David Sylvian out of retirement to do a duet with me.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

I daresay that we are an atmospheric metal band that takes inspiration from black metal and post punk, among many, many other genres.  We have had a few reviews that threw out the dreaded “prog metal” comparison which included an allusion to none other than a certain band whose initials are “D” and “T”. I had to stop myself from castigating anyone within ear-shot about how I failed in my endeavors and that I might as well give up now.  Once I came down from this energy, I was able to process this as the compliment as it was meant, even if it was one with which I violently disagreed.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

We generally only hang out to create a din of noise together, BUT both Noah and I are pretty good home chefs, if I must say so myself. Talha and I are both huge film nerds, and Dave is a stalwart homebody.  None of us would ever be so crass as to bust out an acoustic guitar unless we were trying to work out an arrangement.  I have PTSD from witnessing emo kids at high school parties busting out either “Wonderwall” or “Time of Your Life” and literally taking the air out of the room.  *shudders*

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

I once told Kelly MacDonald that I loved her to her face. She was very nice about my awkwardness.  Also, I once wept in the arms of Vincent Cavanagh (Anathema).

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

By FAR the best part of being a musician is the joy of creation.  Recording one of your songs and hearing it back on the monitors and having it come out almost EXACTLY as you had envisioned is a rare, wonderful feeling, and I am happy to say that I have that feeling with both our debut record AND our new EP. I am also a semi-working actor for TV, theater, film, and voice over, and I seem to be at my most joyous when I am on set or in rehearsal for something along those lines.  Additionally, I would love to work some manner of writing or archival work for The Criterion Collection.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

“Alec – why are you so talented and handsome? Also, who is Milan Kunder?” The question I grow tired of is the dreaded “what is the history of your band” question, even though I recognize its importance and I understand why it must be answered.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

HA! You said “career.” In truth, I wish I had the wherewithal, talent, and collaborators to finish and record our first record earlier than I did.  Although, there is an equal part of me that knows beyond the shadow of a doubt that it could not have transpired in any other way.  There might have been ONE gig that we played for which I felt we were ill-suited and really only there as “room meat” to pad out an already engorged bill.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

I would love to have been around the recording sessions for Dredg’s El Cielo.  The record was recorded at Skywalker Sound, and to this date I have no idea how they acquired some of the textures and atmospherics they achieved for that masterpiece of a record.




Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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