With the very recent release of their eponymous fourth album, we had a chat with Simian Ghost about development, new influences, visuals and more.
How would you say your sound has developed over each of your albums?
We’ve had more or less the same ambition all the way I think—to make really solid pop albums—but we’ve focused more or less on certain genres. The last one we did had a bit more of this 60’s thing going, and this new one is, I guess more modern? We’ve become better at recording and producing too, so that affects the sound as well. It has become less abstract as a result of this. That progression is mirrored in the lyrics as well—there’s a little less mumbojumbo now.
As a visual artist you’ve always been very inspired by the visual, has this played a part in the creation of the new record?
Yes! When I record and mix stuff, I’ve always had a very visual approach. I see sounds as these shapes and textures and colours, and that helps me organize them. When I write lyrics I usually start with just listening to the music and imagine it as playing over a movie scene, which I then translate into words as best I can.
Do you feel like your influences have changed over the years since you released your first record?
Yeah, I’m listening to a lot of stuff now that I really disliked when I a kid. Like Scritti Politti for example. My dad used to play me a lot of slick 80’s music that I didn’t understand until I got older. I’m even getting in to some peripheral hair metal again. Getting older is awesome that way.
What would you say your mantra or objective is as a band?
Focus on the music. That’s the body. The surrounding stuff is just jewellery. Is that too long to be a mantra?
As this is your first album to contain studio recorded material, has the creative process felt different to before?
Yeah, we’ve been really afraid of letting people into our creative process before. But it was amazing. Getting a fresh perspective was really great. And Thomas and Henrik are lovely people.
Are there any up and coming artists you’ve been listening to lately?
Not really. We played a couple of gigs with Her’s in Austin. They’re super. But I tend to listen to less music when we’re doing our own stuff. I’m mostly alternating between noise and dad rock. And some 90’s R’n’B.
Your albums out at the end of September, how do you think fans and new listeners will react to it?
I hope they’ll like it! I think it’s a very unpretentious and musically interesting album. It has guitar solos on it, and they’re not the least bit ironic. It’s fun!