AMA with Gost
evrythng_prsts: Even though synthwave is a relatively new genre, it’s already splitting into subgenres. The most obvious being the split between the darker and the dreamier/atmospheric sides. What do you think the next progression is? What other genres of music do you draw inspiration from?
GosT: Hmm it’s hard to guess what the next progression will be. Especially in a genre that draws its inspiration from the past. If I had to guess though, I would guess a more edm approach as the genre gets more popular unfortunately lol…
evrythng_prsts: What are some of your production tips? What DAW/VSTs do you use? How do you make your basslines so crunchy? Advice for beginners?
GosT: I use FL Studio and Mixcraft for my daws. Some of my favorite vsts are tal uno lx, native instruments massive and everything by arturia. I can literally use just about any vst to make a heavy bassline. It’s all about compression, eq, and volume. My advice to anyone starting out in any field really is just to work as much as physically possible until you have reached your goal. There really are no secrets. It’s just putting in the time to learn your craft really.
Dress-2-Kill: Who are your favorite Synthwave artists beside anyone on Blood Music and Carpenter Brut?
GosT: Lazerhawk is legit af. I like Confrontational a bit and The dudes in Dance With The Dead are good too. I really do not listen to much synthwave since I produce it. Unfortunately my involvement and constant work has kinda ruined listening to it for me.
Jack_is_my_name: How are you reproducing Paradise Lost in album form? I studied it in school and to my knowledge there are 12 books in total, are you looking at all these or are you just focusing on 9 and 10 which detail the fall and its aftermath?
GosT: Yeh the album is based purely on the fall and the rise/call to arms from the lake of fire. I would need another 10 years to do the entire poem lol…
megahitrw: How do you build up your liveacts? What stuff do you play live, or which part of the tracks do you usually like to control? In the past few months there were quite a few rants about synthwave artists giving “concerts” with their only setup being one laptop and a basic controller, and their tracks sounding 99% the same as the original versions, with almost zero live addition. What’s your opinion about this?
GosT: Personally I’ve always hated how electronic artists change their tracks for live performances.. With Gost you get more of a metal approach. The songs are basically played the way the were written. I think it’s silly that people get upset about electronic artists using a computer and a controller live. We make our music on computers, hell everyone does now and a keyboard is a controller as well really. I use a controller the same way I use a synth. I play leads and basslines live on a controller. I’ve used synths live but it is ridiculously expensive to travel with actual gear. On the upcoming tour I’ll have a mac mini, custom screen(I made), Ableton Push and maybe a drum pad.
tbaldownsall: What black metal bands inspired your upcoming release?
GosT: Tbh I didn’t pull many influences from black metal for Non Paradisi. Most of the new record came purely from me. It still has heavy elements here and there but as a whole it is a direct response to me reading the poem by Milton.
seanbd11: Really looking forward to seeing you and Carpenter Brut in Chicago next month! Any chance you plan on touring the US more extensively? What are the odds of you playing in Dallas, TX?
GosT: I’m actually from Texas so I would love to play Dallas. I would say there is a good chance of a full US tour in 2017!
Masavain: Any inspirations from outside electronic music (other musical genres, I guess movies, art etc..)?
GosT: I’ve always love the more extreme genres of metal. The 90’s black metal scene from norway and death metal. I just enjoy the spectacle of those scenes really. Also, I’ve always been into rock music. Currently really enjoying White Lung’s Paradise. I’m forever a sucker for good pop music as well. Future Islands is pretty decent imo.
glebanych: Are you going to perform some older stuff (“Ascension”, “Skull”, etc) during your upcoming tour?
GosT: There will be a couple of older songs sprinkled in the set yeh. Hard for me to stay on stage for more than an hour and even harder to fit all the tracks in that time frame that I want
Scartastic: Is it just me or does synth seem to be making a come back. Should I drop out of school to become a synthwave artist?
GosT: Haha I wouldn’t bet my life on it but then again I’m the type of person that did exactly that…. Dropped out and chased music for 15 years. Forever chasing…
KirbXCuke: In “Non Paradisi”, there’s is apparently a track called “4th” just like in the “Skull” EP. Is that the same track, a remaster, a remix, or just a new track with the same name? Also you’re a great inspiration for me. 🙂
GosT: It is a remaster. I felt some of my older tracks deserved a new master treatment which is why I included 4th here and Night Crawler on Behemoth.
Fartzazel: Do you mind that the name of your project is inevitably pronounced aloud to rhyme with ‘frost’ in order not to confuse it with that Swedish pop band?
GosT: I actually do not mind the confusion as it was purely coincidental. I had not listened to Ghost before starting this project so it is what it is… Gost is however, pronounced “ghost”.
Fartzazel: Who or where is your contact for tour booking? Specifically in Canada. You’ve played in Finland, so we know you can handle the cold…
GosT: Contact Maxx @ Tone Deaf Touring for Canada!
Fartzazel: Will there be Blood Music releases of your back catalogue in the foreseeable future?
GosT: We’ve talked about it so it’s a strong possibility but we will just have to wait and see if they are able!
Andron20012: How do you think many shy people are musicians?
GosT: Good question. Maybe it’s some weird way to try and combat our awkwardness…
ArabFromSpace: Hey Gost, glad to see you! Your music is an incredible motivator and just plain awesome, and quite unique to boot, no one brings so much slashing to synth like you! Just wanted to know how did you get so fit to jump for all the show higher than the crowd? Some otherworldly being’s work must be behind it… Your skull-bearing worshipper from Moscow.
GosT: I actually have been quite out of shape but I am currently working on that by running 3 miles a day lol…
Kommander_Ahab: It’s obvious there’s a heavy metallic influence in Your work. Are there any specific bands/musicians that could be credited with a decisive impact on Your music and aesthetics?
GosT: Dark Throne, Bodies In The Gears Of The Apparatus, Converge and Watain are big metal influences on my music currently!
AUVID: Who are your favorite metal bands?
GosT: I’ll always love Judas Priest and Roth era Van Halen! Modern bands like Watain, Deafheaven, Wolves In The Throne Room, Black Cobra, Baroness and some friends of mine from Austin called Uruk are what I’ve been listening to lately though. Metal is such a huge genre and there is so much that I enjoy.
Andron20012: Are you shy?Or have you ever been shy?Do you know how to fight with it?
GosT: I actually have terrible social anxiety and I fail to cope with it on a daily basis. If you figure out a solution let me know lol…
AVagrant: What sort of synthesizers and production equipment do you use on you average day?
GosT: I’ve made the switch to using only VSTs. My favorites have been Tal Uno LX, Native Instruments: Massive, and Arturia Prophet V
Tazi_NRS: When will a Perturbator collab track happen? Will it happen?
GosT: We have never actually talked about doing a serious collab but we did do a joke collab the last time I was in Paris. Maybe I can talk him into releasing it. Being that we are friends I would say it’s possible that we will collab one day but I cannot say for sure
NewbieFapstronaut: What do you think about all these guys climbing on the stage and jumping into the crowd during your gigs?
GosT: As long as everyone is having fun I’m all for it!
Bender411: What country or city what not part of your tour you would like to visit for live?
GosT: I’d love to play Montreal.
Bender411: Who made your mask?
GosT: Rob DeMaio
Bender411: What color of socks you are wearing right now?
cashlawz1: What is your favorite song right now?
GosT: Hungry by White Lung
hellfish11: What advice do you have to new SynthWave artists as to how to best get their music exposed?
GosT: Just spend all the time you can on making your music the best it can be and put it on the internet. Bandcamp, tag it the same as your favorite artists and if you’re lucky people will notice!
charleythechoochoo: Was wondering what it’s like to work with blood music? He seems to have such a vision for artists that it could almost be overwhelming. Is it purely collaborative? What’s the dynamic like? Also, how cool is it to be a part of a genre thats blowing up so much?
GosT: Yeh I’m ready for everyone to hear it as well! Working with Blood Music is amazing. He has become one of my best friends over the last couple years. Sometimes I have to check my ego with advice he has for Gost and just go with some of his ideas. It can be a bit intense but I enjoy that. I hate being Idle so the more change and work I have to go through, the better!
KungFuColored: Paper or plastic?
HeyX3thrwAwayEvryDay: Are there any movies, tv shows, or even ads or jingles that have stood out in your mind since childhood? What sounds or images still give you frisson today?
GosT: The Goonies will always be a source of inspiration for me! Early Nintendo games definitely had a huge impact on my child hood.
HeyX3thrwAwayEvryDay: Got a favorite car or motorcycle?
GosT: I like any motorcycle that is a garage type project. If it looks thrown together and it’s about to fall apart I’ll love it!
HeyX3thrwAwayEvryDay: Any chance you will be able to tour the USA?
GosT: Just hooked up with Tone Deaf Touring so US dates are imminent!
wayvv: What do you do just before showtime to warm up and bring all that energy on stage?
GosT: I do a lot of pacing and jumping around to try and prepare myself but I’m never fully prepared for how much energy the stage pulls from me. I am usually out of commission for a couple of hours after ever set.
lordcrass: One favorite film from each decade?
1970’s – Satan’s School For Girls
1980’s – The Goonies
1990’s – Hackers
2000’s – I’m counting The Big Lebowski here
2010’s – The Witch
OtterMiss: I love Paradise Lost, and I have always loved the Satan-as-a-Promethean-figure theme. What is your interpretation of the poem? Is there any other literature that has inspired your work?
GosT: My interpretation hmmm…. That Lucifer is an ok dude who would probably pay for dinner.
karkassi: Have you any thoughts on some day having an actual band on live sets like Carpenter Brut does? Should synthwave artists play more with band on live or go solo like many are doing right now?
GosT: I do not think I will ever employ a full band like CB. It works very well for him but it’s just not my thing. I think every artist should do whatever they feel happiest doing.
SaintDziga: What kind of things do you think about when you in production and your thinking of the sounds that you want for your music?
GosT: I’m usually a blank slate whenever I sit down to write new music.
SaintDziga: What issues or troubles do you have when you try to work? Thats kinda vague…..for example, do you get distracted a lot?
GosT: When I work I fully immerse myself into the music and do not allow outside distractions.
SaintDziga: what was the tour across europe like with Dan and Per? What was it like touring across countries and different cultures with waves of fans as one of the prominent figures in a new genre?
GosT: Touring with those dudes was great and we all became quite close because of the tour. Seeing/meeting people in so many different countries that enjoy what I make is really indescribable.
SaintDziga: If you could have some visuals put to your live shows what would be your ideal music to visual set up? I personally could see a lot of berserk put to your songs, maybe.
GosT: I actually have a guy working on visuals for the upcoming tour and it’s just taking a lot of my imagery and putting it into a visual blender so we will see how that comes out.
SaintDziga: COME TO DETROIT!!! PLEASE FUCKING COME TO DETROIT AND DO A DARK SYNTHY UNDERGROUND SHOW AT SOME DANK ASS PLACE IN DETROIT. I WILL be the hypest guy at the show that is a promise. Ill also totally smoke you down.
GosT: Hopefully I will be in Detroit sooner than later!
SaintDziga: This might be too personal so ignore if you want. What is your take on spirituality? Like do you believe in Hell? and Heaven? Your music is themed around some spiritual things, with the fall of satan and all, and Gost being a physical renmant of balbeirth, so i take it you have an interest in these things…..but like I said, its its too personal, you can ignore.
GosT: I am atheist all the way but I do enjoy the mythology around a lot of religions.
SaintDziga: it time and space and the universe ever allows it, I wanna personally give you and Perturbator a tour around Tokyo and get you drunk af in Tokyo. I lived out there for a minute so I would be honored to be your personal guide.
GosT: Haha I would love to visit Tokyo.
SaintDziga: Are there any other synth artists your looking to do collabs or remixes with? I think you should remix more megadrive songs, I think you could make a rad ass remix of NARC.
GosT: I actually do not like to collab very much so I’m never really looking to it’s just who asks me really.
Buckets_of_Shame: In your opinion, what 80’s film has the best synth score?
GosT: Halloween all the way for me!
sleepysnoopy: How do you see the current state of synthwave and darksynth? Is it going to get bigger? Is there space for new artists? Was this heavier approach for the genre easy choice for you? How has your cooperation with Blood Music been?
GosT: I think things are going pretty well but could easily get stale. There is definitely room but not for any more copycats. We need people taking chances and pushing the genre further!
DynamitePotato: Are you interested in gaming? Do you have a favourite game? If you could score the soundtrack for a videogame, which one would you choose?
GosT: I love gaming but unfortunately these days I just dont have much time for it… Man that’s impossible to answer! Really any game that feels inspired to me. I’d love to work with Dennaton Games!
dyun4989: Are you and Carpenter Brut really brothers? I’m referring to a Facebook post you made for the “Exclusive Record Release Show – Chicago Il” where you made the comment “…October 2nd I will be opening up for my brother Carpenter Brut in Chicago as well!…”. I interpreted that as friends, but you never know.
GosT: Nah we are just friends.
dyun4989: Do you have plans to add and wear more skull masks?
GosT: I have thought of changing the mask but actually just had a replica of my current mask made. For now I will remain in the same skin.
Fimbool: So how much of Paradise Lost actually goes into the album? Did you try to translate certain chapters and make it a concept album or did you just try to catch the overall mood. Did you actually read it or did you watch the movie (idk is there one?)? Is reading epic classics a habit of yours? Do you maybe read other stuff you’d like to share?
GosT: The album is base mainly around the fall from heaven and rise out of the lake of fire I actually read it yes and I honestly cannot remember how I came to read it… I have a really good friend that reads more than me and if I read it’s usually a suggestion from him.
Silvermane2162: What is your worst nightmare?
GosT: A plane crash hands down lol…
KaiserKnuckle: What main ‘things’, personal or not, do you draw from when creating your music and thematic elements? As I remember reading the Church of Satan’s interview with Perturbator, and he stated how he saw physical and psychological meaning in Satanic elements beyond just it’s usage; Do you have that same ethos when you make use of your themes?
GosT: For sure it’s a bit personal for me when I use Satan as imagery but simply based around him being the agitator and opposite of what god is in the bible.
KaiserKnuckle: People like you, Perturbator, Dan Terminus, Tommy ’86, etc. have popularized the underground ‘retro’ genres such as darksynth; How much of an effect would you think this popularization has made on the music industry, both underground and mainstream, today?
GosT: Personally I do not think we have had a very far reaching effect on the industry outside of our scene. Maybe we will eventually but as of right now it’s still quite niche.
KaiserKnuckle: I, myself, see music as a powerful medium that can create a visualized meaning in any way it pleases, which works to any extent based on how the music is used. Would you wish to see other musicians see it this way, or do you see something ‘less’ or ‘beyond’ that?
GosT: Music can be that for sure but it can also be more of something to simply enjoy. I think everyone can enjoy and or produce music in their own ways. Whatever works for the individual.
SquidTheSid: Your music’s been featured in a couple of games (Watch Dogs, Blood Alloy), are there any upcoming games that feature your music that you can tell us about?
GosT: A couple of recent games are Metronomicon and Defragmented. Nothing else in the works for games currently.
SquidTheSid: Favorite food and drinks (alcoholic or non)?
GosT: Any and all pasta. Any and all beer.
SquidTheSid: When you’re not working on music, what do you like to do?
GosT: Nothing really lol, it’s basically all I do.
SquidTheSid: What synth artists have you been listening to lately, if any?
GosT: Haven’t been listening to any synth music lately actually.
SquidTheSid: How did the idea of “Non Paradisi’s” deluxe vinyl come about?
GosT: That was all Blood Music’s doing. I prepared the songs and the concept of the record and he decided we should do a bigger release.
SquidTheSid: How do you feel about services like Spotify?
GosT: I am a big fan of streaming services that pay artists.
SquidTheSid: Will your old backlog of music come over to the Blood Music library?
GosT: We’ve talked about releasing it but nothing concrete yet.
SquidTheSid: What’s it been like working for Blood Music?
GosT: Working with Blood Music has been essential to Gost. I really hope I do not ever have to work with another label.
SquidTheSid: What’s something about yourself that you think people would never be able to guess at a first glance (maybe a favorite hobby, or something)?
GosT: I build and launch rockets with my daughters.
SquidTheSid: Have you played any good games lately?
GosT: Unfortunately I haven’t had any extra time for games for quite a while now.
SquidTheSid: So, more of a mod question, but how have you been enjoying r/outrun? How do you like it? Any things you’d like to see improved or expand upon?
GosT: I think it’s great that this place exists. A lot of synthwave fans and artists are quite spread out so places like this allow our scene to flourish!
Ulti: Where’d you track down Hayley Stewart? If I remember right she does vocals for a couple of Perturbator tracks too. I’ve always been curious about the songwriting process when it comes to guest artists like this – Who writes the lyrics and what not? You or the guest artist?
GosT: I found Hayley through Pert. I always give the vocalists free range to do with the songs what they want vocally. I hope so as well!
CharlieLove: What are your main influences? Any other artists you’d specifically recommend?
GosT: I have a wide array of influences from Depeche Mode and Nine Inch Nails to Napalm Death and Nuclear Death Terror. I’ve been listening to Deafheaven and White Lung a lot lately.
n0rdic: What is the title of Genesse Avenue supposed to mean?
GosT: It is the real world address of the Nightmare On Elm Street house.
gyokuro: What would it take for you to ditch the mask? That thing is going to end up getting you hurt someday. And we need you around to keep making tons more awesome music!
GosT: Hah it will never happen! I’m not going anywhere!!