Ghostprint are an up and coming 4-piece, alternative band based in Dublin. Their new EP, The Bluest Blue is experimental, ethereal and atmospheric. I recently had the pleasure of chatting to the band about their music, their influences, their peers in the Irish music scene and how the current pandemic has affected them as a band.
Ireland, and particularly Dublin, has always had a thriving music scene. From rock legends to trad bands playing in your local, there seems to be something in the water here because the Irish never cease to produce great music. A case in point is Ghostprint, a band who make melodic alternative rock with sweet airy vocals, confessional lyrics and rich layers of mellow rythm and warm, refined guitar tones. The band have made the rounds of all the usual Dublin venues and even played a slot at Longitude and are now finding themselves in lockdown, like the rest of us. However that hasn't slowed them down as they just released a new EP, The Bluest Blues which can be found on all streaming platforms.
How would you describe your music and how do you go about creating it? Is song writing a collaborative effort between all of you and did you have a hand in the production?
Fiachra: We always struggle with this question! We’ve been told that our music is kind of haunting and surreal, and people seem to think that it’s quite unlike other music they’ve heard, which is great to hear. We try to keep things relatively minimalistic; there’s rarely more than one guitar line in any song, and bass and drums aren’t usually very heavy or distorted. HK writes most of the music and it’s usually fairly comprehensive, writing bass lines, melodies and harmonies. The songs I write are much more unfinished! Usually just a guitar line and lyrics, and we kind of riff off that and see where it goes. We’ve all got a good ear for music and we’re all coming at music from very different backgrounds, so it’s always fun throughout the writing and production process to mess around with our ideas and opinions, which usually leads to something we can get excited about.
Who are some of your influences, sonically speaking?
HK: I’m a big fan of anything with lots of different layers like alt-j, Pink Floyd and tune yards, which I think definitely comes across in my songwriting. I love whenever there is a bit of breathing room in between the instruments. Oh and also Jeff Buckley! I wrote a song about him and Blue is kind of a sequel to that song. And Ode to Costello is about listening to Elvis Costello. So there is definitely a lot of outside influence, if not directly in the music but in the lyrics.
Fiachra: Purely from a guitarist perspective, I often write guitar lines influenced by the likes of Radiohead, Pink Floyd, some Wolf Alice – myself and HK have ‘similar but different’ music tastes I think, which I reckon helps keep it interesting when I add guitar to her songs for example, or even just in the way our setlists flow from tune to tune.
Do you have a favourite venue/gig you've played?
Fearghus: We’ve played Workman’s a couple of times and we always have a great night there. The second gig we played, we plugged it really hard with all our mates and managed to fill the room. We had people right up the front talking at us the whole time, the place was buzzing. I don’t think we had really expected it to go that well; we were anxious counting the number of people coming in before we started, but we came out to a proper atmosphere. I just loved being on stage, that gig in particular, we played the best part of an hour I think but it flew by.
Are there any other up and coming Irish acts you like?
Fiachra: Irish music is in a really great place right now – I’m a big fan of Malaki’s, I loved his Butterfly Boy EP released in December. He’s releasing some collaboration tracks over the coming weeks which people should absolutely check out if they haven’t already! Other than that, I’m listening to a lot of punk and post-punk bands at the moment – Fontaines D.C. and The Murder Capital being two bands that I can’t get enough of.
Sophia: The same as Fiachra, I'm excited about the Irish artists coming to the forefront in recent years. Greg Tisdall, who we've gigged with before, is making strides with some really cool pop/R&B releases of late. I've also been listening to Pillow Queens who have a nice feel good/grunge vibe, as well as Dunluvly who's been releasing some gorgeous acoustic tracks lately with very danceable beats.
Fearghus: Mongoose are very cool, they all seem to work well together and they make beautiful harmonies. Clearly very musical people, I thought their last album was great. Different sort of thing altogether, I've seen Le Boom on a few occasions and they're such craic! Would highly recommend for a dance.
You recently released an EP, do you have a particular song off the project that you are most proud of? Or one that you are most excited to play live?
Sophia: From the get go, we all agreed that Blue would appear on the EP. It's always been a big hit with our friends at gigs, and we've gotten some great feedback on it from people who've listened to the EP. As much as we love it, it has the added appeal of being a crowd pleaser!
I think our favourite from the EP however is Camouflage. Personally, I think it has a really chilled out, dreamy feel and it always makes me relax - this track and impressionist have an almost lullaby quality to them. It took us a while to piece together the delicate instrumental parts so that they flowed nicely and coherently, and the production from Luke Carey just completely brought it to life. We're all very fond of it!
How long was the process of making the EP and were they any challenges, whether that be creatively or logistically?
Fiachra: Depends how you want to measure it! The recording itself only took a handful of sessions, probably half a dozen or so, over roughly a month. But there are tracks on that EP that have been knocking around for years, getting changed up and honed until we were ready to record them. Ode to Costello in particular – it was the first song HK ever wrote for the band. And that was recorded with Luke Carey a year ago in his bedroom, so it took a while for us to release. That provided its own set of challenges, where it was hard for all of us to make it to his house at the same time so it ended up being recorded in drips and drabs, and then we had logistical issues with recording drums and percussion, which meant that a lot of the drums on the EP were actually tracked electronically! So yeah, there were a number of things that got in the way, but that’s always going to happen with any plans – in the end we were very lucky and pleased with the whole process and the end product.
How has the corona virus affected you guys as a band? Has it stopped you from being able to rehearse/collaborate? Have you had to cancel any gigs?
Fearghus: Corona virus has been a blessing and a curse really. It’s been a funny year for us, more than twelve months since we recorded the EP, but we just never got around to releasing it. We were saying we wanted to wait until we could have a launch night, but we’re all really busy with our own college work, we couldn’t find a date that suited and suddenly it was the summer and people were going to different places. I suppose we bit the bullet in September and said that it wasn’t realistic to keep going because it was too difficult to work with four conflicting schedules. Fiachra and Sophia were heading on Erasmus in January, it was a natural conclusion. We hadn't played any music together in months. So when Corona virus dragged everyone home, we finally had the time to chat about it all and properly organise releasing it. In ways it was something of a reunion for us, plus all our potential listeners are stuck at home so fingers crossed they’ll actually sit down and take the time to enjoy it!
Fiachra: Yeah, it’s weird to talk about the positives of something like coronavirus, given that it’s caused a global crisis, but it’s nice to think that at least some good can come from an extended period of isolation like this. It’s quite possible that this release just wouldn’t have happened otherwise – beforehand, it seemed like whenever one person was at a loose end to try and push it through, everyone else just didn’t have the time. Myself and Sophia getting called back from Erasmus, did kind of give us an opportunity to sit down as a group and go through the motions of preparing the EP for release. In fact it’s worth mentioning that this pandemic as a whole has brought musicians together in unexpected ways – Facebook and Instagram and the likes are all teeming with people posting videos of themselves jamming to a cover song or playing some trad music with their family, or whatever it may be... people definitely want to reach out and connect through music, which is great to see.
Finally, where can people follow you for updates and where can people find your music?
Sophia: We're probably most active on Instagram @ghostprintband, with occasional updates on Facebook too under the same handle. You can find the link to our Spotify page in our Instagram bio, and we're on Apple Music too - searching "Ghostprint" and "The Bluest Blue" should do the trick!
Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/ie/album/the-bluest-blue-ep/1507240170