Interview – Simian Ghost
Simian Ghost is a band from Sweden we have mentioned before to you, dear readers. Constantly evolving in style and sounds (possibly due to lead singer’s Sebastian Arnstr visual art background), they have been very busy for the last year and a half. We managed to send our very own Fuzz Caminski to his lair and go into his mad computer thingy and drop the band a few lines…
1) What I find most striking about the Lovelorn EP and your latest album, Infinite Traffic Everywhere, is how there is a sense of nostalgia, and weightless ease to the production of the music, are there a particular emotions or sensations that you try to capture when you produce a record?
Sebastian: Making music is a very open process for me, when something works you just know. I don’t have a plan, I just create. I often find myself going for a bittersweet feel in my work though. Maybe it doesn’t come across as often as I think, but much of what I do feels like that, at least to me. I like how you perceive a weightless ease in the production! That’s beautiful.
2) Would you say your sound has developed between Lovelorn and Infinite Traffic Everywhere?
Sebastian: The sound of all three Simian Ghost releases are quite different, but I still think they connect and overlap quite nicely. Infinite Traffic Everywhere was just me and was mainly electronic and based on loops with acoustic stuff, drums, guitars etc added on top. Lovelorn was almost entirely electronic and Youth is written by me, Erik and Mathias as a band.
3) Your music comes across as a mixture of the analytic and the innate, do you prefer to be specific about your sound or follow your instincts?
Sebastian: I try to always follow my instincts. I am quite analytic by nature though, almost a bit obsessively so, so I guess that colors my work as well.
4) Do you see the album as a collection of songs with individual messages, or as a singular piece?
Sebastian: I try to write them so that they work in both ways.
5) I find it difficult to define Simian Ghost in one specific genre without feeling you overlap with another, is this blending of genres something you have gone out of your way to achieve in your music, and if you were needed to define your style, how would you describe it?
Sebastian: I constantly go out of my way to make music I feel is interesting, blending genres though is not something I think very much about. That stuff comes naturally. I think I’d describe it as pop music, because most of the Simian Ghost songs have that kind of structure.
6) Who are your influences, and how and why do you think they have influenced you?
Sebastian: I’m influenced by so many people, not just musicians and artists. It’s hard to give a good answer to that question without it turning into an essay. All musicians are but the sum of their influences.
7) You’re playing Manchester in April at The Soup Kitchen, how does a Simian Ghost record translate to being played live?
Sebastian: Our liveset rests on a foundation of electronics, but we constantly try to break it down and make it more improvised. A lot of people think we use prerecorded vocals to make the vocal harmonies but it’s all loops made up as we go. That’s what we do in essence, we loop stuff like crazy.
8) And finally, if someone was to take anything away from your music, what would you like it to be?
Sebastian: I hope that they feel that the world is a little more interesting.
Thank you very much for your time!
Sebastian: Thanks for having me!
Words: Fuzz Caminski.