Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Burying them deep with Ghoultown

Welcome to the wild west, no holds barred here,
but be warned! If you mess around,
the rope might be the next and last thing
you´ll ever see!
This interview was made with
Count Lyle of Ghoultown

Who am I speaking to? Briefly introduce yourself
and tell us more about you.

- I’m Count Lyle, I am the founder,
vocalist and main songwriter for the band.
I’ve played in several types of bands in the past which included the horror punk project, The Killcreeps,
a cult-classic doom metal band called Solitude Aeturnus
and played guitar briefly for GG Allin – back when
I was in high school, believe it or not.

The story of Ghoultown, you have been wondering
in the deserts since 1999. More details about the birth of your band?

- While doing The Killcreeps back in ‘96,
we started writing some dark western songs which had a cool feel
and a lot of unique personality. When we disbanded The Killcreeps,
I wanted to do a band based on those dark western songs
and came up with the name Ghoultown for it.

We started out in ’99, sort of making up our own sound
and image as we went. Sort of a mixture of rock, country,
psychobilly and metal. Since then we’ve done five CDs,
been on five movie soundtracks, a short film,
several compilations, put out a comic book, and toured
the U.S. several times. You can find Ghoultown poster art
in several rock and roll poster books and even in the
Vampire Masquerade: Bloodlines PC game.

How would you describe your sound to the common people?

- That’s the hardest question, since Ghoultown
has such a unique sound which brings in so
many musical elements. It’s so far off the map
of typical music in any genre that critics and fans
– and even ourselves – have trouble coming up
with a simple description. I think it gives people a
good idea when we say
‘Ghoultown sits somewhere in the middle ground
between Johnny Cash and Rob Zombie’.
At least people seems to get a mental picture of it that way.

There seems to be a huge explosion going on in the psychobilly,
gothabilly scene.
Lots of ghoul stuff coming out,
how is the scene in your local area?

- Not too bad, but it could be better.
There’s lots of good bands out of Texas like Flametrick Subs,
Shadow Reichenstein, Spitfire Tumbleweeds,
and The Von Ehrics, but the support,
at least in Dallas, is sporadic. For example,
Blizkid came through a little while back and there were
only about 10 people there. It was disgraceful.
Same thing happened to our friends The Independents
when they played here last.

Talking about bands, what has inspired you musically, literally etc.

- Growing up, especially in Texas, some of the first music
I was exposed to was country and western.
Not what they call country today
– which is more like pop music - but the classics like Marty Robbins,
Johnny Cash, Waylon, Willie, Merle Haggard
and all those outlaw guys. My parents were into it,
so that stuff was always playing when I was a kid.
By junior high school I discovered rock and then punk,
metal and goth as it went on,
so I started playing those types of music.

Years later, when I formed Ghoultown,
I sort of rediscovered the old gunfighter tales
of Marty Robbins and dark moods of Johnny Cash,
which were basically my roots.
I guess I couldn’t totally escape those early influences.
With Ghoultown, I wanted to modernize those old western
beats and lyrics, so I mixed it in with my
love of punk and metal.
Out of that you get Ghoultown.

I’m also into old horror movies and spaghetti westerns,
so that has a big influence the band as well in both the music and the image.

Let´s talk more about your music,
last year you released "BURY THEM DEEP"
tell our readers more about it,
recording process, etc.

- It was actually a very long process.
We started recording the songs in early 2005
and finished a first mix around the summer
of that year. At the time we had stopped
playing live and were taking a break
from everything but the recording.
Up until then we had been putting
out all of our music on our own label,
which had become a real pain in the ass,
so we decided not to release the songs
from “Bury Them Deep” at all.

Luckily, a new Texas label called Zoviet Records,
who have always been huge fans of Ghoultown,
offered to sign us and release it.
They also talked us into letting them remix the songs
and recording one more for it.
Chris Telkes, the guitarist for Nocturne,
did a remix at his home studio and it sounded great.
Now we got excited, having a good sounding album and a label,
so we got Dan Brereton’s artwork

– Dan is also a fan of Ghoultown and was so cool to let us use his art –
and Zoviet finally released “Bury Them Deep” in October of 2006,
a year and half after we started the recording.
It has received great reviews and feedback from our fans,
so we’ve been playing a lot of live shows around the Texas area
to promote it.

We also shot a video for the song “Bury Them Deep”
which is available on our website at www.ghoultown.com

Your music has also appeared in couple of movies (American Nightmare and Headcheese),
how did this opportunity rise from the grave?

- When I first put up our website back in ‘99,
a guy emailed me saying how cool he thought
our band was. Later, he just happened to turn up as
music director for American Nightmare.
He played our first EP - which is all we had out back then -
for the director Jon Keeyes.
Jon loved it and wanted us on the soundtrack.
He also came out to one of our shows and after
seeing us live,he wrote us into the movie.
We have a cameo playing “Boots of Hell” at a Halloween party.

The cast has Debbie Rochon and a cameo by Brinke Stevens,
so it’s cool to be in a movie with scream queens like that.

After American Nightmare, Jon wanted us to do more
soundtrack material for him.
We cut “Legend of Everett Sykes” for Hallow’s End.
The song came out so cool, that we released it as a
bonus track on our “Live From Texas!” CD.
We also contributed to Suburban Nightmare,
which is a twisted story about a serial killing couple.
We did a song called “Killin’s a Bitch” for it,
which plays over the ending credits.
Headcheese is one of our favorites.
Those guys are from Austin, Texas
and were Ghoultown fans.
When they did their short film, they asked if they could use
“Killer In Texas”.
It sounded cool, so I let ‘em use it.
Turned out great.

Moving into touring, you´ve toured with some great acts such as:
Blitzkid, Rocket from the Crypt, Rock City Morgue etc. Best shows?

- There’s been a lot of great shows.
We did one with both Blitzkid and Rock City Morgue
in Johnsonville, TN. The show sucked,
but the hotel that we were put up at was the
most hilarious dump we’d ever seen.
It was falling apart and some of the rooms looked
like an adobe prison cell with no windows or
even a locking door.
We had more fun laughing at all the different rooms.

As far as live shows, some of my favorites have to be the ones
where we had special guests on stage.
Jerry from the Misfits performed with us once and
King Diamond got up and sang “Killer in Texas”
at a show in Dallas.
Those are some of my heroes, so it’s definitely cool.

Are there plans to tour in Europe?
I´m pretty sure that is a audience waiting for you.

- We do get a lot of CD orders and fan mail from
Europe and we’ve been trying to get that going for years,
but we are a bunch of broke-ass Texas musicians
and have no idea how to arrange a tour in Europe.
We had a European label, but they weren’t even
willing to fly us over. If any European promoters
want to help us book a tour, then we are willing,
we just haven’t found one yet.

About your fanbase, is there are alot of rockabillys or is it a wider spread of genres?

- Our fanbase is made up of all kinds of music fans,
so rockabilly types are only a part of it.
Our shows attract punks, metal heads, psychobillies,
goths, and hellbilly fans.
I like that our music brings together a cross-section of people.
I listen to all kinds of music and go to all kinds of shows,
so I’m proud when our band can transcend labels and genres.

New year, new tricks, what is next with Ghoultown? New album perhaps?

- I am working on demos for the next CD now which will be called “Life After Sundown”.
I’m almost done… with only two songs to go before I’m finished.
I usually demo them on my multi-track recorder and
then give them to the guys to learn.
Once we start playing the songs together, then they really take shape.
I’m excited because we have some really great songs for the next one.
There’s no recording schedule or release date planned right now,
it will just depend on how soon we learn the material and are happy with everything.
Otherwise, we are just playing shows to promote “Bury Them Deep.”
We took off from playing live for over two years,
so it’s just cool to be back playing shows for our fans.

Please share your last words. Fangs and good luck with Ghoultown!

Check us out and hear Ghoultown for yourself at:
www.ghoultown.com or

Thanks for the interview!

All text contained herein; © 2006-2007 Talesfromtheshadows. All Rights Reserved.


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