Profile: William Jennings of Ghost:Hello

GhostHello

Ohio’s Ghost:Hello recently released a self-titled, two-track EP that’s in the psychedelic metal realm with its nod to the cosmos but shares plenty of space with fuzz and stoner metal as well. Previous to that, the band released a single, “The Mouth of the Gift Horse,” which leaned heavier on punk attitude, sludge, and hardcore. As you’ll read below, a full length is in the works so it’ll be interesting to see how this trio will flesh out these sounds or if they’ll go in a completely different direction. In the meantime, we recently had the chance to ask bassist and vocalist William Jennings our set of Profile questions to get a little background on the band so head directly below to get the scoop.

Ghost Hello - Ghost Hello

How did you first get into playing music, and have you achieved the level of success that you hoped for?

We all grew up with music in our households, both Nina (Rich, synth/vocals) & Joe (Kidd, drums/vocals) had drummers living at home and were super into it. I had a wealth of 8-tracks and cassettes belonging to my dad that I was always looting. From there all roads just kinda lead to making music.

By the time Joe and I met, we were both already well out of school and had been in a hand full of bands with varying successes. I was promoting a horror film I made with friends at the time, and we rounded up a bunch of super brutal metal bands from the area to play a screening of it at a roller rink, it was pretty wild.  Joe’s was one of the bands that played, and from there we just all became great friends. That was a good decade or so ago. We’ve both been in various bands since then, with varying successes, leading us up to today.

Nina & myself spent some time touring around with a band in the Midwest, while simultaneously Joe was living in Europe touring and working with his bands. We’re all very lucky to get to experience what we do, doing this, that in it’s own way is all the success we’ve ever sought after.

What’s the most you have ever debased yourself to get your band onto a show, into a magazine or otherwise promoted, covered, and praised? (If you don’t have a story, please tell us any funny/embarrassing story.)

The lowest would be when we were kids taking in pay to play ticket shows and doing all the footwork for promoters. We’d get a buck a piece for selling $25-$30 tickets. You’d walk in with this monstrous wad of money and he’d count it out and go ‘oh here’s your forty-six dollars.’ Like, we just handed you $1400 and you’re giving us $46? It just got stupid. The amount of money that was made on the backs of kids selling tickets and making a buck. That was always degrading and I’m sure it still happens.

What do you see as some of the great things happening in metal and what are some of the worst things happening inside the scene right now?

My favorite thing right now is something I see online a lot; there’s a lot of folks that are telling genre purists who get off on shaming people, to fuck off. We like what we like, even if it only loosely fits a particular genre. I think that’s important. It’s important to be confident about what you’re into without some nerd telling you it’s garbage and all that nonsense people do to each other. I’m sure this is rampant in every community but it’s cool to see. Because there’s nothing worse than some dude who’s got tunnel vision, pigeonholing bands and berating his peers about their musical tastes.

It seems that now everyone has a passion for some cause and that those people are very open about displaying their passions. This is probably a very, very good (and progressive) thing socially. What are some of the most important issues (social/political/humorous/etc.) for you and how do you insert those issues into your music?

We all have strong social values but I don’t think we consciously interject those into our music. We take a very facetious and sarcastic view of things, so I expect if they do enter into what we’re doing, it would be mockingly. We like to sing about monsters, and outer-space, and graveyards. Not even to avoid social issues or anything really, we’re just really into space monsters and stuff like that.

What, or who, got you into metal and how old were you? How did your family take the news?

We all grew up with it really. Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, Anthrax, Iron Maiden, it was all over and in all our households. Completely unavoidable.

We all had our varying embarrassing displays of metal, I have some ultra goth disposable camera shots somewhere from the late 90s. I am grateful in hindsight that the goth thing was at least just a phase. No hate or anything, I just looked silly.


What advice do you have for aspiring music critics and outlets out there? How can we all better serve the genre in the eyes of a hard-working musician?

I imagine your job is quite hard being hammered with new material to listen to constantly. I keep coming across different ways people are using to convey their media from blogs to podcasts, and I think that the creativity of the way they’re creating their content is just fantastic. Certainly some people have created themselves a schtick, but that gives it even more worth in my view.  But, only if they own it and make it authentically theirs.

What’s your goal? You guys thinking world domination? Maybe saving a continent? Maybe invading one? Any interest in starting a cult? Do you guys have day jobs or hobbies you want to share? Whatever it is, please let us know.

We just want to make some ripping music. That’s the most important thing. We’ve all got day jobs, certainly. Nina and myself work at our family’s grocery store where I’m a butcher and she’s a manager, and Joe is a traveling builder while also holding down four bands.

We’ve certainly got a handful of festival favorites we’d love to get on. Loads of fun DIY plans for this and that, but ultimately it all comes down to a desire for just creating and sharing our music. That’s the master plan.

When you’re not obsessing over your own material, what are some of your favorite albums to listen to currently? (Feel free to include non-metal)

Lately I haven’t been listening to much metal at all, rather completely immersed in stuff like I Monster, since their release of the acoustic version of Daydream in Blue came out I’ve been pouring over their records. Aurora, Nina found their live performance at kex hostel for Iceland airwaves and were completely blown away. Their new record is great too. Various triphop and electronic artists from the 90s and early 00s: Morcheeba to Portishead to Naked Ape and beyond. Sometimes when I have a hankering for something heavy I’ll go to the new Belzebong record, or High on Fire. It’s not like you ever stop listening to the heavy favorites.

What is the 12-month outlook for you or your band? Any specific events on the horizon that the masses should be aware of?

The biggest thing on our brains is we’re preparing to record our debut album. This will commence at the end of March and we’re doubly excited that we get to work with an old friend on this album. He’s coming in to engineer and produce this with is, and he is coincidentally the biggest benefactor to that horror movie concert I mentioned earlier. Everything full circle. Were also working with a friend of Joe’s on a new animated music video, in support of the album. That will rule. And we’ll be on stage this summer, after all the aforesaid stuff is out of the way.

Summarize your band in exactly one word. (Disclosure: If you include additional words, we will select our favorite for the publication)

outré

Many thanks to William for his time!


Ghost:Hello is available now on the band’s Bandcamp page. For more information on Ghost:Hello, visit their official website and Facebook page.

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