The word about TRIBE OF GHOSTS is spreading through the underground metal community. They released their debut EP 1 before Christmas that has already been praised by fans and critics alike. Rock Out Stand Out’s Lotty Whittingham spoke to lead vocalist/guitarist Adam Sedgwick and drummer Abby Sedgwick about 1, their sound and what the rest of 2020 brings.
First off, let’s talk about your EP 1. It’s been receiving great reviews from across the board. You stated in your press pack that the lyrics were about mental health and recovery, could you explain more about this?
Adam: I prefer writing stories to writing things that are kind of obvious. It’s not a case of one thing being more powerful than the other, I feel more connected to lyrics when its story surrounding a theme. A lot of the stuff is about my own personal journey with mental health, my recovery from it and how I felt doing it. There are all linked into separate stories.
For example, Sunburner is inspired from when I was taking anxiety medication, anti-depressants and lots of other medications to help sooth myself. Whilst taking these, I wasn’t really addressing what was wrong. I was trying to mask it as much as I could and then every morning when I would go to work, I would get blasted in the face by the sun. I would be driving and the sun would be piercing. These are both really uncomfortable experiences for me as I was in such a bad state but it also made me feel laid bare.
So that kind of evolved into the story of Sunburner where it’s about a collection of individuals basically after they were traumatised by an Armageddon or an apocalypse then the sun is what is revealing them.
That would explain why the clip from Altered States was used in the track.
Adam: Yes, so the line from that clip is “I feel like my heart has been touched by Christ” represents taking up those rituals and taking something to block out what is the obvious.
It’s like in the song’s lyric “cleansed and dressed to hide the signs” where you pretend everything is fine when it’s really not.
Adam: Absolutely, it’s literally a case of “yep everything is fine, we’re just going to cover it up with other things” and try to ignore it.
You use clips from games and films, for example We Happy Few and Altered States. Do you already have in mind what clips you’re going to use in your songs?
Abby: What we do is that Adam writes the tracks and he will show bits to me. I then come up with the concept for the track and what images to put to it. Adam might have one idea in his head but I might listen to it and have a completely different concept. Usually they tend to match up.
Adam: I’m the main songwriter so I bring the songs to practise. I also spam the rest of the guys with songs I have written and there’s ridiculous amounts of boxes full of random tracks I have put together. Whilst in practice, Rob [Kuhler] will put his spin on it then Ben [Kitching] will put his spin and then Abby will put her spin on it. As mentioned earlier, Abby is very good with adding visual elements to the track. She can see where things are meant to be.
Abby: In my old band, our influences were bands who used visuals and that was one of their main focal points at gigs. I spent a long time just looking at this stuff and when I was younger, I was obsessed with films and moving images. I think it’s how part of my creative brain works.
You had an EP launch just before Christmas, how did that go?
Abby: Oh, it was amazing, I think the reason that was so good because there was so many people there. They were so supportive. A lot of people that were there were saying things like “when are King Leviathan getting back together” but then after they watched us, they said they actually prefer Tribe of Ghosts.
Adam: We had The Dark, Confronted and Ariandelle supporting us, they played incredible sets.
You have played a couple of other live shows since then, did those go well?
Adam: We played a couple of shows leading up to the EP launch and then we played one in Bournemouth supporting Incite USA. We made a lot of friends at that one.
The word seems to spreading about Tribe Of Ghosts, which is fantastic. For those who still haven’t heard Tribe Of Ghosts, how would you describe your sound?
Adam: Genuinely, the best way to explain it is that we all like soundscapes and wall of sound. We like everything to sound massive. The best way to describe our sound is that it’s a post rock, post metal type of vibe. Basically, we are a bunch of big riff loving individuals that want to make loud noises.
Abby: I think the bands we were both in before had elements of Tribe Of Ghosts but they weren’t as hard. Whereas now we are both working together to create this sound that we have all touched upon before but now we are really going into it.
So, the sound is very different to King Leviathan, am I right in guessing there is less war paint and stage armour?
Abby: We don’t do that no.
Adam: This time round it’s no paint or anything like that. We do bring a projector out sometimes and play around with some visuals that Abby has put together. These are on in the background as we perform. A lot of the time it’s just us four rocking out and throwing ourselves around, we enjoy that. It feels a bit more freeing to be a bit barer.
This feeling bare, was that one of the influences behind your photo shoot?
Abby: The reason we did what we did for the photo shoot was down to the teen drama Pretty Little Liars. I was binge watching for the fiftieth time and there’s this one scene where there’s an aerial shot of them in a morgue. I sent it to Luke who did the photo shoot and I told him I really wanted to do this. I also thought it was a great concept idea for us, our mums didn’t like it.
Adam: Bless them, we got a message from them saying ‘I don’t want to think of you dead, why have you done this’. Like with any kind of art style, we tried to make our concept as clear as possible or at least try and make it very laid bare. Like with the EP artwork; I didn’t want to have manic pieces all over the place, we wanted something that was quite clear.
The EP artwork is a picture that Abby took on our trip to Iceland and I distorted the image. On the back is a picture from our guitarist when he was on a trip to Greece. We distorted both those images; we wanted the music to speak a little bit more.
Is there plans for a full-length album in the near future?
Adam: We currently writing at the moment. For us when we’re thinking about what we’re releasing, what we’re writing and putting together; the next one is more of a concept record. However, it’s writing bits to fit that concept so I don’t know how long it’s going to be or where it’s going to go. I have got the start and near the end of the story, so I am just writing little bits and pieces to add to the story.
Would this include tracks from the first EP? I know some bands do this, others don’t.
Adam: I think for this one, the first EP is very much its own kind of thing. It’s from when we first got together and started writing these songs and developing them together. For the album, it’s very much along the lines of we now know we we’re going with this. Let’s work on this now we understand each other more.
What does the rest of 2020 hold for Tribe Of Ghosts?
Adam: We have got a lot of gigs coming up, which should be quite fun. We’re actually playing with Derange, Operation Kino, Gutlocker, YVAH and Gurth at a show coming up in February. It’s at the Green Door Store. We’ve been announced for show in April, where will be playing with The Red Widows, Raze the Void and a lot of other bands. We’ve got a lot of gigs and a lot of stuff coming up. We’re planning on recording the next record in the next few months. It’s a year where we’re just going to see what happens.
Thank you both for speaking with Rock Out Stand Out today and best of luck with the rest of the year.