Chasing Ghosts – Interview with Ashley Clark

Interview by Kieron Hayes

Interview with Ashley Clark – Rhythm Guitar

Check out Chasing Ghosts here:

Hey and thank you for your time. Please state your name and position in the band.

Ashley Clark – Rhythm Guitar, thank you for your time!

1. Your first release was in 2018. When did Chasing Ghosts first form and how did you all meet?

The band was formed in 2014, with former members of another band, Embers Fire. I joined in April 2016 after an audition and then Rich joined on drums in 2019.

2. How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it?

This is always a tough one! We tend to say it’s Dark or Gothic Metal, with melodic clean singing and soaring strings.

3. And which artists would you say are major inspirations or influences for your sound?

Off the top of my head – Paradise Lost, Anathema, Draconian, My Dying Bride, Type O Negative, Therapy?.

4. Your new EP, Bring Me Suffering, is out now. Is there a theme or concept behind it?

I think the themes are similar to much of our work but with maybe more of a universal slant, although I would still say from a personal viewpoint. The songs convey a strong emotion which is in keeping with our back catalogue.

5. What is the procedure of producing a new album/EP? Do you have a set way of doing things?

We get some new songs, refine them as much as we can. For this EP I feel we could have played the songs backwards, we were so in tune with each other. For each instrument there is an element of knowing when to allow the song to breathe and when to push it so the dynamics are working. I think for us, knowing the recording is a stamp in time, you want everything to be as it was envisioned. For us this time, having string players was just mind-blowing compared to using samples or keyboards.

6. The EP was mixed and mastered by Jaime Gomex Arellano, who has worked with big names like Myrkur, Paradise Lost and Ghost. What was that like?

It was quite immense really! We weren’t sure if he would be interested but we were so chuffed to get such a positive response from him and we were over the moon with his work! He really has an ear for this genre and we knew he could make us sound how we thought we could! But about a million times better!

7. I love the location for the video for “Bring Me Suffering”, it looks like an old church of some sort. Where was it shot? Did you need to get special permission for it?

It’s an old chapel in Peckham, very spooky and a great place to shoot. We basically had to be respectful to the surroundings and make sure we didn’t get too loud (which is hard when doing a music video!); we are very happy with how it came out. It was such an eerie, cool looking venue, any angle so we were so lucky to have found it!

8. Is it difficult balancing out being in a band with a ‘normal working life’?

I think we do well as we have each other’s backs and carry the weight as equally as possible. It can be difficult but being in a rehearsal room and playing our music is often the remedy and helps you remember why you do this. That and positive feedback from people.

9. Do you think image is important when being in a band?

I do. You want people to know at least a little bit of what you’re about before you play a note, and then prove it a million times over with the music. I think in this day and age, image is a hugely important part of being in a band. Social media plays a very big part so image also does.

10. Chasing Ghosts is currently an independent band. Is signing to a label an important goal for you guys, or do you feel it’s less important nowadays?

I still think so, to be able to have the backing we need to get our music out there as globally as possible. We’re open to newer types of deals but ultimately it is something we would be interested. We have learned a huge amount being independent.

11. What genres of music do you like to listen to personally? Any new bands that have caught your attention recently?

I think we’re between us quite eclectic with our music but join up at the sound we create. For me Pallbearer are sounding amazing lately, as are Draconian. The new Paradise Lost is great too, a real path through their phases as a band I would say.

12. What advice would you give someone wanting to start a band?

Listen to your heart and soul. People will not understand what you are doing or why you work so hard on it. Only you have to understand it. Enjoy the good bits, weather the not so good bits. Music is a great giver!.

13. Lastly, what are your plans from here? I assume touring is having to take a back seat at the moment, are there plans for a second full-length, or something else?

I think we’re always working on making our current set rock solid and working on new music. So I think the focus will just be refining what we have already and coming up with some more doomy, atmospheric music. Perfect for these times!

14. Thank you for your time, is there anything you’d like to say to our readers?

Just thanks for taking the time to read about us, or listen to our music. Music is such a great unifier so if we are even a small part of that, we’re happy!

Bring Me Suffering is out now, available to stream / download via Spotify, Apple Music and all other major outlets.