“I found out about Pink Floyd through my mother. She was part of the hippie generation so Ummagumma got played a lot at home. Then I heard A Nice Pair (Piper At The Gates Of Dawn and A Saucerful Of Secrets) which became my absolute favourite records for a long time, and they’ve stayed with me ever since. When I started writing music, odd time signatures and weird chord progressions felt very natural to me.
The closest I got to seeing Floyd perform for real was a live broadcast from Venice when I was a kid. It must have been on their A Momentary Lapse Of Reason tour in 1989, and it set the tone for what I consider to be a real rock’n’roll show. I remember thinking: ‘That’s the way to do it! Humongous!’
One of my favourite Pink Floyd songs of all time is High Hopes from The Division Bell – it’s one of those extreme laments that in a weak moment makes me cry just from hearing it. That record came out when I was growing up and reminds me of a period in my life. One of the other Nameless Ghouls played it for a friend’s birthday. It was a great idea in theory but then you start playing it and you’re tearing up!
About 10 or 11 years ago, I discovered Italian prog. I was in a band and we had two friends who played Italian prog. One of them was a collector so a lot of that stuff spread through our circle: PFM, Alphataurus, Museo Rosenbach, Goblin, Latte e Miele, Banco del Mutuo Soccorso… One thing I found liberating is that I don’t really understand the lyrics so the vocals became part of the instrumentation and it felt meditative.
Ghost are very inspired by progressive music. On our new record, we have a lot of choruses that are written with five bars rather than four, so you add an extra chord. By putting more of a conventional vocal line over it, it tricks the mind into thinking that it’s correct, but it’s not. The only reason I haven’t wanted to raise the flag of prog is because there are so many other bands that carry it with way more conviction.”
Ghost’s new album Meliora is out on August 21 via Spinefarm. Visit www.ghost-official.com for more information.