Ghosts’ story

When I started Monday Nights in 2005, I was rather quickly overwhelmed and humbled but the vast array of talent in Southern California. Health, Abe Vigoda, Captain Ahab…group after group they streamed into Il Corral and were just dazzlingly excellent.

Among this initial posse was Freddy Ruppert (who was then jamming as This Song Is A Mess But So Am I)

Now it’s several years down the road past that time and Freddy is just cruising along, hitting every mark even more precisely than ever. Bang bang bang—excellent songs, excellent singing, amazing beats, pristine image.

So I’m overwhelmed and humbled once again. Freddy Ruppert was kind enough to email me this exclusive interview, and turn me on to his latest video (which I’m sad to say I missed until now).

Life affirming, great art.

Photo: Matea Jocic

Former Ghosts is Freddy Ruppert from El Segundo, California. His look—exquisite pompadour—and voice—Alan Vega meets Bryan Ferry (and probably singers much less vintage that I have missed)—contrast so shockingly with the industrial power of his beats that it makes the heart flutter.

Ruppert just returned to Los Angeles from a long tour overseas, and here’s what he said:

How old are you and where do you currently live?
I am currently the Kurt Cobain age and I currently live in the Glassell Park area of Los Angeles.

You just came back from a big tour—how many cities/days was it?
All in all I was gone for 30 days total and it was 16 cities spanning across Austria, Germany, Italy, and the UK.

How does it feel to be back?
It feels pretty great. Los Angeles is my home and where my heart is. I recently have fallen in love with Los Angeles all over again and every time I leave for a tour, not matter where I am in the world, I always feel homesick for L.A.

What city did you most connect with on your tour?
Probably connected the most with Berlin. The appreciation for electronic based music in Berlin is really high and so I had an instant connection with the people at the show. It was probably one of my most favorite shows I have ever played. There were so many people and it was just crazy.

You mentioned loving London on your blog—what was so incredible about the place?
On tour I never get to really get a feeling for a city. I always just see things in passing as I am usually only there for one day. On this tour though I was able to spend nearly a week in London hanging out with Chris and Claire from the record label Upset the Rhythm and it was so fun. I am not much of a tourist when it comes to new cities and don’t really care much for doing sight seeing type things. I am more interested in doing social based things in new cities and so Chris and I went out to a lot of places and it was a lot of fun. The show in London was also great, and I met a lot of nice people, so I think all of those things just kind of shaped my opinion of the city. I also was feeling really homesick for Los Angeles and for the time I was in London the weather was near 80 degrees, which never happens.

How would you describe your musical aesthetic?
I would like to think of it as a mix of early synth pop with This Mortal Coil and textures of 90’s glitch/IDM. I mean those are my main musical influences, so I hope its a combination of that somehow.

Former Ghosts is you but also guests from time to time. Who’s played with you?
Jamie Stewart of Xiu Xiu, Nika Roza of Zola Jesus, Jherek Bischoff, and Yasmine Kittles of Tearist.

Please tell us about your new album. What’s it called? How many songs? When does it come out? etc.
It is due out on the record label Upset the Rhythm in September. It is 13 tracks. And it is somehow darker than Fleurs while at the same time being poppier. It is really heavily layered and textured and thematically pretty heavy. The album will be called New Love. Unfortunately, that is about all the information I can reveal about it at the moment.

What is the artwork? Can we get a sneak peek?
The artwork was shot by Philippe De Sablet and designed and laid out by Paul Jackson of Othila, he also did the layout for the first album Fleurs. I can’t give a sneak peek just yet as it is still all being finalized right now but I am very excited about it!

What kind of feeling do you want listeners to feel when they listen to your music?
I’m just looking to relate to other people and there is nothing more I could possibly want or ask for. If I can relate to someone else and someone else can relate to what I’m doing then that is all I could ever want.

What music is most inspiring to you right now?
Lately I have been listening to a lot of The Dream.

Gary Coleman: your thoughts on his passing?
Ouch, didn’t even know about this until now.

An exceptional video for an exceptional song—watch Paul M. Rodriguez‘s video for “Flowers” by Former Ghosts:

Don’t miss Former Ghosts at Pehrspace this Monday, May 31:

A “homecoming”
Former Ghosts
Bitches (UK)
Nicole Kidman

Starts 9:30pm / $5 / all-ages

Pehrspace—325 Glendale Blvd., in Historic Filipinotown

See you there?

Read my interview with Bitches


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