INTERVIEW: Spookshow Inc.

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hi, we have been doing great, thanks for featuring Spookshow inc. on your magazine!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Virtual Insanity”?

“Virtual Insanity” was one of the last songs we did for the album. It came out quite easy, this one. The song is a straightforward industrial metal tune compared to some other Spookshow inc. tracks that are loaded with tons of different sounds and song parts. I feel we managed to get a decent sound too. Our studio sound guy, Dennis Emery, he comes from drum-n-bass, electronica scene, and his mixing skills to get programmed drums and synths to sound right  have worked for the song just fine.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

Firstly, virtual reality and artificial intelligence being much discussed and controversial topics of our times. Then, in the process of making the album, we went through a very frustrating period of time (many months) facing gear related challenges. My external hard disk, that had many hours of material on it, had died on me just few days before the planned backup update. I spent days looking up and getting a donor hard drive to get spare parts to fix it. So I have got a good insight on how these things work, I needed a hard drive made like 5 years ago in the same factory, same month, same serial number, same everything just to get a chance. In the end it did not work out, the only chance to fix the drive was probably to sell the house and send the drive to NASA, ha, ha. There were many other things that happened at the time as well, emails, files and file transfers disappearing, studio gear breaking up, sound card and drivers, plugins, you name it. Even when mixing the song some strange software related things happened to the project file few times, regardless of the fact that Dennis has really solid, bulletproof setup. All of it was driving me crazy- that is where tittle of the song came from.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

Well, video material came from two live shows, so for the band it was easy, we only needed to worry about playing, nothing else. These were album launching gigs, so we had many other (practical and performance related) things to take care of. I have hired a couple of professional guys to do live shots. For one of the gigs we had two guys doing video shots to get more angles and guess what? When I got video files sent to me, one of files was a blank, an empty one. Speaking about virtual insanity here, he, ha. But I didn’t take it further, have no complains, for a band of our proportion we had enough material to use for the video.

The single comes off your new double album Visions of the Blinded World – what’s the story behind the title?

On a subconscious level, the title for the album came from my childhood. I was probably five years old or so and there was this song on the radio that I liked to sing along to. It doesn’t make much sense taken out of context and translated to English (I was born Lithuanian), but chorus line of the song had words. ” blinded world “..  I used to recall this song from time to time again as years passed by and around 2008, when I was living in London and we were halfway through the first part of the album, it somehow connected together- the childhood song and album title, I mean. I knew instantly that this is the ultimate title for the album.

Speaking about the lyrics for the songs covering themes such as religion, controversies of history of humankind, modern day topics such as virtual reality, pharmacy, drugs, politics, personal issues like depression, dreams, spiritual matters, it all came together for me then. I knew it was a perfect title summing up everything.

Was this always intended to be a double album or how did that come about?

No, originally it was not intended. But I had so much material (about 30 songs), that around the time we were halfway through the album, I knew there is going to be a sequel, another album under the same title. Because the material that I had , it  was composed the way it was (taking on board a vast array of genres, tons of sounds and samples some 150-200 separate tracks for a song, complicated structures like double breaks, all that  cinematic stuff ), not to forget that I am a huge Pink Floyd fan either. I thought it was best that we do these songs in one batch, under the same title, the way we did them  at the time, I mean mixing some 150 tracks is a huge task, and thinking about future albums, I thought, no, next time we are going to take a slightly different approach.

Did you approach this record as a concept material?

Yes, we did. It was inevitable, with the album title that is larger than life, and material covering so many topics lyrically, add the sounds like fx effects and atmospheres, a ton of  instruments (I never counted, but some 100 different instruments- classical, ethnic etc. were used in the form  of samples), long cinematic intros and endings. We made this record the way we wanted it to be, had no record company pressure and tried different ideas the way we wanted to.

How much does both album intertwine or are they somehow standalone albums?

Both albums are quite like sound wise, the second one a little heavier. Both were mixed in the same studio with the exception of two songs. Thinking in terms of movies or books, the story continues with the sequel featuring the same characters. On the other hand, you can look at them as a standalone albums as well, because both have strong closing songs that sum up each album. By the way, closing songs “Other Side of Time” and “Battle for Babylon” are my favourite tracks off each album.

How was the recording and writing process?

I recorded most of the guitar parts and composed all material on Acid Pro at home. When we had song structures and lyrics, Soltex (vocalist) did some 3-5 vocal sessions for each song. After that everything was lifted on Dennis (our mixing engineer) Cubase. There are no live drums recordings, it′s all samples and midi drums. Sharaz (drums and keys) did the parts for drums and bass that were missing. Biggest challenge for us was a sheer amount of tracks to mix and logistics, because we live in different countries.

How Rob Zombie and NIN has influence your writing?

Rob Zombie and Trent Reznor were definitely huge early influences of mine. Spookshow inc. band name comes from Rob Zombie ” Spookshow Baby ” song. Spooky side, heavy guitar driven grooves of Rob Zombie and industrial vibes of NIN were influential, for sure.

What role does Norway play in your music?

Well, residing in Norway certainly helps to pay for studio time and buy gear. In addition, i work at a refugee camp, and see a lot of broken lives, suffering, despair, mental cases every day there. Some of the lyrics were  inspired by that, no doubt.

What aspect of the world did you get to explore on this record?

I think we have covered quite much ground with it. As I have mentioned before, society  topics such as pharmacy and drugs (“Little Pill”), virtual reality, artificial intelligence, religion, controversies like UFO and reincarnation (” Prison Planet”), out of body experiences (“Falling Down”), Bermuda triangle (“Devil’s Triangle”) spiritual things and some more.

What made you want to touch on such dark themes?

I agree that some songs have really dark vibe to them, these are stories that tell about things that happen in our world every day. For example, “Lizard Eyes” tells a classic scary movie story of a girl who is kidnapped by a hiker on the road trip. It turns out the kidnapper is a reptilian creature. On this song i made a conscious effort to illustrate this classic movie-book theme. One remark I would like to add, though. Your perspective changes when that kind of stuff happens to your family, when horrors become reality. Frankly, I wanted to provoke listener reaction, get attention with a heartbreaking funeral scene right from the beginning of the song.

Speaking in general, though I agree that many themes of the album could be seen as being dark, for me personally, I look at them as being real instead of dark, but this is just my point of view.

Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

Personal experiences, dreams. I use to joke that I have good mental tutors on the other side who plant these ideas in my head when I sleep.

Any plans to hit the road?

Not at the moment, but we are looking forward to it when we are ready.

What else is happening next in SPOOKSHOW INC.’s world?

Our main focus for the nearest future is to set up a solid live act. We will work on sound and visuals. Video projections are important part of our live show. Maybe something else too, like magician tricks, I would like to learn some, would be cool to entertain audience with some of  these-headless guitar player pulling aces from a sleeve, singer spitting fire, that sort of thing. Wouldn’t  it  be cool?

Watch here

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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