Where are you right now and what can you see?
“I’m at home in Berlin sitting at the table, looking out the window. There are hail storms.”
Your Ghost Power partner is Jeremy Novak, whose band Dymaxion were often compared to Stereolab. How did you meet?
“I’d been a fan of Dymaxion from their very first records. We asked them to support us in New York in the mid-90s, and they went on to open up for us at every gig we played for the next 10 years or so. We share a lot of similar interests, but I don’t think we sound similar – at least I don’t hear it really.”
So this collaboration has been some time in the making?
“It’s fair to say this LP was started a long time ago, around 2007-08. We worked on it on and off until three or four years ago, and then the release was delayed by 18 months due to busy vinyl pressing plants and Covid.”
What/who would you say are the major influences on the Ghost Power sound?
“General thrift store record-buying, one brilliant track on an appalling album, unusual combinations that shouldn’t work… and don’t.”
The drum sounds are pretty epic…
“The drum sound is killer! It’s Jeremy’s personal way to build up drum tracks – they’re made on a computer from the early 90s. He made the Dymaxion drums in the same way and with the same equipment. It’s a unique sound which was the bedrock of the LP.”
There’s also a proper ‘Thunderbirds’/‘Joe 90’ vibe… you’re Gerry Anderson/Barry Gray fans, right?
“I am a completely crazy fan. It’s some of the most exciting music ever made. Although Jeremy didn’t grow up with the Gerry Anderson shows in the same way, I know he loves them too.”
What sort of impact did television, and music on TV, have on you growing up?
“Massive! The first music I loved came from programmes I only watched because I loved the music. Our television had a DIN socket which I could connect a cassette recorder to and tape music off it. This was around 1978, just before I discovered John Peel, which eventually took over, but I carried on taping music from the TV well into the 80s.”
Any shows, theme tunes or soundtracks that have especially stayed with you?
“All the obvious ones – ‘Doctor Who’, ‘The Tomorrow People’, John Barry stuff like ‘The Persuaders’ and ‘The Adventurer’, Barry Gray we’ve mentioned already, Edwin Astley and Ron Grainer. I remember seeing ‘Journey To The Center Of The Earth’ when I was about 10, with the Bernard Herrmann score, and I really loved the sound when they went down into the cave. The Morricone spaghetti westerns really blew my mind – the opening sequence to ‘The Good, The Bad And The Ugly’ is still so fantastic.”
Given the choice, which ‘Thunderbirds’ vehicle would you pilot?
“I can’t drive, I don’t like flying and I’m also claustrophobic, so I would probably just sit by the pool.”