Welcome back to another edition of Harvesting. This time around I’ve been experimenting in between different forms of writing. I’ve decided that I wanted to continue with the five questions asked for different artists, bands and underground phenomenons. So in this harvest I’ll be deepening your interest in the following: Featureless Ghost. A duo consisting of Matt Weiner and Elise Tippins, which have been around since 2007. They have also been performing in Something Colds venues some time ago. Therefore I’ll also be revealing something new coming their way. Hope you enjoy this edition of Harvesting and I also hope that you’ll come back, hungering for more and more. I’ll be having a great feature tomorrow that you should not miss out on. But now, back to the interesting duo Featureless Ghost. I took some time to ask Matt Weiner and Elise Tippins five questions and I’ll also review one of their latest tracks in this edition.
So I get that you’ve been making music together since 2007, but where did it all begin and why the name Featureless Ghost?
– Our musical collaborations took on many forms and styles before we fell into the music we make as Featureless Ghost. The first official FG recordings were made in the beginning of 2011. Everything we had done prior to that lead us to where we are now. Our style was much looser and more experimental before FG, a lot noisier too, and it wasn’t until we both became more confident vocalists that we felt like we could attempt the sort of minimal-synth/dark-pop songs that we’re writing now. As far as the name goes, Featureless Ghost is a concept we picked up on from reading, thinking about, and talking about identity: the spirit-ghost, and the information net. Our songs definitely come from this space.
Could you tell me anything about the creative process behind your releases up til’ now?
– With the exceptions of “Projections” and “Biologically-Sound Cyber-Bodies,” the recording process is almost identical to the live performance. We write everything on our live rig (which doesn’t include a laptop) and try to limit ourselves to things we can pull off using what we have in front of us. We do have a few synths and drum machines in the studio that we don’t use live and will sometimes pepper the recordings with them or sample them on the MPC to trigger as we need. Synths are both sequenced and hand-played over the drum sequences written in the MPC and vocals are performed and processed live on top of it.
What kind of landmark memories have you had in your time together as Featureless Ghost?
– Our first tour of the midwest in April and May 2012 was a pretty special time. We were treated extremely well in each city and got to meet some amazing bands/artists and play to some great crowds both large and small. We didn’t go broke, although Elise got terrible bronchitis and felt miserable for a good chunk of the trip but she stayed strong and powered through regardless. It was a good first tour and definitely made us realize the benefits of hitting the road and linking up with new people.
You’re going to release your debut-LP now in October, are you stoked about it and could you reveal anything you haven’t revealed about it?
– We are extremely stoked to be releasing this LP, “Personality Matrix.” If you go to our bandcamp page you’ll see that we have 5 releases out, but unlike “Personality Matrix” none of the releases we have out are really representative of where we’re at now and where we’re going. The only way to know, without hearing the upcoming LP, is to catch us live.
Thank you for letting me ask these questions! What do you have in store now in the near future?
– Thank you! Coming up we have a tour of the East Coast and Canada and we are currently working on some new songs and recordings for upcoming FG releases. We’re always working on something new! We have also co-founded a label with our friends Chris Daresta and James Andrew called “DKA” and we will be releasing the first 3 DKA cassettes before the end of the year and have plans for future vinyl releases as well. We also have a bunch of FG videos produced by Fantastic Lands (Elise) in the works that will be released over the next few months.
The most interesting part about this song is that it sounds timeless and share the components of what makes Featureless Ghost stand the test of time. I think they have a different approach on this single if you compare to the other songs. But they’re essentially the same. If I’d think wishfully, it sounds like they’ve taken care of the more minimalistic touches that can be found within their music and made that their top effort. At least when I listen to this song, the wonderfully monotone, but at the same time varied song is drilling itself right into my eardrums. There’s some kind of retro feeling to it as well as futuristic, but I guess this could be because they’re good at that balance. It’s not obnoxiously nostalgic, yet it’s at the same time futuristic. A feeling that comes to mind when I listen to it, is that it’s got a calm and controlled tempo, yet it’s got that pushy kind of drive that turn things up a notch. Basically, it’s also built around the vocalists different expressions vocally. That sounded pretentious of me to say, but I think they get more room to experiment with their vocals in this song than they’ve had in songs prior to this one. So I’m hoping for a new turn on their behalf, and I’m also dying to hear another single-song that I can listen to.
Au revoir for this time around! In the next edition of Harvesting, namely the #8th, you’ll find yourself on familiar grounds.