Perth Hyper Punks Ghoulies: “A majority of the songs were written around conspiracy theories and urban legends”

Handmade collage by B.

Ghoulies play punk at hyper-speed! Gimmie interviewed them about their release Flat Earth on Slime Street Records, their favourite films and what’s in the works.

Did you guys get your name from the ‘80s comedy-horror movie series Ghoulies?

ALEC: Maybe? We were meant to watch all four movies a few weeks back but we ended up just drinking all night. Actually, I think we got it from a band from Denver. Rock on, guys!

What’s everyone in the band’s favourite films?

INDIGO: As a band we collectively love the Harry Potter films. I think personally it’s impossible for me to pick a favourite film but I’ve been obsessed with Robert Eggers “The Lighthouse” since I saw it, it’s completely mad.

CHARLES: Always a tough question. Definitely agree with Indi about The Lighthouse. I really like the Safdie brothers – re-watched Good Time again not too long ago and it holds up so well on multiple viewings. Memories of Murder, Your Name and LOTR are the nearest DVDs I can see to me right now that I’d call some of my favourites. Spiderman 2 by Sam Raimi is the greatest film ever made, followed closely by Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift.

ALEC: I re-watched A Bugs Life again recently, was sick.

Members of the band are from other WA bands Aborted Tortoise, Kitchen People and Cuss; what makes Ghoulies different from these bands?

ALEC: Not much really, a lot of shared members going on. I suppose it is a collaborative song writing thing between Charles and I. I had a pretty specific idea on what I wanted it all to sound like and it has sort of mutated due to the way everyone takes on their role in the band.  

INDIGO: For me, Ghoulies is the first band I’m playing synth in so it’s been really enjoyable doing something different and getting to learn and experiment as I go. Musically Ghoulies is pretty different from my other bands so that’s been really fun.

What’s the ideal soundtrack to listen to while walking around your city?

CHARLES: (I H8 THE) CBD – Dennis Cometti.

ALEX: ditto. The CBD stinks and I h8 it. Dennis Cometti are sick though

One of our fav songs off your Flat Earth debut LP release is ‘NBN’; how did that song come into being?

ALEC: My girlfriend thinks I am pretty neurotic, and it was one of those things that really set off my neuroses. I kind of wanted that song to sound like a manifestation of a stressed-out panic attack. The lyrics are just a cheeky rant about first world problems. I made the mistake of trying to upgrade my poxy internet connection just prior to the initial WA “lockdown”. One of the lines in the song is about bogans watching high res porn, which refers to one of these blokes telling me about his immaculate NBN porn streaming speed. Initially when the first wave of blokes that came through to upgrade the connection just cut off my working ADSL and drove off. I could go on.  It was a nightmare to deal with. Pretty funny stuff.

It seems like Ghoulies songs are around the 1:00 to 1:40 mark; why do you like to make short and fast songs?

ALEC: Laziness. I think it’s just an immediacy thing, it is pretty formulaic punk and I feel like it’s pretty clear when an idea works or it doesn’t. I find that laboring over ideas tends to mean they suck.

ALEX: I guess for the most part the songs are just structured fairly conventionally. They just end up being short cos Alec threatens to break my legs if we play at less than 220bpm.

 Can you explain to us a little about the recording of Flat Earth? It was recorded by Ron Pollard from Tangled Thoughts Of Leaving, right? I’ve read that his studio is a big shed in a beautiful rural area.

ALEC: I have a long history with Ron, have been visiting and recording at his place for about eight years now. We’re buddies and I think that we understand each other’s needs. His studio is sick and yes the property is picturesque and quite inspiring to be around.

INDIGO: It was a really cool experience, Ron was great to work with, it was super comfortable and the whole process was really enjoyable. The studio is on a beautiful property, and there’s a gorgeous dog called Millie who lives there.

 Alec you mastered it; what are the pluses of doing this yourself rather than going with someone outside the band?

ALEC: Recording is my favorite part of making music. I had a pretty specific idea on what I wanted it to sound like. It turned out way different to that, and that was cool with me too because it had a different character when we played the songs as a band. I enjoy experimenting with sounds and stitching tracks together. I feel like nobody will really do a better job than you if you have a specific goal or idea.

What inspired the song ‘Gold Chain (at the TAB)’?

Alec: At my local shopping centre there is crusty fellah who smokes joints out the front of the TAB most mornings before they open, and he has a dope gold chain that he wears around his neck. He usually has something to say, gets in fights and loves a beer or ten with lunch.

What’s the story behind the album title Flat Earth?

ALEC: A majority of the songs were written around conspiracy theories and urban legends. 

Can you tell us a little about the artwork?

INDIGO: Our friend Lucy did the artwork for us, I reckon it captures the band perfectly.

ALEC: Lucy’s sense of humour is in line with ours which is important to me. She is doing some artwork for our next release and some shirts in the near future.

What’s next for Ghoulies?

ALEC: A new 7” we are recording in November with Al Smith from Bergerk (Cold Meat/ Extortion etc).

What makes you smile?

INDIGO: My dog!

CHARLES: [REDACTED]

ALEX: life’s rich tapestry.

Please check out GHOULIES on Bandcamp; on Instagram.

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