Ian: I’m doing fine, thanks for asking. I’m Ian, responsible for the music of Ghastly. I play all the instruments on the albums but I focus on guitar when we play live.
MPM: You guys have put out your third full-length album titled Mercurial Passages and was released last May and 20 Buck Spin handled the album. How was the overall reception from the media press and what was the inspiration into writing this album compared to past Ghastly releases?
Ian: Reception has been positive. I was inspired by the fact of learning more studio work and making my music more raw rather than doing another Death Velour. Moving on is a thing all composers should focus on, to a certain point of course. Complete change in music might not work for fans if you still keep the same band name.
MPM: The band has been around since 2011 and you are the original member who fronted this band. What was your inspiration being a musician and what was the idea behind the name Ghastly?
Ian: The act of creating is the most biggest inspiration. I have always had the urge to do my own art, whether if it is music, paintings or drawing, so that drives me. Idea behind the name popped out of an old classic horror book that had the name appearing countless of times, so I just thought I’d use that one. It suits our music so why not.
MPM: Finland is home to the most recognized bands in extreme metal. Whether it be Demilich, Children Of Bodom, Sonata Arctica, Nightwish, Archgoat and many more to name a few. What makes the music scene in Finland so different compared to United States, Canada, Central America and other countries worldwide?
Ian: It’s the culture and the regional differences which makes every scene different from each other. Sure, one can make a Deicide pastiche in Northern Europe but it cannot have the same feeling.
MPM: The first time I got introduced to Ghastly was the sophomore full-length album of Death Velour which I was very impressed not only by the sound, musicianship and overall structure that album truly came to be. Which Ghastly album would you say in your career had been the most enjoyable and favorable in terms of musicality and sound approach is concerned?
Ian: The recent one of course, as for me I attend to learn more about playing instruments and recording music along the way I get older. I will not stop learning, but if I do, I won’t be doing music. Simple as that.
MPM:bMercurial Passages is also the second album that is released through 20 Buck Spin which in my opinion is one of the best underground labels going right now. How’s the chemistry been between the band and the label and how does it feel being apart of a wide spectrum of extreme music that specializes in death, doom and other subgenres on that label?
Ian: Our chemistry is great and I have nothing negative to say about 20 Buck Spin. Everything has worked really well between us. Needless to say we’re not changing 20 Buck Spin as our label.
MPM: What tracks off on Mercurial Passages would you consider to be your most ambitious, creative and artistic pieces of music that you ever created?
Ian: Mirror Horizon and Dawnless Dreams. Those are the climaxes of the album. I attend to write albums that have a clear start and ending, so obviously the last ones are more ambitious. All albums are like movies to me and I need albums to have a solid structure.
MPM: The first time I dived into Mercurial Passages I hear alot of different influences in your music ranging from Autopsy, The Chasm, Horrendous and Celtic Frost since your style of death metal has the right amount of doom, black and old school flavorings of metal that perfectly captured the essences of what the music is about. Who would you say are your influences in terms of writing lyrics, doing bass, vocals and guitars?
Ian: For the music, biggest influences for Mercurial Passages were Morbid Angel, Demigod, Death, Norwegian black metal, Italian horror movies & soundtracks. Lyrics are based on nightmares and stream of consciousness.
MPM: Would you say Mercurial Passages gave you motivation into writing more future music during the time the record was still released during the pandemic?
Ian: Inspiration hits when the time is right. After Mercurial sessions, I had boost to do more music yes but the real inspiration came later. I attend to get my ideas by just playing random things on guitar.
MPM: If music wasn’t your profession, what do you see yourself doing that fans or people don’t know about you that like to enjoy in spare time?
Ian: I don’t see a point to tell what I like to do in my spare time or what I do for a living. It’s my personal life, but you can see and hear where it all comes from in my music. With this I mean I’m a huge music and movie fan.
MPM: Between recording music and performing live shows, which would you say is more in your favor or do you think both have their own significant ways?
Ian: To just stay as a recording artist could work for me really well, but to be honest the shows, meeting other people and to witness great shows are really valuable too. Both have their own great things. Creating art is still more up my alley, but when you have had a great show under your belt, the feeling is something you won’t get in your rehearsal space.
MPM: 2022 had incredible releases across the metal and rock spectrum. Do you have favorite albums of the year or records to recommend to anyone that need something to listen to?
Ian: I haven’t checked which albums came out this year, so I might not be the right person to suggest anything. I have bought newer and older music this year, but I can’t listen to every record that’s been released and I never make lists, so it’s hard to say. You all should at least go and see Faceless Burial playing a live show if you have the chance.
MPM: Why should everyone check out Ghastly and what does your music offer in comparison to other bands playing the same genre as you do?
Ian: We’re not the average carbon copy death metal band. If you like music to have depth in it, this could work for you.
MPM: Before we wrap up this interview I like to thank you for your time into doing this interview. Do you have any information or final words regarding new music or future tours to say to your fans?
Ian: Thank you for the interview, it was a pleasure. New music has been composed and possible shows are scheduled for next year. More information on these subjects will be out when the time is right. Cheers!
Interview by Jake Butler