To celebrate the release of “Hold Dear Forever” and mourn Hungry Ghosts’ departure from the scene, Absurd Creation have decided to invite them to take a trip down memory lane.
Every week we will chat about one of Hungry Ghosts’ three releases and it’s the perfect opportunity to revisit these lovely records.
1. Chinese Families
2. Lieben zu Funken
3. This Noise
4. Internally External
5. This Noise (Acoustic)
Rocky: It’s been 6 years since EP1’s release, what was the context behind Hungry Ghost’s debut record?
Mike: We’ve been a band for a year and a half and thought it was the right time to make a record. So we rented This Music Studio and recorded the songs live within a day. After some touch-ups we sent them to Paul’s friend in America for mastering and released it on Halloween that year.
Rocky: That’s amazing. Were they the first batch of songs Hungry Ghosts wrote collectively?
Mike: Yeah they were definitely the first batch. Some of them we haven’t played since then.
Luke: But “This Noise” we went on to record again for EP2 because we really liked that tune.
Rocky: (Laugh) There’s 3 versions of “This Noise”!
Luke: That’s exactly right! The acoustic version on EP1 was a home recording.
Rocky: Here’s a really dumb question – Listening to EP1 now, do you cringe or do you still love it?
Paul: Cringe may not be the right word. I would say it’s funny to revisit the older compositions and they are tied to good memories. “Internal External” is actually a highlight and I’ve completely forgotten that one.
Luke: Oh yeah that’s a good song!
Paul: Maybe I feel extra nostalgic because we’ve written those songs long before we got to record them properly.
Rocky: So most of the lyrics are quite “angsty teenager” or… what do you think?
Paul: Definitely. I’ve had “This Noise” since I was in uni. It was about breaking up with my uni girlfriend and being single again, when going out and meeting other people felt like noise to me.
Rocky: What about “Chinese Families”? Was that about seeing the city from an expat’s angel?
Luke: Not exactly. I’m half Chinese and when I wrote the song I’d just return from UK. The idea came from observing and coping with the more conservative Chinese side of the family.
Rocky: Is someone in the band German? Or did someone took a semester of German during uni and thought it’s cool to name a song in Dutch? (Referring to “Lieben zu Funken”)
Luke: (Everyone laughs) I studied German at A-Level and “Lieben zu Funken” was definitely my shitty creation. We wrote this funky song and we just called it that. The lyrics are from playing too much GTA IV I think…
Mike: Moving on…
Luke: So yeah, cringe-worthy I thought was a great adjective of EP1!
Rocky: I think EP1 is cute, actually. It has that feeling unique to a debut record. I also think the influences are clear – a lot of indie rock and emo, from Death Cab for Cutie to Mineral.
Paul: I love Mineral, to death.
Rocky: So is EP1 is a good representation of what influenced Hungry Ghosts as a song-writing band?
Paul: I don’t think so. The songs on EP1 mostly came from ideas me and Luke had lying around before we started jamming. But in terms of what we were listening to you’re spot on – definitely a lot of Death Cab and Mineral, we all grew up listening to a lot of emo and pop songs.
Luke: We were still learning to play music then, I feel. “I can play these two chords, okay now we have a song.” It was definitely in that naïve (spirit)… you know.
Paul: After EP1 we really focused in being a live band, playing every gig we could get our hands on. Another thing was that Red Room Studio approached us to make another record and that’s where it all lead to EP2.
Continue next week.
Interview: Rocky Sum
Translation: Absurd Creation