An Interview with Ghost Cinema

Ghost Cinema – A Short Biography:

Wolfgang was born in Munich in 1990. As the only child of a painter mother and a musician father, an artistic foundation was laid out for him very early on. He learned to play the accordion at 7 years old.

The accordion, for Wolfgang, was only a stepping stone into music; it wasn’t the style of music he intended to play. After discovering metalcore and post-hardcore bands like Linkin Park, Finch, Neaera, As I Lay Dying, From First to Last and 36 Crazyfists, Wolfgang’s perception of music changed and he began to pursue a new direction for his artistic ambitions.

At age 16, his affinity for heavy guitar-based music inspired him to pick-up a guitar. Soon after, he started his first metalcore band Traitor’s Last Words (2006-10) with some close friends.

At 18, through the use of the production-software Fruity Loops, he discovered a new desire to produce electronic music. Over time, this style became more important as Wolfgang tried to convey his ideas not only through a guitar but also through a computer. This new direction led to his first project, Dinosaurs Like Guccipants, which consisted of two members from Traitor’s Last Words – Sven (vocals) and Michael (bass). The trio’s output was a chaotic mix of electronica, metal, experimental and ambient sounds, and, to their surprise, they were well received. They mastered two LP’s, You and the City (2010) and Good Dreams Bad Trips (2013).

After Traitor’s Last Words disbanded completely in 2010, Wolfgang used his time to learn how to produce electronic music. The exhausting demands production requires kept Wolfgang occupied almost exclusively until his tracks were exactly as he wanted them to be. After multiple tech house and deep house releases, as well as some late reinventions of tracks from Traitor’s Last Words, Wolfgang decided to set sail for more ambient waters, and Ghost Cinema was born.

Ghost Cinema is the title under which Wolfgang has released one album. Parallel to the Ghost Cinema project, Wolfgang is working on some tracks under the name “MRGRXY”.

 

As of now, Wolfgang is taking a break from writing and producing in order to recharge and direct new projects that have sparked within his ever-changing creative vision.

 

What is Ghost Cinema and how did it come about?

I started Ghost Cinema, because I wanted to create my own mix between ambient sound, instrumental beats and electronic music. It was important for me to catch a deep, dense atmosphere. It’s like you are lost in space or swimming underwater. I like this deep, aesthetic and feeling when everything feels like slow motion in music. With Ghost Cinema I wanted to create my own flow. But, of course, I know this is just a basic idea for the project. It takes a long time to find a particular style or flow in the music you do. I think there is a lot more work to do for me if I want to take Ghost Cinema somewhere and my imagination of this interplay of music is how I see it now.

Tell us about your inspiration and influences in music? How did the environment you grew up in shape your musical preferences?

I got a lot of inspiration from movies, stories I heard, nature, and, of course, my own experiences. Sometimes when I walk down the street or take the train I just try to catch the moment. I watch people and try to guess their stories and feelings, or I just listen to all the noises around me, get lost in my thoughts about the past and future and think about how I could turn those feelings and moods into sound. There are a lot of things to discover, but we often don’t get them, because we don’t really care for them or maybe we don’t perceive them. Of course it’s not easy to transform this flow into music, but I’m sure I will be able to handle it better when I get more experience in the future.

What instruments do you play?

I started to play the accordion when I was six years old. My father wanted me to do that, but I didn’t really like it very much. So I quit and started to play the drums when I was about 12 years old. But I quit that, too, because there wasn’t enough space for a full drum kit at home. So I learned to play the guitar at the age of 16 and have been playing for 8 years now. I started with electronic music when I was about 18. My first real project was Dinosaurs like Guccipants (you can listen to it on YouTube if you want). We started out trying to mix some samples and electronic sounds with breakdowns. Really crazy stuff. We had lots of fun with it.

You were influenced by Linkin Park and 36 Crazyfists, among others. How did it change your approach to music?

I like modern rock and metal a lot. I played in a metalcore band for 5 years and started to make my own music with my guitar and a cassette tape recorder. I recorded my riffs, ideas and sounds and started to play over them using some effects and stuff. With Linkin Park and 36 Crazyfists, I slowly found my way into rock music. Anytime I spotted bands like Evaline, Circa Survive, dredg and Deftones – these bands that create a strong atmosphere using a lot of delay and reverb in their sound – I was hooked. This style led to my love for ambient music.

Who are the musicians you admire the most now?

Raffael Anton Irisarri – The Sight Below – because he is an unbelievable creative composer with so many interesting ideas. His music creates a very personal atmosphere and with the appropriate sensations. I had never heard anything like this before.

Eric Dingus, Clams Casino, Flying Lotus – all these beat producers with their own frisky flow and feeling in their beats. I like these hypnotizing, “trippy” kinds of beats.

Stars of the Lid – because they are without doubt the ambient-masterminds on earth. Every time I listen to them, I feel like time completely stands still. Their music has such a strong effect. They carry so many feelings with their sound. It’s indescribable.

What effect do you think commercialisation has on artists and, more generally, music?

I don’t like how the music industry developed. Today music as a kind of art is suppressed by the greed for success, glory and money. Of course this is not new, but one can notice the trend in some genres more so than in others. For example the metal genre, which tries to compensate the lack of creativity with exaggerated productions and excessive pressure. The next thing is, there are so many great bands out there, but nobody knows them, just because there is so much music out there today. It’s hard to find anything you haven’t heard before or to find something really “fresh”. To be honest, one decides after the first 5-10 seconds if a track is good or bad without even thinking about how much work, time and energy it cost to produce. Nobody questions if the artist had something special in mind when he did the song, or what he wants to say with the track. That’s too bad. But nevertheless I’m sure that strong music will always find its way to the people and that there will be listeners that treasure the effort behind the sound.

What effect do you think getting signed will have on your music?

I don’t really know. I think it’s hard to say before it really happens. Of course singing to a label would open me new possibilities, but I want to avoid working with too much orders and rules. Music is my hobby and I do it for fun and my passion for music and not for the glory.

What are your future plans? Do you have any new projects at the moment?

Yes, I took a creative break for one year to be able to concentrate on my projects and my goals, because I hadn’t been really pleased about my results this time. Now I’m working on a new Ghost Cinema EP I’m planning to release this year. You can find some older ideas and tracks on it and I’ll take my time to make it as good as possible. I’m anxious about how it will develop and what the EP will finally be like. I also started working on a completely new, heavily ambient, settled project. But it will take its time until I can finish it.

What’s your favorite track in the album and why? What’s the story behind it?

I like “Gravity Pull” and “Swift” the most. These two tracks represent this gloomy, dense atmosphere I wanted to create. There is not much story behind it. I just wanted to catch this “special feeling” and hypnotizing touch. I think I did well with these songs.

You can follow Ghost Cinema on Bandcamp, Soundcloud and Facebook.