Today, I am thrilled to share with you this interview that we did with Chief Ghoul, an indie alternative singer-songwriter who has recently released his new CD, III.
Sit back, relax, and get to know more about Chief Ghoul. Don’t sleep on this guy, he’s the real deal. Give a listen to III and let us know what you think!
Indie Minded: For those who may not be aware (who ARE these people?) of Chief Ghoul, please tell us a little about yourself and your sound.
Chief Ghoul: It’s a heavy mixture of folk and blues with a little bit of punk thrown in as well. I’m inspired by many different types of music though, so you can probably hear a little bit of anything and everything in there.
IM: Give us a few of your role models and/or influences in the music scene.
CG: Dylan for his writing, Cash for his style, Jagger for his attitude, and Page for his guitar work.
IM: Those are some pretty damn good influences, and it carries over into your work. Do you remember the first song you ever sang?
CG: I don’t honestly. I grew up listening to some good stuff, but there was also some terrible stuff. Probably a good thing I don’t remember!
IM: What can people expect from your live performances?
CG: Right now it’s just my guitar and I, so it’s a very raw sound. I like doing it that way, but sometimes it can be harder to get people’s attention, especially depending on where you’re playing.
IM: What do you think your “biggest break” or “greatest opportunity” has been so far in your musical career?
CG: Getting on the cover of Performer Magazine was a big thing and very much appreciated! I also got to play a show with Those Poor Bastards which meant a lot.
IM: How’s the local indie scene in Louisville? Do you find it hard to get people to come out to enjoy indie music?
CG: I think Louisville has always had more of a music scene than most people realize. People are going out regardless of whether or not they’re planning on hearing music, so getting a crowd isn’t too bad. I have good friends here though. They make it a lot easier.
IM: That’s awesome, I hear horror stories from artists who can’t seem to get people to leave their houses to see local bands in their cities! That being said, what has been the biggest challenge for you in the music business?
CG: It can be discouraging at times, but what isn’t?
IM: I’m here to urge you….keep going! So, which comes first? The music or the lyrics? What is your writing process like? Do you lock yourself in a room? Does it come naturally to you?
CG: I’d say it does come naturally – it’s just a matter of luring the lyrics out sometimes. I do tend to sit down in a room and just go at it for quite a while sometimes. There have been songs that started with lyrics and then I stumble on a guitar progression for them, and sometimes it goes the other way. I don’t prefer one more than the other. Usually I’m just happy there’s music being made that passes my filters and all that. I can be pretty critical of myself so that’s usually the main thing I have to get through.
IM: Who would you love to perform live with? Dead or alive.
CG: That is such a tough, but awesome question. If we’re going with alive, I have to say Timber Timbre or King Dude. If we’re speaking of the dead, I have to say Robert Johnson. It would be an honor just to meet him and shake his hand.
IM: Have any opinions on what’s happening in the music scene right now in relation to Spotify and/or Apple Music?
CG: Not really. I think most people acknowledge that unless you’re one of the super artists, you’re probably getting fucked by those companies. It is what it is.
IM: That seems to be the general sentiment. I hope that all of the outrage on how they compensate musicians might cause some things to change, especially since the way people consume music has changed so much over the past few years. One can only hope!
IM: How do you define success?
CG: Being satisfied with an accomplishment. Satisfied is the key word there.
IM: Congratulations on releasing III, it’s a great CD. How has the response been so far?
CG: Thank you very much! It’s been good so far. Now, I just want the world to hear it!
IM: What are most of the themes behind the songs on III?
CG: It all varies from song to song really. I think horror is a main theme in general with the music I write.
IM: I hear you are jumping back into writing. What do you think your timeline is when it comes to releasing new music?
CG: Well, I’m constantly writing stuff, so it shouldn’t be too long before I record again. It’s more of picking and choosing what songs I’ll go into the studio with next.
IM: When will we see a tour?
CG: A tour is inevitable, but it has to be right. Sooner or later I’ll be all over the place though!
IM: [Ahem] Boston, please!
IM: You’ve released the new video for “Roll Baby Roll, Kill Baby Kill.” Do you have a new single on the horizon ready to release?
CG: I don’t have a specific song in mind and I’m not sure if it will be off of III. I really like a lot of the new stuff I’m working on, so I may just release something that hasn’t been heard yet.
IM: What does 2016 have in store for you? (Since you’ll be writing in the near future).
CG: More of the same! As long as I’m getting new material written, I’m a happy dude.
IM: Are you active on social media? Do you think this is an important thing for indie musicians to stay on top of?
CG: I’m on all of it, but I use Instagram the most. It’s linked up with Twitter so most of the time if I post on there it’s coming from my Instagram. It’s definitely important these days and something I need to get better at. When it comes to social media, I need to step up my game. It can be a little overwhelming to me for some reason.
IM: Are you channeling Jim Morrison? I swear I hear him in there somewhere….
CG: Well, I will take that as a huge compliment. The Doors wouldn’t have been The Doors without him and yeah, his writing and vocals are one of a kind, so I would definitely say he’s been a big influence on me. They’re one of those bands that I don’t necessarily like all of their songs, but the songs that I do like – I love – and will listen to over and over until I can’t listen anymore.
IM: Before we let you go, what CD have you been listening to lately?
CG: There’s been one album above any others for a while now and I haven’t gotten sick of it at all. It’s the only album by a band called Troubled Horse and I suggest everyone gives it a good listen. I hope they’ll record something else because it may go down as my favorite album ever. I don’t know how many times I’ve listened to it front to back and it only gets better!
Huge thanks to Chief Ghoul for taking some time to chat with us! If you haven’t given a listen to his music yet, stop what you’re doing and listen to III now!
This brand new record was recorded at The Nook in Chicago and produced by Nick Nativo. After securing the studio for a whole week, Chief Ghoul completed the entire LP’s recording in three days. Harnessing influence from Bob Dylan’s lyrics and Dutchess and the Duke’s raw, powerful songwriting, Miles traces his footsteps back to the band who got him writing in the first place – King Dude. From top to bottom, this record is infused with the blues.