19 maj 2013

Interview with Girl Loves Dead Boys

Girl Loves Dead Boys was formed in 2004 Westminster, California USA by Phillip Baxter. After a break for five years they are now back and working on a new cd.
Tell us about your backgrounds and musical influence?

I have a wide background of musical influences but where ideas come from for Girl Loves Dead Boys is mostly from my influences by Sisters of Mercy, Clan of Xymox, Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, Nine Inch Nails and oddly enough, Dr. Dre. I really like the simplicity of hip hop rhythms and the musical structure. It's actually very similar to darkwave from a rhythm standpoint but people don't notice it. You could actually take my vocals out of most of GLDB tracks and replace them with a rap artist and it would work. On the other side, I really enjoy to rock out in a way to employ emotions of angst or anger or even sadness like Nine Inch Nails has done so well and even bands from the past like Led Zeppelin. A great example is the song Kashmir. It's dark but its rock n roll.
So, you will hear more of this style of influence on new GLDB music like the new song "Hourglass Tipping" which will be out soon on YouTube as a single video to predicate the new album.

Is it the same line up today as it was between 2004 - 2008?

Phillip: Yes and No. The main lineup has always just been myself. Kind of like how Trent Reznor is Nine Inch Nails, Phillip Carl Baxter is Girl Loves Dead Boys. There were inputs from other musicians rarely.

You had a break for five years, what did you do between this time, other bands?

Phillip: I did collaborate and work on other music with a world band but was mostly occupied with being in and out of bad relationships and concentrating on work. I really didn't think much of GLDB during the last 5 years. I just concentrated on finding myself, making peace with the past, gained sobriety in 2010, and found new love. Got married.

Tell us about the name Girl Loves Dead Boys.
How did you find it and is there any deeper meaning or idea behind it?

It didn't take much time to find the name. I was sitting in the studio about to work on a new song for ReverbTv and I just had a flash thought of "hey, why don't i do something different". That was the end of ReverbTv right at that moment.
I wanted to do something bringing back my early influences of Sisters of Mercy, Clan of Xymox era. Those  rhythms that engaged me and those simple and atmospheric guitar lines that were just so cool. I knew I had a baritone voice naturally but never really explored the territory. It would be a new step for me but it made me excited about music again. So, I just thought about all my days in the goth dance clubs and pictured it in my head. I never really could afford the coolest goth clothes and never did the crazy hair styles and heavy makeup but I remember that the guys who were the most  "gothic" so to speak, always had the most girls, even though I didn't do too bad, this is what I noticed. Gothic (dead girls) liked the most gothic (dead boys) and I thought of the phrase "dead girls love dead boys" and then just simplified that to work as a band name. Girl Loves Dead Boys. Then I immediately went to work on the rhythm track for the song Girl Loves Dead Boys and 2 hours later I was laying scratch vocal tracks to it. The first song was that one. Its what I was thinking that evening for the band name and titled the song the same and wrote about my thoughts. Just listen to the lyrics. So everything kind of tied together in one spark that evening, the band name, the title song, the lyrics, my thoughts of my club past, and I went with it.

Where do you find your inspiration to make music?

Phillip: All of my songs are thoughts from a third person perspective. It's like a storyteller would do. I put myself in that frame of mind and just begin to tell a story in the context of songwriting rather than storytelling which is more complex. I am naturally a very emotional person, a Scorpio/Scorpio rising, and had a tough childhood emotionally. My love relationships have been extremely dramatic in the past and so I have felt all those highs and lows that accompany love and loss. Darkwave was the only natural choice to explore these emotions and express them to others who have had those feelings. It was the only natural choice to be able to relate this to others.  Goth is similar but the Darkwave sound adds textures and atmospheres that allow many more emotions to be tapped in to and explored. Goth ends up in the news with bad press and arguments too much.

Darkwave is pretty to the ears and emotions and has a lot more to say and allows the songwriter to express themselves as far as imagination can go. Pretty much anywhere. It's a great genre of music that had its day in the 80's only for a few years and surprisingly, in my opinion, didn't become as popular as rock n roll itself. I mean with Darkwave, I can use a hip hop rhythm and sing about any subject matter that may tap an emotional response to love, loss, or even science fictional characters and it's still Darkwave then turn around and use a heavy metal drum track and sing about something else. Add hip hop to a Bauhaus track like Bela Lugosi's Dead and it's no longer Goth. Darkwave has more room for exploration. I would go even as far as to say that the new Sigur Ros song Brennisteinn is Darkwave. But the hipsters are so knee deep in their own beliefs of what is indie that this would be a great argument even to the actual members of Sigur Ros who wrote the song. But in my opinion it's what Darkwave is. It's a certain sound really. I hope to bring attention back to it.

I see that you have played live in Serbia back in time, you picked a Serbian artist who made the front cover for your album, "Dead Faces White and Alone".
I guess you have some connection to Serbia, do Girl Loves Dead Boys have audience in the east?

Phillip: Not really anywhere in particular. It's a long story that will eventually surface. I'm awaiting to see if we can pull a fan base of any kind really.  The whole world is saturated with hipster indie and other genres in my opinion. So there aren't too many looking into darkwave anymore or even goth. It all seems dead.  It's really just a phase for many people. Lucky to see someone get into goth or darkwave and stick with it for more than 2 years then they move on to something else of interest.   I'm even taking a new approach to it in the second chapter of GLDB with bringing back the rock side of it hoping to attract a broader audience. I mean, you even see the new Sigur Ros is taking a darker and heavier rock approach. It seems that floaty and ambient textures aren't the thing right now. Not saying i will not do anything floaty or ambient. I'll just do what comes to mind when I'm in the moment if that makes sense. Right now I'm in a rock mood. I have some things to say that are relevant at the moment. And, some cool storytelling coming as well. I will be using lyrics that discuss the topic of life after death and some science fiction type stuff as well just to break up the monotony of love, loss, anger, and hurt lyrics all the time.

Are you going to play live in the near future?
Phillip: Absolutely. We are looking for invitations to large events and will probably do a small show with a few HD cameras to film it as a sort of "kick off" to the new GLDB thing. That will all come this year. I promise. But mostly just looking for the larger event invitations. We have not received any as of yet.

What is the future, are you going to make any new material, Cd etc?

Yes. Of course. Working on it as we speak. The new record "Torn" will be my greatest effort to date. I've brought in the assistance of a real drummer who comes from a metal background but is affluent in many styles and he sees my direction and is easy to work with. You will hear him and see him in the video for the song "Hourglass Tipping" currently a work in progress. Ivana will show up on vocals on the new album as well.  I will be looking for further collaboration efforts as the album progresses with other guitarists from well known underground goth groups. I'll mention them and you will see them in upcoming videos. Lots going on for 2013. I'm giving it a great effort this time. I feel good about songwriting now. No real second guessing anymore. I'm hoping things go well enough to follow with a second 2013 record in time for the holidays. Time will tell.

Is there anything you want to tell the readers?

Phillip: I don't know what to say really because I'm not sure of an existing fan base. Everything is new again. I think we just cracked the 100 Likes barrier on Facebook and VK is going ok so far. I would have to say thank you for reading this interview and for listening to our music but would also say to anyone reading this to please spread the word about Girl Loves Dead Boys if you like us. And if things go well for GLDB its always cool to say you were a part of something at the beginning before it took off. And if nothing happens at least you supported something unique to you. That's what is so cool about music. Discovering.

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