Interviewee: Paul Wilson (Ghost Army Drummer)
What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
I think my mom has notes in my baby book talking about how she predicted I would be a drummer. I was always busy with my hands, tapping on everything with some rhythm. You could always spot the drummers in school because they were always playing drums on their desk in class. I was definitely that kid.
My mom had a huge influence on me as a musician growing up. She was such a music advocate to my sister and I. I started playing piano first around maybe 6 years old and performing in recitals. Ever since I was a kid I had such a passion for music. I was always listening to vinyl records, tapes or cds. Around 12 years old I got a snare drum and sticks and joined the school band while also taking some local drum lessons at a music store. Freshman year in High School I joined my first rock band.
Ghost Army formed like most bands do. Our singer, Brian, contacted me online via Bandmix for an audition. He was already working with our bass player Carl on some songs. Things clicked instantly with everyone and soon after we were recording our first EP.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
Ghost Army’s debut 4 song Ep, “Paracosm,” was recorded at Expressions College in Emeryville, California. It is set to release in full August 23rd 2019! With the way the music industry continues to change and with society’s short attention span we decided to release each song as a single. Let people really focus on each song and actually absorb each one. Our first two singles have already been released on all major music platforms. We enlisted 4 huge producers to mix each song. “Walk Away”, is our first single and we had 3 time Grammy award winning producer, David Bottrill (Tool, Rush, Stone Sour) mix it. “I Forgive You” was our second single and we hired Grammy award winning producer, Sylvia Massy (Tool, Prince, S.O.A.D.) to mix it. The third track is called “Through Your Eye’ s” and we got yet another Grammy award winning producer named, Michael Rosen (Papa Roach, Rancid, AFI), to mix it. The final track is called “Buried and Forgotten” and we had one of the best producers in Sacramento, Sean Stack (Fat Cat Records), to mix it as well as master the entire EP. Incredibly humbling and thrilling experience getting to work with all these big names. We couldn’t be happier with the mixes!
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
I think collectively the band is heavily influenced by Industrial hard rock and nu metal from the 90s and early 2000s. Bands like, Tool, Mudvayne and Chevelle. I grew up listening to a lot of classic rock like Led Zeppelin. Then transitioned into more progressive hard rock like The Mars Volta and Tool. Tool has been such a huge inspiration and motivation on my entire music path. Maynard James Keenan in particular has been such a big inspiration. His relentless work ethic and outrageously powerful, melodic, unique vocals have been the soundtrack for most of my life. That mixed with Danny Carey’s one of a kind drum style and fills have really been the biggest drive and motivation to keep playing. My wife and my son and probably the biggest inspirations in my life now. If I can impress her with a recording or a show I feel the most accomplished. And nothing makes you feel more proud than when your son wants to play drums with you.
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
It’s always difficult to describe your own bands sound. I feel like you either come off pretentious or like a tool. Especially since we are just beginning to define our sound. But in a general sense, we clearly are some kind of melodic industrial metal band.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
Albums: Tool Aenima, Karnivool Sound Awake, Radiohead Kid A
Movies: Goodfellas, What About Bob, Royal Tenenbaums
Books: Anything by Jack Krakauer and Jack London
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
I prefer to have a balance of both. Lots of pros and cons to both for sure. But I find them both to be rewarding. Lately the studio has been much more rewarding for us but we are kind of jaded towards local shows a bit. Which has more to do with the horrible idiotic, corrupt and egotistical scene that is playing live shows. People just don’t seem to value music or musicians like they used to and that’s only made the venues, promoters, labels and overall music industry even darker.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
Hmm… There’s so many…One time at my former bands show I found myself in a group conversation with another guy I did not know who appeared to be in a band as well. So I said, “Oh cool, are you in a band too?” He laughed and started shaking his head. Then sarcastically said, “Yeah I am, I play a little thing called Metal, every heard of it?” Turns out he was the bass player from Machine Head. I thought it was hilarious! It was like a scene out of Metalocalypse.
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
“Walk Away,” is probably my favorite so far. Working with David Bottrill on this mix was an absolute dream. I just love the intensity of that song. It’s so angry and aggressive. But has such sweet, melodic parts mixed with great vocal screams. Plus it’s just so fun to play on drums!
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
The boys and I are always working on the next step and have a lot of plans for the future and this project. We are currently writing a full length follow up to this EP already, working on a music video as well as some song placement opportunities. Who knows, maybe we will even put on a show soon so we can complain about it.
What kind of drum gear do you use?
I currently play a acrylic Crush 5 piece kit. I play the Sonor 8×14” Danny Carey Signature Bronze Snare, Axis Double Bass pedals, typically evans G2s heads clear, red or blue, sometimes Aric Improta heads, muff rings on all toms and kick, Zildjian K Dark 13” high hats, Zildjian K crashes 18” and 20”, Danny Carey Signature Series Dry 22” Paiste Purple Ride, Vic Firth Danny Carey Signature Drum Sticks, Paiste 8” Splash, Zildjian 18” Oriental China, Zildjian 12” Oriental China and spd-sx electronic pads with multiple trigger options and pedals.
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
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