Gospel Machine - Your Holy Ghost

Laat ik maar gelijk met de deur in huis vallen , wat een heerlijk debuut album heeft de Gospel Machine met ' Your Holy Ghost ' gemaakt. Vanaf de eerste draaibeurt ben ik erg enthousiast over de muziek van de band uit Minnesota .

De band omschrijft haar muziek als ' Garage Gospel ' en ik denk dat deze omschrijving wat mij betreft helemaal de lading dekt. In de muziek hoor je de referenties naar bijvoorbeeld Otis Redding, Sam Cooke en Nina Simone heel duidelijk terug. Maar bovenal horen we gewoon Gospel Machine met haar eigen stijl geweldige muziek maken. Ook de thema's die de band in haar nummers teksten verwerkt hebben inhoud. Zo verhalen de teksten over de liefde , maar ook over de strijd tegen racisme , oorlog en het lot van mensen op de vlucht. Met ' Your Holy Ghost ' heeft de Gospel Machine haar visitekaartje heel duidelijk afgegeven.



What's the first song you ever remember hearing?


My memory is quite terrible, but it would have to be a hymn. We grew up with a lot of hymns in our family. Hymns and then lots of 60s pop--Beach Boys, Supremes, etc...

When did you start composing music - and what or who were your early passions and influences?


I started writing music from the day I could make noise I think. Apparently, I used to waddle around the house singing made up toddler operas. But serious composition came when I was around 13, when I learned to play guitar. At that point I was obsessed with Brit pop, particularly Oasis, so you can imagine how amazingly bad those early songs were.

Do you typically write the lyrics first, or the melody?


Melody almost always comes first, but until there is a lyric or a central phrase/image, the melody is somewhat unmoored. Once I can fix it to that image, then the song starts to emerge from that point.

What is the best song you’ve  ever written and why ?


The record is so new, that naming the best feels like picking a favorite child. I think "Walkin' with the Dead" off our recent album "Your Holy Ghost," strikes me as being the most complex. But I'm really proud of "Peace in the Valley." When Jayanthi sings "There were whispers and songs, but that don't make no bread. And I never did sleep 'neath what somebody said. But I'll sing til the grey light draws my final breath. Come pull up a chair dear old death," I love those lines. They give me a lot of joy.

What are your songs about? (What specific themes do they cover?


Some are straight love tunes, but Gospel Machine was conceived as a band that sings about racism and war and being a refugee. 

If you have to describe your music in there of four words,what would you call it?


We call it "garage gospel," because we take up the old gospel music themes of yearning for redemption from the struggle.

How did you become involved in the type of music you play?


I had become pretty bored with indie rock music. It had begun to feel like a formula for commercials. And I was pretty frustrated that we had come out of the Great Recession and a decade of war and I saw absolutely no reflection of it in rock music. For a few years I was listening to more and more Nina Simone, Otis Redding, and Sam Cooke. And then Jayanthi Kyle and I started talking about making music together. From there, we just started to click and the songs started to happen.

What can people expect to see at your live performances?


Jayanthi Kyle is one of the best performers I have ever seen, certainly the best I have ever worked with. Our shows are theater. Jayanthi takes the characters and brings them to life.

Do you have any fan comments of how your music or a song affected them?


Not that I'd really share. I have been really humbled by seeing some of this music (including the protest song Jayanthi and I wrote called "Hand in Hand") be embraced by the Black Lives Matter movement. That means a lot to me.

If you could perform with anyone in the world, either dead or alive, or broke up who would it be? Why?


I'd say Nina Simone, but I'm not good enough. She'd chew me up and spit me out. If I could sing some harmonies with Brian Wilson that would be it.

What is the furthest show from your home that you have done?


I've never really toured much, but I have traveled quite a bit and played music as I went--Romania, Nepal, and most of Western Europe.