interview with Abigail's Ghost

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What is the name of the band?  Abigail's Ghost
What does the name "Abigail's Ghost" mean? Whatever you want it to mean.
What made you choose the name "Abigail's Ghost"? I was brainstorming potential band names with Josh (guitarist, singer, co-founder) and I came up with the name Abigail's Ghost almost immediately. It sounded really interesting and it stuck.
Who started the band? Josh and myself started the band basically when we started playing together, which was not long after we met. It wasn't until 2004 that we decided to call ourselves Abigail's Ghost.
Tell us a brief introduction of who you are? I am Kenneth Wilson, I play multiple instruments but primarily bass guitar in Abigail's Ghost and I do the majority of the production and mixing. I am also a freelance producer and mixing engineer, but I only work on projects that interest me or that I think I can add something to in some way.
Where are you from? I'm from a small town called Houma in the state of Louisiana
How did you meet? We met in elementary school in 7th grade.
What is your name ? / Who plays what? / How old are you? Kenneth Wilson. I am currently 29 years old. In the band I play bass, but on recordings I sing some background vocals, program synths, make noises, play some guitar, etc. Josh (Theriot) plays the majority of the guitars and sings lead vocals. John (Rodrigue) plays drums and percussion. Brett (Guillory) plays piano and keyboards.
What was the plan when you started the band? The plan was to make modern/art/progressive/really pretentious and overly long radio unfriendly/accessible rock music. Abigail's Ghost is a hybrid of all the music we like distilled and filtered through the established aesthetics of the band, which also happen to be quite open and varied. 
Explain to those who have not heard you, how does your music? Our music is a hybrid of progressive rock, art rock, psychedelic pop, electronica, trip hop, and some Dixie land thrown in for good measure. It has a tendency to lean towards an alternative heavy rock and metal sound, but it's certainly not one dimensional. We'll have long ambient passages, melancholic piano riffs, world music, and smatterings of hideous noise thrown in liberally.  
Who writes the songs?/Who does the music? Joshua and I write most of the music, with Joshua being more of the structure builder and me being the nitpicky one who is always looking to spice up an arrangement with some little detail or riff. On our album d_letion, Randy LeBoeuf (our live secondary guitar player and ghost member of the band) wrote a decent chunk of the music with Josh and myself. With our upcoming album, it was back to Joshua and myself writing the way we did for our first album. Lyric duties are split down the middle, where I wrote a good portion of the lyrics for our first album, Josh wrote the majority of the 2nd.  
Good and bad sides of the band? There is no real downside. I'd struggle to even make something up worth talking about.
What you drive for music style? Whatever I'm into as long as it fits what my idea of "Abigail's Ghost" should sound like. I want the music and the image to be unified under one aesthetic identity without being too predictable. I wouldn't make some out-of-context, dance-y folk song or a cheesy, cliche pop song about teenagers drinking and fornicating and pair it with a dark, ethereal image you'd get with the name Abigail's Ghost. I want everything to be eclectic, but interwoven into something that shares a common thread. It's difficult to describe what I consider worthy of the Abigail's Ghost image, because it's all in my head and it could change from album to album. The best answer I can give you is that I know, whether it will work or not, when I hear it. It's my story to tell so I'd like to think I know what is required to move the narrative forward.
What made you start with just "Alternative Rock, Progressive Rock, Hard Rock, Metal, Contemporary Rock, Art Rock"? It was what we were into at the time and it's the best way to describe the kind of hybrid genre that Abigail's Ghost music could be classified as.
What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs? Most of my lyrics are about characters in stories that I've made up specifically for a song, personal experiences with women and relationships, and other esoteric subjects of a psychological or bizarre nature.
Have you released any album or single? We've released two full length albums, Selling Insincerity and d_letion, and two EP's. Work on our forthcoming third album is almost complete.
What do you sell for merchandise gadgets? Shirts and stickers. I really don't even know what we sell to be honest. If I could afford it I'd have all sorts of whacky Abigail's Ghost gadgets, undergarments, bobbleheads, wine, prophylactics, sex toys, etc.
Have you done any music videos? No, but not because we don't want to do one or anything. Music videos are a lot of work for not much payoff unless everything is done well and it's unique enough to catch someone's attention. If I had the money, I'd make thematically relevant short films that related to the album but were not necessarily integral to the experience. They would be more like interesting companion pieces to the actual music. We do, however, have a live DVD available. It was filmed in 2008 when we played RoSFest in Philadelphia. While it's not the most technically impressive show we've put on it marks a very interesting point in time for the band.
How old were you when you started with music? I have been into music since I can remember.
When did you decide to focus on the music? I became really serious about music when I was around the age of 14.
How has your music evolved since you began playing music together? Our music is much more nuanced and interesting now that we've been playing together for so long and have learned the tricks of the music production trade. Now that I have my own professional recording equipment I don't even really have to leave my house to make a quality production.
What are your dreams with the band? To reach as many people as possible without over exerting ourselves or losing focus on the primary objectives for why we first began making music. The moment it stops being fun is the moment I will quit, but I don't really see that happening at all. I'm too obsessed with music and recording to walk away from it.
What has been your biggest challenge as a band? To make quality sounding albums and promote them with a minimal budget and no label backing. While this allows us limitless freedom, it also hinders us in all the ways you'd expect to be hindered from a finite budget.
Describe your show , visual and musically Our shows are typically pretty bare bones since we're operating with a limited budget. In the future we're hoping to expand the scope of our live shows, but it's a lot of time and effort to get to a satisfactory level. I'm an unyielding perfectionist and I won't start a project unless I can pull it off successfully and to my satisfaction.
How do you think it is to live in Sweden? Cold but with a lot of attractive women to stare at.  
What do you do besides the band and the music? I like to exercise when I can. I also love computers, video games, film, and any kind of interesting technology.
What would you do if the music does not fans? I made music before I had fans and I'd continue to make music if I somehow lost all of them.
How important are your fans? Our fans have been an integral part in the creation of our first two albums. We used money from pre orders to pay for the costs of making the album. I think if we didn't have that support initially it would have been impossible to make those albums within the frame time they were created and released.
What is the funniest thing a fan did for you? I think the fact that I even have fans is funny enough.
How old were you at your first concert you saw? I think I was 13 or 14. It was the band Live.
How old were you at your first gig? At my first paid gig, I believe I was 16 or 17
What is your goal with your music? To make enough money to buy groceries and build a lavish studio/home where I can churn out beautiful sounding recordings without having to pay by the day.
Besides your music style you play what do you like the music still enjoy listening to? I love (in no particular order) IAMX, Sneaker Pimps, Goldfrapp, Nine Inch Nails, Porcupine Tree, Muse, Blackfield, Free Dominguez, ELO, Foreigner, Todd Rundgren, Deftones, Massive Attack, Portishead, Placebo, Poets of the Fall, Opeth, A Perfect Circle, Live, Collective Soul, Clint Mansell, Ennio Morricone, Cliff Martinez, just to name a few. I am most definitely leaving out stuff that I will probably regret later.
What things are you most afraid of? Failure and not being able to do what I want, when I want to do it, and how I want it done.
What is the biggest fear when you go onstage? I am constantly afraid of something going catastrophically wrong, and it has, or blanking out and forgetting what I am supposed to be doing. 
What drives a band that is not very well known and live on it to continue to play? Passion for music and a total inability to do anything else or fit into society at large.
What is your pre-show ritual? I meditate, stretch, eat fruit, and do push ups.
What do you think of that they go to download music from the internet instead of buying records? I understand the convenience of it but I will always prefer to have something physical and tangible. There's a tactile aspect to owning an album that is lost with digital downloads. I personally feel the music and the presentation shouldn't be separated. Music is very visual and part of being a musical artist is creating an all encompassing audiovisual experience for the listener. I'm trying to get you in a frame of mind comparable to mine when I made the music, so that you can see where I may be coming from as I think music can be better appreciated with a broader understanding of the situations and moments in time which were the genesis of what the listener is hearing.
What is your outlook on the record industry today? Slightly grim, but hopeful that good music will survive. This is a high endurance business and only the most stubborn, self-assured, and persistent individuals will be successful.
How would you describe your sound in one sentence? Our music is challenging, epic, fragile, complex, and sometimes darkly humorous.
What are your favorite substandard instruments? Hammered dulcimer, Ondes Martenot, Cristal Baschet, Bazantar, Chapman Stick, Mellotron, Fender Rhodes, Toy Piano, Hang Drum, and Mbira.
What is the first step to a new song? An idea that sparks my creativity in a way that implies MANY possibilities.
What image do you think your music conveys ? Dark and psychosexual
When you do a song where are you going / what inspires your music? It could be anything, other music, an idea, a movie, or personal experiences.
What are your web pages? www.abigailsghost.com and we have a Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter page. I hate Twitter though.
What inspires you? The endless pursuit for moments of perfection and the silly things that human beings do. I've also lately been inspired by my cats.
Is it easier to draw inspiration from older bands than the bands that are active today? I draw my musicial inspiration from older bands, but my production techniques are inspired from modern music, whether it be pop, jazz, metal, new age, or world music. It doesn't matter. For instance, I am a fan of Dr. Luke's productions, though I wouldn't necessarily admit to listening to his music for pleasure, his production techniques are inspiring. Steven Wilson, Chris and Tom Lord-Alge, David Bendeth, Trevor Horn, Trent Reznor, and Chris Corner are probably my main creative influences in terms of production and musical taste.
What are your plans for the future? My goal is to make an album that could be hailed as a classic in the genre. It's something I've been working on quietly for years now. I have ideas that are constantly evolving, but I won't release anything until I know it can hold up.
What are the main obstacles for the band ? Relatively small budget and distance.
What advice would you give to other bands?Have passion for what you do, don't ever half-ass anything, and strive to be the best. Do not dismiss music automatically because you think you're "too cool" for it. Learn from the good things that other artists are doing, assimilate them into your own musical vocabulary, and fashion something exciting out of it. Making generic music is fucking boring, so stop doing it.
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