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Having been beguiled by the otherworldly blends of dreamy indie sonics and visceral, hard edged rock on latest release Colors Bleed, it seemed the perfect time to sit down with Crooked Ghost mailman Ray Lark to find out a bit more about him and the musical project he currently calls home.
Crooked Ghost began life as a way to find an outlet for songs which didn’t sit sonically with other bands you were in. Is this now your main outlet or perhaps just a temporary musical detour?
RAY LARK: Crooked Ghost is absolutely my main musical endeavor at this point. I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Performing this music is a complete out of body experience for me and unlike anything else I’ve ever done. For once in my life I’m in a band where everyone in it is truly my friend and that is to be cherished. It’s magic.
Your sound is constantly compared to any number of mainly British, early eighties bands. Is this a conscious thing or is it just what seems to come out of the writing process naturally?
RAY LARK: It’s pretty subconscious. A lot of my favorite music growing up was from Europe and made in the late 70’s or 80’s, so that “sound” is pretty ingrained in my musical being. It makes sense to me that there would be similarities, you are what you listen to. I never consciously try to sound like anything in particular as I find musical experimentation and exploring a feeling much more fun.
Your music in general and songs such as “Black Rainbow” in particular deal with some deep subject matter. Is it hard to make music which is both entertaining and thought-provoking?
RAY LARK: Sometimes it can be hard digging that deep and sharing something so personal, but ultimately I find it rewarding and quite cathartic. This music is like therapy to us. “Black Rainbow” is about depression and suicide, so those can be risky topics to write about. Thankfully the sunny musical backdrop keeps it from appearing too dreary. That one really hits close to home.
How do you feel things have moved on musically for you since Skeleton House or even since your debut release?
RAY LARK: Everything has felt very natural. We’re all maturing as musicians and composers, and as friends who function on the same frequency. I think our newer songs reflect that. We’re always trying new things to keep it interesting and fun. My music tends to be a reflection of my current state, which is alwalys changing. We all really love to be doing this and I can only hope we get better with time.
And given that your sound resonates with the sound of British post-punk, are their any plans to cross the water and play there?
RAY LARK: Absolutely! It’s been a dream of mine and we’ve had a lot of people wanting us to play over there. It will definately happen. Putting together any tour let alone an overseas one can be tough but we’re on it. We are thinking late 2020 or 2021.
So where next for Ray Lark personally and Crooked Ghost generally?
RAY LARK: I have been working on a collection of solo songs and focusing on my visual art. Crooked Ghost have a new guitarist and an arsenal of new songs for an album which we start recording in January of the new year. We hope to continue to tour and make records for as long as we can.
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