With the recent release of EP Far End of The Graveyard, it seems that there has been a great renaissance behind the work of Thomas Ragsdale and Gavin Miller – a duo who do still go by the name of worriedaboutsatan, but seem far more comfortable in their new guise of Ghosting Season. Said EP finds the two exploring new, unchartered and utopian heights of their electronic soundscapes – something they both seemed very keen to enhance thanks to a shared love of all things deep, electronic and ‘pumping’.
The Line Of Best Fit caught up with the duo in London at their appearance alongside Demdike Stare at The Lexington, to find a brilliantly refreshed act looking forward to pastures new.
So how did the name change come about?
Well, it’s not a name change – Satan’s still alive. That’s on the backburner for now but we’ve started another record and have got a couple of songs deep into that. And then there’s another thing we’re doing that we haven’t entirely decided what to do with yet. But there’s some stuff going around that doesn’t really fit either Ghosting Season or worriedaboutsatan so that’s gonna be another thing. More Surgeon-y, ridiculous techno – no guitars, just laptops. We’re just starting afresh really.
Did you find it quite a natural transition, going from worriedaboutsatan to Ghosting Season?
Yeah, it kinda felt right to just switch it up a little bit. If it had just said on our Facebook “Hey guys, new worriedaboutsatan single’s coming…”, people would have just been like “Ah, that’s cool”. But as we’re now this new band – new pictures, new everything and new single – it’s been a bit more “Woah, what is this?!”. It’s made way more of an impact and it’s always good to dump a lot of the more negative stuff that came with worriedaboutsatan as well. People had preconceptions of us, thought we were something we’re not. Like a metal band, or Christians, or goths!
There seems to be a lot more in the way of the organic with Ghosting Season, there’s a lot more space than worriedaboutsatan, which felt more constricted and claustrophobic. That was its advantage. But was giving the new music that breathing space an intentional thing – a reaction to everything that had come before it?
Yeah. When you want to make it dancier, those elements like the kick drum and the snare drum and the bass need to come to the front. The subtleties and the intricate things kind of stay at the back – we wanted it to be more pumping, keeping those atmospherics and that pumping sound. I was asking our manager if she had any advice and she said “Don’t lose the focus, don’t go back to what you were doing” and we were going for those bigger sounds and being more melodic. We didn’t want it to be that same sort of dark or evil, we wanted big melodies. We wrote down all these mantras and just had to stick to that formula instead of flipping between things.
You’ve always been seen as very hands on and DIY with what you do – do you feel like Ghosting Season is a way of going beyond that?
We just wanted to push this the most we could. Of course, we always want to sell records but it’s more that we want lots of people to hear it! We just though why not go for the next step and try and get everything sorted to make that happen, whether that’s with a manager, PR, bigger gigs or whatever. Let’s just be a band. As much as we like the DIY thing, it was only really out of necessity – we had to do it ourselves. But with this, we want it to be that bit bigger. The last five years has been working day jobs, doing press, promotion, designing everything, selling everything, touring – everything! It’s cool, but now we just want to focus on the music and have to worry about pushing and setting up everything.
But all of this hasn’t brought in any sense of alienation with the fans or anything like that, has it?
I think the people who were really bothered about worriedaboutsatan have really, really liked the whole Ghosting Season thing and have jumped on board with it. If we’d just straight up changed our name then that would have been a bit weird. It would have been a nightmare – so we just chose to start a new band and flip between them.
How did the video for ‘Far End of The Graveyard’ come about?
Well that was really weird. Greg [Hoepffner, director] sang on ‘Heart Monitor’, one of our WAS tunes, and he was a bit of a superfan. His band, Radio System, is awesome – his voice especially is incredible and a great songwriter. But then we found out he’s a just a media powerhouse – he does about fifteen bands, graphic design, builds websites, shoots videos and he admitted himself, as well, that he’s really anal about them all. We couldn’t really afford the time or money for a shoot, so we asked Greg and before the deadline we gave him, he was like “Oh, I’ve done it”. It was the first draft and, even the first time we saw it, we were like “yeah, we gotta use that, that’s brilliant”. Oh, and the brief was “Make a video”. Now we’re gonna try and talk to him about doing a film. For the album, we’re thinking of doing something like the Deftones’ White Pony EPK thing, in the industrial estate.
What about this even newer project then, the one you mentioned earlier?
I think for that it’s just going to be put out. We’re not really going to tell anyone, it’ll just be something pretty small to start with, towards the kind of Berghain kind-of scenes.
Well, you mention Berghain and that’s obviously one of the superclubs when it comes to dance music – is that something you see yourself affiliating more with now? How do you deal with that crossover?
From our background – coming from a rockier place, really – people associated us with that and put us on at those kind of nights. Then, as we gravitated to more electronic stuff, it was always a bit tough to make that leap. It took a bit of time, loads of people were telling us “That tune should be in a club” or “I wanna listen to that at like, 11 and not 7.30″. But now it’s cool because people are coming at it completely fresh and there may be a lot of people that don’t necessarily know us as worriedaboutsatan. We just took all that stuff out of WAS and put it into Ghosting Season, and left the baggage and preconception of the rest of it behind.
What else are you planning to do with your live stuff, and how are you finding the new live dynamic?
Well we’ve got two tours planned – booking both at the same time which is a bit crazy! Four or five shows in August and another one too, as well as the show with Apparat, which is amazing! But playing the new stuff is great. It was kind of weird not doing WAS stuff to start with, but since the seperation it’s been so much more comfortable. There was no point in trying to mix the two.
Ghosting Season’s debut EP, Far End of the Graveyard is available now.