Without bands who mix punk rock with horns, summer is incomplete. Be glad, then, that Ghouls are here to save not just the day, but a whole season. Here, TMMP chats to Ghouls about 2000 Trees, dodgy promoters, and the girl who tried to cheat on her boyfriend with the whole band – while they were onstage…
You’re playing a set at 2000 Trees this year. What thoughts and feelings are going through your heads right now?
We’re genuinely stoked to be playing. A couple of us have been as punters in previous years, and its been on our radar of festivals we’d like to play for a little while – so it’s great we get to do it this year.
We’re gonna really get into the festival spirit and do some acoustic sets as well as playing the main stage on the Friday, which makes the whole thing even cooler. So yeah, amped for it.
How did Ghouls come to be? What’s your origin story?
Originally, Ghouls formed in 2011 – but we didn’t become the band we are now until early 2013. We all met through each moving to London from various places around England, and mainly got to know each other through music – going to shows, playing shows, etc. Well, everyone except for Maz (sax) who we met through Gumtree…
What’s the story behind the first gig you ever played?
Our first show was a typical “London” show, where the promoter puts on naive bands and tells you to bring all of your friends because you have to have a good crowd incase someone who works as an A&R person turns up to the show, because that “definitely happens” and that is “how it works”. They charge some stupid amount and then you end up only playing to the people you have brought with you. Our biggest problem is that we don’t have that many friends [laughs]. We didn’t play one of those shows again.
What’s the most batshit crazy thing that’s ever happened during a Ghouls set?
We’ve had a lot of weird shit happen on stage. We once had a girl who came on stage having been on her boyfriend’s shoulders, who then attempted but failed to kiss each individual member of the band. Her boyfriend was absolutely fuming and also absolutely massive, [and] he eventually came on stage [and] dragged her off. It was weird, he was angry but it was nothing to do with us.
Most recently we had 2 guys who got on stage, grabbed the mic and made a speech to celebrate gay pride. One of them then decided to make out with the other, though I think the other guy wasn’t aware that it was part of the plan and may have been slightly more sober than the other guy. He looked shocked to say the least.
Do you ever get stage fright or nerves? If so, how do you work around them?
The only time I really get nervous before a show is if nobody shows up. If there’s people in the room then there are no nerves, if there is nobody then I am nervous but if there is a lot of people there then its all adrenaline and excitement.
Which other 2000 Trees bands are you looking forward to checking out?
We’re looking forward to watching a lot of bands actually. Obviously Alkaline Trio, Deaf Havana, [and] The Skints to name a few. Also really excited to see Great Cynics too.
Beyond the festival, what does the future hold?
We are actually releasing our new EP Great Expectations II on the day we play the festival (10th July), so all the songs will be up online and available to download from then. The end of the year will be spent focusing on something – I won’t say too much, but it won’t be an EP…
What’s your biggest dream as a band?
Honestly, it sounds cliché but the dream for this band was always just to tour. In the days where we were playing those little London shows to our five mates we had at the time, we dreamed of doing what we’re doing now, so it’s really cool that we are getting to do it.
Saying that, we always have our eyes on the next level; I think thats natural and obviously there’s certain festivals and places on our dream list that we’d love to do etc., but we’re having a lot of fun and making some crazy cool stories doing what we’re doing and that to us is what is most important.
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