Philly’s digital hardcore electro-punk Ghösh go hard headlining a live stream from Underground Arts.
There are not many precedents for the still-new Philadelphia digital hardcore electro-metal duo Ghösh. Though there are elements of DAF, Wu-Tang Clan, Roni Size, Sigue Sigue Sputnik, Peaches and Suicide in the primal, scorched earth sounds made by Zachary Fairbrother and Symphony, Ghösh manages something bold beyond any older reference points. While maintaining a unique release schedule. Two song singles only, so far, found at their site and Bandcamp. And a ticklish DayGlo theatricality.
Ghösh is hosting a live stream concert from Underground Arts, Friday, March 26 with Sour Spirit and MANIK|NETER, free on Twitch and YouTube, with a black light Ghösh poster for gig available here… Act fast.
dosage MAGAZINE and I caught up with Ghösh’s Zachary and Symphony before the big show.
A.D. Amorosi: What can you tell me about the hows and whys of meeting and becoming Ghösh? And was it always focused on crafting this one sound, the whole mesh of incendiary electro-dance, jungle-hop and hardcore punk-metal or did that evolve from meeting and starting?
Zachary: Symphony and I worked together at a pizza restaurant and we became friends. We found that we both had a love for nü metal, bands like Korn and Limp Bizkit. After talking for a while about jamming we finally did. I was trying to learn how to make drum bass breaks and had these beats I made. I showed her and we didn’t realize we were both into that music as well. We just went from there. We wanted to combine the heaviness and funk of all these different genres in a way that made sense to us. Not directly creating music of those styles but highlighting the things we found interesting about them. We both have pretty different and interesting tastes in music. Symphony is always surprising me with new music from all over the place. Symphony: It’s actually funny how much we have evolved. The first Ghösh song that we came up with together was a very wacky jungle-dub-Sublime inspired song about losing your cell phone. We weren’t and still are not trying to take things too seriously. The initial idea was really about having a good time and fusing the whole spectrum of our musical interests. It is a sound that’s still developing, as we grow into ourselves stylistically. If om is the sound of the universe, Ghösh is the sound of Symphony, Zach and Kevin… It just comes out of us. And I’m glad it makes any sense to anyone else.
A.D. Amorosi: Anything you can tell me about influences? I hear DAF, Suicide, Wu-Tang Clan, Fischerspooner…
Symphony: Our influences are all over the place. Acts like Ninjasonik, Spank Rock, Amanda Blank, Kid Sister, MIA, Peaches and Cazwell are important to name. That approach to hip hop and electronic music is more where my relationship with hip hop came from in the first place. Lolita Storm, Otep, Kittie, Super Junky Monkey are also massive inspirations. 2 Live Crew, DJ Assault, DJ Deeon! Deee-lite, the Judgement Night soundtrack, A Tribe Called Quest, King Prawn, Sonic Boom Six, Soul Coughing. Vogue ha’s, old school reggaeton, pirate radio freestyles, queercore. I could go on forever.
A.D. Amorosi: Do the lyrics come from the two of you?
Zachary: We each write our own verses. Symphony mostly does the singing and lyrics and I primarily back her up. But sometimes I’ll cut a verse. I kind of want to be like Ringo. Just have one song on a record where I sing. We will however hash out little lyrical details together during rehearsal.
A.D. Amorosi: Tell me, please, about creating two-song singles instead of albums, so far?
Symphony: We wrote all of the singles over the course of a long time and we had perfected them through performing. When the world shut down, it was important for us to find a way to foster continuous connection with listeners without being able to perform. The singles keep folks intrigued. But also, I have a very short attention span, and a whole album feels like a whole obligation as a listener. A single is short and sweet.
A.D. Amorosi: How and why did Ghösh craft its signature DayGlo theatrical make-up and aggro performance art vibe?
Symphony: When we were preparing for our first show, the vision was really to make it as fun as possible. Like our set is like a funhouse. We change the whole scene, get messy, freak people out. And the black lights are an important aspect of that. It sort of sets an intention for the space. Like, “now for something completely different…” In that way it acts like a filter of sorts. We invite the no of the close-minded. They could just see us and know we’re not for them.
Zachary: I remember as a kid seeing Batman Forever. There’s a scene with a gang that’s all in blacklight paint and it really stuck with me. We wanted to add some low-budget effects to our performances and it was fun and easy. I love wearing face paint. It makes me feel in character. I always thought ICP and bands like Mayhem looked crazy in their face paint and I wanted to do something like that. But something dark and scary but also fun and colorful. I think with everything I do, it’s impossible for me to be completely serious. There’s always this goofy side of me that will shine through. I like to make people laugh. And I think there’s a clown-jester aspect to what we do.
A.D. Amorosi: Have you been into working the virtual live stream performance thing before this coming weekend? And why choose to get on stage at Underground Arts? I think that space is a perfect environment for what Ghösh does.
Zachary: We have done a live stream and a couple of pre-recorded performances. It’s a different way to be creative and come up with new ways to present yourself. We’ve learned a lot in the process. It’s definitely different than playing to a “live” audience but it’s awesome to be able to play to anybody, anywhere. I think we have become better performers because of it. It’s been good to exercise those muscles too in lieu of being able to perform in venues because of COVID. As for Underground Arts, we knew one of the promoters there and they offered us to use the space, so, we thought why not!
Symphony: I agree, Zach. We definitely have become better performers. Performing online is a different thing. It’s more theatrical which I’m totally into. I’m stoked to play UA. I hope we awaken some dormant juju of all the past performers, summon a demon of sorts, incite a riot, stuff like that.
A.D. Amorosi: Tell me a little bit about what the performance will hold, and why you chose your guests?
Symphony: I can proudly say that this performance will be the most Ghösh performance yet! We are coming into this with a really clear sense of self as artists and a clear sense of purpose as artists, radicals, friends. It’ll be scary and funny and over the top and campy and trippy and very very good. It is my birthday! So first and foremost, it’s a celebration of life. Sour Spirit and Manikineter are acts that feel like church. They each have these really amazing transformative powers, taking people to dimensions they’ve never seen before.
A.D. Amorosi: Happy birthday. So, what is coming next for Ghösh on record?
Symphony: We are expanding artistically. We have a little bit of everything coming up.
Zachary: We are putting the final touches on our EP, so, we should have something ready this summer. Stay tuned. Fingers crossed we can do this in person before too long.