We debuted Spookshow Inc.’s latest video a month ago. Time to find out a little more about the guys behind the music…
The core of the band (me – Lucky Spook, Soltex and Sharaz), are Lithuanians from Vilnius, born and raised in the cold Soviet Empire. I consider myself as a world citizen though, have lived in the UK for 3 years and Sweden since 2011. I now reside in Norway. When it comes to Spookshow inc., I would say it is an international band project. We collaborate with diverse artists from all over the world — Allan from Subliminal Mentality and Kissing In Graveyards are USA based, XRC is from Portugal, Fiery Jack is a Brit residing in New Zealand.
How did you meet?
We met in 2001 when I came back to Lithuania from the UK and joined the band Soltex and Sharaz back then.
How long have you been playing as a band?
Spookshow inc. was started in 2003, first under the name Planet Dogbone.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
The band name comes from the Rob Zombie song “Spookshow Baby”. In addition to that, I always loved circus and theatre and it was just the natural thing to do, to name the band Spookshow inc.
What are your influences?
The biggest influences are Pink Floyd (in fact, I got into music after listening to The Final Cut album. Before that, for me, it was football that ruled my life, but Pink Floyd was a sort of revelation and from that moment everything was different!), then it was Paradise Lost (Icon is an all time favourite album of mine), The Prodigy, Chemical Brothers, when these two had dropped new modern beats, I was hooked. Early Marilyn Manson and Rob Zombie, Faith No More, Die Krupps, Skinny Puppy, Tricky, not to mention classical music. When I first started learning guitar, I took classical guitar lessons for a couple of years.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
Spookshow inc. is different from other bands, because we mix and blend a vast array of styles and genres. Many bands stay true to one chosen direction/genre. In this way Spookshow inc. is different. We try to use most expression possibilities of sound production that both instruments and modern technology has to offer. Some styles like good time funk and direct blues influences we try to avoid using, because these do not fit our ideology, but otherwise we are open to most of the possibilities. One part of these are modern beats, be it drum-n-bass, break beats, sub bass, ethnic instruments like didgeridoo, sitar, wind instruments, ethno percussion and countless others. When writing songs we aim to create a sort of cinematic movie theatre atmosphere for the listener. It leads to us using a ton of different sounds for a song. Some songs have up to 200 separate tracks to them!
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Lyrically, I am very conscious of social topics of today like artificial intelligence or virtual reality — that is where the idea for the song “Virtual Insanity” came from. Religion, history, war, spiritual things, mystics. Basically, when writing lyrics I tend to mix and blend many things into one, same way as we do sound wise.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
Well, I hope the “Virtual Insanity” video is a good representation of the type of live show we aim to present to the audience. Video projections are an important part of it. As I have mentioned before, I like circus and theatre and as a band we try to go for that sort of sound and visuals. I wish I could do some magic on stage, card tricks and stuff, a bear on a bicycle could fit just nice on the Spookshow inc. gig! We have not played a lot live yet, because band members reside in different countries, up until now, some 15 shows probably. This is the main goal and the biggest challenge though.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
I remember one gig we had a DJ with us playing some backing tracks and somehow a guy from the audience managed to get on stage and spill a beer on his equipment. That was it for the backing tracks then! Luckily, it was the last song on the list and we finished off the gig making crazy guitar noises Sonic Youth style.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
I compose using Acid Pro, in the studio we lift everything to Cubase Nuendo to mix. Novation keys and a ton of plugins, Roland electric drum kit, Jackson Randy Rhoads, Fender Strat, Prs SE guitars – Seymour Duncan JB, JAZZ, 59 pickups. I have recently purchased a Line 6 Variax guitar and installed a Fishman Triple play midi conventer on it, looking forward to exploring endless possibilities using guitar and virtual instruments with it. Amp wise I use Marshall JVM Joe Satriani signature head and a cab loaded with Celestion Vintage 30. Live, I have been using Line 6 Helix LT recently and it sounds killer.
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
We are plugging a song called “Little Pill” feat. Subliminal Mentality on the radio and promoting the “Virtual Insanity” video.
What are your plans for 2019?
Plans for this year include working on the new material and setting up a solid live act.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
We would love to open for Gojira, second choice — if we get a chance to open for Faith No More one day, it would be a blast! I really dig UK based Tribazik, would love to get them along together with Spookshow Inc. on tour or a gig.