I’ve done my share of interviews over the years for various websites and publications. I’m always prepared, I’m always thinking ahead just in case my questions fall flat, and I’m always relatively calm. This interview was different. GosT is reigning king of darkness in synthwave, so much so his version of the music is called slasherwave. His YouTube videos have hundreds of thousands of hits and thanks to his enigmatic skull faced persona, there’s not a lot of information out there about him. So, ahead of the interview I had an unfamiliar feeling. I was nervous. Turns out there was no reason to be. GosT is not only approachable, he’s also one hell of a nice guy.
We met at The Bookhouse Pub on Ponce de Leon in Atlanta, a Twin Peaks television show themed watering hole and eatery. It set the stage for one of the easiest interviews I’ve had the pleasure of giving. Let’s get right to it:
Echosynthetic: You’ve been releasing new music at a steady clip, what’s up your sleeve for this year?
GosT: The metal community has been really embracing and I’ve always played metal. The new stuff is taking the sound of Behemoth and Non Paradisi and making it metal. Fusing the two. There’s blastbeats, black metal riffs, it’s all in there. If you’re a metal head and you hear it, it’s the closest thing you’re going to get.
Echosynthetic: From your self-titled debut to Behemoth, and now Non Paradisi, your music is some of the darkest in genre. What started you on this journey to be the dark prince of synthwave?
GosT: (laughs) It’s just my background. I’m friends with Perturbator, I’m friends with Carptenter Brut, I’m friends with Dan Terminus. We all get along and we all have the same tastes but for some reason, and it was completely unintentional, the metal side of me started creeping in naturally. It’s a passion. I’ll say that metal, as a genre, for the past few years is something I’ve been pretty disinterested in. This was my way of putting something new out there that also put myself into it and make something completely different than anything in metal.
Echosynthetic: How much of yourself is in the skull faced persona?
GosT: Less than 1% (laughs). GosT is a really serious guy…he’s into demonology, he’s into Christianity, religion and theology. I’m not at all…I’m an atheist. As a character I can let that be something that I embrace. It’s a fun thing that I can do and when I’m producing music as GosT, I let it completely be that. I fully believe it even though it’s none of me.
Echosynthetic: If you could meet one artist and thank them for their impact on your life, they don’t even have to necessarily be an influence on your music, who would it be?
GosT: David Bowie…hands down. I was just telling Eric (Eric is GosT’s friend, merch table man, and general set up help. He’s also a super nice guy) that a true artist puts nothing of himself into the music, and Bowie personified that throughout his career and even in death. There’s just something about that that’s really respectable. It’s really hard not to get caught up and get really proud and want people to know who you are when you do what we do. Bowie is one of the only people you don’t really know anything about…all you know is his art.
Echosynthetic: Depeche Mode or New Order?
GosT: Depeche Mode. Do I need to say more?
Echosynthetic: No (laughs). Whichever answer you give there speaks volumes and there’s no wrong answer. What do you think about the new single?
GosT: I don’t know. I feel like Depeche Mode has been playing it safe since Songs of Faith and Devotion. For me that was their last real push in a positive artistic direction. Since things I feel like they’ve been playing it safe. Delta Machine was their first album in a long time that had hints but it still didn’t reach those older albums.
Echosynthetic: I know you’re a big Goonies fan. What do you think about the rumors of a full cast returning for a sequel?
GosT: Tell me what you think about it?
Echosynthetic: I think it’s a terrible idea
GosT: I agree! It’s going to be shit. What can they possibly do that hasn’t been done? I will say that a few newer things tapped into that same vibe. Super 8 was pretty close. Stranger Things hit all those points. A Goonies remake is going to be like the new Ninja Turtles. I’ll watch it because I like them but I’m still going to be like “damn it.”
Echosynthetic: What do you think about vinyl making such a strong comeback?
GosT: I think it’s a good thing. Music is starting to become more disposable now. Back when I was a kid, if you bought a physical copy of something you would force yourself to like it because you had it. It’s kind of going back to a leap of faith, for a lack of a better term. If you buy a physical record you are going to spend more time with it. It’s not disposable. You can’t say, awww, I don’t like this…I’m going to download something new.
Echosynthetic: Alright…last question, and it’s one I ask everyone that’s on tour. What’s your go to food on the road?
GosT: Go to food? Probably alcohol. I do more drinking on tour than I do eating, honestly. I will say that I’m a vegetarian in real life, but when I’m on tour I eat whatever I can find.
Eric: Go ahead and tell him about your guilty pleasure you had yesterday.
GosT: What was my guilty pleasure yesterday???
Eric: That thing you bought at the gas station.
GosT: Oh yeah! I bought some beef jerky (everyone laughs). My wife would be very disappointed. I’ve had salads since, trying to get my integrity back.
The formal interview ended here but the conversations didn’t. GosT, Eric, and I discussed everything from visiting the sets of The Walking Dead to NASA. As showtime neared Eric headed off toward the merch table at the venue and GosT and I continued talking but I’d long since stopped recording. What started off as a formal interview had turned into a great conversation with like minded people. Turns out the man behind the skull faced mask is a stand up guy.
GosT is still on his North American tour supporting Non Paradisi. Be sure to see him if he hits a town near you, and when you do make sure and give Eric a hello at the merch table!