Jackson Kingsmill – Vocals
Rohan Bertinat – Guitar
Eddie Granger – Bass
Sometimes you randomly come across a band. Ghost Complex popped up in my newsfeed earlier this week (apparently I had already liked their FB page at some stage!). Pretty happy that I did because their debut single ‘Hypnosis’ is an absolute belter. I hit the boys up to find out all about Ghost Complex and what we can expect from them in the future.
Hey guys I think you better tell me all about Ghost Complex. I’m still not sure how I had liked your page in the first place!!!
Rohan: We’ve hacked everyone’s computers!
Jackson: We’ve got Zuck forcing people to like our page!!
We only just put out our first single on September 4th.. I have no idea how people would know about us, but we are just watching the numbers grow. We are just starting to get a following.
I made my housemate like your page this morning! I told her she needs to get onto you guys and have a listen because you’re really good.
Rohan: You legend
I know how you came up on my newsfeed this morning. A friend had commented. I actually think that friend may be how I came to like your page in the first place.
Rohan: Thank you
Jackson: We are happy you reached out because this is something we wanted to do. It’s good to know that you are doing well. I had a look at some of your interviews and they are really good.
Jackson: Your one with Alpha Wolf was bloody good
Okay so you guys have only been around for a little while?
Rohan: Jackson and I were in another band in 2017-2018 called Vestige, we released a few songs and then we were kind of in a spot where we weren’t sure what to do. Our other guitarist McKenzie joined Artisan and basically from there Jackson and I decided we were just going to keep going. We kept on doing stuff and working with our producer Nat. One day Jackson said I know this guy I went to uni with, he’s a bit weird but we’ll bring him in the band!!
Jackson: Perfect description
Eddie: That’s probably the best way Jackson could have even said that to Rohan! I’m not surprised he said it.
Rohan: No he didn’t say that… Eddie I’m only joking we love you. So we got Eddie on board. We started working on stuff last year and we pretty much did everything to do with our songs then. This year has been more about getting ready to release it all.
Jackson: We started writing and recording at the beginning of 2019. That whole year since it was just Rohan and I, it was a lot around trying to get members in, getting the money to go into the studio and sort out what the hell we wanted to do with the sound. The only thing we have recorded this year was the vocals.
Does that mean there are more songs coming?
Rohan: Yeah we do. We’ve got quite a few songs ready to go.
Eddie: We are trying to space out the releases.
Jackson: We have a general plan for it which I don’t want to say right now because we’ve had plans in the past and they have turned out differently either because of Covid or whatever. But we do have a collection of songs ready for release.
Rohan: We definitely have enough stuff that we can keep pushing out. There’s more coming. We are really excited for it. ‘Hypnosis’ is a great song. We love it, it’s really aggressive and fast. I think what is coming will mix people’s opinions quite a lot actually.
Jackson: We really tried to get as weird with this collection of songs.
Eddie: We tried to break the genericness of what a lot of other bands are doing.
Jackson: There’s some bands doing the same stuff over an over again but don’t do much to change that. Nat Sherwood, who is our producer, was really helpful in pushing us to do whatever it took to achieve a good song. So it’s not necessarily that we are just throwing weird sounds and weird ideas out there for the sake of being weird and experimental. We are just doing whatever it takes to get a good song. Whether that means putting a synthesiser through a guitar pedal or adding dubstep into a song.
Rohan: Which was in ‘Hypnosis’
Jackson: Or just trying to get the weirdest sounds out of the guitars and drums possible. It’s just whatever it takes to become a good song. It ended up being a really weird experimental EP which is something we are really stoked about, and I think we’ll attract people that are looking for something new and refreshing but at it’s heart and soul it is a metalcore/djent album. There are two songs that come to mind that are really weird and experimental and hopefully, we kind of want to split people’s opinions on it. We want to challenge what the genre is.
Rohan: I like the idea that we are doing some of this because when you release it everyone is like “What the hell did I just listen too?”
I have three experiences like that already this year!
What’s the story behind Hypnosis?
Jackson: Lyrically, in a broader sense, it’s a bout people who are so easily brainwashed by what people are telling them. It’s about people ingesting stuff and not being able to think for themselves. Acting solely on what they have been taught. The song has the underlying message of trying to break out of that and saying hey think for yourself.
Who would be your influences?
Eddie: I know who Jackson’s are. Number 5 Northlane, number 4 Northlane, number 3 Northlane…..
Jackson: I was talking our friend who does our promotion and she said you should do a top 5 influential albums and I said they would just be all Northlane!! What is cool about Northlane is that we are all influenced by different areas of it. I love all of it. I tend to lean towards the Marcus era, but I still love the first two albums to death.
Eddie: I was introduced to Northlane in the Marcus era.
Rohan: I’m into the Adrian Singularity era. I like the instrumental work better. I like the brutality of the vocals more too. It’s just more metalcore to me. I appreciate Northlane still and I think Marcus is a really good vocalist still.
Jackson: Silent Planet and Thornhill
Rohan: Silent Planet are really crazy.
Yeah they are so good.
Rohan: That album starts off really strong and then its get heaps ambient, more rhythmic and melodic towards the end of it. Garrett is just a really great vocalist.
Jackson: He is a big inspiration for me as a vocalist.
The first time I saw them was with Make Them Suffer.
Eddie: Oh yeah that was a ripper show.
Eddie: The way that went from having two EP’s to having an album that sounds like a band releasing their 8th or 9th album. And how strong and unique and different it is, it’s very inspiring.
Jackson: And just the fact that they weren’t pressured to be heavy or anything.
Eddie: The way they released opened up the doors for them. We can do this or this, we can go from softer to heavier and no one will care to much.
Rohan: I think the one thing about Thornhill that appeals to us as well is the riffs. They are so bouncy and energetic. Especially Coven, one of the songs on our EP has a very Thornhill inspired riff.
The boys then talked in code around the names of the songs on their EP so as to not give anything away!
Rohan: We have really weird working titles.
Jackson: We come up with the most stupid working titles. Now we are trying our best to use the actual song titles because ‘Hypnosis’ had a rather unfortunate working title. When we were in the studio we finished writing the instrumental and our producer Nat was like what are we going to call this one. I was looking through lyrics on my phone and I look up and he has just named it bukkake!! So ever since we have been trying real hard to call it ‘Hypnosis’ otherwise I will end up going on stage and saying this next song is called bukkake, and no one wants that!!!
Haha what a name.
Eddie: The day that happens I will love it!!!
Rohan: Yeah so that’s one of the biggest inspirations, Thornhill. I think we can all agree that We’re We Go When We Die is probably the best song by Thornhill.
Eddie: That is a masterpiece of a song.
Jackson: Also our friends in Diamond Construct are a pretty big influence. I like putting a lot of weird high pitch noises into my riffs. Every time we send a riff into our producer to be like what do you think of this, he’ll be like Jackson wrote this didn’t he!! When it has all those high pitched noises and stuff in it. But yeah they are a big influence and something we all like different eras of.
Eddie: One last one for me, I don’t know about the other guys, but In Heart’s Wake are definitely a big one for me. They are one of the bands that got me more into the Australian side of metalcore. Every time I have seen them live they have introduced me to another Australian band.
Rohan: Yeah here as well.
Rohan: Us as a band, we are like children to anyone we ever work with. When we were getting promo shots taken with Breanna Vane she was just guiding us like crazy. Jackson was just acting like an idiot the whole time!! Also, spoilers, with our music video we are shooting for our next song, the videographer had to lead us as well. We feel so useless but we’re just here to djent!
Jackson: We just play 1’s and 0’s and people just have to put up with us (laughs)
What about international acts? Are you guys into Periphery? (Notice how I bring up my favourite subject yet again!!)
The guys responded with a ‘Oh yeah holy shit’ unanimously and that was all I needed!
Jackson: Oh hell I don’t know how we forgot that one.
Eddie: I think because we were keeping it local.
Jackson: And my brain just going Northlane
Rohan: Periphery is a big influence but the thing about them, compared to how we went about writing is, Periphery is very complex, and they actually use a lot of theory more than we did. We just wrote whatever sounded cool. I guess they do too, but they are more complex with the writing process. I don’t really compare us to Periphery that much. Periphery has definitely been one of the biggest inspirations.
Eddie: I feel vastly inferior when listening to Nolly play base. They are kind of the pioneers of djent.
Rohan: I first heard of Periphery when I heard the All New Materials instrumentals with Katy Perry’s Fireworks vocals over the top. I was like who the hell is this band and why are the instrumentals so cool. And then I found Periphery! It was a weird crossover.
I was a late comer to the party; it wasn’t until they release Select Difficulty that I discovered them through a mate.
Jackson: I started with Periphery II. There were some cool songs on that. Then Clear dropped and I thought that was alright and it wasn’t until Select Difficulty that I really loved them. I think Hail Stan upped it even more. They are one of those bands that gets better with every release.
I don’t think they have a bad song.
Rohan: No I don’t think so either.
I could watch Matt Halpern all day!
Jackson: He’s a machine
Rohan: I was watching the drum cover of Lune, that’s one of my favourite things to watch
Lune is my favourite song
Rohan: The emotion he plays in that song is just crazy.
Eddie: He has the best drummers face. He always look so happy.
Do you share the writing process?
Jackson: Rohan and I share the writing duties and there is not much of a process! Every song we have has come together differently which I think is really cool because the songs wouldn’t have ended up they way the did if we had just stuck to the same formula for each one. Hypnosis for example was just a bunch of riffs that Rohan wrote, and we got into the studio and Nat helped us structure them and to form an actual song. I wrote some leads and the breakdown but the rest of it is just random riffs Rohan had lying around.
Rohan: More of the songs Jackson wrote, which is interesting because he is the vocalist. He has a lot of ideas and what Jackson and Nat made me do for the whole riff compilations, adding it together to make a song, was they made me write a song a day for a week or two.
Jackson: Or a riff a day. The first two songs that we went into pre-production with were my demos that we had done. Those two songs we sort of had the same process for. Rohan was saying I wish I could write riffs; I wish I could be as cool as Jackson! I wish I was as talented!! (all laugh) Rohan wanted to learn how to write songs because he had never really done it before, so he asked Nat what to do. Nat told him to write a minute of music everyday and send it to him. He did that for 2-3 weeks and ended up having a bunch of random riffs. Two of the songs we have ended up being compilations of Rohan riffs.
Rohan: Those last two songs we wrote in the studio because we weren’t sure what we were going to do with them. One ended up being Hypnosis. We wrote that in about six hours.
Eddie: That was pretty well written and done in a day or two.
Rohan: We basically wrote two songs in one day. It was pretty good
Eddie: A good adventure
Rohan: The other one came from a piano melody I wrote back in 2016.
Jackson: That song was a mother fucker to write.
Rohan: Yeah it’s a weird song.
Jackson: It’s probably our most experimental song. Seeing as it’s quite out there we really had to get it right. We pulled it apart and restructured in 3 or 4 times, we switched around all the synth parts and melodies. That song took 3 days I think. I think its one of the best songs we have got. Then the next song that we are planning on releasing came together in 3 hours.
Rohan: You’ve had Hypnosis which is a really fast aggressive style song with a lot of stuff happening. The next song we are releasing is a little more anthemic. It’s big.
Jackson: It’s still very heavy so people won’t be disappointed by lack of breakdowns. Its more melodic with some clean vocals.
So there is only the three of you in the band?
Rohan: Yeah well we are kind of in the market for a drummer
Jackson: We don’t know where to buy them!
Rohan: Sydney based drummer; 20-25 years old preferably has a car as well…. We’re kind of not really worried about that as much at the moment because we have a few people that can fill in if there are going to be shows. We are more focused on getting enough music ready to make sure that we always have stuff to release.
Eddie: At least when we can play shows there will be one or two songs out there for people to listen to, to get to know us and have something to look forward to.
People are listening to and discovering more music at the moment. Going through back catalogues of bands and searching to find out more about them.
Rohan: The only back catalogues that we have would be when Jackson and I were in Vestige. Eddie was in The Winter Effect which did release an EP earlier this year #hashtagplug!! But as for Ghost Complex – who the hell are they..
Jackson: We put out Hypnosis because we thought it was a good song and people would enjoy it. What’s really surprising is that everyone who has listened to the song has really enjoyed it. We are getting a lot of lovely messages and comments.
Rohan: I think the next release will appeal to a lot more people.
Jackson: It’s more of a dynamic release. There’s cleans, breakdowns and angry sections, some very lovely guitar work for people who are into that, there’s some cool bass lines for the 2 people that will appreciate that (laughs) and some cool synth parts. It has something for everyone.
Any last words for the people?
Jackson: We have new music on the way. We’ve got a good range of songs already to go and we will be releasing those over the coming months.
Eddie: They will all have a distinct sound, but they will all be different in their own way. They all have the Ghost Complex sound to it, but they are all very different in terms of how they portray a feeling.
Ghost Complex’s debut single Hypnosis really caught my attention as it has so much happening in the song. The guys have taken so many elements and created their own unique sound. I am super keen to hear what is coming next after chatting to them.