Interview: Baby Ghosts

(Drawing by Caroline Noel)

I recently had the chance to interview 3 members of Utah anime-punk unit Baby Ghosts about Adventure Time, Bikini Kill and supernatural encounters. Check out the questions and answers below.

How did Baby Ghosts form, and what bands served as inspirations? Also, your lyrics almost always speak of death but in a rather lighthearted way. Why is this?
Bret (Drums, vocals): We just really wanted to start something fun. There were some lineup shuffles near the beginning, but everything has been solid for a few years now.
I would say that, for me, I think about death constantly, in a lot of different ways. Writing a lighthearted song about death is a coping mechanism for me. People might say that it's insensitive, but it helps me, and I hope it helps other people be a little less afraid and anxious as well.
Katrina (Bass, vocals): I wasn't around for the very beginning, but I heard that Baby Ghosts was influenced by the Raveonettes. I think some of the songs in the first album reflect that. As for the lighthearted references to death and serious topics, I think we don't like to come off as a serious band. We have much more fun playing live and I feel more freedom in writing when we incorporate humor into our songs.
Karly (Vocals, Guitar): Baby Ghosts is fun! That's why it started. That's why I wanted to join when I got the chance and that's why I still do it! If it comes off as light-hearted its because that's the way we all see it, I guess.
I heard you guys are working on a new album, what are the details on that? Did the Ghost In A Vacuum EP give us a hint at what's to come, or will the new material take a vastly different approach?
Bret: The new album definitely sounds a lot more like Ghost in a Vacuum than the first album, though there are still some songs that would fit right in on Let's Always Hang Out... Still, there might be a few songs that are different from anything. We're hoping that our progression of song writing makes sense. As much I don't think it matters to cater to your listeners, I also don't think it helps to put out music that sounds like a completely different band. This album sounds like everything else we've done, but maybe a little more... beautiful?
Katrina: Ghost In A Vacuum's variance in songwriting is definitely something that will come up again in the new album. We all have distinct styles which will come together in the new release to create a really well-rounded album. I think we're all really excited to have an album that will better represent ourselves. 
Who does the artwork for your releases? I really dig the album covers.
Bret: Our friend Naomi Martin has done the majority of our art so far, including the covers of every release to date. She's genuinely great.
You guys played a Halloween show as Bikini Kill. What was that like? Did you cover "Outta Me"? That's one of my all-time favortie tracks.
Katrina: DUDE, I love Outta Me too and I actually suggested we play that one but it got cut. Bummer, because it's so beautiful. But Halloween shows are about really capturing the essence of the band in one set so we definitely had to go with the more upbeat, in-your-face stuff. Overall the set went really really well. It was so fun, especially since the crowd was really into it and singing along. I told Karly at the end of the set that even if she had forgotten any of the words, she could've given the mic to any of the girls in the crowd.
If you ever do another Halloween show, whose songs will you cover?
Karly: I would love to do something like Blondie or the Yeah Yeah Yeahs but those bands might be too serious for us. Not that Bikini Kill isn’t serious THEY ARE. Maybe by serious I just mean that their songs are more difficult??  
Bret: I don't know. Pat and I joked about doing HEART. That would be fun, but also stupid.
How did you guys make the video game for your website? 

Bret: So I actually made about 95% of it by myself (My friend Adam drew a handful of monsters, but that was it). I made it on a site called mygamebuilder.com. It took me almost exactly a year to complete, and now it's just stuck on that site. It was a very helpful place for someone like me (who knows nothing about programming, animation, drawing, anything), but it sucks that the game just sits there and doesn't work half the time because their site goes down. Whatever, it was the only way I could have made it happen. 

Katrina: I made an 8-bit heart with a real cute highlight on top. That was probably my greatest contribution.
You've put out separate releases on cassette, CD and vinyl. Which was your favorite to work with?
Bret: Cassettes are fast and cheap, so it's nice being able to print something right before you need them. Vinyl sounds the best. I'm pretty over CDs at this point, but I don't really care. I think our releases have all been put out on only one format apiece, and I think we'll just end up doing it like that forever. Variety is fun!
You guys like Adventure Time right? What's your favorite song from the show? Also, have you seen the new Cartoon Network show called Steven Universe? It's made by some of the same folks and it's rad.
Bret: The best song is definitely the song BMO sings to Finn and Jake when they are fighting (season one, I think). It's the episode where they have movie night and try making a movie together. I haven't seen that show, and I will check it out the next time I get bored. Have you seen Bravest Warriors or Puppycat? Also made by some of the AT people. You can watch them both on youtube.
Katrina: I haven't watched Steven Universe yet but I have heard great things. Also, it's the first show on Cartoon Network to be completely created by a woman (the genius Rebecca Sugar), which is rad.
Karly: I love the friends song that BMO sings but I also really love the song at the end, during the credits. It’s a modified version of some real bands song and I always forget how good it is until the end of an episode.
Do you believe in ghosts?
Karly: I was scratched by a ghost once! I was on a ghost hunt in Brigham City and had A LOT of layers on and when I got home I had a weird burn/scratch down my arm! I’m not really sure about ghosts, but that story is true, I had a weird burn scratch. Id definitely think it could be true.
Bret: Honestly, not in the slightest. But even though I believe almost strictly in science and dislike mysticism, it's important not to dismiss things. I like ghost stories and the possibilities of spirits, friends, jerks, and demons coming to haunt you, but I don't worry about the reality of them. Maybe that's why we can write so many songs about ghosts without a second thought. What they hell are THEY gonna do?
What bands are you currently into?
Bret: Ummm, the new Mind Spiders is pretty cool. Definitely Big Eyes - Almost Famous. Peach Kelli Pop just came through, so I am still on a kick of all her music. And I still listen to the new Anamanaguchi album any time I get in my car.
Katrina: Waxahatchee, Slutever (yes that's their name), Austra, Anamanaguchi, Paul Baribeau...just lots of stuff ya know?
Karly: Bleached, ALL DOGS, Waxahatchee. Lots of girl voices lately I guess. Fun stuff!