Chasing Ghosts are working hard and breaking all the rules
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Chasing Ghosts are working hard and breaking all the rules

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Jimmy Kyle has never been one to play by the rules. Be it leaving the hardcore scene and launching a solo, acoustic, folk project by the name of Chasing Ghosts or turning said solo venture into a six-piece indie-punk band, Kyle has proven that he isn’t letting anything stop him doing things his way.

Chasing Ghosts was born in 2011 with the release of Conversations From A Phone Booth, an intimate record displaying a starkly different sound to Kyle’s previous work in hardcore bands Bellevue and Sulo. Five years later, Kyle dropped Chasing Ghosts’ eagerly awaited sophomore album I Am Jimmy Kyle, which saw his sound evolve once again as he moved into alternative punk territory. With his new bigger sound, Kyle decided to recruit a band to match, adding five members to Chasing Ghosts’ lineup.

“It was originally a solo concept with the first record, but I’ve decided there are no rules for me anymore in music,” says Kyle. “I’m too old to want to be in that cookie cutter sort of thing, and I don’t want to reproduce the same record twice. I feel like doing that is like telling the same joke twice and trying to dairy farm that last little giggle out of an audience.

“I wanted to recreate something bigger but then it left me in this conundrum. It was like, ‘Okay, I’ve written a second album as a soloist and I really would like to reproduce this, but bigger sonically,’ and that was going to take an additional five or six players, so that’s where we’ve come to. I wanted to offer the audience something broader than me as a soloist, and now I love that dynamic.

“I’m doing some shows in the future which are solo shows and I’m doing some that are big, full band tours. We don’t really have this One Direction, four-guys group that are manicured and some bullshit product, it’s not really like that. It’s more like a whole bunch of dudes that have a lot of history and love and are sharing that. I step out on that stage and I see dudes that I toured with years and years ago. I’m very blessed to share the stage with those guys, they’re amazing players,” says Kyle.

Despite the gap between records, I Am Jimmy Kyle has been met with huge success which has seen the band touring incessantly since its release in October last year.

“After five years, it’s been great to come back but it has been like reviving something and shoving it in people’s faces and going, ‘No, don’t look away, we’re fucking serious and this is a great record,’ and everyone who eventually goes, ‘Okay, I’ll listen, fine. I liked it five years ago but whatever.’ Now they’re like, ‘Oh fuck, it’s a great record,’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, I told you. I’m not doing the Axl Rose on you, I’m not making you wait eight, nine, 12 years and then giving you Chinese Democracy. I grinded on this.’”

Kyle is adamant there won’t be another long wait for the next Chasing Ghosts record. The group have started working on their next album, keeping on track with the personal goals Kyle has set for himself to release music more regularly.

“There’s been a really conscious decision to feel excited about creating and chipping away at something with great ideas and feeling far more confident in my ability to write and to come to the table with material that I feel is respectable and good. I don’t feel as much pressure. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older. It could be the less pressure I feel the more my hairline recedes, I feel like there’s definitely a ratio.

 “There’s more of a team behind me [now], people that I love and adore and cherish and we very much work and operate as a family, but it was very clear that the relationship was like, ‘If you don’t write some bloody songs, if this takes another five years we’re out of this, this is not going to work.’ I’ve had to put my nose to the grind, but it hasn’t been a chore,” says Kyle.

“There was a real glass ceiling in my head around coming to a second record, it felt a little bit like when I had writer’s block leaving the hardcore scene. I think it was pressure again. There was some sort of expectation and I was over analysing things and I couldn’t get creative.

 “I’ve just let go of expectations, the only expectation I’ve got is we’re doing us as Chasing Ghosts, our way, and writing music our way and doing what we want to do and presenting what we want to present. First and foremost, we’re not trying to replicate anyone else in any other space, we’re just here to grind and have a lot of fun in between.”