By Michael Grondin
BeatRoute.ca is proud to premiere the eponymous debut LP from instrumental post-rock duo We Are Not Ghosts, which will be released later this month. “Started in 2012, it’s taken years and countless shows for We Are Not Ghosts to find their voice in the Calgary music scene,” states guitarist/songwriter Alonso Melgar. “In the past year …Ghosts have shared the stage with internationally acclaimed bands such as SUUNS+ Jerusalem in My Heart, Zaum, and Jealousy Mountain Duo, as well as local favourites like Jung People and Melted Mirror. March will see the release of our first formal LP, recorded by Eric Andrews and mastered by Craig Boychuk, the album boasts ambient post-rock seamlessly blended with elements of Sunny Day Real Estate and Deftones.” Listen to We Are Not Ghosts below and scroll down to read writer Michael Grondin’s chat with Melgar.
CALGARY — Do you think you have ghosts in your house? Are there strange noises coming from the walls and the floorboards that sound too deliberate to be the pipes or the plumbing?
Well, Alonso Melgar, the guitarist and songwriter of Calgary’s We Are Not Ghosts, says you should try and make contact with the spirits in the void, and see if they exist.
And just like some apparition you’re not sure is there, haunting your imagination with otherworldly sounds in a creaky old house, We Are Not Ghosts showcase dedicated perfection within static voids.
The two-piece, consisting of Melgar and Noah Michael, is releasing their first self-titled album, an ambient and cinematic seven-song effort that channels personal memories and experiences with an experimental edge.
“You can definitely hear themes of what is going on, whether it’s heartache, or the feeling of loss or loneliness,” says Melgar, sitting at the window of Broken City in Calgary.
The instrumental post-rock of We Are Not Ghosts rises out of darkness, building into expansive walls of sound. Melgar says the weight is finally of his shoulders surrounding the time and effort they put into this album.
“The past year, since we started playing shows, it’s been just fuckin’ bizarre, in terms of what’s happened in my life,” he says. “I wanted each and every bit of those experiences to come through in the music.”
We Are Not Ghosts was recorded late last spring with the help of friend and roommate, Eric Andrews, who runs Evius Studios in the basement of their house.
“On a whim, I was like, ’Okay, we have these songs, we should just record a fucking album already,’ and I literally just walked down to the basement and told Eric we were recording next week,” explains Melgar with a laugh.
When playing live, the band has some wiggle room to divulge into experimental drone, but they wanted to be precise and pointed on this release.
“I’ve always wanted to do a super droney set live for like 45 minutes and just make everyone in the bar uncomfortable. That’s my dream,” he says. “But we don’t have Godspeed [You! Black Emperor] money, or Godspeed privileges.”
And though they aim to reach their own standards of perfection in a serious and dark genre, Melgar says We Are Not Ghosts is meant to be a fun project.
“I’m always afraid that we’re going to come across as pretentious, because it’s something that a lot of bands tend to be, regardless of the genre. It’s super easy for a band to be all, ’This is our art, no dancing at our shows.’ I get that mentality, because I have felt like that in the past, but this style of music is on its own plane, and on the other side of that, it’s fun to play, and we don’t take ourselves too seriously when we play live,” alluding to the fact that he and Michael constantly poke fun at their music.
“There have been a couple times where I’ll introduce a song and I’ll say, ‘Sing along if you know the words,’ but there are no lyrics. And we have like two songs, but it’s a 45-minute set, ‘So get your beer now cause there’s not going to be a break.’”
Melgar is happy that he has been able to share and make music with his friends, and he is excited about the project, even if he may “put the Ghosts to sleep” after this release.
“It’s fun to imagine what your album is going to look like and sound like,” concludes Melgar. “We try hard to write good music, we would like people to listen. It is what it is and we have fun making it.”
We Are Not Ghosts will be releasing their album at Broken City on March 25th, playing alongside Cytokinesis, Tiny Shrine and Strange Fires.
CORRECTION: The We Are Not Ghosts show happens at Broken City on March 25th, not at Dickens as originally posted. We apologize for the error.AB, Alberta, Broken City, We Are Not Ghosts