Here’s an interview with Jamie who does vocals in Bastions and My Project Ghost as well his own music under the name Sleep Beggar.
Whats the current situation with Bastions? I was going to ask you whats the bands secret to longevity as many of the bands Bastions are associated with have broken up fairly recently but now you’re on a hiatus? Did you start recording for a 2nd album?
Hi Rory, thanks for the interview. Bastions are taking a break for the moment. We were eight songs into a new record but constraints outside of the band have made it difficult for us to continue for the current time being. We never have any shortage of new musical ideas we want to try, but life outside of music has a way of placing you in difficult circumstances at times.
What’s your opinion on all the bands that have broken up recently? A good chunk of all the UK hardcore bands that were heavily active a few years ago are gone now. Do you think it’s inherent for these kind of bands to have short lifespans?
I think it’s a privilege that I had the opportunity to play with and experience these bands and their music in the first place. Bands like Brotherhood Of The Lake, Grappler, Pariso, Goodtime Boys, Kerouac, and The Long Haul, to name but a small few, released some incredible records. What’s always been more important to me is not the lifespan of something, but it’s contribution to art and expression in the first place. These bands have left brilliant pieces of work to inspire future musicians.
Besides Bastions you’re also involved in My Project Ghost and Sleep Beggar. How did My Project Ghost start? Why did you decide to get involved in another heavy band besides Bastions? Do you feel MPG is a separate vehicle for you musically or are both bands interchangeable in terms of songwriting?
I’m always interested in making music and having the opportunity to do creative projects teaches me to be more adaptive in my approach to each different piece of work. Whether it’s rhyming couplets and composing my own beats with Sleep Beggar or writing with a band like My Project Ghost, I try to approach everything with a blank slate.
My Project Ghost started after Morgan (guitarist) had finished his time touring with Architects and had messaged me with a few ideas. Both he and Jake (drummer of Red Seas Fire) had been recording some music with Nolly (Periphery). I was interested to try some new ideas over the music and it grew from there. We played our first show last weekend and recruited Tony on bass whose toured/touring with The Long Haul and Svalbard.
Will My Project Ghost become more active now that Bastions are on hiatus? What plans are there for the band?
With My Project Ghost, we have recorded an EP and we’re focusing on releasing the music in the right way, but will be booking shows in the coming months. There are two tracks up on YouTube to view for anyone interested.
How, why and when did you start Sleep Beggar? Whats the process for you making music? is it a bedroom setup?
Sleep Beggar began in March 2013. I needed some word release from the circumstances I was in at the time and needed to be on tour, which is the vehicle that Sleep Beggar carried me in. The process happened pretty organically considering it’s largely electronic music. I had a mic, a laptop, a copy of Reason and Garageband and just built tracks from there. Now I’m working with Mr Phormula (check out his work on the track “Hiphopishiphop”) at Panad Studios on some cool releases coming very soon.
I guess I wanted to do something that scared the shit out of me. Something that pushed me out of my comfort zone. It’s taken me into a new underground subculture of music where noise/hiphop/live instrumentation/DJing/lyricism exists. It evokes a feeling in me the way I felt when I first saw Converge’s Long Road Home DVD or read Rollins’ Get In The Van. It makes me feel like electronic based music is kind of dangerous, exciting and unpredictable.
Could you (or have you) combined elements of Sleep Beggar into Bastions or My Project Ghost? Such as how bands like Refused have done?
Yeah electronic elements such as the old analog synths like the SH101 within tracks have been discussed for sure. I guess Sleep Beggar is a purely selfish thing, it’s just me making music I want to hear, whereas my role in a band setting is more collaborative. In a band setting everyone is working together to write a good song.
Now that My Project Ghost are playing shows are there any tour plans?
We’re focusing on releasing new material first, watch this space.
What are your thoughts on the current state of the UK hardcore scene? it seems to me to be dying down a bit with bands breaking up and venues closing down. It seems like around 2010/2011 was a high point in terms of the output from bands. Do you think anything has changed? (or is it just me? its probably just me)
I disagree with you about the UK hardcore scene dying down. There are bands like More Than Life, Landscapes, Broken Teeth, Svalbard, Human Future, Tantrum, We Never Learned To Live, Yards, Employed To Serve, Crows An Wra, Teef, Throats, Grey Widow, Up River, Mine, The River Card, Black Art (I could go on) killing it. We have people like Thrash Hits and The Death Of A Modernist blogs covering all the up and coming stuff. Maybe it’s just you looking back with a halcyon view? I agree there are some great venues closing down which is a shame but the scene finds a way to keep it going, always does.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you for the opportunity to speak, trust your bullshit detector and take care.
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