Deep in dark veiled hearts, Shelley X, Chris Wild, and Nathan La Guerra of NYC's GHXST light their candles in tribute to their city's and the world's favorite cult band, The Velvet Underground. In the debut of their Lynchian video for "Dead Town" from director Liudi Hara, the Big Apple becomes a ghost town and the dives burn with the stage bulbs of a roadhouse designed for weary and rugged highway men. With a midnight SxSW appearance March 11 at Lit Lounge, get an advance listen and look at the first track from GHXST's upcoming EP.
While a predominately a bright, 'fire orange' lit performance video, the shine of headlights pierces the all-night air with a sub-textual alt narrative. Shelley and Chris's double guitar attack to Nathan's gate crashing percussion brings about a night of two deaths, as drone of their wailing chords propels the forward, car driving perspective until the headlamps meet a chain-linked entrance to nowhere. The car drive aimlessly on the desolate streets, guided by GHXST's illustrations of guitar-gutted purpose that goes all night into the light and fog of sound.
Shelley X and Chris Wild join us for a look into the grunge-y delights of doom behind GHXST.
How did you all first discover you were a band?
Shelley: We started off wanting to be in a NYC rock band, like the VU. Chris and I have done music in previous projects together, and got Nathan on drums for GHXST.
What brought you to the name, GHXST, sans the letter 'O?'
S: It makes a pretty common word mean a lot more, or less…
Paranormality is a common theme and motif in much of today's music, but what does the haunted realm of things mean to you all?
Chris: We’re not into the literal ‘paranormal’, but more the idea of haunting as an existential metaphor. Like the unbearable lightness of being.
Tell us about your video for "Dead Town" where NYC is transformed into a desolate ghost town of lonely, eternal night roads (Lost Highway style), and low-lit, fire orange glow dives?
S: Yeah, "Dead Town" is sort of a preview track to our upcoming EP, which is a bit moodier and more intimate than some of our past material. So for the video we talked with the director, Liudi Hara about showing that doomy intimacy we find really intoxicating these days. Lost Highway is definitely one of our faves….also NY underground shows, and more recently the “True Detective” series that has some of the most infatuating imagery we’ve seen in a while.
Is "Dead Town" like a fantasy of city metropolises transformed into ghost towns? It's a desolate, beautifully dark and damaged number —in all the best ways!
S: That’s a great way of putting it…!
Releases in the works that you all can share?
S: We’re finishing a release for May (hopefully) with all new material that we’ve been working on for the past year. There’s been some real highs and lows writing these songs…but we’re tired of waiting and are really excited to finally get it out.
What are you all most excited about for your upcoming Austin trip to SxSW? Heard about your March 11 gig,midnight at the Lit Lounge!C: Should be awesome, looking forward to some Lone Star and black sunshine.
People refer to your sounds as, 'doom grunge' and 'noise pop,' but what do you all prefer to have your music referred to in descriptions?
S: I mean, genres and trends come and go, but as long as someone feels something real in the music it’s all good!
GHXST's upcoming EP is slated for release this May.