We caught up with Brooklyn trio, GHXST, after their set at Artrocker's 10th Birthday gig (happy birthday to our friends at Artrocker), the opening night of their whirlwind 3 gig London trip.

Lead singer and guitarist Shelly Ex, Guitarist Chris Wild and drummer Nathan La Guerra kindly joined us on a park bench outside of London's Garage venue on a very mild evening to answer our questions about all things GHXST, Brooklyn and the worst Halloween costume possible.

R13: Welcome back to the UK, it's been two years since you were last over here, what has been happening to you in that time?
SE: We've just been working on new music, playing shows around New York and taking trips that inspire this new record, a lot of visiting cities in the American South that we have always wanted to visit and spend time working and writing in. So it is probably why it has taken us two years to come back but now we are really excited as we have new music, new videos and stuff.

R13: Bit of a cliche question but one that is quite valid to you, describe your sound to someone who has not heard you before?
CW: In its core it is like New York Blues but it is kind of like doomy, heavy bluesy stuff.
SE: As soon as you go on the more heavier rock side stuff as you do on the blues side so it has a bit of both.
R13: My friend who saw you for the first time tonight called it 'Sludge Metal'.
SE: (laughs) Yeah, there is a bit of that on the new record because of where we have been travelling and writing. We spent a little bit of time working on the record in New Orleans and that is one of the origins that I think that type of genre, so it has crept into the song writing a little bit.

R13: What cultural influences do you bring to the band's sound?
CW: It's kind of hard to say.
SE: It's easier to talk about someone else, Chris and Nathan are both from California, they both spent a lot of time in Northern California but Nathan spent time in Southern California as well, so you have a bit of that. There is a bit of difference in Northern California has a little bit more of a Noise Rock tradition hence Chris' big contribution or style for the band, which is one of the reasons when I first met him that I was interested in working on music with him. Then for Nathan, he has a Southern California Alt Rock kind of feeling and it's his style too. And I am from all around so I don't know what I bring, nothing much! (laughs)

R13: You have the new EP Nowhere coming out soon, you have already touched on it but what can we expect?
CW: I think it is like pretty heavy, maybe a little more the mood kind of shifted a little bit, there's maybe more emotional than the last stuff we have done. I'd say tonally it is more heavy. We did the whole record in Drop Sea Tuning, we just kind of wanted a doomy vibe to it.
SE: It is a bit more of an intimate record in some ways but also a lot more big in how we want to scale it live too, so a little bit of both. We had Nathan involved in some of the jam sessions, which is different to the last records, so he sat in on some of the song writing so you can feel a little bit more of the grounded earthy vibe to the music which maybe wasn't there when we first started GHXST because everything was so digitalised in the beats and stuff. We had a combination now that has the live feeling drums and the digital stuff.

R13: Usually when we look online and see your reviews they are always positive, what goes through your mind when you read them?
SE: If it gets sent to us then we see them. It's always good to hear what other people think, everyone has a different perspective or take on what it is, we have been called all sorts of different genres, which is interesting it helps us think 'ah, so someone in the world sees it this way'. We just played in Canada and didn't realise they had a big rock history too, it gave us a different perspective, that was probably one of the best shows we have played in a little bit, going up there with a whole new crowd who had never heard of us, nobody came with us, it was just us and that's it.
CW: I actually think that discourse in music, people writing about it and talking about it is really important to the form. You can never expect or control, some people might say something negative and some may be say something positive but it's always better than if you don't get a reaction. So, I am always interested in what people say I guess. Although I don't think in writing you can't think how it is going to interact with people.
SE: I'm sure there have been things written poorly about us, just think that people don't send that to us! I think it is healthy to have both.

R13: Your live shows have a visual element to them, how do you chose the movie images that are screened?
CW: The visuals behind us, this time we worked with the same guy who did the new video, his name is Clay Adamcyk - he works under the name Mondo Fiasco - and he does a lot of stuff, he will take a movie and overlay it with video synth and then just affect it live. He gave us this version to take with us on this trip. It's been really working well. We move in samples of different films between songs that we like.
SE: Yeah, that's true. A lot of our song writing comes from our travels and things but also from movies.
R13: And Nathan, it doesn't bother you having it in your face all the time?
NLG: No no, not at all. It looks good and feels good.
SE: is it in your face all the time?
NLG: It's one way everyone can see me. It does feel awkward between songs.
SE: Oh my god, I never thought of that. Do you feel like a light beam on you or just feel motion on you?
NLG: Sometimes when there's galaxies I can feel stars flying past.
SE: No! Is there some way to protect the drummer?
NLG: Sun glasses!

R13: Brooklyn is always portrayed as having a cool vibe on the music scene, how is it in reality?
SE: Brooklyn has just a really diverse music culture, there's pretty much everything there. It feels a little bit like London in some ways where everyone you know is in a band, a project or something or another. A lot of people are coming through, a lot of people are touring or just wanting to play around and things. You can definitely do music there, it is a vibrant type of feeling but in the same time some of our favourite venues are closing down and the vibe of it has changed in the past five years. Some of the things you wanted to associate with Brooklyn, or had, has changed a lot into some things you like and some that you think 'I don't like that a lot'. It's not necessarily things that are brand new, just things that have gone and it is the turning of the tide that results in all these cool art spaces, venues, galleries and stuff having to move further out in Brooklyn to smaller and developing communities, especially like Glensburgh, it has changed drastically in the last five years.

R13: And what's your perspective of the Brooklyn scene compared to the UK scene?
SE: London still seems, and maybe because I am so jaded from the New York scene, like there is more of "Let's go out and see a show" part of the culture than "I am only going because my friend is playing". I still feel that London has more of a community for rock music but that might be because I have only come here to play rock shows.
CW: I'd say that I will be the devil's advocate thing, I can't speak for New York better than for when I was reading an interview with Lou Reed, he talked a lot about how nasty New York is, how dirty and how tough of a city it is and all that is true about it but that is probably what is great about it. It still kind of has a seedy, nastiness to it, which helps for rock n' roll in some senses, it is glamorous like the more it gets cleaned up in Brooklyn, it just goes further and further out. I haven't been in London long enough to say but I think people and kids are always going to find a way to make something their own in a place that people don't expect. That's what I think is happening in Brooklyn.

R13: Any bands in Brooklyn that we have probably not heard over here that we should check out?
CW: We played with a really good duo called Lost Coves, they are kind of like little bit experimental, they had a long, long set.
SE: Droney and doomy and kind of metally but with these epic vocals. It was kind of cool, I really enjoyed their music live. So you should check them out.

R13: This might be a bit premature as there is two months to go and you have an EP coming out, but what have been your highlights and lowlights of 2014?
CW: That's tricky. I guess for me the high is to be able to finish the record and finally having it done. But then the low is finishing the record and not knowing what to do with it. It's hard to let go of it, it was kind of a long process to finish this, I really love what we did and so I feel good about it. The low is just feeling a little bit low when it is done, knowing how hard you worked for it and seeing what happens next.
SE: I think we are just looking forward to doing more videos and putting some of the music out there, get the artwork, maybe do some merch and all the stuff we have just put aside just to work on the record and focus on it.
R13: You released a new video today, any other new cool videos coming out similar to the Doom Girl and Black Camero ones?
SE: Yeah, that director we are currently working with for a new one as soon as we get back from London. He's already started to work on it, figuring out locations, we are trying to do it for our next release, which I think is going to be No Luck from our EP. That's going to be really exciting. And this one is a slightly new vibe for us on the video which just came out today, Galaxia, so it was really exciting to try to do something different for it, a different feeling, especially as we like the visuals that this director did.

R13: Which band past or present would you like to tour the UK with?
NLG: I'm going to say Placebo. Their awesome.
CW: I would like to play with The Kills.
SE: I thought you were going to say Motorhead, for sure. I have no idea who I would want to play with. It would be cool to tour with Rob Zombie, yeah why not! I would love to tour with the White Zombie, wish they were still around.
R13: Especially with Halloween coming up.
SE: I know! Of course, I am sure there a bands like The Stooges.
CW: If I could play with one band, I guess it would be Jesus and The Mary Chain. I love those guys.

R13: Final question, with Halloween tomorrow, what is your favourite Halloween outfit?
SE: I can tell you my least favourite outfit. There is going around the 'Sexy Ebola' costume.
CW: Oh god.
SE: Who in the right mind could come up with that? I think it might even be unisex! But favourite? Oh man, you can only go up from there!
CW: I think we are gonna be rock n' roll zombies collectively for tomorrow night's show (31st October at London's Barfly).
SE: Just a hint of dressing up, it is going to be zombies but we will see.

R13: Thank you very much.
SE: That's cool, amazing.
CW: Thank you.

Our thanks to GHXST for their time. You can see them at their remaining London gigs:
31st October - Barfly
1st November - Camden Nightmare Festival, 7pm Hawley Arms