New, grittier textures have been filtered into The Ghost Inside sound to make that point. The emotional nadir of dark highlight Unseen – Jonathan begging the question ‘Am I lucky to be alive, when it took everything to find a shred of hope in only shadows of me?’ – is an ear-catching standout in terms of sheer desolation. But far more jagged shards of thought and feeling that would’ve been buffed away entirely on previous records strikingly protrude. When the singer seethes that he wants to ‘Cut you out like the leech you are’ on Pressure Point, it’s a direct call-out to the two-faced individuals who seem to piggyback on others’ suffering for attention. His desperate ‘I don’t want to be, no I don’t want to be just like you and take what comes my way’ on Make Or Break he lays bare the struggle to reignite the passion for an outfit he loves. Neither song offers much by way of resolution. These emotions – apathy, resentment, hopelessness, panic – are new to The Ghost Inside, but they are crucial anchors for the album’s harsh reality.
“It’s rawer,” Andrew stresses. “More human.”
“You’ve got to show the whole beast, otherwise it’s not going to do it justice,” adds Jonathan. “The album is about being open and honest, going through every detail. We couldn’t be metaphorical here, we had to be precise. That means more. That defines who we are. We needed the listener to know that sometimes it’s not OK, but there’s always the chance to turn that around.”
Crucially, the inspirational exchange runs in both directions. For years, fans had reached out to express the power of The Ghost Inside’s music as a life-affirming force. Finally, the band understood the reality of that suffering and salvation. A heightened sense of responsibility eventually shifted into true pride as they came to understand the redemptive strength of their songs, establishing a circular flow of understanding and empathy that will permanently enrich the broader TGI family.
“Our older lyrics were written from a genuine perspective,” Jim reckons. “We had been through adversity before. Vigil’s father passed away while we were on tour in Australia, for instance, and he stayed with the band. But where life might’ve been throwing us a 60mph meatball – and we were swinging really hard – this was different. We found ourselves faced with so many questions – an introspective contemplation that brought the band back to life. Could we walk the walk? Could we practice what we had been preaching all these years? Are we the strong? Are we gonna’ survive? Are we swinging harder?"
They’re answered resoundingly in these songs. As much as dropping this album will feel like a glorious counterpoint to that terrible morning in 2015, however – victory snatched from the jaws of defeat – that ultimately fleeting moment will equally be far less significant than the onward journey and that enduring spirit of The Ghost Inside.
“Just knowing that our band didn’t end with Dear Youth or at that sports bar in Texas feels so good to me,” Jonathan grins, finally. “We could never really give up because so much of our band has been about not giving up. When we realised that our music had helped so many people to not give up in their lives, it wasn’t really an option in ours.”
Pre-order The Ghost Inside’s new album now.
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