The album was released on March the 16th, 2015 the first reactions are very positive and the reviews, such as yours, have been more than enthusiastic. We have been giving the first show with the new line up, filming a video that we will put online in the upcoming weeks, put a lyric video online, a teaser and we have been composing for our next album. As you can see, we have been quite busy.
We are very pleased with the way things are turning up for us right now and it gives us high hopes for the next events.
2.Recently you have released a compilation that covers more than 20 years of music, can you tell us a little bit more about it?
Two years ago the management of Great Records has expressed the desire to meet me. And although I had announced the end of my musical activities they insisted to re-release the ghUSa discography. At first I was reluctant, as I could not see the point of going back in revisiting my past. But with perseverance and debates I accepted the idea, except it was just not enough for them. Raph and Geoff asked me to form the group back so as to record new materials but also to get back up on stage to defend this altogether. I met their demand after I found musicians able to join the project.
This box is made up of:
1 EP with the pleasant name of “Come Sweet Death” which was recorded, mixed and mastered by Jipouille de St Loup (https://www.facebook.com/jipouille.de.st.loup) who is responsible for this marvelous Old School sound.
1 LP “Letter to my Son’(s)” recorded in 2006
2 tracks from a 2002 EP “The Nail”
1 promo tape from 1994 “Mortal Remains” made of 3 tracks
Everything was recorded at the Hybreed Studio (https://www.facebook.com/Hybreed.Studio) by Andrew Guillotin and, so that the whole lot of the recordings sounds coherent I gave once more the tapes to Jipouille for dust-removal and remastering.
There are additional recordings but they are all unusable, and for the record, even though Great Dane Records took care of the physical version of the album, you will find the digital version at Dooweet Promotion with two exclusive titles available for legal download.
3.On the compilation there where some songs that where recorded recently , how would you describe the musical sound of the new material and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
The biggest difference is that since the genesis of the band I have always taken care of the whole writing of the songs. For the first time in 25 years I have been able to rely on musicians competent enough to help me in this matter. Indeed, health issues now prevent me from playing guitar and I thank all those who have been able to stand in for my disability while knowing how to give life to the essence of ghUSa.
This band is and always will be in the Swedish movement but back at the time of our first recordings I had not understood the recipe for THE so typical guitar sound required by Old School. The second big difference comes from the discovery of the legendary HM-2 pedal, with ancient recording techniques. With us you will not hear drum triggers, no re-amping, no excessive editing [recalage], just a band playing and trying to sweat its pleasure through your speakers. In any way I do not reject my past, I am proud of it! But I am even happier to see this team united around one and only flag. I love these guys and they give it back a hundredfold.
4.While the band has been around since 1989 there has not been much in the way of material, can you tell us a little bit more about the gaps between releases?
I am not a man spreading himself in several musical projects. For more than a decade I have been part of Carnal Lust, a band I have been giving 100% of my time and energy. However, without leaving them, I took part in other formations and ghUSa was driven to the background simply because I had no time to devote. Still I always kept my music in mind, the one I cherish with tremendous dedication. So, even though the first recordings have been somewhat scattered, there is no doubt we are back today to give a true follow-up to ghUSa. The next album, in the same vein as “Come Sweet Death”, is almost done. We sure will be even more productive in the near future, especially now that I fully dedicate my time to this formation, and nothing else!
5.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
The main and recurrent theme is religion. A form of degradation of mankind’s ability to think and analyze. To all intents, I remind you that wars have only two forms (and it has been this way since the beginning of Man’s presence on Earth): economical territorial occupation or religions. While believing in a god of any kind can reassure on the after-life, I do not see how these beliefs can breed anything but death, a paradox I am sure you will agree. Tolerance is not about denying one’s ideas but accepting to listen the others’. I for myself am an atheist and do not force anyone to think as I do. We are the tolerance of the intolerant, we are the 4th nail and we express through our lyrics and our music all those aberrations.
6.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'ghUSa'?
At first this name came while thinking of all those who had created a religion simply by inspiring people throughout the centuries. It was kind of a joke, an imaginary belief, an acronymic deification. What can you keep of our name? Simply that god hates US all!
7.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
As I said earlier ghUSa is a tribute band assuming its position and for our shows we were inspired by two different formations, Bloodbath and Como Muertos. I like the fan coming to see us having a run for his money, we give him a bloody and brutal show, while friendly at the same time. Share and enjoy are the main words before going on stage. As for the best gig, we have always been following the same rule: it is still to come!
8.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
We entrusted Sigma Music Event and they have been working with us to build our future on stage. Everything being still under work I can only tell you about our next show. Indeed we will be playing with a band I have been a fan of since 1990, and I am thrilled to announce that we will be touring with Mercyless (https://www.facebook.com/mercylesscult) and our first common date will be on May the 2nd, 2015 at the Camille Claudel room, with support act Heksen (https://www.facebook.com/heksendeathmetal). Keep reading our official Facebook page where everything will be announced chronologically: https://www.facebook.com/ghusaband
9.On the compilation you had some Dismember, Grave and Benediction covers, can you tell us a little bit more about the decision behind doing your own version of these tracks?
Many consider it as Old School Death Metal, but to us it is a extremely current music in which we have been identifying for more than 25 years. In this context, we first wanted to pay tribute to these timeless groups, but also to breed in the listener the desire to rediscover these giants. I cannot conceive to record an album without thanking the bands that inspired me. And as long as we will be able to, we will offer these cover versions almost systematically.
10.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of death metal?
Even if the demanding standards have evolved a lot in the past ten years, we are very pleased with the feedback on this box, especially on “Come Sweet Death”. The vast majority of Death Metal fans we meet, be it live or over the internet, are grateful to us for giving this sound back to life. We, of course, appeal to two kinds of listeners, the first one I would call nostalgic, which I belong to, identifies with this Swedish production. And then there is the newcomer, just enjoying listening to gory Death Metal, with no speed or technical race, just played with guts. Knowing that we can touch the young people who were not born when the style first emerged is a beautiful surprise we cannot stop relishing on.
11.When can we expect a full length and also where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
We did not come back on the front stage to sit on the sidelines, but to set us up in the long-term. We are involved in a decade of Hate and Pleasure. We are working on our next album and this time with more than one hand. All this is going pretty fast but I will not announce any release date today, that would be premature. You will find our preferred style with unique compositions and covers where we will push even further the Bloodthirsty Viking imagery.
12.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
The list of bands we are inspired by is long and although I surely will forget some of them I can name those whose albums are spinning daily on my turntable: Dismember, Grave, Entombed, Unleashed, Edge of Sanity, Comecon, Disbelief, Carnage, At The Gates, or, somewhat more recent, Amon Amarth and Bloodbath. But I also want to show my gratitude to those who have carried forward the banner of this music, such as Entrails, Smothered, The Resistance, Deserted Fear or Vallenfyre.
13.What are some of your non musical interests?
Well, it seems our main interest filter remains music. Nevertheless we have set a new challenge and we will try to bring you in the upcoming years a short movie on war cultures. This is a first for us and we sincerely hope to go to the end of this project, even though the investment is tremendous.
14.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
A very big thank to you for this free space you offered us. See you somewhere on the road, and do not forget that god hates US all!