Sister Ghost have just released the short sharp shock of ‘Fake Friends Run This Country’ and recently took the time to speak to the Last Mixed Tape about the inspirations behind it.
What’s the last record you bought?
The last record I bought was Hejira by Joni Mitchell. Having spent the last two Summers in California (teaching guitar and songwriting at a Girls Rock camp) I love how this album captures the spirit of that part of the world and the feelings conjured up by travelling in America. Coyote is one of my absolute heart-songs.
What’s the last song you played on Spotify?
The last song I played on Spotify was November Spawned a Monster by Morrissey. He is an absolute arse and I am endlessly disappointed in his views but I still listen to his music and I’m a Smiths fan at heart; I was that introvert teen who walked around graveyards with my headphones on..
What inspired ‘Fake Friends Run This Country’?
I wrote the single one afternoon in May this year when I felt particularly frustrated by the endless cycle of political bollox on the news. I wanted to write lyrics that were direct and less in the metaphorical/poetic style my lyrics usually take in Sister Ghost. Once I had those finished I recorded it later that evening in my attic, keeping it musically straight up/no-fuss punk rock. I also wanted to write a song where I could be freed up to move around on stage and confront the audience (as I don’t play guitar on the track when we perform it live). It’s been a highlight of our set now and has inspired me to write more songs in this vein and so I can set down the guitar for a while and run around!
What does this song mean to you as an artist?
It means a lot to me for a few reasons. It’s given me a way to express the frustration of living in Brexit-era Northern Ireland, which is on the brink of our human rights issues being changed, on October 21st, the day of release. As the song is structurally a lot less complex than the likes of Growing Pains I was initially afraid that it would come across as unfinished. However the process of writing it and trusting the song and its intention has shown me not to judge new songs by those I’ve written before. As such, it’s important for me because it’s taught me to always be writing in new ways and developing as a songwriter. It’s also the first song I’ve released where I’ve recorded it by myself, so I’m proud of that for sure. The song has also brought me a beautiful gift of recognition from The Guardian and in my NI Punk heroes, so for that I’m very grateful.
What is your take on the Irish music scene right now?
The NI punks are angry and as alive as ever; feminist and queer musicians are growing in number here thanks to third wave intersectional feminism and the impact of things like Girls Rock School NI. Beyond the North there seems to be a rich hip-hop scene in Ireland and that’s amazing to see too. I hear things are very fruitful in the Limerick scene right now and can’t wait to play there sometime soon. My hope is that Brexit and the impending threat of a hard border doesn’t ruin the relationships between bands across the island; it would be beautiful to see a continued fluidity to acts playing across the country and for the scenes to work side by side.
What are your plans for 2019?
We are currently nominated for Best Live Act at the NI Music Prize in November (NI’s version of the Grammys I guess!). It’s down to a public vote right now so if you’re reading this and you want to support us then please take a second to vote for us! Other than that, I’m continuing to write and record the debut album which is hopefully going to be out in 2020. Beyond that we hope to tour across Ireland and the UK with plans to hit up parts of mainland Europe like Italy as well.
‘Fake Friends Run This Country‘ by Sister Ghost is out now.