"...for a metal audience we are probably to poppy and for a pop-rock audience we are too heavy. This leaves us in a space somewhere around modern melodic hard rock with electronic tweaks..."
MELODY LANE conducted a great interview with Julie Rodesch and David Soppelsa, singer and guitarist respectively of the Modern Hard Rock band MY OWN GHOST. Don't miss their new album "Shadow People," released Oct. 10 by Massacre Records.

MELODY LANE: First of all, also if it can sound a bit expected…Can you tell us where does the name MY OWN GHOST come from?   
JULIE: The choice of our bandname was actually a whole process, as the name had to fulfill certain conditions. It should be easy to pronounce, it should sound cool, it should look good in a logo and it should leave room for interpretation. Eventually, from the list we had put together, we chose My Own Ghost as all of us have this kind of creepy side and everyone of us could in his own way identify with this name. To us, the name ‘My Own Ghost’ means that everybody has a dark side, a dark secret from the past. In a sense, everybody has to face his own ghost at some point in life. But this is only one possible interpretation. We think that everyone should interpret the name in his own ways, which was also an important aspect for us while choosing it.  

MELODY LANE: The line-up of the band is confirmed, is it the same from the beginning of the band…or have you had changes in the last years? Can you tell us anything about the roots of MY OWN GHOST? And where the band was born? 
DAVID: My Own Ghost was formed in 2013 in Luxembourg out of the ashes of a band where I was playing at that time with former members Joe and Fred. After this band split up, we agreed to continue to make music together and so we immediately started a new project. We were actually looking for a male singer via advertisement, but the only person who responded to the ad was Julie. We then invited her over to the rehearsal room to get to know her. However, she skipped the smalltalk part and wanted to work on a song where we already had the music ready. So she sat down in the room for about fifteen minutes while we were enjoying a beer outside, and when she came back, she had the lyrics ready for what would later become our song ‚Free Fall‘ from our first album ‚Love Kills‘. A few minutes later, she recorded the first verse and the chorus. At that moment, it was clear that she was the perfect singer for this project. As for our drummer Michael, Julie knew him already from other projects she was involved and asked him if he would be interested to join. Although he is a well-booked studio and live drummer, he found some time and agreed to join the band. Once we had all the members on board, we started playing our first shows in Luxembourg and the UK in 2014 and we have been travelling around ever since. In the meantime, there have been two line-up changes. In 2017, at a time where touring intensified, our former guitar player Fred decided that he wanted to spend more time with his family. Recently, our bass player Joe left in order to pursue other projects in his life away from music. However, with Pierre-Emmanuel Pélisson, we have found a valuable new member on the bass guitar and he will play his first show with us on October 27th at the Rockhal in Esch-sur-Alzette for the release show of our new album.

MELODY LANE: Can you list us 3 songs, from  MY OWN GHOST ‘s discography (including new material), that can define the sound of the band … 3 songs that can help our readers to know MY OWN GHOST at the best.  
JULIE: To be honest, it’s quite difficult to pick 3 songs out of 38 to characterize our sound, but we will nevertheless try our best. The first one is ‘Crystal Ball’ from our first album ‘Love Kills’. It’s a very melodic song with a nice hook and this is definitely something we value a lot and which runs like a continuous thread through all of our songs. The second song ‘Life On Standby’, the titletrack from our second album, puts more emphasis on our modern and electronic part. Although we consider ourselves to be kind of old-school, we nevertheless want our songs to sound fresh, new and surprising. That’s why we are very open-minded when it comes to mixing modern elements into our songs. The third song ‚DecadenCity‘ is the opener of our new album and definitely stands for our heavier side. It has a very cool drive with lots of guitar riffs and is to us the perfect introduction to set the mood for ‚Shadow People‘. 

MELODY LANE: Tell us something about the creative process of your music. Is there a main composer or we can talk about a team work? The songs come from ideas of a single member and then the band works on these ideas in the studio jamming together, or your songs are written in the studio and all the members compose together? 
DAVID: The creative process is quite straightforward and could best be described as a split teamwork. Usually, I come up with the music for a song and then Julie starts to work on the lyrics and the melody lines. After recording a demo version of the song with vocals, we exchange about what could be improved, parts that could be cut or extended, the key and tempo of the song, etc… In addition, our producer Hiili Hiilesmaa is not only mixing our albums, but he is also actively involved in the pre-production process, giving us valuable tips and advices for every song. While recording the songs, our drummer Michael then also gives his input for the drum tracks.

MELODY LANE:  Can you tell us something about contents and messages of your new album ? …Can you tell us anything about the whole concept of 'Shadow People' ? And please tell us where does this title come from?  
JULIE: Very early in the process of the new album we were already decided on ‚Shadow People‘ as the album title. It sounded nice, gave a lot of room for interpretation and had this creepy feel to it. In the first sense of the term, ‘Shadow People’ refers to shadows that are perceived as seemingly ghostly, human-like figures. Believers in paranormal activity interpret this as the presence of a spirit, another ‘presence’ in the room or the feeling of being followed at night. As for the lyrics, many of the songs are about stalking, hence the shadow, but they are also about the shadows that at times can pull us down. Sometimes, if you’re in a rally dark spot in life, it can be hard to separate the real ‚shadow’ from the imagined one. I am convinced that each and everyone out there, at one point or another, has to fight these shadows in order to go on.

MELODY LANE:  …After time, are you totally satisfied with your choices about sound and the writing of your previous albums? If you could… would you change anything? What did you focus on to make the sound better and perfectly consistent with the musical ideas you had in mind? 
DAVID: Yes, we can say that we are totally satisfied with our choices for our previous two albums because they reflect who and what we were at that time and we stand by these choices. In hindsight, we wouldn’t change anything because this would then alter the picture taken at this moment of our musical career. Instead, we like to turn our attention more to the present and the future. For the new album ‘Shadow People’, we worked again with Finnish producer Hiili Hiilesmaa. He has a very good understanding of what our type of music needs, which elements need to be mixed more to the fore, when it is useful to let the music breathe and also to emphasize the parts where the vocals need more space. Svante Forsbäck from Chartmakers also took over the mastering again. For this album, our drummer Michael recorded the drum tracks at Rolf Munkes' Empire Studio in Bensheim. The recording room in his studio is perfectly adapted for drum recordings and makes the drums sound very warm and powerful.

MELODY LANE:  So apart from the covid/pandemic situation…will you tour in the next future? Have you already a touring schedule? Any chance for us to see  MY OWN GHOST playing live here in Italy/Europe in the next months/year?   
JULIE: As for the immediate future, we have our release show coming up on October 27th, 2022 at the Rockhal, but we definitely want to tour again. After this long break due to the pandemic, we are itching to get back on stage, be on the road, meet old and new friends along the way and present our new album in a live setting. We would of course love to come back to Italy, we have already played in Brescia, Prato, Milano and Roma and it was always a great experience. We have especially fond memories of eating a nice gelato on the main Piazza in Brescia at midnight on a very hot day during the Loudness Tour back in 2015.

MELODY LANE: Could you tell us two bands, from the actual international scene, you’d like MY OWN GHOST to tour with?... Two bands that would represent a perfect line-up for MY OWN GHOST to play with. And why these bands? 
JULIE: We‘d love to go on tour and/or cooperate with bands such as Within Temptation, Evanescence, Delain, Tarja Turunen, Halestorm…. But if we have to narrow our choice down to two bands, we would probably choose to tour again with Tarja Turunen as she is a fantastic artist and a very nice person, as is actually her whole band. The second band would be Within Temptation. As for my personal wish, I‘d love to tour with Alter Bridge and one of my biggest wishes would be a duet with Myles Kennedy.

MELODY LANE: We know that ‘to define is to limit’… but how do you define  MY OWN GHOST sound? Are you an HARD ROCK band…a MODERN POP/ROCK band… An  ELECTRO ROCK band…Or…?
JULIE: That’s a very good question. Over the years, we often answered this question with a quote from a concert review by Belgian journalist Geert Ryssen, who described us as a 'full-blooded rock machine with a no-nonsense attitude‘. We can fully identify with that. But it’s true that our sound is quite difficult to define and we often find ourselves sitting between two chairs, for a metal audience we are probably to poppy and for a pop-rock audience we are too heavy. This leaves us in a space somewhere around modern melodic hard rock with electronic tweaks. Although there have been comparisons to Within Temptation, Delain and Beyond The Black, we don’t see ourselves so much as symphonic metal. Lyrically, My Own Ghost is actually a pretty dark band, the lyrics are rarely optimistic and when they are, they tend to be subliminal. They mostly deal with the dark side of humanity and the difficulties of interpersonal relationships. This contrast between dark lyrics, heavy guitar parts, melodic vocals and catchy melodies is something that we feel has been very present in the sound of My Own Ghost since the first album.

MELODY LANE: Which musicians are/have been your main musical inspirations? And which are your favorite bands nowadays? 
JULIE: Sometimes I think that my musical tastes are all over the place. I am a big fan of Alter Bridge and even more so of Myles Kennedy‘s voice. I love the mixture of heavy guitar riffs with these very melodic vocal lines. Another band I really loved are Paramore, their albums Riot! and Brand New Eyes have been a great inspiration to me and I am a big admirer of Hayley Williams‘ energy on stage, she‘s a brilliant live performer. I am also inspired by female vocalists with big voices such as Céline Dion, Kelly Clarkson and Beyoncé. They might seem weird choices but they are big talents and their techniques and interpretations are out of this world.  
DAVID: My main influence is the 80’s L.A. hard rock scene and hairbands like Ratt, Mötley Crüe and Skid Row. Guitar players like Steve Stevens, Warren DeMartini and George Lynch inspired me to pick up a guitar back in the days and their work is still influential for me nowadays. Attentive listeners can even spot a little tribute to Steve Stevens on one of the songs of the new album.

MELODY LANE: As a musician, what has been your biggest achievement to date and what do you want to achieve in the near future? 
JULIE: Up to date my/our biggest achievement is My Own Ghost. I am very proud of what we‘ve achieved up until now, the signing with Massacre Records being one big wish and dream come true. The most important thing to me though is, that even after nine years of touring, writing, recording, rehearsing…. together, that we have stayed the same, still work together as a unit, appreciate each other‘s company and still have the same love and passion for My Own Ghost. 

MELODY LANE: Until today...What was the most important concert for MY OWN GHOST career? And why? 
DAVID: In my opinion, the most important concert up until now was the show we did with Tarja at the Koko in London in 2017. The whole tour was very important because it allowed us to reach a lot of new fans who continue to support us until today. But the show in London was special because when we loaded our stuff into the van after the show outside on the boardwalk, we talked to some young people from Germany and they really enjoyed our show and our music. The result of this encounter was that they created our first fanclub ‘Ghostlights’ and still manage it today. 

MELODY LANE: In the end…A message from you to all MELODY LANE readers. 
JULIE: Thanks to you guys from Melody Lane for taking the time for this interview and your support. We can‘t wait to get our third album „Shadow People“ out there and to hear what you guys think. Even more so, we are really looking forward to finally being able to present the new songs live. Don‘t forget to check out our Website, Facebook or Instagram page as also our Youtube channel and to leave us a comment and/or like if you want to stay up to date. Adding one or more of our songs to your Spotify playlist is deeply appreciated. We hope to being on the road again very soon and to meet a lot of you guys along the road. Stay safe and take care! 


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