Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Sam Haynes Has Ghost Stories To Tell

Musician Sam Haynes has created two fantastic Halloween albums, and just released his most eerie collection yet, called Ghost Stories, available to purchase at Hauntmusic.co.uk, Bandcamp, iTunes, and Amazon. Sam was kind enough to share his thoughts on the album and its inspiration, including his own personal encounters with the supernatural! Read on, if you dare!

Q: Ghost Stories features some of the your darkest compositions to date. Did you approach this album differently from the others? 

A: Hi, firstly thanks for your kind words about the music, very kind if you. Each CD I do has a different theme, the last one, Welcome to the Horror Show, takes iconic horror subjects and creates a piece of music themed around it. For this one I wanted to write some music that deals with ghosts and the paranormal so each track is based on a theme or atmosphere related to ghosts. It's quite a dark album compared to the previous two, which was deliberate because of the theme. When I'm writing I usually start with a theme or title and I experiment with sounds 'til I get something close to the feeling I am going for.


Q: Choosing amongst your children is impossible, but do you have a favorite track on the album?

A: I would have to pick "Ghost Stories", it's one of the more complex tracks on the album, and I really liked the beats on it, there's a lot going on in the mix on that one.


Limited Edition package
Q: This album is called Ghost Stories. So what is your ghost story?

A: I grew up in a haunted house so have always been fascinated by ghosts. There was quite a lot of poltergeist activity and we had a black shadow person that would appear sometimes. Lots of people saw it. I took up ghost hunting for a couple of years back in 2008 and saw lots of strange things. The cover photo of ghost stories was taken on one of the ghost hunts.


Q: Towards the end of the Ghost Stories you thematically veer slightly into a carnival theme. Why do think carnivals with their jovial music sound downright menacing? 

A: I always find them really creepy and atmospheric. Especially the travelling ones that pop up for a week then disappear. It's probably to do with Something Wicked This Way Comes, the Ray Bradbury novel and Disney movie which I loved. It was a big influence. Films like Clownhouse and The Funhouse too.


Q: Your music seems to be echo a love of horror movies from the 80s, especially with some of the more fun and energetic tracks like "Midnight Show". What are some of your major influences?

A: John carpenter for sure. I loved the soundtracks to Halloween III: Season of the Witch and The Fog. I really liked the 80s Italian horror sounds too, Fabio Frizzi and Goblin, for example. I wanted to bring some of that electronic style back with my music. I've been working with the guys at graveyard calling horror records who just put out a pumpkin orange cassette of the last album. They put out lots of great horror music on tapes which is great because of the 80s inspired sounds in some of the music.



Sam Haynes
Q: “Midnight Gets Closer” and “13” are probably some of the most disturbing tracks in this collection with their hushed, patient and eerily sinister insistence that seems to creep under your skin. I have a hard time listening to this album after nightfall. Do you like scaring others?

A: Yes, scaring is great fun, as any haunter will tell you. I have scared myself quite a few times writing the songs as I usually do it alone in the studio at night. The only thing in it for me really is to bring something a little different to the genre, remind people of how great the 70s and 80s horror music was and to contribute to the haunt/horror scene. It's something I wanted to do for a long time! I have been really suprised at the amount of people that enjoy the music. The haunt and horror community are great and they really support independent producers. Everyone I have met through the music have been great people and are hugely passionate about the genre. Last halloween I went to a theme park that were using the music as a soundtrack and it worked really well, that was a great moment for me. The idea of people walking though haunts on halloween night to one of these songs and getting scared is what keeps me making the music!


A big thank you to Sam Haynes!

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