IT ALL BEGAN IN 1989
In the late eighties, the new wave and gothic scene was nearly dead. Great bands from the very beginning of New Wave (The Cure, The Sisters of Mercy, and Bauhaus) did no longer attracted any attention, and magazines covering that topic simply did not exist.
Some of the few clubs that actually performed new-wave events – or played one or two songs, at least – were so far away from the place we lived, that we just could not afford visitig that clubs regularly. And… concerts? Nothing!
Also, it wasn’t easy to buy the records we loved. Commercial record stores did not cover independent records, at all. Even the independet record stores often couldn’t offer the records we were desperately seeking for. I remember how much happy I was to be one and only guy here who owned Coil‘s fantastic “Horse Rotorvator” album. So we exchanged low-quality cassette recordings – often not even knowing what band we were listening to. By the way, to those young folks who do not know what these low-quality cassettes sounded like: Those analog tapes were really noisy. Very noisy. Sometimes, there was more noise than music. No bass, no treble. We did not need the “Noise”-style back in those days, we had enough noise by just pressing the “Play”-key.
In the wake of this emptieness, two young goths from Bad Ems (which is near Koblenz) decided to resurrect the scene. They did theirs to give it back some of its life force and formed a band they entitled “Ghosting”. At the age of 15, we were quite confident that this was an very gloomy name for a gothic band. With me singing and my former companion Andreas Rudel playing guitar, supported by a synth and a drum computer (Boss DR550, I think it was), the early repertory solely covered very gloomy songs. None of them exceed the tempo of Bauhaus’ ” Hollow Hills”.
1989-1991 – FIRST DEMO RECORDINGS
In October 1989, almost one year later, we finally declare ten songs as good enough for being published. The first tape “Secret Books” was handcopied. Since everybody considered that tape “great” and “excellent” a phase of enthusiasm caused us to release another ten new songs with our first studio album “Black Romantic” in 1991. In particular, I consider the songs “Blood Ocean” and “Luna” as great. Remixes appear on our first official album “Romantic Death”, and on the single “Paranoia”.
At that time, our music style was quite blurry. There were influenced of “The Sisters Of Cure”, “DAF”, and “Dead Can Dance” struggeling for victory. Soon I learned what a fascinating tool for a synthesizer can be. In those days, synth-bands were not really favoured. Sure, there were some well known bands like “Depeche Mode” and some avangarde, but 90% of the listeners still favoured the conventional rock’n roll line-up: a singer, a guitar player, a bassist and a drummer. Thus, the decision to make use of synths was a risk.
In 1991, Barbara Glatzel joined the band on keyboards. Her classic piano training supplied us with what influenced the easier accessible side of Ghosting. Barbara’s playful melodies represented a harsh contrast to my heavy, low legato-pads. Exactly this contrast made the band break-through without having had even one gig.
1992-1993 – FIRST GIGS, FIRST ALBUM … FIRST DISASTER
After having been praised so much in advance dvance, we now had to present the band on stage. On a gloomy Sunday in February 1992, that was just as gloomy as our outfit, our first concert took place in the “Ballhaus” in Bonn. The list of the people present there is short: It was the band, two roadies, a couple of friends, two security guards, a barkeeper, and two unknown guests. Both guests actually paid 5 Marks, which was our complete fee. Right after the gig the two guests introduced themselves as part of the Glasnost Record company, a lable that had specialized in the gothic-music. They absolutely wanted to sign the band. “Well, not bad for our first gig”, I thought… and signed.
Subsequently, a disaster came – as disasters most certainly always come after good things happen. Right in the midst of the recording for the single “Paranoia”, Andreas and Barbara quit. A studio musician had to play Andreas’ part and I play Barbara’s part. Anyway, there were a few concerts pending (e.g. the very first “Wave/Gothic-Treffen” in Leipzig) and I had to find some musicians to get the band going… Diana Rappauer (fem. vox), Thomas Nilges (guitar), Wolfgang Cornet (keyboard) and Stefan Noll (bass) joined the band.
This, however, was a huge mistake. In that summer, we recorded our debut-album “Romantic Death” at the “Danse Macabre Studios” in Bayreuth: Another disaster during another recording-session. It was up to the producer Bruno Kramm finished the album.
1994 – ZENITH
Nevertheless, the show had to go on. So we had to stand firm, and keep on touring through Germany. I promise, there is nothing worse than sharing a tour-bus with people you’d prefer to be some place that is very hot and unpopular! And we shared this bus for months. When we finished that tour, another tour was pending, and new musicians had to be hired, quickly. I used to consider them as guest musicians, because I wanted to have full control of procedure of composition. And so the band toured with a new line-up through Germany, Italy, and England, while some magazines printed discontinued photographs.
Due to all that show-bizz stuff and that stupid folks around me, the quality of my compositions had suffered. So I decide to record the second album “Songs From Fairyland” on my own. I rent the “Big Time-Studios”, a cute little studio somewhere in the county, and three weeks later the album was finished. After I sent tapes to the record company, I caught the next flight to London. For two years nothing had turned out like I had planned. I hadn’t had a single day to relax. But “Songs From Fairyland” was something that really satisfied me. What non-musicians don’t realise is that it is always the producer who controls the song, not the musician or the composer or the even the instrument player. “Songs From Fairyland” was the first album that was totally in my responsibility – I was the songwriter, the singer, the keyboarder, the guitar- and the bass-player… and the producer. Finally, everything sounded just like I had wanted it to sound. So I was quite confident and celebrated at the “Gossips” and “Camden Palace”.
1995 – THE MAJOR LABLE
Everybody (except me) was enthusiastic. The press loved us, the audience loved us and sometimes, even I had some fun… backstage… but not with the audience. I realised how cheesy they were. That whole goth-thing seemed more and more absurd to me. Some day I found myself wondering: “What the f*ck am I doing in front of that ridiculous folks?” So I began to put a lot of irony into my songs. Sadly, there was noone who understood that irony…
Anyway, whenever a band achieves this level of fame, a major record company (some people refer to such companies as “the greater (d)evil”) will ask the band for a signature, promising heaven on earth in exchange for its soul. Sometimes, if you are lucky, there are several majors begging for your signature and you can choose to which devil you sell you soul. We chose “Synthetic Symphony”/SPV. I liked the name, it seemed to fit to our style. Nevertheless, “Enter My Crypt” appears at “Glasnost Rec.”/ EFA due to contractual obligations. On the one hand, the album stands out, because it’s all instrumental, on the other hand, jusr because of this fact, only few pay attention to it. It seems, people depend on voices, rather than on melodies. What sad world is this, that we live in…
Only three month later, “Synthetic Symphony” released our fifth album, “Lips Like Red”. Its opener “Bombed The World” became the big hit of Ghosting. All the magazines said, that this was our first album being accessible to a broader audience. And, as fas as I am concerned, that was the beginning of the end. Even though songs like “Revelge” still seemed to be avantgarde … all in all, the album appeared suitable to be reduced to a common denominator of the six years of ghosting’s creative work. And it was silly. And there were many reasons for this: 1. I regarded the whole of the goth-scene as extraordinary silly. 2. I found it extraordinary silly to sell silly music to them. 3. I felt to be a very, very silly person failing to stop all this. 4. I wondered, why such a extraordinary silly thing sells so good, and why all that people loved this most silly album, when ignoring my serious songs. And so, despite of all the success, I was getting more and more sick of all that show-bizz and, especially, the gigs. O, how I hated gigs… I did my best to avoid the stage. Rumours spread, and the more they spread, the more I refused to appear in public, until finally, I refused to appear, at all.
1996-1999 – PAUSE
Our preliminary last concert tooks place in 1996 in the castle of “Groß Laupheim”. The audience experienced a band that was a mere shadow of its own self -and a singer, that did not gothily pretend to be undead, but actually was undead.
The sixth album was supposed to be our last release. Although “L’etat c’est moi” is really outstanding, it is also… silly.
I took a nap. A loooong nap. Four years or so.
2000-2003 – CODA
And like any good piece of music, a good band needs a coda. Stefan Buchhofer, Björn Dingedein, and Andreas Pollierer – these three guys I met conviced me to give it another try. I wasn’t quite impressed by this idea. However, I thought: “Why not?”. Frank d’Angelo, from the independent label “Dark Dimensions” signed the band and we released “Der magische Puls”. We did some obligatory gigs and soon recorded another, deeper album “Disguised in Black”. This album is thelast official release by Ghosting.
So, why did I stop it? There are other, intellectual things that got my attention, now. And that’s it! You may find some new songs here on this web-page for free download. Enjoy them, but never ever ask me to return to stage…
Sincerely yours, S.:T.: