GHØSTKID gave me a feeling I hadn’t had for a long time and it’s a feeling I had really missed”
GHØSTKID, the new project from Sebastian “Sushi” Biesler, are set to drop their self-titled debut album this Friday (November 13).
After deciding to part ways with Eskimo Callboy after ten years, Sushi turned his attention to something much darker. The result is a collection of callous slabs of modern post-hardcore overflowing with personal angst and deep-set emotions that he hasn’t had the opportunity to exorcise in the past. It’s dark, destructive and delightfully devilish and, more than anything, only scratching the surface.
We caught up with Sushi to find out about the project’s origins, what effect it has on him and what he feels like GHØSTKID can transform into now that his vision is a reality…
How did things start piecing together for you and this project?
“Everything started for around the time Eskimo released ‘Rehab’. That’s when I really discovered that it didn’t feel comfortable for me to represent and play that music. From that point, I realised I really had to go and do something on my own. I had planned it for a while, really, because I wanted to have something besides Eskimo, but this is where I really got the motivation to start. I picked up a guitar, and then what started out as meaning to just be a bit of relief and more like a hobby turned into something I had really missed for a long time. That’s when I wanted to release these songs and play them live.
“I was really aware that I could only really focus on one thing, and I had to decide. One thing is my job, but it doesn’t make me happy anymore. What I was doing with GHØSTKID gave me a feeling I hadn’t had for a long time, and it’s a feeling I had really missed. I thought about it for a long time, and when I really started writing these new songs, I realised I had to leave Eskimo.”
It takes an awful lot, especially when you’ve been doing something for so long, to make a jump like that. Being brave enough to do it before you burn out is something to be celebrated…
“Exactly. There was a huge relief when I was able to talk about it with the guys. You have it in your head the whole time and when you’ve been playing music together for ten years, there are a lot of struggles along the way. But when I looked at ‘Rehab’ I knew that it wasn’t the thing that I wanted to present. I was so unhappy, to be fair, but of course, you’re thinking about how you can pay your bills and how do you start again from zero and all that stuff. But what is the price for having fame, which is a word I hate? I started making music to have a home, and this wasn’t my home anymore. This was a different house that I was living in.”
So what do feel like your core intention is for GHØSTKID?
“It’s just a case of speaking my mind. It was a really subtle writing process putting this album together. I was writing stuff, even just down to the instrumental, from just relief. The album is a really personal piece where I just put a lot of my thoughts and emotions in. I was writing but also understanding what I was putting into it.
“That’s what the core of this is. It’s just about myself. Even if it’s just a situation that I didn’t actually go through, it was something that was always in my mind and I thought a lot about.”
So what sort of situations were you pulling on then?
“If you’re in a band with six other people, it’s really hard to just speak your mind on your own. Even if you’ve written personal lyrics, there are five other people that saying for you to do it this way or that way. I didn’t really have the chance to really express myself in Eskimo. The visuals that I have with GHØSTKID are something that I really wanted to keep the focus on, and really wanted every aspect of this to go hand in hand to tell a story. When you have five other people there who have different tastes in music and different intentions as well, you’re about 90% not able to properly speak your mind. Now I’m the only one who is deciding things. I make all the decisions and set all the goals, I can be the one making the path there.”
You mention the visuals and it feels like you are pushing what you can do with this project as far as you can go in terms of what you’re producing in terms of music videos. What was it like putting those things together, and how does it feel now seeing them exist as more than just an idea in your head?
“It’s amazing. I never saw it coming that I would be able to finish a record on my own. I’ve been doing music since I was 15 years old, but I’m the kind of guy who will do 50% and then say I will finish it later. If you’re in a band, you, of course, have to finish things. This was the first time in my whole life where I actually finished something all by myself. Then being able to express myself in the way that I have along the way as well. I love every single song on this album and I think it’s really cool to see there are a lot of people out there who have really tried to understand the story that I’m telling.
Usually, you drop a song that’s really emotional and people don’t really care about what the actual meaning behind it is. Now it’s a different thing. There are already reactions out there where people are trying to analyse the videos. This is a great thing because it’s kind of special to see people act like that?”
Would you say that it’s a concept record then?
“I would say that each song tells its own story. To me, all of the songs sound different and that truly depends on the story of the song. It’s just all of the stuff that’s in my mind and I’ve tried to keep it all together under GHØSTKID. You could almost see GHØSTKID as an alter ego of myself.”
So GHØSTKID is a version of you that is able to express itself the way that it wants?
So what effect has having an outlet such as this had on other aspects of your life?
“It’s really stressful on one hand but on the other, it’s just great to see yourself create something that is growing. I would say I have grown up as a person due to the whole process. Now I’m the only one who is responsible and have to deal with so many different things. I’m also a way happier person and I don’t have the heavy backpack I did with Eskimo.”
There’s also weight in your stomach as well as on your back when it feels like you’re about to burst. It allows clarity…
“What’s crazy as well is that I was able to prove something to myself. I really did something for myself and did it to the end. I was able to prove to myself that I could do it. 15 years later, I finished a record!”
Does it feel like anything is possible now that you’ve brought GHØSTKID to life?
“I would say that when it comes down to the art I’m doing, it really is limitless. There are a lot of other aspects, though, if we bring COVID into it, but the limits that are still there are based on other things. To make this whole thing complete, I need to play live shows. I need to do better than I did before. I don’t know when we will be able to do that, and that’s hard when you’re making a record in hopes that you get to present it to people on stage. I think that besides that, there are no limits. The only limit is if it’s cool or not.
“There have been a lot of ups and downs, but I’m already excited to write the next record. I’ve experienced a lot of things that I maybe would have done differently, even if it did all turn out great. Right now, I can see what I could improve on and make even bigger than before. As the artist, you can never be fully satisfied. I’m pretty close but there are always small details. That’s probably something I would keep on doing for the rest of my life. Searching for that 100%.”