Every band has their key style markers — be it guitar riffs, unique vocals, or, as one Saskatoon metal band is doing, a desire to mess with the audience a little bit.
That’s the attitude that A Ghost in Drag takes to their music. The band consists of drummer Jaye Luk, guitarists Erik Hepp and Paul Zhao and bassist/vocalist Justin Bruce. Two band members currently attend the University of Saskatchewan — Zhao is a second-year music student and Bruce is a fifth-year English major. They’ll be coming together Friday, July 22 at Amigos’ in celebration of the release of their new EP heck.
A Ghost in Drags’s unique and messy sound can be seen in how the band uses time counts and rapid changes to create different sounds that keep the audience on their toes. Luk explains that by utilizing an eclectic background of musical tastes, A Ghost In Drag makes not only each track, but also the sections within each song sound drastically different from one another.
“In this new album, the last song ‘Suicide Pact,’ we do this really cool, really metal-sounding sweeping part. All of us are shredding … and we’re like ‘Okay, well, what do we do from that? Oh how about a disco beat?’ So we just go straight to a really fast disco beat outta nowhere,” said Luk.
“The older stuff is a little faster, more grind-corey … but the newer stuff I guess we’re going for a more grandeur sound, and we’re going for epic, I guess. Just bigger sounds,” Luk said.
Whether on tour or just kicking back and listening to some tunes, the members of A Ghost in Drag listen to a variety of music genres. This diverse appeal influences their own music by creating a special blend of sound.
“People usually say ‘Yeah, I listen to everything’ but what it usually means [is] they don’t actually listen to enough things to be specific. The problem with my band is that all four of us actually do listen to everything,” Luk said.
Although the band’s music is an infusion of genres, not everything they listen to acts as an influence to their music. Luk stated he has tickets to see Carrie Underwood in October and that the band will listen to Taylor Swift while on tour — meaning, their personal music taste can and do stay quite far from their own sound.
Luk, who is a former microbiology student at the U of S, shares some tips for aspiring musicians who are trying to manage the workload of university with that of being a musician.
“Actually day plan, you make sure you keep to that plan. Like, this is my practice time [and] this is my homework time. Instead of watching TV during your practice time, then feel bad and then go practice. Then miss all your homework time so instead of sleeping you do homework,” Luk said.
While attending the U of S, Luk also participated in the Wind Orchestra, which is where he met one of the band’s guitarists.
“I actually met the guitarist Paul Zhao when I was still playing Wind Orchestra. He was auditioning for the Jazz Ensemble and I was auditioning for Jazz Ensemble too. He was holding a guitar, just fumbling, and I was like, ‘Hey, what do you play?’ and he listed off a few people like Paul Gilbert,” Luk said.
A Ghost in Drag will be playing as part of a four part show along with Adolynne, The Weir and Gerard Weber. Gather up some friends and come out to Amigos’ on July 22 and enjoy some good beer and nachos while taking in the unique sounds of A Ghost in Drag.
Jack Thompson / Staff Writer
Photo: A Ghost in Drag / Supplied