RockStar Leandra Ghoulish of Angelus Novus talks about her relationship with her crowd and denies speculations about Julian the paramedic
RockStar Leandra Ghoulish, welcome back to The Sewers, we welcome and congratulate you here and now.
Hi, hey, what’s up?
Good, how are you? How’s 2018 treating you so far?
Oh great, just so much going on, yeah, it’s 2018! Sharing a backstage with Over System again is just so awesome, I mean it was so spontaneous, we just went for it, it was great.
You had two secret sets in San Francisco together.
Yeah, it just happened, it was so good, really. By the way we still don’t know where Lenny is. But she’s like that, she’ll come back.
I saw a picture of her on Twitter with Bryan Ax from Over System, they seemed quite wasted.
Yeah, heh, it’s all good.
Aren’t you worried? It’s been three days.
No, no, of course not, we played our drinking game after the set, it’s normal to disappear for up to six days after that, so they’re in the safe zone, totally.
Ooh what’s the game?
It’s totally private.
I see. Have you noticed how you never really stopped playing since you came home from tour? It’s almost like you’re still on tour.
Really? You think so?
You’ve got a gig at least once a week.
Well yeah but it’s off tour, small venues, really spontaneous.
It’s almost as if you’re scared of being off stage for a longer period of time.
Scared? No, of course not. But to be honest, yes, there’s something addictive to it. There’s something you get on stage that you can’t, just can’t, get anywhere else.
True love. Yeah. The love of the crowd is true love. It’s unpretentious. It doesn’t pretend to be unconditional, coz you know, in real life there’s no such thing anyway. True love is a love you can lose at any given moment, true love is when you know it. It doesn’t let you sit on your ass and get fat from being self assured. True love is the opposite of the self-acceptance bullshit. It’s about being so hungry all the time, starving. And it’s about having something to show for. Only people who have something to show for get to have true love.
Right. Well it’s a – uhm – it’s a new way of looking at it.
Think about it for a second. That’s what love is. Love’s the opposite of smug, satisfied self-acceptance. True love pushes you further; it makes you wanna be all that you can be and more, always. That’s the meaning of endless love, that you always push yourself further. My crowd gives me that endless love.
Shouldn’t love also make you feel safe and happy with who you are?
Of course, there’s no contradiction there. Just how long can you be happy with who you are without changing and evolving? What normies and reglas call love is comfort. I don’t need that from other people. I’m comfortable with myself, and free enough to experience the risk of having true love.
Alright, but on the other hand, don’t you think the love of your crowd can become unconditional, that kind of love that would force you not to change and evolve?
In a way, yeah, I see what you mean, but I don’t see it happening. Not in a way I wouldn’t notice. I mean it’s true that there’s this sort of image of me that people love, and probably wouldn’t wanna see it change, but then again they’d stop believing me if I didn’t change at all, you know?
The ‘love of the crowd’ is such an amorphous concept, and it becomes even more so the more we talk about it.
Yeah, yeah, it takes time to get used to and to understand. That’s why it’s so damn dangerous, too. Some people confuse true love with unconditional love, and then they get messed up, coz they think about the love of the crowd in the wrong terms. I mean stage people, when they get confused about it, they get so messed up. This took me ages to realize of course. I mean the fear of the next gig being not as good, that just ate at me. Coz back then I thought this love should be a fact. And if a gig isn’t as good, than everything you think you are gets messed up. So happy I’m over that.
Okay, so if we go with this, what happens if your crowd disappears? If you lose them completely?
Then I’d have to change and evolve.
But what if you feel within yourself that you don’t need to change and evolve?
Then I must be dead.
Say you record an album you truly believe is great, and your crowd just don’t get it. How could you change and evolve then without selling out?
It’s never about selling out, never. If what you say happens, then I’d know I’m done. I’d know I have nothing to show for and that’s it. But the way I see it, true love is a mutual thing. It’s not that the crowd just loves me and I remain the same. Their love constantly changes me. Me and my crowd, we’re together. We’re in love. I can’t imagine a situation when we record an album and they just don’t get it. Coz I get them too.
But then one must ask where’s your artistic integrity in this relationship with your crowd?
Where’s your integrity in any relationship? It’s always very dynamic. Love isn’t static. If it is, it’s dead, it’s a corpse. “You get the ankles and I get the wrists”.
“Down to This”, Soul Coughing.
Nice! Oh yeah, you heard them! Awesome.
One of my favourites actually.
Totally, totally, it’s awesome.
When I said the love of the crowd is amorphous, perhaps I meant to say it’s fragile, it’s fickle. The next best thing is always around the corner, and maybe that true love you have with your crowd is not at mutual as you think.
Yeah, yeah, I see what you mean. But you know, when I said true love is a risk, I didn’t mean just the risk of losing this love. It’s the risk of being in love. It’s the risk of staying in love when they’re gone and over you. And that’s bound to happen, in a way. I mean think about it, when I’m old, these years would still be the biggest love story of my life, and it probably wouldn’t mean that much to my crowd, even to our most fanatic fans. It’s a weird way of looking at it. I’m like the disadvantaged side of this relationship. It’s funny, really! Haha, sooner or later, I’m gonna get dumped by millions of people.
I’m sure they’ll always have a warm place in their hearts for you.
Hehe, yeah, and I’ll be all like, ‘I gave you the best years of my life, motherfuckers!’ haha!
Is there any room left in your life for a romantic relationship, other than the one you have with your crowd?
To be honest, not really. And I’m uninterested. I mean it seems so, you know, boring. I love my friends with a passion, you know? I have really intense, emotional relationships that aren’t romantic, and it’s like, there really is no room.
What about Julian the paramedic?
We’re good friends, best buds.
Oh come on. In the ‘Why are they Shouting’ documentary –
The documentary is about 2009-2013, remember? That’s ages ago.
He was a festival stand-by ambulance paramedic in Chicago who ended up joining your crew after helping you with your ankle and with what you described as panic attacks, and it was pretty obvious you spent quite a bit of time in his ambulance.
Oh god this so funny, seriously…
This gossip thing, the way people jump to conclusions. Julian is a great person with really deep insights into music, he’s great to be around and I’m glad he likes to be around us too.
The song ‘Remembered’ from your latest album, Excluding the Dead, is dedicated to J.M. And Julian’s surname is Michaels.
Oh wow, haha, come on.
So who’s J.M?
A charming mystery guy who goes by the name of Jerk-off Motherfucker, okay?
Alright, fair enough. When’s the next Angelus Novus concert?
Oh I dunno, there’s nothing planned for now, but you know, we’ll see what happens. Our next album is really going great, it’ll be out at around April.
Will it be a concept album, like Isadora from 2011 or Appetite for Clarity from 2013?
I’m not sure what a concept album is, to be honest. The way I see it all albums have a concept, it’s just a matter of how difficult it is to decipher. But it’s definitely taking on some new directions, we’re very excited about it.
As are we. Next time we talk, I’ll be asking for a sneak preview.
Hehe! Alright, sure. yeah.
Leandra Ghoulish, we thank you and congratulate you for taking the time to visit The Sewers again.