GHOSTECH / Blood Rose

GHOSTECH was officially formed on March 30, 2017 in Dallas, Texas. Both The Glass Ghost & DJ Spaz were co-workers at a hotel where The Glass Ghost & DJ Spaz first met.

DJ Spaz at the time was the host of Outscape at Recall FM while The Glass Ghost, an accomplished musician & songwriter with over 20 years of experience in the music industry.

When The Glass Ghost & DJ Spaz formed, it was also the beginning of the creation of their first EP, Blood Rose.

During production, GHOSTECH reached out to Synthwave music makers Mythical Vigilante & Oceanside85 to provide synths & vocals.

Blood Rose features Mythical Vigilante on synths for 2 tracks and Oceanside85 on vocals for the last track, Forever In Hell.

GHOSTECH consists of The Glass Ghost (Seth Bradley) & DJ Spaz (Elias Serrano). I spoke to them about this debut release.

Elias, you are known primarily as a DJ, how did you come about to working in a production role?

Elias Serrano (DJ Spaz): 

Between 2016-2017, I was the Concierge Supervisor at the hotel where I'm currently employed. Seth Bradley (The Glass Ghost) was the supervisor for the Audio/Visual department and we used to catch up during lunch breaks. During those times, work was very busy and the both of us, in our respective positions, used to vent our frustrations when we met up at lunch lol! It helped us get through the work days and nights and from then on, we built a friendship. As time when on, I told Seth that I was a web radio DJ for Recall FM until I went solo shortly after. By then, he started to gain an interest in the Synthwave music genre. I started showing around the scene online and sent him music to listen to. He really got into Cluster Buster. For me, I'm a huge fan of Waveshaper.

At some point, we followed each other on Soundcloud and I saw that he was an experienced musician under The Glass Ghost creating a lot of avant garde tracks. He eventually wanted to start working on new music for The Glass Ghost in the Synthwave genre. That's when he asked me if I would be down to work on music with him. I told that I would be honored but I have no experience playing any instruments other than using CD Decks and Midi Controllers along with DJ Software lol! On March 30th, we got together at his place and after further discussion, we became what is now GHOSTECH. The name describes what we are, The Glass Ghost being the orchestra and me as the conductor/composer.

What elements were you mostly involved with in the studio?

Elias Serrano (DJ Spaz):

On my end, I was the guide and Seth being the experience musician, he was the translator for suggestions I shared with him on each track. We used a small synthesizer as well as the digital audio workstation program, Reason, to create the music. I mostly gave imput and ideas but also used examples of 80's music styles to better inspire the creation of each song. Seth, with his experience in music theory, was able to understand what I was saying and used his own theory to further process the creation of each track. Seth truly was the creator and I was the muse with but also had my hand in the creation process as well. 

Seth Bradley (The Glass Ghost):

I created most of the synth patches used on the EP. Our good mutual friend Acie O'Kelley III lent a hand in the creation of some of synth sounds as well. 

I'm kind of OCD about not using presets, or synth settings that are "out of the box".

I know from your radio shows that the 80’s has had a huge influence on your life. Do you think any particular artists bring their styles into this release?

Elias Serrano (DJ Spaz):

Blood Rose is a fictional short musical story inspired by legendary actress, vedette/exotic dancer and true badass woman, Tura Satana. Not only was she extremely beautiful, she was also a genuine ass kicker! When she was on the brink of turning 10 years old, she was gang raped by 5 men who never got prosecuted. She learned Aikido and Karate as her life progressed on and eventually over the course of 15 years, she sought and found each of the 5 men that gang raped her and delivered some serious swift justice to them. She also formed an all female gang called, The Angeles, comprised of women from her neighborhood. She is famously known for her lead role as Varla in the 1965 cult/indie film Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! The cover art of the Blood Rose EP is a salute to Tura Satana.

As far as the musical elements in creating Blood Rose, our influences were John Carpenter, Goblin & Fabio Frizzi. We felt that if we were going to make a horror inspired Synthwave/Darksynth/ Outrun EP, we needed to do our research thoroughly. John Carpenter served as a, on the go, starting base. But to get the grotesque, macabre and gritty feeling into the production, we listened to movie scores done by Goblin & Fabio Frizzi. Once we drew the inspiration to further progress in the creation of Blood Rose, we dug really deep and meticulously, every week for over a year, we met up for session and we really, by every little piece of detail, meticulously, worked hard on Blood Rose. Step by step, one session at a time. 

Seth Bradley (The Glass Ghost):

Definitely Depeche Mode has had a big influence on me. 

I was inspired a lot from the sounds of old NES video games for some of the synths; like Castlevania, Ghouls and Ghosts, Ninja Gaiden and Mega Man.

Elias Serrano (DJ Spaz):

Although I was a conductor/composer and Seth was the creator, we both work as a unit. Everything we did in the production was all team work. He handled the equipment, I was the listener and also gave some suggestions but it was always a team effort and our suggestions and opinions were always discussed and nothing was ever left out. It was never "see how it goes". When we worked on those tracks, we really took our time with them. We felt that releasing anything less than a year was too sudden and not the way we wanted to bring Blood Rose to the masses. Each and every track we created, it took as long as two months, maybe more, time really flies. But we were extremely tight and very OCD on every track because we were truly dedicated to the creation process. We were not in a hurry to complete anything, time was really on our side the way we wanted it to be. 

Seth Bradley (The Glass Ghost):

Working with Spaz has been one of the most refreshing and recipricol relationships i've had so far. I wanted to make something authentic but not too complicated. We've accomplished our goal entirely and it's surpassed my expectations. My vision for GHOSTECH started as wanting to make music with other artists who were passionate about what it is they do.

How do your studio sessions play-out? Do you jam, or flesh out ideas and one of you take ideas away to work on, or do you each bring semi-completed tracks to the table?

Seth Bradley (The Glass Ghost):

I am the operator and engineer during sessions. We use a midi keyboard controller along with Reason to flesh out our ideas. Ahead of our scheduled sessions times, I'll setup some synth patches and create a template for the tracks. During the sessions there's creative brainstorming about the musical arrangements and picking what sounds the best to flesh out our ideas.

Elias Serrano (DJ Spaz):

When it came to ideas, we always brought it up before and after every session, even in chats and meet ups. Seth worked on anything he felt needed any kind of tweaking and always sent me the files to listen to get my imput on how it should sound, changes needed, etc..... When we started our sessions, we worked hard. Very rare did we have any distractions other than the 5 to 10 minute breaks but we truly focused on everything. Seth is a true hard worker and truly cares about what he creates and shares with me. I trusted Seth with every bit of the creation process. Every session was serious work and dedication. None of us slacked off whatsoever.

You worked with Mythical Vigilante and Oceanside85 for some numbers. Firstly, how did this come about, and secondly, how did it go?

Elias Serrano (DJ Spaz):

When Seth and I got down to the near completion of our track, The Lurker, we felt that if we were going to get someone to design the logo and album art, Seth felt that Mythical Vigilante was perfect for the spot and also to help out with a couple of leads for The Lurker, and eventually, Forever In Hell. It was business with Mythical Vigilante which is understandable but he was a true professional to work with and with everything he gave, we were thankful. He truly worked with us and was on point with everything. We appreciate everything he did for us. He is a true team player. Thank you Mythical Vigilante.

When it came down to getting a vocalist for Forever In Hell, we wanted a female synthwave vocalist with live music experience and also someone that fits the mold of the fictional character in our musical story, Enter Oceanside85. I brought up Oceanside85 to Seth and we both agreed after further discussion and research that she was the one we wanted to sing on the last track. Working with her was great, we appreciated her honesty and collaboration with us. Overall, Communication is very important and working with both of them, it truly paid off. Both of us are truly grateful for them.

Seth Bradley (The Glass Ghost):

Mythical Vigilante and Oceanside85 are legends in their own right, and their contributions have been fresh and priceless to me. These producers genuinely love music and their energy really recharges my batteries.

Where to from here, any work in progress?

Seth Bradley (The Glass Ghost):

We have been setting up and preparing the production process for our full length album. We plan to expand our horizons and create something ultimately original and genuine.

Elias Serrano (DJ Spaz):

Pinhead said it best: "We Have Such Sights To Show You". Yes, we are working on new material as we speak and once I return to the US from Japan at the end of July, GHOSTECH will be back in the studio working on our full length album.

"Blood Rose" is released on May 15th, and is available from Ghostech's bandcamp page as well as all other streaming and music platforms. All of the links to their sites and material can also be found at the Bandcamp site.