Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Interview with Gavin Goska of Midnight Syndicate

(l-r) Gavin Goska and Ed Douglas.
I first met Gavin Goska and Ed Douglas of Midnight Syndicate at a Halloween Trade Show several years ago.  I made a fool of myself by gushing and fan girling, but I don't think they minded too much since I left their booth with t-shirts and CDs that they generously bestowed upon me.  Since then I have had the pleasure of watching them gain popularity as evidenced by their distinctive, atmospheric music in most Haunted Attractions I visit during October and their presence at Haunt and Fantasy conventions.  Gavin took some time out of his schedule to talk about music and Halloween.

Question: So, first things first - I assume your favorite holiday is Halloween, correct?

Answer: Yes, it has been for as long as I can remember. Even as a child, I think Halloween was about equal to Christmas as being my most anticipated holiday.

Question: What is it about the holiday that you love?

Answer: I love Autumn as a season in general, but Halloween is the epitome of everything dark and mysterious for me. The ancient Celts believed that the veil separating the world of the living from the realm of the dead was at its thinnest at this time, and spirits were free to roam the Earth. I think that in itself fuels the imagination and conjures up thoughts of what may lie beyond the reach of our own ordinary senses.

Question: Why do you feel your music and compositions epitomize Halloween?

Answer: It's incredibly flattering that our fans would associate our music so closely with such a long standing and wide spread holiday. I think our music is simply able to create an appropriately creepy mood. Prior to Born of the Night, all the stores seemed to have were either those inexpensive, recycled sound effects tapes with screams and chains clanking, or the party song compilations. I think people were just looking for something different -something effectively atmospheric they could leave on in the background.

Question: What draws you to this dark, moody style of music?

Answer: I think it's the natural merging of a longstanding interest in things dark and mysterious and a love of music. I remember listening to John Carpenter's original Halloween soundtrack and thinking how unbelievably effective it was. Just a handful of notes, played the right way on a piano, could instantly pull me into this wonderfully dark story world. Even though my musical tastes are quite varied, there's something about darker music that always seems to call to me. It's hard to define exactly, but I think it has a lot to do with finding an outlet for my shadow side.

Question: When I first met you it was 2001. How have you seen the holiday changing since then?

Answer: Halloween has continued to grow, which is great to see. Even in these difficult economic times, people are still taking time out to celebrate and enjoy the holiday. I think it's just a wonderful escape: for one night, you can take on the persona of someone (or something) else, or explore dark and mysterious realms that tend to remain hidden during the rest of the year.  The quality of many of the props and decorations available to the general public have continued to improve as well. You can set up a Hollywood-grade display now for a fraction of what it would have cost years ago.

Question: And, how have you seen your music changing since then?

Answer: I think we've continued to learn and push the boundaries of what we do.  Improvements in technology have had a direct impact on the quality of our sound, and we've tried to incorporate some new and exotic instruments aswell. Our latest release, Carnival Arcane, is a great example of the latter. We were able to bring in a lot of world elements that might have seemed out of place on a more traditionally-gothic album. I think that gives it anentirely unique character and makes it stand out from the rest of our work.  The Dungeons and Dragons soundtrack incorporated more fantasy-based elements and epic themes. We've tried to expand our integration of sound effects and music as well. While I still view 2001's Gates of Delirium as a milestone for us in terms of creating a complete sonic landscape, I think we were ableto top it with The 13th Hour, and Carnival Arcane continues that trend. Many listeners have said that Carnival Arcane makes them feel as if they are truly a part of what is going on in the story.

Question: Name your favorite Halloween memory.

Answer: I remember building these makeshift haunted houses in my parents' basement when I was young, using rope, sheets, and whatever props I could either find or make myself. I'm still surprised my parents let me do that, as I'd basically take over the entire basement for several days! It was always a blast to see how my friends reacted when they came down the stairs, though.

Thank you so much for joining me today Gavin!  Midnyte Syndicate has made important contributions to the Halloween industry and personally, I know when I hear their music, something spooky is bound to happen!

Check out more at the Midnight Syndicate website HERE.
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~I will be giving away one (1) Midnight Syndicate CD to three (3) winners. 
~Winners choose CD.

To Enter:
~Leave your name (use what I can announce on the blog if you win) and e-mail address on the Rafflecopter form.
~Leave a comment below about anything from this interview.
~Extra entries for following Midnight Syndicate on Facebook and Twitter. 

~Winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter.
~This contest is international! 
~Please see my contest policy HERE.
~This contest ends on October 16, 2012 at 12:01am.
~If winner does not contact me within 72 hours (3 days) of my first e-mail, unfortunately another winner will be chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks for entering and good luck!


Kate @Midnight Book Girl said...

This is an amazing giveaway, Pam!! As is apparent, I love Halloween, and there's nothing more perfect for setting the mood during the season than music. Maybe I'll play some during my book club meeting on Oct.27th and while I'm handing out candies to the boos and ghouls.

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