David Templeman, the brains behind Ghosts of Paraguay has leapt onto the Bass music scene this year with his debut album ‘Silent Souls’. Fusing smooth pacy garage drums, warm rolling basslines, gorgeous melodies, heaps of emotion and working with some extremely talented vocalists, David has created one of the Album’s of the year in my humble opinion. We had a quick chat about him and his music, here’s what happened.
Ez Dave, thanks for speaking with us! Where are you from and what initially got you into music?
It’s all good, I’m from Essex UK which is just outside London. I first got into music at the age of 11 when I first met a mate of mine. He is older than me and was messing around with a program called Octamed on his Atari I think. Then I found a program called FT2 that could run on my 486 PC and from then on I was hooked.
Old school! Your tracks are all very ‘musical’ and emotive, do you have any background in playing instruments at all or have you learnt all your music theory solely through electronic production?
I’ve never had any music lessons at all through my life, in fact I didn’t even touch an instrument until the age of 11. I was always really into drawing and painting but when I discovered music I gave it all up. I am completely self taught on Piano and Guitar and can pick up most instruments. I learnt absolutely everything through my own trial and error and love for what I was trying to do. Although it was a long process for me, I think it was the best way to learn it all, as I am not bound by any traditional music theory rules, plus I was learning through the use of technology and computers and learnt that side of things.
Impressed! I thought you were a trained Pianist or something! When did you ‘become’ Ghosts of Paraguay? Have you always been into Dubstep?
Well I have actually gone under many different monikers in my time ‘Altya’, ‘Pistol Kisser’ to name but a few. I was always traditionally into D&B and in fact have many D&B productions including a few releases under those names. I found myself getting tired of the D&B scene, it’s been around for a long time and there is very little that hasn’t already been done these days. I got to a point in my life where I was tired of music and tired of getting no where so I decided to go travelling, I had a break for about a year and when Came back to it I decided i was just going to do whatever came naturally to me rather than trying to be something I wasn’t, it just so happened that people started calling it dubstep and people really started to like it. That is when I decided to start GOP, That was about a year ago now.
This one’s been a burning question for me for a while now… Ghosts of Paraguay… Does the name have some meaning?
Not really no, I get asked that question a lot and I really wish I had some kinda story for it but I really don’t. It’s just something I came up with one day. I chose Paraguay just because it’s a phonetically beautiful sounding word, and I really try to make my music as emotional and moving as possible. I think the name suits the sound.
Silent Souls is an amazing album from start to finish, is there a story behind the album?
Well there kinda is. I suffer from an anxiety disorder and writing ‘Silent Souls’ was really the aftermath of a very difficult period. I think it sums up some of the feelings I was going through at the time. You’ll notice that the final song is called ‘Anna’s song’ and I felt it was really significant to place it at the end of the album as it was written for my wife who was always there through it all right till the end.
Wow, that’s deep! The album came out in September so I’m being a little greedy, but have you got anything coming up you can tell us about?
I have got a number of tracks I’m working on at the moment. A few feature Aidan Dullaghan again and I’m also working with a Violinist at the moment called Alicia Kiah. There will be another EP soon but I have no idea of the release date, In fact I haven’t even finished the tracks.
Can’t wait to hear the results of that! Your releases so far have been on Loodma, alongside their other great artists. How did that come about? It seems like an amazing collection of talent.
That came about through my friend Dave Stewert (Mr left Eye), I know him from my ‘Altya’ days of D&B and when Dave was going under the name ‘Subject 13’ and running his label ‘Vibez’. Not sure how he met Laurie from Loodma but he was looking for a label for his ‘Mr Left Eye’ project and it seemed like a logical thing to do to send across 2 tracks. Thankfully Laurie loved them and I have been with them ever since.
You mentioned earlier you used to be into Painting and Drawing. Have you been in charge of your releases artwork?
No I usually leave that up to the label but I think I’m gonna do my own artwork for the next release. I find it quite hard to juggle so many different things in my life and so don’t have time to do it. Definitely something I’m going get on though. Maybe the next album, makes it more personal that way.
What artists would you say have served as inspiration to your creations? And what music do you enjoy listening to?
On the dubstep front I think everyone cites Burial as one and I’m no different. My influences vary wildly from Hans Zimmer to Pink Floyd, Noisia and skrillex I have just discovered a band I’m really liking at the moment called Kwoon. I really enjoy film soundtracks and they serve as a lot of my inspiration really, especially films like Gladiator and The Last Samurai.
I think that about wraps it up! Thanks again for speaking to us, it’s been a pleasure! As a last one, have you got any shout outs, or thanks to mention?
Any time dude. My wife Anna obviously, Laurie from Loodma, 17Tumba, Mrsuicidesheep and all the people that have taken my music to heart, it really means the world to me and I hope it helps people as much as it has helped me.