Not so Smooth for Centurions Ghost

They’ve just released the album of their careers and they’re out on tour with doom legends Saint Vitus, but not everything has been going smoothly for Centurions Ghost, as Chris Kee finds out when he hooks up with bassist Rich Whittaker, somewhere in Germany…

A few weeks ago when the band walked out on stage at the O2 Academy in Islington, man-mountain vocalist Mark Scurr was noticeable by his absence. And wasn’t that Jake from London sludge beasts Dead Existence behind the mic? “Basically, Mark found himself in severe personal difficulties,” says Rich with a sigh, “and unfortunately, he left it until about three weeks before the tour to actually tell us that he could not make it. This gave us very little time to find a replacement, but luckily, Jake said ‘yes’ when we asked him. He stepped in and did a great job of learning the set in such a short space of time and has been kicking Euro-ass on stage every goddamn night!” So is Jake now the new vocalist with the ‘Ghost? “Right now, we can’t say whether this will be a permanent arrangement,” replies Rich cautiously. “We all have a lot of things to consider first. At first, we had our doubts whether he could hack life on the road because he cried so much during his initiation,” the bassist grins. “However, now he has slipped into the role very nicely and is delivering the goods like an old pro.”

And it seems that Saint Vitus and their disciples have been making our heroes feel at home, despite all the pre-tour upheaval. “Saint Vitus have been really friendly and welcoming towards us,” Rich confirms. “We have hit it off on both a musical and personal level, so we reckon this is a great overall tour package. The reception we have got from the Vitus crowd has generally been really good, as well, and on some nights, they even went completely crazy, like in Switzerland and Vienna.”

Lest we forget there is the small matter of a new ‘Ghost album to discuss: Blessed And Cursed In Equal Measure. “Put simply, we are very happy with the results,” says Rich unsurprisingly. “It exceeded our expectations in every way. I know that sounds a little clichéd, but what hey – we like it!” The album was recorded at Parlour Studios in Northamptonshire with the help of engineer James Dunkley – and possibly some extra help from beyond the grave… “A couple of strange things happened during the session,” Rich reveals. “We were listening to a playback of ‘Wizard Of Edge’ and we noticed some voices just before the song kicked in. At first, we thought our voices had been caught on a mic, but it was actually only on a single DI channel. Later, when Milly [Gareth Millstead, drums] was in the drum room, a mic stand started rocking back and forth of its own accord and then suddenly stopped. We spoke to the studio owner, and he said that other people had reported possible ghostly activity, so make of that what you will…”

As for the album title…well, according to Rich there’s nothing mystical about that, at least. “There isn’t really any hidden meaning to this title,” he explains, “it’s fairly literal. We definitely all feel blessed to be able to make this music and play it live, but we all have to go through a lot of personal shit and make a lot of sacrifices to make it happen.” Before allowing the beleaguered bassist to get back to making those sacrifices on the road around Europe, I just check up on what’s next for the band – what will be the next step when they return from this current trek? “There are a few shows in the pipeline,” Rich replies, “a 7” split with Lord Vicar, and we will probably start busting out a few new jams soon…but not before a well-earned rest!”

Origin: London, UK
Formed: 2001
Current Label: The Church Within Records
Band URL:
Label URL:
Current Release: Blessed And Cursed In Equal Measure

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