Air Guitar Blog had a chat with Raymond Westland about the launch of a new rock and metal digital magazine called Ghost Cult. Air Guitar grilled the Chief Editor about it being “another metal magazine” but Ghost Cult is set to be in a premium class. 

Ghost Cult is a hybrid webzine and digi-mag with an outlook on forward thinking rock and metal. Could you elaborate on “forward thinking rock and metal’?
Generally speaking many bands within the rock and metal scene tend to be quite conservative as far experimentation and adding new flavours to their style goes. I can perfectly understand that, because the list of failed experimental train wrecks is endless with the latest Morbid Angel record being the most recent example. Not to mention the Lulu album by Metallica and Lou Reed. Having said that there are also bands who like to evolve and experiment with new sounds and influences. Those are the bands that keep the metal genre alive as a whole. As a person I like to discover new things, so there you go.

Does that mean there will be more emphasis on up and coming bands (underground) and less emphasis on commercial music?
I find the term “commercial music” quite a contradiction seen within the metal context. For all intents and purposes metal still isn’t pop music. I prefer the term “mainstream metal” and those are the bands that get enough exposure in metal media, so I feel there’s lot to be gained to give high quality up and coming bands in the spotlight with Ghost Cult , although one or two mainstream metal acts may slip through, because we’re fans.
As you mentioned, there is a lot to be gained by giving high quality up and coming bands exposure, who are Ghost Cult’s primary target audience?
Hard to say really, but I think everyone with a passion for high quality metal and good writing will enjoy Ghost Cult. In my (humble) opinion the GC writing crew consist of some of the best writers and reviewers out there, personally selected by yours truly!

I expect nothing less but how does Ghost Cult differ from other webzines especially ones that you have previously worked on?
In many respects Ghost Cult is evolution of sorts of what I’ve done and worked on before. The thing that will set us apart is the fact that we combine the best aspects of a digital magazine and a webzine and the fact that we have an very skilled and talented designer in the person of David Alexandre. He’s the one that really brings Ghost Cult alive

Ghost Cult is an overhaul of Scratch The Surface webzine. Staff has changed and a new blueprint was made. Can you tell us a bit about the new team?
The writing crew consists mostly of people I worked previously with Alternative Matter (now defunct) and, plus some people that were recommended to me. The editorial staff consists of Chris Wright (PR/content editor), David Alexandre (designer/senior editor), Pete Ringmaster (content editor) and yours truly as chief editor. We have the skills and experience to bring Ghost Cult to the next level.

The Ghost Cult tagline is “Spirit of Metal”. How do you as the Chief Editor define that?
Well, “Spirit” is obviously connected with “Ghost” and “Cult”. What the “Spirit of Metal” means differs from each person. For me it means a sense of freedom to do what you like to do without being too concerned with fitting in a certain mould or form. As much as I hate to admit it, metal in itself is in many regards a bulwark of conservatism with all types of ludicrous social conventions and rules. I want Ghost Cult to be a gathering for free spirited people who enjoy all sorts of different music and bands without any prejudice

I like that last statement. In terms of “Global Metal”, how will Ghost Cult embrace the foreign scenes?

Ghost Cult has writers from Canada, US, UK, South Africa and even Australia, so we’re not really concerned with borders, nationalities or so-called “foreign scenes”. All we care about is high quality music, so it doesn’t matter from which continent or country a band comes from.

When can we expect the first Ghost Cult issue?
When all goes well, the first issue will appear on October first. Without giving too much you can expect interviews with Enslaved, Katatonia, Kontinuum, Zatokrev, Winterfylleth and a host of others. Check for updates and all!

How can contributors and artists contact Ghost Cult?

There will be a contact address on the Ghost Cult website as soon as it’s ready; in the mean time people can drop me a line at HomeNucleonics [at] gmail [dot] com
Do you have any last words?

Thank you very much for this opportunity and all join the Ghost Cult

Thank you, Ray!


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