I sat down with Jared Draughon of Must Be The Holy Ghost when he came through Spacebar on his current tour with St. Pete freaks, PLEASURES. Jared’s live show isn’t the typical one-man looping performance. He’s joined by Evan Hawkins who mixes different colored oils on an overhead projector to create a beautiful backdrop of universe-like swirls. The trippy visuals and Jared’s somber beats mold an atmosphere where you, yourself feel like the liquid, oozing about with no consistent shape. Check out MBTHG’s debut album, Get Off, on Spotify and if he’s ever in your town, be witness to the spectacle. Enjoy.
TVW: You said this isn’t your first time in Orlando, but that you haven’t been here in a while. When was the last time? Who were you with?
Must Be The Holy Ghost: Um, I played in some bands that did some touring — a good deal of touring — and we came to Orlando, years ago probably, man.
TVW: Do you remember where you played?
MBTHG: I want to say it might have been … The Social.
TVW: Oh cool. Who was that with?
MBTHG: Telescream. It was a band — kind of a shoe gaze band I was for a couple of years.
TVW: You’re from North Carolina, right?
MBTHG: I grew up around Chapel Hill, but I live in Winston Salem now.
TVW: What’s the music scene there like?
MBTHG: It’s a smaller town, but there’s a lot of cool shit going on, man. It’s really growing and there’s a tight nit community, very supportive of the arts.
TVW: How did you get involved with Pleasures? Because this is like your fourth or fifth date, right?
MBTHG: Sixth maybe. We just went through The Carolinas and Georgia.
Uh, It was just happenstance that a club owner named Tucker saw Pleasures come through and was like, “Yo, you need to check this band out. And I need you put them on this show.” He just fell in love with them. I checked them and was like, “Yeah, this cool shit. Let’s do it. In fact, lets do a three day run.” … And then from there we’re like, “let’s do this again in February.
TVW: How would you juxtapose their music with your own? Why can you guys tour together and it work?
MBTHG: Um, I kind of have static beats that end up kind of being hypnotic at a point, a slow build, parts that are kind of dark. A lot of their stuff is like that. And the members of Pleasures are great. Real easy-going.
TVW: And so … you’re the only one playing music tonight, right? And you have some guy who does — i don’t want to say it wrong, but like, lighting displays?
MBTHG: Yeah, he does projections on an old school projector. It’s like a liquid light show.
TVW: And he’s considered a member of the band.
MBTHG: Yeah, MBTHG started as musical endeavor of mine, like a solo project or whatever. But uh, Evan started doing these projections like they did back in the 60s and was really good at it. [He] started playing with me and some other people around town. We just kept playing shows and he just kept coming with me.
TVW: One thing I got from your music and you said earlier was “hypnotic,” and I think that’s where you and Pleasures meet. It’s about putting the person listening into a certain mindset. So like, what is that mindset? What is that kind of the mood you’re trying to get them into?
MBTHG: That’s a good one. I mean, not any one specific one. Just like, good vibes hopefully. Let’s dance, let’s party.
TVW: But it’s dark. So you want people to dance and cry at the same time?
MBTHG: [laughs] Maybe, yeah. Just like lose their shit completely. I think moreso have fun, but hopefully they’ll catch that it’s an outlet for me. There’s a lot of pain and sorrow at times.
TVW: There’s one song off the album that I was listening to on the way here called “Stuff My Feelings In A Couch” I’m not getting the name right —
MBTHG: “Shove My feelings in the Couch”
TVW: “SHOVE My Feelings” and I like that. I had never heard that before. What does that mean to you and where does that feeling come from?
MBTHG: Man, that song is one of the older songs I wrote as MBTHG. When I write, I basically have melodies formed before lyrics and I oftentimes just start babbling even, you know, just see what happens. I was doing some rough demos and just kind of said that, or something like it and wrote from it. Just, whatever those vowels were wanted to happen.
TVW: And what does that exactly mean to you?
MBTHG: Just like, surpressing things. And kind of how much time we do all spend on the couch being lazy and depressed, or not motivated.
TVW: The last thing, I guess — and I’ve just had this on my mind and it doesn’t really make since with the rest of what we’ve been talking about — but I went to the Kanye West Madison Square Garden today. He showed that in a movie theater where he played his album for the first time. Do you care about that at all? What are your feelings towards him?
MBTHG: I love Kanye as an artist. And I love his music. I think he’s fuckin’ delusional. But I love what he does, for the most part.
TVW: What do you like the most?
MBTHG: I mean, Yeezus was rad. I just like that he changes it up. He’s not afraid to try some different shit. … I’ve had some fun moments googling Kanye quotes.
I’m, more now than ever, very influenced by hip hop.
TVW: What about it?
MBTHG: I love beats. I love the energy. Sometimes I feel like it’s more punk rock, or the most punk rock thing right now which I definitely have roots in. Kendrick Lamar. I think he’s the shit?
TVW: To Pimp A Butterfly?
MBTHG: And good kid, m.A.A.d. city!
TVW: Hell yeah!