Ephemerals’ Hillman Mondegreen on Growth, Ghosts and More
When a band consists of names as wild as Wolf and as common as James and Adam, you know you’re in for a unique experience. That’s just what Ephemerals have brought with their old meets new approach to soul and that’s what their guitarist and songwriter Hillman Mondegreen likes about his band. A man who came together with his mates thanks to a love of music, who admits he’s a bit of a hippie after being near death, knows that the most attractive quality is “harnessing the being of the universe and processing it in your heart” and isn’t afraid to admit that he’s shed a tear or two lately.
“You’ll Never See Me Cry”
A band with a lot of soul, their latest album Chasin Ghosts was born after a couple of years of hard work. Mondegreen noted about the process and time it took, “Most of the time was spent working at my job, hanging with friends, touring, and making other records. I write 30 songs a year and about one and a half albums get produced, which means that there’s not much that gets left behind. I make a million drafts of songs, and maybe 60 verse chorus efforts, but if a song isn’t good it doesn’t make it to the final stage. We don’t have money to record bullshit. I’ll recycle the one bit of a failed attempt that I really like at a later date anyway so it’s good to not be precious about something you’ve worked hard on that just isn’t going to work in that guise.”
Despite Wolf falling ill during recording and having to do his parts another day, the band pushed forward and really felt a sense of growth with Chasin Ghosts. Touching on his own personal hurdles and how it came out in the writing and recording he said, “I beat a decade of depression around the time I was writing the album, which allowed me to look back at how I used to feel and write about it. I was surprised at how bewildered a lot of the boys were with the recording process. They didn’t quite get it in my opinion and it made the sessions more difficult than I’d hoped. They know how I do things and I was expecting them to be a little more studious about it to be honest. Luckily for them, they survive on their exceptional attitude to life and the application of their talent on the fly. It’s all about personality when you make records live to tape without rehearsals. That’s what I hear from us. We’re can do-ers.”
These self-proclaimed “can do-ers” are all over the soul scene in their native London thanks to their new meets old school sound. New based on lyrics about everything from Tinder to Tamir Rice to a sound that reminds fans of where soul spawned from. When asked about how they fare in the music realm he admitted, “ I think we will have limited commercial success with this album because it is called a soul album. I think if our first record was guitar indie music and then the second was exactly Chasin Ghosts, then everyone would find it amazing in the mainstream culture.”
As this year comes to an end and we look forward to the next, Mondegreen says he’s been told they have some dates in the works, but nothing set in stone as far as hitting the US. That’s where a lot of their Spotify love comes from, so it’s only a matter of time. So we’ll all have to stay tuned for what’s to come from London’s Ephemerals.