Masaki Batoh of Ghost talks about his Syd Barrett cover

Some extracts from a Fred Mills interview with Masaki Batoh, Ghost leader, for Magnet Magazine.
Ghost published "Hypnotic Underworld", maybe one of the best (psychedelic) 2004 albums, which contains a Syd Barrett cover.


Magnet: Do you like cover songs? You've done in the past the Stones' "Live With Me" and Pearls Before Swine's "Images Of April" and now Syd Barrett and Earth & Fire.

Batoh: Cover tunes do not have important meaning at all, though, of course, we love them and respect their artists. That's why we know there's no meaning to copy them the same as they are. Tunes were created perfectly already in the past. We just take them like mirrors to show ourselves in different ways. We love to turn you on by our own method: destructive construction.

Talking about "Dominoes", one day I wrote a beautiful instrumental with gloomy open chords by acoustic guitar. (I write all the tunes with my acoustic guitar.) I tried to put many lyrics to be in harmony [with the music] but could not. Finally I remembered the lyrics of Syd Barrett's "Dominoes" that were gloomy-colored. That perfectly matched my instrumental tunes. That was sad but warm, dark but bright, hollow but fulfilled. As a result there was no other good lyrics except "Dominoes". I love his original version, but believe my instrumental suits it much more!

Earth & Fire was my favorite group in my school days. Originally I wrote this [arrangement of] "Hazy Paradise" for Damon & Naomi in 1999. I thought if Naomi sung this tune it might be truly lovely. Unfortunately this tune was not recorded by them. Later, I discovered this in my demo tapes and have done it by myself.