FIVE QUESTIONS WITH... ROBERT SANDA
By Gary Wright
Robert Sanda, 34, is the vocalist and drummer of Des Moines' hardcore/punk/thrash band Ghostbusters. The band are set to perform on Sunday 16 August 2015, at Lefty's Live Music, 2307 University Ave, Des Moines.
Q: For those that aren't familiar with Ghostbusters' sound, how would you describe it to them?
GHOSTBUSTERS is a mosaic of everything HxC and live music should be to me. It sucks, it can be offensive, it's interesting but most of all entertaining. I wanted a band that's awesome to listen to and at the same time awesome to see live. I'm proud of the sound because it sounds like three dummies in a basement who don't have an ego about anything and are playing music that is below their capabilities. The Captain 3 Leg split was written before I even had dudes to play with because ALL of the riffs were ones I had written for Black Market Fetus and were rejected. Fetus had a very original but very specific sound and image... but I never did. GHOSTBUSTERS has influence and sound from across the spectrum of musical genres but seems to come together in a good (rotten) way; no matter what song you are listening to, you know it's GHOSTBUSTERS. The most important thing about playing live for us is to NOT be a sausage party on stage and being indecipherable from all of the other SUPER AWESOME bands. That's boring.
Q: How does Ghostbusters compare to your previous band, Black Market Fetus, which saw much success in the underground scene?
I THINK I answered that already. The main difference is not taking ourselves seriously. I think that's a huge part of why we are different than most bands. We also don't play many shows. I think with what we do there is a growing number of people who see us on a flier and want to come check out our nonsense again. I'm really trying to pump some fun back into the scene. It's still very fast like Fetus but more catchy... more soul. Really the awesome parts of Fetus for me without riding the coattails if you will.
Q: Back in June you played the Hell Over Iowa festival at the Val Air Ballroom, what was your experience like there?
It was awesome being able to play with such great bands. Especially Necrophagia (super nice guys). I provided one of my drum sets for back line equipment so it was cool seeing better drummers beat the shit out of that too. We smeared the stage and floor with fake blood and littered the place with dismembered body parts. There were a few bands that really stood out but it really reinforced my view of live bands lately; quite a few of them looked the same and just stood there. They were ALL great... but they were just so serious and "cool". Nailed Shut fuckin killed it. Rim Job was fucking awesome. Agrinex always brings it. But sometimes you just don't know who's playing because they are just like the other guys. I hope I'm not being disrespectful. The festival was awesome. But you asked my opinion, so its your fault if anyone gets mad at me.
Q: You have an album coming out soon, can you tell us a bit about that and when we can expect it?
I'm excited. I think punks, meddle heads and rockers will find something they like about it. Matt Mutt did an awesome job recording. It sounds like a dirty basement (because it is) but at the same time everything is decipherable. Edward Henry did the artwork and played INCREDIBLE guitar on it. Dustin [Creagan] played bass but took over on guitar after Ed moved to Portland. The album is note for note the most I've done musically on any recording I've ever made. For a second, I thought I'd be playing bass on it but Dustin (a young Fetus groupie) learned the parts (mostly) and saved the day. He is an incredible guitar player. Most songs are syfy, horror movie, ghost oriented. Lots of incredibly fast blast beats and amazing guitar work.
Q: Who are some of your favorite local bands right now?
Nancy Grace Death Squad (#1) they are really one of the last high energy HxC bands out there. They almost never play because I think they hate each other but, what an awesome band! Traffic Death is pretty awesome. Andrew [Smeltzer] and Nate [Phillips] from Fetus, Brian [Fetus] from Nancy Grace and Garan [Drozd] from Dark Mirror are the traffic jerks. Solid ass HxC. Agrinex is awesome but I'm starting to get burnt out on black metal. Nostramo... they remind me of The Melvins. I guess Dark Mirror is up there too (but who doesn't know that).
*** I'd like to thank Robert for taking the time to do this interview. ***
Haunted Infringement (Ghostbusters)
Captain Three Leg / Ghostbusters split 'Absurdus Returnus' (2014)