The Ghost Inside

The Ghost Inside’s Drummer Andrew Tkaczyk Credits Will Putney With Motivating Him To Actually Play On The Band’s New Album


Though they’ve yet to divulge much in the way of details for it, The Ghost Inside‘s forthcoming new album is already a triumph for them. Following years of recovery from a November 2015 bus crash that claimed the lives of both drivers and left most of the band with serious life-changing injuries, the path taken back to the stage and this forthcoming new album has been an incredible display of perseverance.

Perhaps the member of the band who personifies that grit the most is drummer Andrew Tkaczyk, who in the face of losing a leg to that accident, along with other complications, has pushed on and since returned to the stage with the band. Together with his father, he created a prosthetic device they called ‘The Hammer’ to aid him in getting back to that point.

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Despite the impressive gains he made, it would appear that his confidence in his abilities was still a bit rattled when the sessions came around for the band’s new album. While he had initially planned to program the drums for the record, producer Will Putney (Every Time I Die, Body Count) insisted that Tkaczyk get behind the kit.

Discussing that with the ‘BREWtally Speaking Podcast‘, Tkaczyk commented:

“So I haven’t really talked about this much either, but it’s pretty amazing when I look back on it.

When we first approached Will to do the record, we got on a conference call with him. We were telling him ‘we have some songs, blah blah blah, we wanna do this, we wanna continue writing and have you produce and this and that’ and I was like ‘yeah, I think to make the process go faster I just wanna program the drums’, and he’s like ‘no’.

He’s like ‘you should play the drums’, he’s like ‘it’s fine, we’ll make it work’.

I was like I know I could, but I know It would be very VERY difficult to be playing drums everyday for like 2 weeks, or a week or whatever. But he is the one who convinced and pushed me to actually play the drums on this record. Before….a year and a half ago, going into ‘OK we’re writing a record’ I was like ‘Ehh we’ll just program the drums, like, whatever.’

That was literally my mindset, and then he convinced me and pushed me to do it, which is an example of him digging in deep and getting involved with it and wanting to do it right, and I’m SO glad that he made me do it.

And I struggled a lot. It was very hard and it was a thing of… we had a few songs ready to go and then continued writing in May of last year and I was used to all these songs, but while we were writing. we were programming drums to write guitars and put vocals over.

So I knew how the songs went, but going down and playing them for the first time during tracking sessions. That’s hard if you’re able bodied, that can be difficult. And for me there was some times where I got very frustrated and I would get really mad. I’d be like ‘sorry’ and Will’s like ‘it’s fine’. Super calm about it. He put up with me, and worked with me through it. I’m just so glad I did that instead of the way originally my thought process was of programming.

I’m glad I didn’t do that, I’m glad that’s actually me playing.”

As for the challenges presented by relearning how to drum without the use of his right leg, he in part commented:

“I basically use the device (‘the hammer’) to mimic how I used to play as if a leg were there… My right limb—the one that’s missing—that’s still my dominant side, so I’m leading with the right limb and it’s just there to mimic how I’ve always played. And it was still like having to relearn how to play drums.

The muscle memory’s there, but executing it was an absolute mindfuck. Because there’s a latency, you don’t have an ankle control, you don’t have the same attacks. I had to, over time and practice and playing, figure out the timing of these latencies for when I strike the device.”

He later added:

“I haven’t fully got it down. I’m not perfect. I have a lot of work to do on that. And I’d like to continue to improve the device and figure out some things that could possibly help with that.”

The band have some limited live engagements booked for 2020, they include:

06/26 Gräfenhainichen, GER – Full Force Festival
07/04 London, UK – O2 Academy Brixton
07/11 Worcester, MA – The Palladium (tickets) may receive a commission from tickets purchased through the links in the above post.

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