Joy Shannon recently caught up with a member of the Swedish metal band Ghost on their current tour to discuss the layers of meanings behind their conceptual music and the challenges of remaining anonymous as a band growing in fame. Joy is in the middle of recording her next Beauty Marks album, so this interview hit home in some significant and inspiring ways. Ghost’s use of Catholic religious iconography and discussion of the historic dynamics of Western gender roles through means such as witch hunting, impacted Joy in some meaningful ways:

“Interestingly, after the interview, I came away understanding more about myself, realizing that it was my eight to twelve-year old inner self who initially fell in love with the band’s music. I was raised in an Irish Catholic and Protestant home which proliferated religious abuse through negative superstitious belief systems. As a child, I rejected these beliefs by becoming the black-wearing, metal and goth-music listening kid, who refused to be baptized at eight years-old, researched medieval torture methods and historic figures like Elizabeth Báthory and formed my first band at twelve called the Virgin Marys just to be purposely sacrilegious. Even nearly twenty years later, my current band Joy Shannon and the Beauty Marks still holds a reference to this defiance against historic religious abuse of women, referencing the birth mark that could condemn a woman to being executed as a witch during the centuries of witch hunting.”

Read the full article and interview here.

Photos by Eric Stoner (www.ericstonerphotography.com)

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