Interviews: Ghosts Of Sunset

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Rock band, Ghosts Of Sunset, from the USA. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you planned it or came out just like that?

We chose Ghosts of Sunset as an homage to the music that inspired us to form the band. The 1980s Sunset Strip hard rock scene was a common influence Todd Long and I shared and a style of music we both loved. But for us, the artists we’re recognizing go back to the 1960s Sunset Scene with acts like the Doors, Buffalo Springfield, the Byrds, and runs through the 1980s “hair metal” scene too. We collectively love all sorts of music, but Ghosts of Sunset was formed as a hard rock band with its primary roots in the 1980s hard rock movement.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

The rock n roll that we grew up on found a balance between top- notch, hook-laden song writing and dynamic, engaging, live shows. When tastes began to change in the early 90s a lot of us struggled with it because we had been raised to believe you deliver everything you’ve got to the live experience. You pull people in, connect with them. When bands began to almost ignore the audience we certainly felt confused for a moment. Make no mistake, the “grunge” scene produced amazing artists both recorded and live concert, but we came from a world where live music was a collective release and shared experience.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

Todd Long and myself have been making music together across various genres for over 30 years. We’ve playing, written and recorded everything from classic country, rockabilly, pop-punk, singer-songwriter, alternative country, and more. Ghosts of Sunset was our chance to really explore our roots and give some classics sounds a modern twist.

4. Each band member favourite band?

Way too many to list and probably changes by day! I will mention that 1980s hard rock scene again and also point to classic artists as varied as Elvis, Chuck Berry, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones to Faster Pussycat, Warrant, Ratt, Motley Crue,, LA Guns and Poison.

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

When you boil down almost any artistic expression, it’s about human experience. Our EP “Headed West” which will be released on Golden Robot Records later this year examines the 1980s “hair metal” movement and just what level of guts and determination it took to leave your hometown and strike out to Los Angeles to “make it”. Sure, the clothes and haircuts may seem a bit dated, but the fact that men and women left all the comfort and safety of home behind to start anew in a geographic location that was busting at the seams with talent really speaks to a belief in one’s music and self that cannot be denied.

6. Where was your last gig?

Todd and I both perform as solo/acoustic artists and as sidemen in various bands. Ghosts of Sunset is in the process of solidifying a live line-up to play select dates once our industry recovers or a least resumes post Covid-19

7. Where would you like to perform?

We’ve been blessed to perform all over the country in our musical careers, but Ghosts of Sunset have a few events and venues that are on our “short list”. The M3 festival, the Monsters of Rock Cruise, and of course some European dates would be phenomenal. Truly though, we’ll play anywhere there’s an audience as connected to this music as we are.

8. Whom would you like to perform with?

So many. Ghosts of Sunset would pair nicely with any of our influences who are still touring and performing or other like-minded bands. It really doesn’t matter to us. We’re looking to bring the live experience we grew up on to audiences who have been missing it. A live show should be part gospel celebration, part physical activity, part therapy, and part tribal movement. We’ll always bring that mentality no matter who we’re paired with.

9. Whom not?

Very few. It’s going to be the same Ghosts of Sunset regardless of the other acts or venue so whomever that is doesn’t factor in much. I guess we wouldn’t want to spend extended time with any artists who don’t understand what we’re doing or where we come from. But really, as long as there’s a spot to plug in, we’ll handle the stage in the way we were brought up and trained by our influences to handle it.

10. Any of you has ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that?

Any sort of artistic performance or sharing of artistic expression always carries that “they’re all going to laugh at me” second-guessing. To be able to tap into the emotions required to connect with other humans you have to be vulnerable. With that level of emotional openness comes a certain level of doubt. If you’re not at least a little nervous you’re not planning on pushing yourself or tapping into some sort of personal experience to share. For me, the way to beat that is to always go back to the fact I was CALLED to do this. Just like I imagine a minister is called to preach the word. This is my gospel and I was divinely selected to share it. That puts me at ease. THIS is what I was built to do.

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

Again, all the aforementioned artists as well as anything that connected with us emotionally. We’re song people. We’re driven as artists by strong melodies, hooks and storylines. It can be “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen or “Cherry Pie” by Warrant. As long as the song guides me to where it wants to go, I’m in. 

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

Clothes have always been popular. Shirts, jewellery, boots. You’d give the people who love and support you anything you could, but there are times all you can think is “man, I looked a long time for this necklace”.

13. What do you think of your fans?

Obviously, people who connect with our music have some sort of connection to the music that influenced us. So instantly we have common ground and a basis for a shared moment or exchange. What could be better than that? I can’t count the times someone has said “man, you should check THIS band out” and often you end up with a new thing in your life to bring you joy. That’s a GIFT. What more do you want from being a human being. If more people tried to share things that have brought them true JOY, the world would be better for it I think. 

14. What do you think of our site?

It’s great! I like the ability to navigate by genre too. It allows me to explore some styles that are far out of my wheelhouse (like Grindcore, or Shoegaze) and maybe discover something that moves me and thus pushes my own creative process out of its comfort zone.

15. Something to add?

Nothing other than our sincerest thanks for speaking with us, sharing our music, and allowing us to continue developing and spreading our music throughout the world. We’ve been blessed with a great record label in Golden Robot Records, amazing management with Samurai Artist Management, and a solid fan-base of like-minded people who continue to love music the same way we do. We appreciate everyone so much.

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