THE guys of Love Ghost have been talking with me...
about their track, Nowhere, and its award-winning video; whether there is going to be new material coming along and how the band found one another – they select albums that are important to them and rising artists we need to watch.
I ask if they get time to relax away from music and whether they share musical tastes; the importance and role of L.A. in their music and what they have planned going forward - they select some cool songs to end the interview with.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Finn: My week has been the whole mix of emotions - good and bad, happy and sad; you name it. We have been getting ready for a show this Saturday at Casey’s Irish Pub - it is one of our favourite spots to play, so that’s good. I also had a friend that passed away over the weekend and that’s been difficult.
Mya: I have felt especially swamped by graduate school applications, essays; book contributions, meetings and, of course, performing. I am unsure whether I have actually gotten worse at adulating (sic), or whether my obligations have placed a peak level of demand on pre-existing adulting capabilities.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
We are Love Ghost. We play progressive, hard Grunge-Rock with Jazz elements and strings. Mya Greene plays viola, Finn Bell plays guitar and sings lead vocals; Ryan Stevens plays bass guitar and sings backup vocals and Samson Young plays drums and sings backup vocals. Our new album is called Lobotomy.
Nowhere is your new track. What is the story behind it?
Finn: Nowhere actually grew out of an argument I had with an ex-girlfriend. It sprung from that argument but, on a deeper level, it speaks to adolescent depression. Depression is something I have fought with for most of my life. We all jammed together to come up with the instrumentals.
Mya had initially composed a viola part, which involved mode-mixture in rhythmic unison with the guitar but Finn offered suggestions, which led to the catchy melody you hear on the recording. The song has initially been shorter, but a bridge was added. We have performed it extensively.
The video has won awards! How did it come to be and what was it like being involved?
Finn: My dad directed it. It was fun to be a part of the filmmaking process. Finding all the locations with him was a fun experience. My dad was really inspired by this Beatles movie, Across the Universe, by Julie Taymor and The Beatles concert on the roof. Those were the inspirations initially and I guess there is also a little Magical Mystery Tour in it - so it was sort of our ode to The Beatles.
Mya: Our manager Dan Bell has extensive filmmaking experience and came up with the idea to do a psychedelic-themed video featuring our performance of the song. To my knowledge, none of the band members really had too much input on the script for this particular video, though that is different for the other videos. We filmed the video on a rooftop in downtown Los Angeles.
The weather and food provided at the shoot were perfect and it was fun being shot by drones (pun intended) and with Go Pros attached to our instruments in unusual places. The person managing the location was over-the-top aggressive, but we all had a good laugh poking fun at him.
Might we see more material later in the year perhaps?
Absolutely. We will be recording a single next week and we have plans to record an E.P. when we return from Ireland.
How did Love Ghost find one another? Did you all meet in L.A.?
Finn and Mya are the two original members from the initial lineup. They met through parental connection in the film industry. Their parents suggested a jam session and it went well. Ryan had come to our shows and had a mutual connection with Finn and so was invited to join after the initial bassist left. We knew Samson through mutual attendance at a local music school. We all met in Los Angeles.
Do you share similar tastes? Who are you inspired by?
Finn: I would say, since we all come from different musical backgrounds, we don’t exactly have the same musical tastes but it lends to our unique sound and for that I am grateful. Me, personally; I love ’90s and early-2000s music. I am inspired by Alice in Chains, Smashing Pumpkins, Radiohead and Elliott Smith amongst others.
Mya is rather open to experiencing all genres, but was trained primarily as a musician in the western Classical tradition. We are inspired by an increasingly diverse array of genres and artists.
What do you hope to achieve by the end of 2018?
Finn: I would like to record the best single I possibly can; one that showcases all our abilities.
Mya: I hope that we produce a high-quality new single, solidify some of our new, yet-to-be performed material and attract a significant audience during the first days of our tour in Ireland.
Do you already have plans for 2019?
We will be doing the latter-half of our Ireland tour. We are going to go to Japan and play twelve shows in both Tokyo and Osaka.
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
Finn: That’s a really good question. There are a lot. Selling out our record release at the Bootleg and having four-hundred people chant “Love Ghost, Love Ghost” - that really moved me.
Mya: For me, I would say that it would have to be during this one outreach performance at an elementary school where children literally jumped out of their seats and tried to hug me. I played some excerpts from the Viola Concerto by Bela Bartok and the Cello Suite No. 3 by Johann Sebastian Bach. That was the most enthusiastic audience response I have ever witnessed with respect to any music that I performed.
That moment also supported the hypotheses that none of us are innately wired to only appreciate top-40 hits and that exposure helps form musical preference, which felt encouraging.
Which one album means the most to each of you would you say (and why)?
Finn: In Utero by Nirvana
Listening to that album is what really made me want to write music. In particular, Scentless Apprentice really captured my imagination.
Mya: I cannot really say. I pretty much never listen to whole albums and my favorite songs by different groups are usually a collection of songs and/or pieces scattered across albums.
Rayn: System of a Down - Mezmerize has some of the hardest bass lines ever. Love that album.
Samson: Buddy Miles - Them Changes made me want to be a drummer. Listen to it.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
We’d support Thom Yorke.
Our rider would be that the venue we are playing at has to give one meal to a homeless kid at the end of every show. That is definitely a cause for all of us. We have been organizing and feeding the homeless on skid row in Los Angeles this entire year.
Mya: ...and I want hot sauce with Carolina Reaper listed in the first five ingredients.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Finn: Stick with it. It’s the ones who have faced adversity and stuck with it that you know about today.
Mya: Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket; don’t underestimate the need for entrepreneurship and don’t major in music. I have been around too many musicians who appear to never make an effort to develop any other skills in addition to their musical discipline and then struggle to make ends meet when they cannot make their career take off. There are also many who do not understand the need to be promoted and wait for others to simply hand things to them. I had this mentality for a while.
Do you have tour dates coming up? Where can we catch you play?
We are playing six shows in Ireland coming up: Roisin Dubh, Galway 27th; Whelan's, Dublin 28th; Cleere's, Kilkenny 2nd Jan; ChezLeFab, Limerick 3rd Jan; Spirit Store, Dundalk 4th Jan; Crane Lane, Cork 5th Jan.
We will be playing twelve shows in Japan in March.
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
Finn: I don’t get much time to chill but, whenever I do, I usually eat ice cream and watch YouTube tutorials on black holes.
Mya: I do lots of things in addition to music. I am not sure I would use the word’chill’ to describe many of them. I unwind by Googling things; looking up videos of medical procedures which involve things oozing, looking at puppies; writing and lying in bed under piles of clothes with crumbs underneath them.
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Finnegan: Frame by Frame - King Crimson
Mya: Langes Haar by Die Vamummtn
Ryan: Flypaper by My Ticket Home
Samson: -Istoid by Chuan Tzu
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