Interview: Don't Believe in Ghosts
How did you come up with the name “Don’t Believe in Ghosts” for your band and what does it mean to you?
The band name is really about not giving energy to the ghosts of your past… I had recently left a band I was in for a while and in doing so I was stepping away from a big part of my life. In order to really free myself mentally to do whatever I wanted, I really had to put aside that voice in your head that thinks twice fearing it will be judged. In any phase of life, it’s always good to stay focused on what you want and feel free to explore new ideas without the burden of expectations of others or the fears of what they may think.
Tell us about your latest single and video for “This Is Paradise.” What’s the story behind the song?
I was imagining us playing a big festival and I thought… ok how would we open the show? Then the main riff came to mind!
What got you guys into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
For me it was Beethoven’s 5th Symphony… I was in Ms. Arcus’s kindergarten class when I first heard it playing and I immediately walked to the record player and stared in awe that I was hearing something that resonated so strongly with how I felt inside. Music is always a part of who we are no matter what else we may explore on the side. In fact, the more you learn about other things and try other things the more you have to bring back to the music.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Learning about astronomy, science… making TV shows, music videos, I have many other creative outlets and they each feed each other.
You are based out of NYC, how does that influence your music?
I imagine it keeps our goals lofty yet keeps our expectations in check, ha ha.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
The first time we headlined Bowery Ballroom in NYC. We of course weren’t sure who would show up, we hoped they would, but who knew. Sitting backstage we heard the show had sold out… this was an amazing feeling, but you of course keep expectations in line and assume half the place is there for the openers… as we walked out on stage and the room continued to fill up… it was one of the most incredible moments.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
It’s really about who were playing for or with… if there is an enthusiastic crowd who’s ready to vibe with us, we’re all about it. We’ve played some amazing places for sure… when you play a venue with great staff who really wants a great show, that’s everything as well!
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
I’d love to play with AWOLNATION, I’d love to play Lollapaloooza when Jane’s Addiction is playing… I’d love Prince to be back and to open for him… just other worldly stuff like that.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Well for my younger self… I was just listening to tons of old demos recently that I made as a kid, and they were GREAT! But if I just had a compressor for my vocals, they would have been better ha ha. So, I’d tell myself to get a compressor. The best advice I can give is listen to everything, compare yourself to no one… every single journey should be unique, do not beat yourself up if your journey is different than your favorite artist. Pave your own path and MOST IMPORTANTLY… play with people you have fun making music with, have fun with it all. The more fun you’re having, the more success you’re having.
Of all your songs, which one means the most to you and why?
They all take me to places… but there’s a song on our album “Solutions” that I wrote about my brother Robert who died of COVID in 2020… the song “Upside Down” plays with something he always used to joke with me about… he loved pointing out that he was the older brother and that I’ll always be the younger brother. Sadly after he passed, it really hurt to realize that one day I’d be older than he ever was.
Which songs are your favorite to play?
Like most bands it’s all about playing the newest stuff you’re working on… but when we play songs like “Living Like This” or “Put Your Head Back” you can feel a room shape shift. They are special and literally can take over any room. That’s a lot of fun.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Just being silly, getting in a good space, then landing in that super flow mode and seeing where things lead. Once we get in that space, we write absolute golden moments.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Really Don’t Believe In Ghosts is about positivity and inspiring ourselves. There’s probably not a song we have that doesn’t have a positive message or spin on it.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
We try and keep it fun… we very rarely have disagreements and when we do we just try and find a solution and move on. If it gets too heavy, It’s not worth it.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We have a new album of material that is in the works right now. We’re so excited about these songs!! We’re also looking at getting back out there with some more shows! We’re recently featured in the new Jared Leto show We Crashed and on the soundtrack… we’re certainly hoping to do more of that as well!
Stream “This is Paradise”- ffm.to/dbig