Interview with Ghosts of Sunset
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
A couple things. My dad was a musician so that planted the bug. The Beatles are what tied it all together and made me willing to work for it. I used to want to be an over the road truck driver. I think growing up in the 1970s with Convoy and Smokey and the Bandit didn’t help. My father’s day job was driving truck. Boys wanna be their dads when they’re little I guess.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
I enjoy running and spending time with my family. I think having a little balance can provide perspective on everything. Truth be told, I’m pretty much 24-7 music, music, music. If I’m not making it, I’m listening to it, reading about it, watching it, and dreaming about it. It’s the second most important thing in my life behind my wife and son.
How long has your band been around?
We’ve been writing and recording as Ghosts of Sunset since 2018 or so? My partner Todd and I have been friends and making music together since high school Over 30 years now.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I’m in Michigan. There is definitely a “Midwestern/Motor City” attitude at play. I guess it’s just the willingness to “get out and push”.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
It’s a tribute to the “hair metal” bands we grew up on, and an homage to classic artist who made their names on the Sunset Strip such as Buffalo Springfield, the Doors, the Byrds, etc…
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Well, Todd and I used to play a fair amount of biker type events. Once there was a wet t-shirt contest for the ladies and a “wet shorts” type of thing for the fellas. Todd and I are on a break in the bands RV and Todd looks out the window and says to me, “some guys is wrapping his member around your mic stand”. Not enough hand sanitizer in the world to deal with that.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
If there’s electricity, it doesn’t matter to me. If there’s not, I’ll bring an acoustic.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
That’s too hard. Living or dead? What genre? I mean from Tom Petty to the Beatles to Def Leppard to Enuff Znuff to Waylon Jennings, to Duran Duran. An odd festival to say the least!
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?
I would tell younger folks to do it if you love it. If you’re just goofing around, still do it, but it’s gonna be different. To my younger self I would say, “put the bottle down and enjoy this stuff, you’ll want to remember it all when you’re older”.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
“See above”. I’m a recovering alcoholic. A lot of it is a blur. I had some GREAT times, but a lot of it I can’t remember and a lot of it was harder than it had to be due to how I was living.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
I love ‘em all.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Ghosts of Sunset exists at this time as a writing/recording entity.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Todd and I will start with a “riff” or musical idea and build the music bed as what we call a “skeleton”. As that’s happening, I’ll start with words, storyline, and melodies and Todd will help guide me in the right direction. He’s got an amazing ear for melody and hooks.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Just human stories. Winners, losers, and folks that get up when they’re knocked down and somehow find a way.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Todd and I don’t’ have a TON of tension, but when it arises, we TRY to deal with it like grown men. I’m still learning healthy boundaries and I’m a recovering “people pleaser”. I have to make adjustments on the fly a lot because I’m still working on healing.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
We’re still promoting our album “Breathe” on Deko Entertainment, our latest single “Afterthought” and prepping the next single release.