Interview: Ghosts Of Eden

If you’re a regular follower of EspyRock it is very likely you would have been introduced to Ghosts Of Eden; a hard rocking four piece from Staten Island, New York. After working with EspyRock on a successful feature and signed giveaway of their debut EP they have returned, haunting me, to answer some questions and give us some more details about the band.

If you have yet to check out the band’s debut EP, be sure to right below and grab yourself two free downloads right here from EspyRock before reading on. You can also find the band at any of the following links – MySpace | ReverbNation | Facebook | Twitter

Free Downloads: Heartbreak Crutch – Download | Eliot Ness – Download
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For those who are not familiar with the band, can you give us a little back story as to where each member comes from and how you all know one another?

Tom: Sure. I met Rich through his girlfriend Jamie who I had been friends with for a while. Rich and Dean, our previous drummer and co-founding member, were friends for a long time played in a few metal bands together. My old band just broke up but I kept writing and recording new songs. Rich heard a few demos of mine through Jamie and asked me to jam with them on this new project they were working on. It was really just the 3 of us for about a year, starting in 2007, recording demos which were way different than the style of music we’re doing now. They were basically all acoustic but pretty dark sounding. Think soft Brand New meets Metallica if that’s possible. We didn’t really have a goal in mind. It was just 3 friends making music, but we always knew there was something bigger there.

Then we kind of just stopped playing for a few months, but when we started it up again we decided we needed a full band. Our first bass player didn’t really work out due to other obligations so Dean asked his old friend Miles to just help us out for a while because he was in another band.  We eventually brainwashed him into joining us full time. Stealing him was our plan from the start but he didn’t know this. I guess I just spilled the beans. Fast forward to mid 2009 after another short hiatus and for reasons that were out of our hands, we were in need of a new drummer. Losing Dean was hard for all of us because without him there probably would have never been a GOE, but we knew we had something very special and had to keep going. Miles had been friends with Ben for a long time and asked him to help us out for a while. Eventually, we just charmed him with the same super powers that sucked Miles in and the rest is history. Ben has been an amazing addition to GOE and things have only just begun for us.

How did the band get the name Ghosts Of Eden?

Tom: Well not many people know this but our original name was The Ghost is Lost. That was kind of wordy and I guess we were looking for something different but we really liked the whole “Ghost” theme. The studio we rehearsed in at the time was called From Eden Studios and there was always a strong and powerful vibe there, almost eerie. It felt like there were ghosts in From Eden Studios. Hence, Ghosts of Eden were born!  We later found out that there is a book with same name but this is a complete coincidence.

Prior to Ghosts Of Eden you all had been performing with hardcore punk/metal bands so how did it come to forming with the new sound which is now Ghosts Of Eden?

Miles: It just came naturally. We all got together and started to jam. There was no plan on making this sound the way it does. It just happened.
Ben: I personally have been playing in the hardcore punk/metal scene for more than a decade. I actually still do to this day on the side. I also play guitar in a hard rock band called No Change for Machines. It is a different kind of feeling to play with GOE. I love the type of response we get from our fans:  from my first show with the guys to the more recent ones. I loved the band’s sound when Miles first let me hear their demo tracks. I saw an enormous amount of potential and saw these guys want to go all the way with this so when I was asked to be a part of it I was honored, and I hope to do more great things with them.

What was it that made you take the new direction in your music?

Miles: I personally was seeking a new, cleaner sound where every instrument can be heard. The bass tends to get drowned out in metal. With Ghosts, it’s easier to pick out and listen to each instrument.
Rich: For me, playing metal was fun but I was missing something…something that challenged me as an artist and as a musician. So I sought it out and here we are.

When you made the decision to take the new direction with your music, how easy was it to sit and write music and lyrics coming from a heavier background?

Tom:  I think at first there were definitely some challenges. I don’t think we realized what we should or want to sound like. We definitely tried a little too hard with some early songs to be different but eventually things just clicked and we really discovered that sound we were looking for and we eventually just started spitting out song after song. My background for the most part is less hardcore than the other guys, but I did grow up listening to lots of thrash metal like Metallica and Megadeth. Another thing we all shared in common though were bands like Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, etc. I think that was a sound that we all missed and wanted to not necessarily copy, but definitely pay tribute to. I think having lots of the same tastes, while also having our own individual favorite bands, is what makes us have a unique sound though. We all complement each other very well.
Miles: I definitely use some of my Jimi Hendix, Stevie Ray Vaughan blues- type influences for GOE.
Ben: It was interesting to take a different direction from what I was currently playing. I was originally a drummer before playing guitar and I have been in multiple bands where the style was a similar tone to GOE. It worked in my favor because I was always a rock drummer and the style fits me perfectly. I do sometimes give the music a harder edge as it’s in the roots either way but we all make it work.

Ghosts Of EdenDo you feel that prior to Ghosts Of Eden to this moment right now, musically, that your styles, performing and writing have evolved over the years to this or was it simply the challenge to try something new when you all planned ahead?

Tom: I know for myself that it has completely evolved without even trying. I think just being a part of this band has not only made me a better musician, but it has challenged me in ways I really can’t explain in words. You learn to absorb other people’s influences and blend them with your own.
Miles: I reinvented my style naturally just by playing over and over again with these guys. I never consider any of my bass lines finished until everyone else is completely finished with their lines. I like to pull the emotion and feel of everyone into my bass lines.

Naturally when writing music for any band, their influences are a key part so which bands influence the members of the band with a diverse background and tastes?

Tom:  Stone Temple Pilots, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Pixies, Soundgarden, Smashing Pumpkins, Metallica, The Replacements, The Cure, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Foo Fighters, Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails, Brand New, etc.
Miles: Alice in Chains, Metallica, Jimi Hendrix, Pearl Jam, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Volbeat, Black Label Society, Pantera, Down, Soundgarden, COC, Megadeath, Black Sabbath, The Cult, Life of Agony, The Who
Ben: Incubus, Buckethead, Dream Theatre, Phil Collins, Genesis, movie and video game scores, video game music, Self Made Soul, Stabbing Westward, Fail Emotions, Jamie’s Elsewhere, and much more.
Rich: Like the other guys, I was influenced by 90s Rock. I really love the way those musicians can write a kick ass rock song and then come out with a mellow acoustic song so I do that when I write.

When writing material for Ghosts Of Eden, who takes the lead for lyrics, music, structure etc?

Tom:  The great thing about this band is that everyone contributes to the songs in a big way. If you take one individual out, the song is not a GOE song. The songs all typically start with a guitar riff that Rich or I have come up with and then we all try to let it evolve from there.  I’ll usually make up melodies to whatever we’re doing and we’ll decide if it’s a vers e or a chorus and then we collectively arrange the song in its entirety until we feel that it’s where it should be. Typically that means playing it 1,000 times which can get crazy, but that also helps us with our live performances.  There really is no formula, but we tend to read each others’ minds very well. Sometimes a few of us will brainstorm at home and then bring extra ideas to the next rehearsal but most, if not all of the work is done during rehearsal. Lyrics come last and I usually do that on my own at home on my laptop or in my notebook with guitar in hand. I don’t think anyone ever formally assigned that job to me. It just kind of happened and I guess I’m alright at it. If I wasn’t, the guys would definitely let me know I sucked, which I appreciate. They have done it before haha.
Rich: Yes, we let him know all the time that he sucks.

You recorded your EP at Big Blue Meenie Studios where many well-known names have recorded but you went in without a producer. What was it like to take full control and produce the EP on your own?

Tom:  I think we went in there with the same purpose and goal, which was to make the most amazing record we could. We have been told that we can’t do it on our own and that a producer is essential and that every band needs someone to guide them but we’re very stubborn and that only motivated us more to do it on our own. We’re very confident in our ability to make music that not only upholds our integrity, but that is also marketable. It is an amazing feeling when you can really bring your ideas to life like we did with this record. It’s something we’re all very proud of and I am certain we will never forget what we went through to get it done.
Miles: I loved the creative freedom!  We always have so many ideas and its probably better off that we went to Big Blue because we had only so much time to record it.  We would have never finished adding and honing different ideas somewhere else.
Tom: Yeah, Big Blue likes to move fast and we loved that about them. They don’t want you to get stuck on one idea for too long because with over thinking, you can wind up butchering a song. Big Blue’s professionalism is definitely top notch and they have the gold and platinum records to prove it. We want to give them a shout out right now. Anyone in the UK looking to record in the states should definitely check them out!
Rich: They were awesome. We definitely would recommend bands to record there.  I mean they have Super Nintendo there for God’s sakes!!!

What can you tell me about the meanings of the songs on the EP?

Well we certainly don’t want to sound pretentious but we really do try to write songs in a way that they can be interpreted by all of our fans in their own way. We don’t want to dictate to our fans what our songs need to mean to them. With that said, here’s what these songs meant to us when we were writing them.

Heartbreak Crutch – This one was pretty literal. Many people use a broken heart as a crutch. They either use it as a crutch to not move on in their life or they use it as an excuse to do the wrong thing. I think that’s what we were trying to convey here.

Capsize – Lying gets you nowhere. Soon you’ll just capsize.

Eliot Ness – I think this is our only relationship themed song; it’s loosely based about a girl Tom dated. Lots of metaphors were used though so that they could be interpreted different ways by each listener.

Even Violence – We’re definitely not a political band and we don’t want to upset anyone with any views that we may have. With that said, I think this was just a “fly on the wall” view of how the world can be sometimes. I think there is a silver lining in there somewhere though because even though we have the power to destroy things and “tear up a life in an instant” we’re also the ones who can build things and put the pieces back together.

I have a few other demos that Tom sent me for the songs ‘Like A Gun’, ‘In Motion’ and ‘On To You’. The latter of those songs were in a recent set list that you posted on ReverbNation with another few songs such as ‘Unraveled’, ‘Innocent’ and ‘Sell My Skin’. For fans who haven’t heard these songs yet and the others you play live, how do they compare to the EP?

Tom: Wow! “Like A Gun!” That makes me laugh sometimes when I hear it. Not that it’s a bad song, but we’ve matured a lot since that song. That was one of the first. I don’t think we found our “sound” yet, but Miles is the star in that song. His bass soloing is nasty. “In Motion” is our crowd favorite at shows and probably one of the most fun songs to play live. “On to You” kind of started out as a joke. I was really trying to just rip off Bloc Party and Foo Fighters in one song. Now it’s a big crowd participation song and we really have fun with it at our shows. “Unraveled” is usually what we open our shows with because it really gets everyone moving right away. We always joke that “Unraveled” would be great in an episode of “True Blood” because there is a line in the chorus that goes “I’ll sink my teeth right into you.” Haha! “Innocent” and “Sell My Skin” are brand new songs that we are very proud of. “Sell My Skin” is a song that could easily be on the EP but I think “Innocent” is our first song where we really took some risks and some chances. We all feel that it’s very special and could be the song that gets us more exposure. It’s huge. Epic even. For the EP we picked 4 songs that blended very well together. These other songs could fit but I think the EP is full of simpler more straight forward rock songs, where these other new ones have some intricate stuff going on, while still trying to maintain catchy vocals and big guitar riffs that we’re known for. It was a challenge to try and do all of that in each of these new songs, but we think we did a good job. We’re very excited to get them all recorded. I’m pretty sure all of them will be on the next record.

Sell My Skin – Live

You’re working on some new songs ‘Dear Mary’, ‘Bradley’ and ‘Drive’. How are they coming along? Is there anything you can state as to what they will bring to the table or is it too early to say?

Tom:  It’s definitely too early to tell for sure since we just started writing them, but I think they are on the right track. “Dear Mary” is a very driving, catchy song. I think Rich’s lead guitars are going to make the song and get stuck in people’s heads. I think it’s “single” worthy if we ever get that far with it. “Bradley” is barely even a song yet, but it’s going to be about this kid that Miles grew up with. He basically was a musical genius who kind of just went MIA and let it all slip away. I found it pretty inspiring, and it’s definitely going to be a challenge for me to do his story justice lyrically.
Miles: “Drive (Dear Mary)” is supposed to be a quick catchy song that definitely makes me want to drive 120 mph on the highway!
Rich: Hey Miles, didn’t you just get pulled over for speeding trying to get the last show?

‘The Black’ is another new track which you recorded an acoustic video for. I have to ask why does Ben hide away the full video?

Tom:  Ben is in the video? Where?!?!?
Ben: That is a funny thing. I never meant to hide from the camera! HAHA! Actually I was trying to use an acoustic guitar as a drum and couldn’t find a good way to hold it and not play loud. I tend to be a comedian and it took its course. I will make sure to be present in the next video. Promise!

The Black

Would it be safe to say that an album is coming soon with the amount of material that you have?

Tom: We would love to make a full length some day, but I think our goal right now is to make another EP with all new songs. Probably 6 songs next time though. We hope that the full length will come with potential label interest. We just want our fans to hear our music for now.

Is there a rough date in mind of when you would like to release it or just a case of when its ready, it’s ready?

Tom: Well, ideally we’d love to put it out by the beginning of 2011. However, we really want to play shows and do whatever else we can to promote Ignorance & Lies as much as we can. Also, being that we fund the band solely on our own, we need to generate the funds to be able to put out another record with the same quality as Ignorance & Lies. I think the goal right now is to try and get into the studio in January 2011, and then hopefully put out the record sometime in the spring of 2011. I think we can definitely make that happen.

The band tours hard locally at the moment and you did mention to me that you played your first out of state show earlier in May. How has the turn out been at those shows for Ghosts Of Eden especially how was the reaction at your out of state show?

Ben: Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect because when I saw the bill, it was a lot of metal so I was a little concerned. From playing shows in the past with different genres, some people don’t like seeing that and walk away. I was blown away when we played because I was proven wrong. The crowd warmed up to us after the second song. By the last song, there were almost 100 people in front going crazy. It was an amazing feeling. It makes me want to play out of state more often.
Miles: We were not expecting much from the show but it turned out great! There were not too many people there until we got into the second song of our set and then a great crowd rolled in.

Of course each member has a steady day job until living the rock star dream becomes the reality so how hard is it for you at the moment to make time and work on the music and arranging shows?

Miles: It’s almost impossible but we are very driven to succeed so we do what we have to do to get things done.
Tom: In short: it’s a bitch!  Haha! We love doing this but it can be stressful. You are always looking for the next opportunity and the next show. We don’t have a manager so we do everything on our own. I’m sure it’s similar to being an actor. You’re always looking for an audition and for the right opportunity to get exposure. Luckily there are 4 of us and we’re all very committed. Running into obstacles has been kind of a pattern for us, but I think that’s what makes any success we have that much more satisfying at the end of the day.

Will the fans in the US be able to expect a tour even if it is restricted in the distance you can travel or will you remain more local until your name spreads further?

Miles: I would say yes, locally, but nothing too crazy considering we all have jobs and still need to fund the band on our own.
Ben: I think as a band we need to spend more time playing in our hometowns, but we’re still looking to get out further soon. We want to have a fan base that demands us to come to their hometowns. A local street team is in the works and we welcome anyone that wants to help us get the GOE music and name out there.
Tom: I agree with Ben 100%. However, if anyone in the UK wants to help us out too, that would be amazing. If we generate enough demand over there, who knows? Maybe we’ll book a small UK tour! The great thing is that the possibilities are endless right now.

How would you describe a Ghosts Of Eden live show. If you had this one opportunity to sell it, what would you say to them?

Tom: Pure adrenaline doused in sexual chocolate, with a side of gravy. We love gravy.
Miles: A sonic boom of music!

I suppose this would be the perfect slot to state your selling point of the EP to readers.

Miles: Genuine, catchy music that is somewhat complex, yet still a lot of fun to listen to.
Ben: First and foremost, we want to thank everyone for taking the time to check out this interview and supporting us in this amazing adventure. We will continue to bring you new songs, live performances and merchandise very soon, and hope to meet a lot of you on the road.
Tom:  I think if you love rock music, our album is truly worth a listen. There is something for everyone in each song. From catchy guitar riffs to catchy hooks, to lyrics and grooving rhythms, “Ignorance & Lies” is a record that we are extremely proud of and we wouldn’t want anyone listening to it if we weren’t confident that our fans could be proud of it too. Our fans are truly an extension of the GOE family, and we hope we can keep making this family bigger and bigger for as long as we can.

Ghosts Of EdenHow does it feel knowing that there is somewhat of a UK fan base now after the feature I ran and that people over here are interested in your music now?

Tom:  I think it’s amazing. It’s really flattering to hear that people from all over the world are connecting with our music.  For our UK fans reading this interview, we just want to thank you for your support! Hopefully we’ll get an opportunity to come out there in the near future and put on a show for you guys.

So what is next for the band? I have seen that you are starting to get radio slots and sessions so does that fuel you to want to create more and more?

Miles: We are going to focus on the music while doing whatever we can to get it out there. Hopefully we can get some record label attention so we can do this every day of our lives.

Has the band’s music attracted any labels or any deals from equipment etc. so that you know that your music is starting to make its mark or is that part of the next step to start driving forward and throw your name in front of their eyes?

Miles: We had a very small label contact us but it was unfortunately not the right opportunity for us. We are putting a press kit together as we speak. Other than that, we need to continue to broaden our fan base and do what we do best: play our hearts out!
Rich: We have a lot in the works and if we play our cards right, nothing is going to stop us.  There’s only one question left to answer…”Do you believe in Ghosts?”

Do you believe in ghosts?

Tom: Haha! Nice one Mike!  If we didn’t, I think we’d all be hypocrites.  We’re definitely all very spiritual in our own ways.

Please feel free to add anything.

Tom: First, we’d like to thank you Mike for really supporting this band of ours. We appreciate the on-going support and look forward to working with you more in the future. We also want to thank everyone for taking the time to read this and learn about our band and our music. Lots of bands say this because they have to, but we really do appreciate our fans. We’re music fans ourselves just like everybody else. We have bands who inspire us, who we admire and look up to and if we can be that for anybody, even in the smallest minute way, well, then that is something nobody can take away from us.

For all of our fans, in the US, UK and all over the world, you can find out more about us on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, ReverbNation, and iTunes (UK/US).

Rock on!

     

About Michael

Michael is the owner and creator of EspyRock. He is your general all round geek; sports fan; TV show fanatic. You can find him sharing his thoughts on his personal Twitter account. Contact Michael on Twitter or via Email.

3 Responses to “Interview: Ghosts Of Eden”

  1. BADASS!

  2. Love the band, your music & everything about you guys! I really learned a lot! Great interview!!!

  3. GOE is an amazing talented band.. i love the music and all of the guys.. thanks for the interview so we can get an inside look at you guys and where get your inspirtation from. YOU GUYS ROCK!!!!