A Q&A with Ghosts of Sunset
Rock ‘n’ roll via Michigan and Alaska – here’s John and Todd from Ghosts of Sunset…
How did you get the title of your latest release, and what does it mean to you?
John: The title ‘Never Goodbye’ came from a saying I heard years ago. “You never say goodbye, only goodnight”. I think it’s attributed to Anne Rice.
What was the hardest part about putting this release together, and why?
John: Time is always an issue. Finding the time to put the work in when other aspects of adult life keep getting in the way. It would be great to move into a house in the south of France like the Stones did, but someone has to get my son to soccer practice.
Todd: We started this recording while I still lived in Michigan, but my family had to move to Alaska for work. Thankfully, the internet made it a tad easier to do this, but there is nothing like being in a room together writing.
What do enjoy most about producing your own material?
John: Todd and I produced it. We’ve been doing this for over 30 years, so we really don’t need a producer per se, but we do like to bounce ideas off people we respect. Adam Hamilton (TUFF, LA Guns, others) was a great asset to us. The reason we left mixing to him is because it’s tough to make decisions when you’re so close to the material AND you played on it.
Todd: You have to trust other people with your music. John and I are just too close to the songs.
What do you want the listener to take away from listening to your music?
John: Our goal is always connecting with other humans who love this style of music as much as we do. In essence, we’re just sharing songs we dig with people we think will like them too. It’s the same thing we do when we like material of other artists. We want people to know about something that brought us joy in the hopes it will do the same for them.
Todd: Hoping it brings others the same feelings as it did to John and me.
How does a track normally come together? Can you tell us something about the process?
John: Usually, it starts with a riff or musical idea. Todd and I then “rough out” the chords and progressions. Once that’s in place, I would create a storyline, characters, and give the song a voice. Next, we fine tune the music and the lyrics to re-enforce whatever emotional response we’re looking to illicit from the listener. Every piece of the puzzle serves to further the story we’re trying to tell.
Todd: Ideas come at the weirdest times. Lyrics or musical ideas just seem to randomly pop into our heads. Don’t even need to have an instrument in hand.
What band/artists have influenced you the most since you started this project, and why?
John: Our EP ‘Headed West’ is a concept project that tells the story of a fictional band in the 1980s that moves to Los Angeles California from a Midwestern town to “make it”.
Todd: There are a lot of bands that we love separately and together. We love everything from The Beatles to Oasis to Bon Jovi.
When the world is back to normal where would like to tour, and why?
John: Anywhere there’s power! We’re looking forward to delivering these songs face to face and sharing true moments with other human beings and music fans. It’s really what it’s all about.
Todd: As most, I’m sure, we just want to play!
If you could pick one track for our readers to listen to in order to get a taste of your music, what would you pick, and why?
John: I think the single ‘Never Goodbye’ or the previous single ‘“Miles In-Between’ will give anyone a good example of how we’ve taken that 1980s “hair metal” scene and synthesized it into all the other influences we’ve acquired over a 30+ year career in music.
Todd: I feel the same way as John! It was our first song written for the EP. Just hits the spot!
What ambitions do you have for the band/your career?
John: Ultimately to provide safe, happy, and content lives for our families and to keep sharing with others. We’d love to write for other artists, too.
Todd: We had no expectations going into this project. We feel lucky to be able to do this. Hope to keep writing and recording.
Finally, as you leave the stage, what are your parting words?
John: “Goodnight” (we never say Goodbye) …
Todd: That’s perfect, John!
For more info visit: facebook.com/ghostsofsunset