North of Manhattan there is the Bronx, a place more known for Hip Hop than Rock and Roll. But still this is where Bronx based Ghost King are trying to thrive and thriving they are.
3rd: Hi guys, you're from NYC! Specifically, The Bronx. What are the latest happenings in the big apple?
Ghost King: Well its been really hot everyday and there’s no where to go swimming around the Bronx. We’re playing a show at Aviv in Brooklyn this Thursday August 13th . We’re pretty stoked. Also Thee Oh Sees are playing in September, I'm really excited to have my ear drums destroyed.
3rd: Who are Ghost King? Did you play in different bands before?
GK: Ghost King is Lee Hayden on Bass, Tom D’agustino on Drums, and I'm Carter McNeil, I sing and play guitar. I had been playing drums in a band called Active Bird Community with Tom. I was also playing for a band called Spires for a while. I had been trying to sing and write songs since I first picked up a guitar back in high school, but was never all that good. Eventually I wrote Funny Things and thought, “hey, this song actually sounds like a song”! I wrote Ghost In Love a couple hours later and decided I needed to start a band. Tom has always been able to play drums some how and we were roommates at that time so he was a fairly obvious member. I had met Lee through Tom and heard he played guitar, so I figured he could play bass. We had our first practice and BOOM! Ghost King was born…
3rd: Sounds like a match made in heaven! Could you describe Ghost King's sound in one sentence?
GK: Ghost King sounds like a spooky old children’s Cartoon.
"We just want everyone to hear our music and know who we are"
3rd: Winters Air refers to the Bronx where you guys are living. How's the indie rock and roll scene there?
GK: There is a very small music scene in the Bronx. We live near Fordham University so during the school year we play house shows with some of the other local bands. But most bands in the area try and play out in Manhattan and Brooklyn as much as possible. We, and some friends of ours actually tried starting a venue at this really cool old ballroom down the street but it got shut down. No one wants us to have any fun! Luckily we got to practice there for a bit while it was around.
3rd: So the first album is out, and we love it. I can hear a Deerhunter influence. Am I right?
GK: Halcyon Digest by Deerhunter was actually the album that really started my obsession with music when I was living in Texas. It takes you to such a unique place. While writing the album I was trying to listen to as much music as possible, and not restrict my self. I like everything from Bobby Darin and The Mills Brothers, to Thee Oh Sees and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. BONES is a reflection of the past year of my life. Most of the songs are about love, heartbreak and isolation. Some more complicated than others. Every word is very personal to me. During the winter I would work every morning, come home, and try to write songs in my room until I passed out. Sometimes I would go out to get coffee. The whole album was recorded in 3 days at Salvation Recording Co. In New Paltz, NY, with Chris Daley. Leech was recorded by myself on garageband!
3rd: Garage Band! That's amazing because it is one of our favourite songs on the LP. Being in a new band, how does NYC effect your music, and how easy was it for you to find your place in the scene?
GK: Well we’re still a very new band, this album was our first release and we only started venturing out into the city to play shows very recently. We belong to a small community in the Bronx and have very supportive friends. But we’re still trying to find our place. No one really knows who we are yet, hopefully that will change soon.
3rd: Let's quickly talk about your first album again. If I've understood correctly, you're self-releasing it? No record label coming knocking at the door?
GK: A label would be nice but there haven’t been any offers made. We were going to wait on putting out the album but we decided it would be best not to hide out any longer. We just want everyone to hear our music and know who we are. We’re going to be releasing several music videos over the next couple months. Maybe a label will come along later on.
3rd: We are certain they will. Imagine we're coming to the Bronx for a night out, where would you guys take us?
GK: We’d take you to The Blue Goose. Everyone there is really sweaty and they have the finest selection of watery beer that you get in a little baby plastic cup.