We’re proud to present another artist profile this month.
Psychadelic, punk, and little folky at times…eclectic and full ranging and dynamic, meet Ghost King!!
For those of you who don’t know Ghost King or just realizing their existence, start listening. I still remember the first time that I saw Ghost King. It was August 13th, 2015 at AVIV (*raise a glass*) and they had this heady tone in their lyrics, grunge met with a folky storyteller and had a baby. Since then, I kept seeing Ghost King make their rounds and cut their teeth at great venues, Shea Stadium, Knitting Factory, Alphaville, and The Gateway.
They even played our first showcase back on January 20, 2015.
This past April marked the one year anniversary of the release of their debut album BONES…first, give it a listen:
An 11-song album, each song, one after the other is full of melancholic lyrics and jams. Psychedelic, grungy, grimy, fuzzy, yet polished rock.
‘Below the Sun,’ a story of lost love. Anxiety doesn’t take a vacation. “I fell asleep with my head on fire, just thinking where you might be / And there’s a far off place, not long away that I think I’ll stay for awhile / If I could crawl from the gates of hell, you’re surely the one I would take / Hand in hand I can make you mine, just as sure as the sun won’t shine.” Misery loves company because as long as you have someone else with you, the world maybe be hell, but it’s just that more tolerable. When you’re fighting the demons in your head, it helps to have the assurance on the outside to get through it all.
This lovable group is a four piece and they are Carter (vocals, guitar), Jorg (bass), Christian (guitar), and Daniel (drums). Folky, fuzzy, and melodic.
Above: Ghost King’s most recent music video for ‘Melting Sky.’
Just a “friendly, normal” music video. It’s your classic story when you drink hallucinogenic tea, you become possessed by a demon giving you mind control powers, and your friends enter into a murder-suicide death match. Also, I forgot to mention that you’re sacrificed on the dining room table and come back to life.
Kinda bouncy and cryptic. “You sound so sweet, poison me / I taste like smoke and misery” are the first two lines of the song as well as my personal favorite. As Carter is sacrificed on the table, there’s a transformation and really nice solo, he rises up and takes his revenge on his friends. As the fight ensues, I guess you in the right light, you can see the true beauty in madness and chaos.
We sent Ghost King some questions and they had some answers:
How did you start playing music together?
I had met Christian a couple times through playing on the same bill as his old band, Daniel and I had never actually met before but had played a show with one of his bands in the past. Both of them I just reached out to on Facebook and was like “yah wana do this?” Jorg had come a little after them, but he was Daniel’s roommate and became a good friend of everyone in the band so when we were looking for a new bass player he was a pretty easy choice.
What are your goals as a band?
We all want to get to a point where we can do the band full time and go on tour forever. Have as many people hear our music as possible and to play for as many people as we can. Make more records and more music videos.
Do you have anything coming up, so we can keep our eyes peeled for?
We just finished a new record but it will probably be a while before anything from it is released. We’re working on a music video for our song “Inside Out” which should come out sometime this summer.
When and why did you guys start playing music?
Carter: My parents got me a drum set when I was 5, I picked up and quit a bunch of different instruments over the next few years. I started playing drums really seriously though out middle school and high school and eventually picked up guitar when I was 17. I started writing my first songs when this band started a couple of years ago.
Daniel: My first introduction to drumming as a young skipper was through my involvement in my schools’ concert bands, and later jazz bands. When I was a teenager I was introduced to punk rock and formed my first band at age 13 writing shitty punk songs in mom’s basement.
Christian: I first started pursuing music in chorus classes in highs school. I ended up getting more serious about it in college. I knew a few people in bands and always had a guitar lying around but never knew how to play. I’ve always been into creating and music was a creative platform I had never really tried. Now it’s by far my favorite thing to do.
Jorg: I joined my schools marching band when I was 6 and I’ve been cursed ever since.
Who and/or what are you biggest non-musical influences?
Carter: The Brothers Grim, Lewis Carol, Forests
Daniel: Andrew Reynolds, Wendell berry, Abraham Lincoln
Christian: Slavoj Zizek. Francis Bacon. LS Lowry.
Jorg: Kurt Vonnegut, Henri Cartier Bresson, The Gonz
Check back every month as we spotlight good, hardworking bands.
Stream a curated Spotify playlist by Ghost King — songs that helped shape their sound:
Stream their latest release below: