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Interview: New York Rockers Ghosts of Eden

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After my recent review of their first E.P. Ignorance and Lies, I had a chance to talk with the members of Ghosts of Eden. I was interested in learning more about this band who is the talk of the town in New York.

Ignorance and Lies has only been out since January, yet they’ve been featured in EspyRock (U.K.),
ghosts_of_eden they’ve been getting radio airplay, they’re currently #78 out of over 4,000 bands on ReverbNation, and their live interview for RockMetalInc has been spreading all over the Internet like wildfire.
No small feat for an unsigned band in a city like New York, and without a PR company or manager. So far they’ve managed to stir up interest on just a wing and a prayer — and a powerhouse of musical talent. With just one listen to my favorite cut off the E.P., “Heartbreak Crutch”, you’ll understand why I predicted that these guys are headed for a record label bidding war.

Ghosts of Eden have also gotten support from GothamRocks who have been instrumental in introducing them, along with many other acts, to live audiences around New York and neighboring areas.

I first spoke with the entire band, and then followed up with members Tom (lead vocals) and Miles (bass guitar) after their latest show at Six Flags, NJ.

Next week I’ll be talking to them about their song writing process, as well as where, and more importantly, how they self-produced Ignorance and Lies. Amazingly, the sound quality of their four song E.P. is better than most bands who go into the studio with a producer.

It’s an exciting thing to be there as a new band starts to make their break-through. I can only say that these guys are riding high on a tidal wave of positive energy and pure joy in the journey. Their enthusiasm, like their music, is infectious.

I decided to open our initial interview with some standard questions to be answered by each member individually. I wanted to give each a chance to talk about their musical influences as well as take the opportunity to reveal their own unique personalities.

Members: Tom: Lead Vocals/Guitar; Rich: Lead Guitar; Miles: Bass/Backing Vocals; Ben: Drums/Backing Vocals

Ghosts of Eden. A fascinating name. How did you come by it? I assume it’s not from the book, right?

Tom: Haha, we didn’t even know that book existed until we started searching for ourselves on Google. Strictly a coincidence though. Our original name was “The Ghost is Lost”. I think it was almost a little too dark and wordy, but we really liked the “ghost” vibe. We used to practice at Dean’s [original drummer] studio called From Eden Studios. There was always a strong presence there and “Ghosts of Eden” came pretty easily from that experience.

Miles: As far as I know, it’s a combination of our original name, “The Ghost is Lost,” and the name of the studio where we used to practice.

Rich: The original name of the band was “The Ghost is Lost”. As we progressed as a band we wanted to define who we were. We practice at our studio called From Eden Studios so we merged the two names and came up with Ghosts of Eden. 

Benny: Everything the guys said. I wasn’t around for the birth of the band or the name sadly. I approve, even though I like the “Ghost is Lost.”

And the name of the E.P.? Even more interesting… Ignorance and Lies. It sounds entirely un-random. There must be a story behind it.

Tom: It’s definitely not random. For starters, it comes from a line in the song “Eliot Ness”. Rich came up with it and we thought it fit really well with the mood of our songs on this record. We never really decided on what it meant, but to me it hits home about what you go through as a band and as musicians.

I think we’re smarter than the average bear, but in this industry there are lots of people who lie and try to mislead you. On the other hand, they’re also very ignorant to what you’re trying to accomplish as an artist because of the almighty dollar. The best way to get back at them is to stay true to what you believe in, work hard and put out the music you know you’re capable of making.

Benny: Same as above.

Miles: For me, the name is a direct reflection of what I see with so many people in everyday life. So many people are looking for the easiest way to get through life even if it involves lying and cheating. They’re ignorant of the consequences of their actions.

Rich: It’s actually lyrics from “Eliot Ness” — but I guess Miles came up with a cooler answer, haha.

Who would each of you say were your biggest musical influences when you first began playing?

Tom: When I first started playing, Metallica, Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots were my biggest influences. I think every musician can tell you what bands changed their life. I’d say those were the three for me. I still remember listening to Pearl Jam’s Ten and STP’s Purple, Metallica’s Black Album and Master of Puppets for the first time, and I was amazed by what you could do with a guitar. I had never played before and one of my friends left his guitar at my house. Let’s just say, after I listened to Puppets, I ‘forgot’ to give him his guitar back for a while.

Miles: Cliff Burton of Metallica is the single most important reason why I play bass guitar. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to play bass or guitar until I heard “Anesthesia (pulling Teeth)” from the album Kill ‘Em All. I was so blown away by the raw, metallic, heavy sound of this bass solo song that I went out and bought a bass guitar the same week!

I also remember when I was young and heard “Breaking the Girl” and “Under the Bridge” from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It was the first time I really paid attention to what a bass guitar can really do. You gotta love Flea; he’s a madman!

Rich: Smashing Pumpkins. Every song they had was different and I loved that you got a new experience with every one of them.

Benny: With me, I listen to a lot of different music and have different influences. Some of them are Buckethead, Incubus, Gwar, Dream Theater, video game and movie scores and general music, Yanni, and Stabbing Westward.

Over time, as you evolved as musicians and as a band, did your influences evolve as well?

Tom: When we started GOE, we didn’t know what kind of sound we wanted it to be; it just happened. We did however, see the direction it was going, and when that happens you just change gears and start pulling from influences you think would help mold the band and help you grow. Also, the four of us come from very different backgrounds, as far as our previous bands go. I come from a predominantly alternative-rock background and some of the guys come from a metal background. Miles even has lots of blues influences. Sometimes it’s really bizarre, but we make it work better than any other band I’ve been in.

I think the fact that we have a lot of the same influences, while also having our own interests, helps us have a distinct sound. My influences are always changing. I have a core, but whatever I’m listening to at the moment always sneaks in there. I think that keeps things fresh.

Miles: Absolutely! I definitely got into some more complex and chill music like Dave Matthews Band. The clean, smooth and warm sound they have has added a new influence to the ideas that get bounced around. I’ve also been checking out Victor Wooten’s solo music. He is truly one of the best bass players on the planet. I hear that he’s from Brooklyn too, which is right over the bridge!

Rich: Yes, as I got older I broadened my musical taste towards metal and hardcore. I try to blend that into my writing. 

Benny: That’s a tough one with me being the new member. I feel that I brought a different type of vibe to the band. Also, being able to play other instruments, I tend to hear things a little differently, but I feel that I have become more open minded to the band’s influences.

 

You can see Ghosts of Eden Live on July 24th: New York, NY at 8:00 PM Arlene’s Grocery NYC

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  • http://www.lynnvoedisch.com Lynn Voedisch

    They really sound intriguing and I’d love to hear them.