Having played their first show was this past September, dark/angular/post punk / alternative rock band GHOST BONES are headed out on a month long US West Coast tour this summer and they will be meeting up with with QUI from Los Angeles for a few dates in California. The band is preparing to record for their debut full length and I am pleased to give them a proper introduction in the pages on IDIOTEQ.
Band photo by Robbie Brindley. Live photo by arktimes.com.
Hey GHOST BONES! In the ever increasing flood of male bands, dominating all kinds of music scenes in terms of quantity, it’s really nice to meet and greet with a female fronted act! Thanks for taking some time with IDIOTEQ webzine. How are you? What’s up?
Thanks for taking the time to do this interview. What’s up with Ghost Bones? A LOT! We recently won the Arkansas Times Musicians Showcase, just finished recording 2 new songs, working on a music video for our song “Nape of My Neck”, putting the finishing touches on our month long west coast tour this summer in June/July, writing new material for our first full length. Many things!
I’m sorry to start off with this sad subject, but I’m really curious what’s your view on this matter. Apart from the simple fact that you are a female fronted band, do you somehow try to fight support greater visibility and appreciation for the women in music these days? What’s your take on this?
Ashley: I support anyone, male or female who makes the decision to create music. I don’t think being a woman in a band should be as singled out as it is currently though. For example, I hear a lot of people say things like “I don’t think they should have as much attention, just because they have a girl in the band,” and it’s shocking. I don’t think women who perform should be viewed solely for being “not a male” but for playing music and doing it well. I think everyone should support the visibility of women in music, but support them in the same way as men. Don’t make it out to be a miracle that women have talents, but educate people on the fact they always have, sometimes they’re just unnoticed.
Ok, so tell me more about your local scene in Hot Springs. How would you characterize the place and the vitality of its local music scene?
Ashley: Hot Springs is really a hidden gem, I mean we have beautiful mountains, waterfalls and hot springs surrounding our town. It’s a really affordable town with fairly slow living, but also has a thriving art scene. That being said, there really isn’t a large selection of bands playing original music in Hot Springs. The local music scene is fairly small despite the amount of support from the community and venues in town.
So how did you decide to form GHOST BONES?
Bobby: I had just got back from touring as a tech for Alt J and was looking to start a new project to take on the road. Ashley and I had just moved into a new place together and discovered that our neighbors were friends that also played. The first time we got together we wrote 3 songs that we still play today.
You’re not an easy target to label actually. Post punk, alt rock, dance rock… What do you think of this? Do you care about labels?
All of those tags could be accurate. It’s even hard for us to label ourselves. At shows people always try to pin down our sound and compare us to bands, and most of the time I don’t get the comparison. I don’t mind being labeled though. I’ve never written music with the specific intention of falling into a certain genre, so listening to what people have to say about what they hear in our music is always interesting.
A lot of bands evolve their music in order to keep things interesting and not bore their listeners. What’s your view on the development or sometimes a revolution factor in making music?
Bobby: Ghost Bones will always be an ever changing band willing to experiment and try new things. We are fairly new and still developing our sound. All of us come from different musical backgrounds so the more we get together and write, the more we gel as a unit. The biggest revolution factor for me has been a new writing style that we’ve been trying. We’ll come up with a rough skeleton for a song and record it to our 8 track once the bass and drums are solid. Then I’ll remove my guitar from the mix and completely rewrite my parts from scratch. Usually this changes the overall sound and gives it new flesh. It’s something I’ve never tried before, but so far the results have been very satisfying.
Is creating art more emotional, entertaining, or intellectual for you? What’s the major driver for creating music for you guys?
Ashley: I’d have to say it’s a combination of all three. When we begin to work on a new song, we think about the music aspect on an intellectual level. We try to make each instrument stand out while also blending together. When I write lyrics for a song, whether it be before the music has been written or after, I try to have both emotional and intellectual sides incorporated. We want people to feel something from our music, so of course we want them to be entertained. I think we kind of aim for people to hear our music and have them connect with it in their own way. Whether it’s on an emotional level or another, we just want people to see us and hear us and wonder what music they’re hearing. We want to be connected in an art lifestyle and we want other people to be involved in the same way. We’re all driven to create by different things, but the overall purpose is to maintain an active art lifestyle and to have people drawn to the idea of what Ghost Bones is.
So what do you want people to take away from your music?
Bobby: I think that everyone in the band can agree that we wanna show people that it’s still possible to be original, create your own style/sound, and still be appealing to a mass audience. Hopefully what we produce will turn on a new switch in someone’s brain that inspires them to take a different approach to playing or even listening to music.
Alright buddies. You have a bunch of dates lined up for May and June this year. How did you book this trek? Was it a struggle to organize such an undertaking?
Bobby: I booked everything myself. I have about 15 years of booking tours under my belt now. For my own bands and for other people’s bands as well. Most of the tour was pretty easy to book through friends but since we are a new band hitting some new cities it can be a struggle in some areas. I had to put in some extra time researching promoters and bands in places I haven’t hit in a while. I’m a weirdo who actually enjoys the stress and responsibility of booking.
Would you recommend some of the bands you’ll be sharing stages with?
Bobby: Definitely would recommend everyone to check out NERVS from Oxford, MS, BILL MOUNTAIN from Houma, LA, NERVOUS CURTAINS from Dallas. QUI from Los Angeles. BATWINGS from San Diego. So many to name really. Check out all of the bands we are playing with on this tour!
How about other artists worth checking out in general? What are you listening to these days?
Bobby: I always tell people to check out Ryan Power. He’s one of my favorite new artists and has put together a solid band to play his songs live. Very interesting stuff. Recently I’ve been listening to a lot of FUTURE ISLANDS, SIX FINGER SATELLITE, and DEAD RIDER from Chicago.
Any predictions of what the future holds for GHOST BONES?
Bobby: A friend asked me this exact question just a few days ago and my answer was “living in a house in Beverly Hills”. Right now we are going to keep chugging along. We’ve accomplished everything we’ve set out to do so far, and then some. We plan on taking our time and making all the right moves with this project so hopefully we’ll be able to continue to set goals for ourselves and achieve them. From there… Who knows?
Ok then. I guess that would be it for our initial interrogation. Do you want to add anything we may have missed?
Bobby: Let’s save some stuff for the next one. Great questions so far. Well played! However, I’ll add if you are out there reading this and you live in a city that we’ll be hitting on tour then come and say hi! Southern hospitality is a real thing and we have lots of it.
Thanks again for your time guys! All the best!
Bobby: Thanks for having us!
06/19/15 @ Murphy’s in Memphis, TN w/ Nervs, Liquid Teens
06/20/15 @ The Blind Pig in Oxford, MS w/ Nervs, Gilded Creatures
06/21/15 @ The Boxer & The Barrel in Houma, LA w/ Bill Mountain
06/22/15 @ Brett’s Basement in Shreveport, LA w/ GG Earth
06/23/15 @ Black Barbie in Houston, TX w/ Auto Fellatio Dreams
06/24/15 @ The Riddle Gallery in Bryan, TX w/ Girl Band, No!
06/25/15 @ Three Links in Dallas, TX w/ Nervous Curtains, War Party
06/26/15 @ Cheer Up Charlies in Austin, TX w/ Androids of Ex-Lovers, Mom Jeans
06/27/15 @ Paper Tiger in San Antonio, TX w/ Pinko, Grasshopper Lies Heavy, Filthy
06/28/15 @ Mesa Music Hall in El Paso, TX w/ Sleepless Century
06/30/15 @ Club 5 Bar in Indio, CA w/ Active Kissers, Greastrap, Glock Lesnar
07/01/15 @ The Womb Room in Las Vegas, NV w/ Qui, Hemingway, Headwinds
07/02/15 @ Bigfoot Lodge in Los Angeles, CA
07/04/15 @ Maui Sugar Mill in Los Angeles, CA
07/08/15 @ Nod Hole in Salt Lake City, UT w/ Brain Bagz, Lazy Susan
07/09/15 @ Mutiny in Denver, CO w/ Pythian Whispers, CP208
07/10/15 @ Kirby’s in Wichita, KS w/ Living Ghost, Domestic Drone
07/11/15 @ Replay Lounge in Lawrence, KS
07/31/15 @ Stickyz in Little Rock, AR