Today, we sat down with Todd and John from Ghosts of Sunset to talk music inspiration, heroes and much more! Be sure to check out their music below on Spotify and follow them on social media!
Here is the interview:
What is your inspiration to write your music? Is it your surroundings?
Todd – There are a lot of things that inspire me to write. Can be anything from seeing something while driving, maybe a movie or hearing another song. Can just be hanging out and a melody will pop in my head. It’s just so random!
John – After writing around a concept for the ‘Headed West’ EP, I started to appreciate having characters other than myself to write about. Recently I’ve started thinking about the characters as different people, but informing their story with my own personal experience. If I get hung up on a storyline, I can create something fictional to get the ball rolling, but allow that character to respond as I would emotionally. It’s kind of freeing. Especially for times when my life seems boring.
What type of music did you listen to growing up?
Todd – I was brought up listening to music that my parents listened to. It was, Elvis, Johnny Cash, the “Oldies Channel” pretty much. As I got older my siste had albums and cassettes of Rick Springfield, Duran Duran and Culture Club. But as I found my own way it was Kiss. Def Leppard, Bon Jovi and the 80’s Hard Rock that really shaped me!
John – My first love was the Beatles and classic country music. The first record I ever personally put on a turntable was “Johnny Rivers LIVE at the Whisky A Go-Go”. After that it was Beatles, Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, all the classic country artists along with KISS and Bee Gees, right into early 80s rock n roll. Stray Cats were big for me. My teenage years brought in “hair metal” and I became the biggest fan (and still am). Now it’s all kind of balanced with singer-songwriter stuff, the classic country I grew up on, power pop, and wherever I can find a good song. Genre doesn’t matter much to me.
Is there someone you looked up as a hero?
Todd – Personally, it was my father and mother. My mom taught me how to play drums. She came from a musical family and played drums in school. My father was a fire fighter and I always thought that was a pretty tough job. Musically it was Rikki Rockett from Poison who made me want to become a “Rock Star”. I loved how he put on a “show” from behind the drum kit.
John – -John Lennon carried a lot of weight with me. Johnny Cash always fighting for the underdog. My mother was a pretty tough, amazing lady. Flawed but always loving and always trying to put good into the world.
If you weren’t a musician, would you be doing today?
Todd – I always wanted to either open a dog rescue or a kennel where people could board their pets at while the went away on vacations.
John – Probably listening to music and imagining what it would be like to be able to create some of my own. And truly, in the beginning, I just wanted to play the songs I loved. Writing came later and took a long time. I’m still learning and working to get better at it.
What advice do you have for our fans out there that want to create music?
Todd – Follow your heart. Don’t chase trends! The 80’s scene isn’t huge anymore but that’s what I loved and knew. Some may poke fun at us in Ghosts of Sunset for still having this “sound” but this is our 1st love!
John – Do it. Do anything you feel passionately about. Music is almost like a muscle. The more you work at it, the stronger you get. The wider variety you take in, the better your own music gets. I always think it’s a huge compliment when someone says “I can hear your influences”. That’s what they’re there for. You SHOULD be able to hear them. They’re part of my soul.