Time for the next edition of Metal Anarchy’s “new music showcase,” the feature where I introduce you to bands that readers of this site may find interesting. This time I have an exclusive Q&A with John Merchant of Ghosts Of Sunset.
METAL ANARCHY: Tell me a little about your band:
MERCHANT: Ghosts of Sunset was formed by myself and Todd Long. Todd and I have both been writing, recording, performing and touring together for over 30 years. We started Ghosts of Sunset after I had an idea for a concept EP based around the 1980s hard rock scene in Los Angeles California USA. During that time period, bands were migrating to the west coast looking to find fame and fortune on the Sunset Strip. The story has been told before but never musically as a complete concept. Our EP “Headed West” allowed us to pay homage to some of our favourite music and musicians while telling a very compelling story. The actual human experience of these men and women who left their homes and stuck out to play their trade amongst the very best in world in a riveting one. Each of the songs on our EP tells the story lyrically, sonically, and musically while tapping into the ups and downs of what can be likened to the last “goldrush” in the United States.
METAL ANARCHY: Who are your main influences?
MERCHANT: Ghosts of Sunset are influenced by a wide range of music. Of course, the primary influence is music of the 1980s music scene in LA. As musicians and writers though, we allow all of our influences colour our sound and compositions. That means Ghosts of Sunset are as influenced by RATT, Quiet Riot, Mötley Crüe, LA Guns, Guns N’ Roses and Faster Pussycat as we are the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Elvis, Little Richard, Chuck Berry and the Byrds. Our attention to lyrical detail owes as much to the depth of Bob Dylan’s work as it does the blue-collar stories of Jon Bon Jovi. We simply refuse to discriminate. Great songs transcend genre.
METAL ANARCHY: What is your latest release and why should readers of this site check it out?
MERCHANT: Currently we are promoting our single “Miles In-Between” on Golden Robot Records. In October 2020 our second single will come out on the label followed by the full EP before the end of the year. I think if your readers love rock n roll and have an interest in its roots, Ghosts of Sunset are a perfect fit. We’re looking to connect with people who love music like we do. We’re “lifers”. This music is in our DNA and the stories we’re telling are universal to the human experience. You don’t have to have left your small-town home and ventured into the unknown to appreciate the level of sacrifice, guts, and determination it takes to make that commitment. Those experiences are true in any pursuit that you pour your entire heart and soul into. It can be music, art, sports, work, school or anything else. When you commit 100% your entire being is going to be impacted and affected along with all your relationships.
METAL ANARCHY: What can people expect when they go to your live shows?
MERCHANT: They can expect to see a show that was influenced by a music scene that demanded a live EXPERIENCE. We came up in an era when even at the club level bands were expected to deliver an arena level show. We respect all audiences the same. We would never punish 50 people for not being 50,000. Our pride along drives us to deliver night after night on a consistent level. Our influences “raised” us this way.
METAL ANARCHY: Where do you see your band heading in 5 years?
MERCHANT: Ultimately our goal is to keep writing, recording and performing entertaining and compelling music. Every second we’re living, we’re absorbing more and more material for our music. The stories we tell are human stories. Whether we lived it or not, we’re astute enough to pay attention and let it influence our work.