Detroit quintet Ghosts of August released their first single “Disease” off their debut full-length and say that this single goes into full support of their fans. “For most fans, experiencing and finding music today is really an issue of trust,” states front man Dave Holowchak, “People find new music and recommendations through their most trusted sources – friends. A large part of how we create our music is built around rewarding that trust and encouraging this process by delivering great music.” Since their formation in 2007, Ghosts of August have been hard at work writing, recording, and playing gigs as any other band would do to help promote their abilities. Frontman Dave Holowchak (vocals) discusses with me his band’s debut, current single, and what the fans can expect beyond this highly successful single.

1. So your name is Ghosts Of August does that mean that you guys are ghosts?

Dave: In fact we are! We are all spectres merely possessing the bodies of the current line- up you see and hear now! Scary, right?

2. Tell me about your current single for the song “Disease”.

Dave: Disease is our “introduction to the band” single that’s currently on national airplay around the country. We built up the song with our label, producer/ engineer, management, and of course the band to aggressively go after the sound and hook that won’t leave you alone after you hear it. It’s definitely a great song that is getting people to take note that we mean to be a force in rock music and that we have what it takes to make an impact.

3. Who writes the songs, what are they about?

Dave: We all write as group, collectively; we basically hammer out riffs and melodies together, kind of like a puzzle, trying to fit pieces together here and there. Of course we tweak them as needed and so far, what we’ve written has turned out pretty well I think!
Most of the songs are pulled from personal experiences, stuff that happens around us, and to others. Some just revolve around general feelings we all have as human beings though too, so anyone can relate to our songs. If you think one of our songs is about something personal to you, then so be it! Who are we to say you’re wrong…

4. Can you go into one or two tracks on the new album? If so, can you give us the track title and brief description of how the track sounds and how it came about?

Dave: Well, there’s one track called “Scars” that we wrote that is on the heavier side of our music. It’s dirty and grungy but really catchy and it’s got this high energy type of drive in the verses! It almost could have been a single had Disease not really become the front- runner for the album. This was another song we wrote together, that we had in our back pockets for a while until we fine tuned it for our national release that’s upcoming.

Another track, “Lived It Up” isn’t quite the party song the title would seem to relate. It’s again, a heavier toned, melodic, yet angry type of song that really drives home a sarcastic feel in the verse but opens up with a big, sweeping melody in the hook. It’s kind of like, the song flows at a level 9 and then all of a sudden cranks up to 11 to finish ‘er off! Again, this was a song we all wrote collectively; we’re all strong musicians and have a say in the creation process as we bounce things off each other and gauge what we think would be the most powerful yet captivating sound for everything we do.

5. How was the vibe in the studio?

Dave: We work pretty hard in the studio, since we spend A LOT of time recording when we’re there. Sometimes we may have a session that takes us to the studio for a 48 hour stint, and we’re working with our engineer/ producer for 35 of the 48 hours on the tracks, be it recording or refining them. However, we’re not adverse to getting a little slap happy and there are a lot of funny moments amongst us that have resulted in some of the funniest yet maybe stupidest moments together… but those you’ll remember for a long time. Other than that, we all have a pretty good time in the studio; we know we’re there to work and do our best but we all keep a good humor about us.

6. When can we expect the new album to be released?

Dave: The album is undergoing mixing and mastering right now; we’re just such perfectionists when it comes to our songs and our sound that we want to ensure when its ready to be unleashed, it’s at its apex in terms of creativity and sound.

7. You guys will be hitting the road in 2012, can you describe your show, visual and musically?

Dave: Musically, we are very tight; we play with an air of professionalism that we’ve been working on in every rehearsal to ensure what you get on the album is what you get in the live shows, sometimes even more. We play off of each other very well and we have a really good time on stage, all the while maintaining our skills and concentration in what we’re doing. Visually, we’re pretty entertaining to watch I think. We all have our little nuances that make us each unique but overall appealing. We definitely like to make sure everyone ,regardless of location is entertained so we run around a lot, we throw swag into the crowd, and we play on the emotions of the sounds you came to hear.

8. Are you worried about how the new tracks will translate live?

Dave: I don’t think we’re too worried about how they will translate live; we have some advanced, dub- step influenced parts in some of our songs that give it an extra edge but I think the way we go about it now playing it live is just as good as what modern technology allows. The real, raw talent is still showcased live as it is heard recorded. Maybe some might find they like the way we play our songs live better due to the realism of seeing those songs performed in front of them, without any magic of the recording studio.

9. How do you describe your music to people?

Dave: I put it this way, our music is everything you want in a rock band. We play with talent and skill, but we’re not an orchestra. We play with heart and fire and it shows in or writing and creativity and our desire to show off what we can do. We’re heavy but we’re melodic; we’re not afraid to make you feel up’s and down’s and to make you feel, period. Instead of being pigeon- holed into a certain type of heavy rock or alternative, we can appease all rock music listeners with our songs and that’s a really important thing to reach audiences.

10. What image do you think your music conveys?

Dave: I don’t think we ever want to label ourselves in terms of images or personas. We have our sound and it’s unique and appealing. No one else can be Ghosts of August. We have a bit of an edge but we don’t overly exploit it to promote some stereotype of what a rock band is. We write what we think are songs that are appealing and songs that we love to play. If those same songs convey an image to the listener, then we’ve done our job of making you feel something.

11. Do you have a favorite song you have ever written? Why?

Dave: I don’t know if I have an exact favorite song that we’ve written. There are some songs we’ve written that I’m very proud of lyrically as I always think the music is very striking. The music itself can sway the lyrics and tone of the song itself so it’s very influential. There are songs we’ve written prior to this album that may never see the light of day that I’m very proud of and still perform or listen to now but I think the evolution of Ghosts of August will lend itself to more favorites in the future as we continue to develop and grow. We never stop changing and advancing as a band and as individuals.

12. What does the future hold for Ghosts Of August?

Dave: We’re going to continue down this path, for the sheer enjoyment of performing and writing; the process of creation is something we could never just drop and give up on. We’re striving to be the best we can, show what Detroit can offer in terms of musical talent and rock ‘n’ roll to the world. As long as fortune benefits us, we’ll continue to write music and play to all that will listen. We love what we do and we can’t see doing anything else! Hopefully we’re able to continue to do what we love until we say we’re done, and that doesn’t seem like a very viable option any time soon!

by Natalie Perez

Ghosts of August

By nperez

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