Us, Ghosts Talks New Album Sleepers and the Future

Post-hardcore act Us, Ghosts have released their debut EP and are hard at work writing and recording for their debut full-length "Sleepers". The band got together to discuss the process of the debut album and where we can expect to see them in the future.

1. Please tell us about the history of your band and its members.

It has taken us a while to get to the point where our band has solid members because we've gone through so many tryouts and mishaps along the way, but aside from "Us, Ghosts" being an idea from way back when it was officially brought to fruition when our current five members came together. Starting with Gene Kaiser, Brandon Howard, and Michael "Mikey" Ortiz as the screamer, clean vocalist, and bassist respectively. Will Park joined as lead guitar shortly after. From there we wrote our first self-titled EP as "Us, Ghosts". Months later we came across Matt Holbein as rhythm guitarist and a few months later came along Chris Lee on drums. Since then we began playing local shows and establishing a presence in the music scene which since then has landed us on several tour stops in the local areas and also a spot on the Ernie Ball stage at Warped Tour 2013. However now we have parted ways with Mikey and are currently looking for a new bassist to tryout.

2. Where is the band based out of and what is your music scene like there? Are there any local bands you could recommend?

Our band is based out of Sarasota, Fl. Honestly our area isn't as compelled to our genre as much around here as it seemed to 6 or 7 years ago. So our music scene is a lot of hardcore bands, deathcore, or heavier styles of the sort. It's like slow, heavy beats are what people are into right now.

3. Why did you want to call yourselves Us, Ghosts? What does the name mean and represent for you guys?

We wanted to call ourselves Us, Ghosts because it represents those that go unnoticed in life and seek recognition from their peers who seem to forsake them or cast them aside like nobodies. We want to be the voice for those that are put down and can't always stand up for themselves and let our music be a safe haven for those that seek it. Music is a huge outlet for all of us and we use it as that and a way to connect with other people.

4. How would you describe your style? Which bands influenced your music?

We would basically describe it as post-hardcore.It has proven to be a very versatile genre and we like to experiment with creating something new for our listeners. We draw influences from Dream On, Dreamer, Memphis May Fire, Chiodos, Architects, and bands of the like.

5. What lyrical theme do you guys use in your music? What message do you want to send?

Our lyrical theme follows the ideals of encouraging people to pursue their dreams and to never give up on themselves, because we believe anyone can achieve success in life if they stay focused on their goals and truly put forth the effort into getting where they want to go.

6. Your debut self-titled EP and upcoming debut full-length "Sleepers" were both self-released why choose the DIY approach as opposed to being signed to a record label? Do you hope to eventually get signed to a label?

Since we are a brand new band with no members from other notable bands or anyone popular from YouTube, so the DIY approach was our only choice. We started from nothing and got to where we are through hours and hours of self-promotion on  Facebook, Twitter, and occasionally Instagram and several music stores/outlets like iTunes, Spotify, etc. We have made many connections with many awesome people and other bands along the way. But yeah I think like any band hoping to get noticed we would love for a legitimate label to recognize us someday.

7. Who produced "Sleepers" and what was it like working with them?

We worked with Drew Fulk and Kyle Odell at Think Sound Studios in Greensboro, NC. It was an awesome experience getting to stay in the studio, hang out and record and just do what we love to do.

8. Who did the cover art for "Sleepers" and how much input did you have on it?

We had Chris Shelley from At The Skylines do our design, but even though he didn't do the exact design we had in mind, we liked what he made up for us after a few tweaks of our own we conceded and went with the design.

9. How would you say the new album compares to your previous works?

We believe that on our new album we became more familiar with the direction we want to take our music and trying to develop something unique but also similar to what our fan-base is used to listening to.

10. What’s the writing and recording process for you?

Well we usually write most of our ideas separately and then bring what we like best to the table and we collaborate on songs and put in the finishing touches. When the music is written it usually takes us a while to put the money together for recording, because the cost of recording is very expensive.

11. Are there any surprises or any collaborations on the album?

Nope. No secrets or anything sadly. It's just our hard-earned  chance to show how we've grown as musicians and to keep new music coming because to us it always remains in the deepest parts of ourselves and music is how we speak and connect to others just as our favorite bands have done for us when we were young. So we're taking every chance we can to keep that going for people today and in the future.

12. What's your take on "Sleepers" as a whole?

The album "Sleepers" is just our progression from the previous EP. All of the songs are more well-rounded and we're coming into our own as musicians and further developing our writing style and sound.

13. What's your favorite song on the album right now?

It's a hard choice for all of us, but we would have to say it's a tie between "Underlings" and "Sleepers"

14. Is it important for you to paint visual pictures with the songs?

We're very straightforward most of the time with our lyrics so we don't normally paint a metaphoric picture for anyone. We just like for them to make their own sort of connection to our music.

15. What would be the cinematic equivalent of "Sleepers"?

Any Bruce Willis movie hahaha.

16. Did the band have any definitive goals they were shooting for before the recording process began for this album?

Honestly we just wanted to get the album done because we were sitting on the new music for quite a while before then and we could only afford so much time in the studio so we took what time slot we could get and sort of had to rush the process.

17. Are you using any new instrumentation you've never used in the recording process before?

Instead of using normal programmed drums we sampled our drummers kit for the recordings and we dropped tuning from C to A.

18. When did you start writing for this album?

We Started writing for this album back in January/ February of 2013. Shortly after Chris Lee joined.

19. Did you feel any pressure whatsoever to do this follow-up?

No no pressure at all. we were a bit daunted by the number of questions and it's pretty hard for all of us to get together and really answer the questions as a whole group.

20. Is there any story or concept behind the "Sleepers" title?

The concept behind "Sleepers" is that there are so many people that are unaware of the horrific events that are happening in the world around us. but it also leads into the concept behind our name of going unnoticed.

21. How was the vibe in the studio?

The studio had a very chill vibe. just a bunch of dudes hanging out, eating fast food, and recording music!

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

It should be released around April of 2014.

23. Can you tell me about the song and video for "Underlings"?

"Underlings" is a song of pulling inspiration from negativity and overcoming being rejected and put down by others that say you aren't good enough.

24. What are the upcoming plans as far as playing shows and touring?

We want to be done with local shows for a while and get a tour going if/whenever possible. Not sure what all of our plans are as of right now, but we're pretty much ready to drop everything to tour, We've attempted it once before and we loved where it took us. So we want to do it again, but with better planning and better promoting!

25. What should labels/zines/promoters know about your band? Why should they be interested in it?

We believe we bring a different sound to the post-hardcore genre.

26. What can the fans expect to see from you in the future?

New merchandise eventually, even more music, and us in their city soon!

27. Where can we listen to your band and where can we buy your stuff?

You can listen to us on Facebook, YouTube, Spotify, You can buy us on iTunes and we have a merch store

28. Have you heard of Us, Ghosts?

They're some handsome fellows! You should check them out! ;D

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