If you’re like me, a fan of The Ghost Inside, and own a copy of Get What You Give, you’ve probably been dying to know if the voice message at the end of the song Face Value is real or not and what the story is behind it.
Well you’ve come to the right place for that answer my friend, because yesterday at The Vans Warped Tour I had the opportunity to ask the band themselves whether it was real or not.
JIM: Aaron used to play in a band called Marked For Death with a bunch of guys that are all older and have families and real jobs now, and one of the main riffs in that songs is derived from a riff of that band. The voicemail is from the singer of Marked For Death, who’s a truck driver now, and he just leaves us these random funny voicemails all the time and left us that voicemail. I think we were in Europe, and we were like, “is this a funny one or is this a real one?” So when we got home and Aaron finally called him he was like “Naw man, I was just fuckin’ with you, I thought it’d be funny, you know? Be like, oh I’m dying ckkkckhc.” I assured Jim that the crash in the voicemail sounded real, he agreed and replied with a chuckle “That was all him.”
I also used the opportunity to discuss a few other topics with the band, the first of which being the lyrical topic of sacrifice.
VIGIL: Over the years kids ask me what it takes to be in the kind of situation that we are with our band, and I always tell them it just takes having the drive and not wanting to give up. Because throughout the years from starting a band and getting to the point where you’re playing on a tour like Warped Tour, a lot of people tell you no, a lot of people shut you down, a lot of people don’t listen to you, other bands who aren’t as deserving get tours over you and it’s really discouraging. I think a lot of people at that point kind of give up. That’s the sacrifice you have to make, you have to be so willing to lose everything in your life to make this work that it comes full circle later on when it starts to pay off.
JIM: I’m not the original bass player, I’m actually good friends with Tyler who started the band with Vigil. Tyler is in college, never wanted to be on tour, never wanted to be missing out on time at home with his girlfriend and eventually it came to the point where he had to choose between real life or the band and he chose real life, which is cool for him. I was in a similar situation where I had issues like a career job or pursuing the dream of music. I got lucky; I chased the dream and so far am still living it. There definitely is a crossroads in everyone’s life, that’s in a band, where you have to decide - do I wanna continue to miss my family? Do I wanna miss graduations and birthdays and holidays in order to be out here on the road?
VIGIL: Yeah, and it’s not even so much a matter of just not being home for stuff. I think that almost any band who starts off touring; you’re not well known, half the time you show up to a show and you’re not even playing a show, it’s discouraging and you lose a lot of money, you sacrifice a lot. You have to give up your job, for me I couldn’t pay my car payments I had to lose my car, my girlfriend got fed up I lost my girlfriend, you hit a point where like in the song I do say you meet this crossroads and one way is to go back to a normal life and just try to rebuild, and the other way is to just keep on doing it because you believe in what you’re doing and, fortunately for us, it does take a lot of luck and a lot of favors from people to help you get the ball rolling, but if you’re just dedicated and believe in what you’re doing I think that’s the best advice we can give anybody.
Having been a fan of The Ghost Inside since Fury and The Fallen Ones, the members were willing to discuss with me the evolution of the band.
VIGIL: I think the progression of the band, is about evolving and putting your best foot forward. When we started this band, when we wrote the album Fury and The Fallen Ones we had no idea what kind of direction we wanted, we had no idea where we were going or anything like that, and then when it came time to write the next record we just tried to write a better version of the first one. So when it came time for this one, I think we all knew what we wanted to sound like, we knew what we wanted for The Ghost Inside, we knew the direction we wanted to go. So in the studio we were really clear minded, really on the attack of what we wanted and I think everyone stepped up their game as far as instrumentation, and I’ve done things on the record I’ve never thought I’d be able to do, and lyrically just tried to make the songs as sound as possible.
It’s just something that comes with time, you get five dudes together who don’t really know how to play their instruments and then over the years through touring and stuff you get a better feel of what you’re doing and the sound you want.
JIM: Yeah, the first songs you write, you want to always write as many cool parts as possible. A lot of the songs on the new record have a rock format with a verse and chorus etc. because those were the songs that off of Returners and Fury and The Fallen Ones have been the most successful with kids. The kids that like the band, they want a song they can connect to, not just once or twice, but three or four times through a chorus. So we went into this without the mindset of, ‘we have to write a million awesome parts’. We went into it with the mindset of ‘we need to write four or five amazing parts for each song and not overextend ourselves and try to outdo, out metal, or out riff ourselves’. If you’ve got a good riff stick with it, make it a chorus, go back to it, there’s no shame in that. There’s a reason that the pop format works so well for our band, it’s that kids connect with it the first time, remember it the first time, and wanna hear it over and over and over again.
I also got some audio commentary from The Ghost Inside that will air on my next episode of How To Tame Your Timebomb that you will be able to download free from iTunes. I had spent some time in the press tent at Warped Tour and was able to ask the bands For Today, Memphis May Fire, Rise To Remain, and The Ghost Inside what sort of stuff they do to relieve tension, anger, and excitement for the audio podcast that you can find by logging into the iTunes store and searching under podcasts for How To Tame Your Timebomb. The podcast will also be embedded on this blog in a future post, but you’ll have to stay tuned for that since I’m still wrapping up production of it.
The new album Get What You Give from The Ghost Inside is a high-octane hardcore album with a hard rock edge and lyrics that will have you forming an alliance with the band and singing along at the live show. Be sure to check ‘em out live at The Vans Warped Tour 2012 and pick up their new album for 5 dollars while you’re there.