Wednesday, 20th September 2017. 1:50:36am ET
Interviews Horror-Punk, Gothbilly Interview- Ghost Train
Band: Ghost Train
Interviewer: Julie Johnson
Date: 8/3/04

Grave Concerns What the name of your band and Who are the current members?

GHOST TRAIN. Zambo - drums, Kento Bancroft - guitar, Paul Postal - guitar, Mike Castellano - Bass, Tony Lestat - vocals.

Grave Concerns: How did you become connected to make music?

Ghost Train:I had worked with Kento before in the late 1980s in LIKE WRECKAGE (earliest version of WRECKAGE) and Zambo had been the drummer for WRECKAGE from 1990 - 1995. Kento and I had worked on an early (somewhat different) version of GHOST TRAIN in the early to mid 90s too. When Mike and Paul joined, it all just seemed to come together as the band that could make some kind of crazy magic happen!

Grave Concerns: What are your musical influences?

Ghost Train: We all have our personal influences, but for this band, a mix of surf, rockabilly, punk, deathrock, country and blues. We have our own very unique version of "spookabilly". We are as much influenced by THE DAMNED and THE STOOGES as we are ELVIS PRESLEY, DICK DALE and JOHNNY CASH.

Grave Concerns: What is your live show like?

Ghost Train: That's up to the audience to decide really... It's five people up there doing their spooky thing ;-)

Grave Concerns: Tell us about your own unique style of music?

Ghost Train: As mentioned above, it's an unusual blending of all the different styles mentioned. It seems to work for number of different fan bases from rockabilly to deathrock. Naturally we tend to tailor the individual show more towards the audience we are playing for, but they are always fun and energetic!

Grave Concerns: What separates your band from all the other bands out there?

Ghost Train: Nobody is doing exactly what we are doing in terms of style - at least none that I'm aware of. There are some very cool crossover bands in the deathrock scene like FRANKENSTEIN, THE COFFIN DRAGGERS and THE DEEP EYNDE that could be considered "spookabilly", but we are different in the sense that we try to create an authentic 1950s and 60s feel and bring it into the here and now via an original dark punk edge. We also can be as tongue in cheek sometimes as we are most serious on other songs. It's all a matter of streamlining for the audience that we are playing for while maintaining the integrity of what GHOST TRAIN really is at the core...

Grave Concerns: How do you go about writing songs?

Ghost Train: Depends. Sometimes one of us has a completed song in their head and the band fleshes it out. Other times, someone's basic guitar riff or a drum beat or a lyric sparks us and it builds from there.

Grave Cocnerns: Pick one of your latest songs and talk about everything from writing it, meanings, the challenges of recording it?

Ghost Train: Okay. DATE WITH THE DEVIL (DOWN AT DEADMAN'S CURVE) - on our new EP. I wrote some lyrics to a basic tune I had in my head. About guy who picks up a girl who needs a ride on the road, not knowing that she is death giving him his final ride to "a date with the devil down at deadman's curve" - with an obvious nod to the genius of JAN AND DEAN here! Then the band worked with it to make it a true GHOST TRAIN song. The musical ideas and contributions were every bit as important as the lyrical feel. It became as it should, a true band collaboration. In recording, we were able to add the subtleties and nuances that were needed to bring out the style - one that I feel is a perfect fusion of rock and roll at a punk tiki party time warped to the 1960s.

Grave Concerns: What is your latest news with the band?

Ghost Train: About to see our EP "Songs For Swingin' Corpses" finally out. Also gearing up for a new set of shows in Southern California (and maybe Northern Cal.?). Halloween is coming soon after all! Writing a whole bunch of new songs too - some of which we'll premiere at the new shows.

Grave Concerns: Where do you hope to be in 5 years with your band?

Ghost Train: Well, rich and not having to do it any more of course ;-) No, but seriously I hope that we'll be in position where we are playing great shows to an appreciative audience and working on yet another album. The creativity is what it's all about to me personally and so long as we are still having fun playing and recording, I think we can keep doing it for as long as people still want to see and hear us.

Grave Concerns: How are people currently reacting to your music?

Ghost Train: The response has been awesome! It's the greatest reward for your efforts to have people just totally dig what you are about, you know? Perhaps because it's... fresh? The reviews have been great and the support we are receiving on the radio has been wonderful too. It feels good!

Grave Concerns: What would be the top 3 reasons for listening to you music?

Ghost Train: Well, I can't speak for everyone in the band of course, but for me I'd say:- we are different, you'll have fun and we'll transport you into a world unlike any other in the deathrock or rockabilly scene.

Grave Concerns: What is your best experience as a band?

Ghost Train: For me personally, just being respected for what we do and our creative efforts appreciated.

Grave Concerns: What is your worst experience as a band?

Ghost Train: I haven't had any with this band yet!

Grave Concerns: What is most important to you in your band?

See above. But also that we always keep a unified vision of what and who we are and that we remain "together" on all things. Without that "brotherhood" the cracks appear and it stops being fun. If it stops being fun, then why keep doing it?

Grave Concerns: Do you have a personal favorite song?

Ghost Train: A few actually. DATE WITH THE DEVIL, AMAZING COLOSSAL MAN and HOT ROD DEVIL for the more high energy types and perhaps LOW TIDE, LOST LATIN MOON and THE WAITING GAME for the more thoughtful style of songs.

Grave Concerns: What were the hardest songs to write and why?

Ghost Train: One because the lyrics reflected a very sad point in my life. A few others because they were just a bitch to get together in the rehearsal room! But those are in our "working on it" file!

Grave Concerns: What do you think of the current gothic/ EBM/ Industrial/ noise/ synthpop etc scene today?

Ghost Train: Not a whole heck of a lot. There are some great bands out there and a some very cool clubs, but as an overview I'd say the scene needs bands like us and the others I mentioned to give it a shot in it's anemic arm!

Grave Concerns: What music do you currently listen to?

Ghost Train: All of us have our specific tastes of course, but I'm pretty open musically. I can listen to most any type of music if it's good! But I have my radio always set to an easy listening station that plays Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peggy Lee, Tony Bennett and the like. But that's just me of course!

Grave Concerns: Feel free to do any shameless self promotion here of you band, now is your turn to talk about anything you want about your band, ideas, or life in the band.

Ghost Train: Okay. Come see us and support us! Visit our website at www.ghosttrain.net for updates and info! Buy our records, CDs, stickers and ultra cool T-shirts designed by our very own Kento Bancroft! If you give us your first born we'll give you a free membership in our fan club!


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