Interview: Love Ghost

Mature beyond their years, Los Angeles’ Love Ghost create a diverse rock sound, encompassing grunge and alternative rock roots with influence from legendary band Smashing Pumpkins. Even if the five-piece are all teenagers, that doesn’t stray away from the fact that their material has a strong maturity progression with musicianship that stands out from the rest. We had the chance to speak with frontman of the band Finn Bell to talk about their latest single “Friday Afternoon”, working with producer Mark Renk and their experiences playing shows supporting the likes of Buckcherry and The Tubes.

How did Love Ghost form?

My friends didn’t know each other at the time, which is kind of funny. So I just kinda brought them in and at first I was like “Hey guys, would you mind helping me out with this next show?” and they were like, “Yeah, sure Finn, we’ll do it,” and then basically from there, it kind of spun into Love Ghost.

I know that you guys released the single ‘Friday Afternoon’ and you have this really nice 90s alternative rock/grunge sound going on. I just wanted to know how that sound developed. Was it inspired by all the older stuff you’ve been listening to or did it come naturally?

Basically grunge and alternative rock, it’s my favourite genre. I grew up listening to Nirvana and Alice In Chains and Smashing Pumpkins. I’ve always felt a strong connection to grunge and the grunge lifestyle. I think that we feel the same way about that vibe. That vibe really gels with us. The energy of grunge is something that we can all relate to and something that we all love and that we’re all trying to create.

I think that’s awesome because you guys are such a young age yet it sounds so mature. What was the creative process like for ‘Friday Afternoon’?

Well, “Friday Afternoon”, the idea for the lyrics came out of an epiphany that I had. I used to go up to my roof at night and I’d look at the stars and I’d think of all the things in my life that would affect me. I just realised, I needed to be stronger, you know? I needed to be able to pick myself up and walk through this door of hope and courage that I guess I wasn’t walking through at that point in my life. I was just kind of staying in the same little solitary room; solitary room of despair and sadness. So me, I was thinking that the only person that’s going to open up this door is you. The only person that can walk through this path is you. So that’s basically where “Friday Afternoon” came from. That epiphany that I had.

I love the message that it brings because it gives people hope. How do you feel knowing that your music creates that sort of impact; to make people think and reflect on their lives?

My dream with this is just to be able to help people in a way that really helps me. I have this one specific memory and I remember it very vividly of being a little boy and I was really sad and I remember listening to this song by Smashing Pumpkins and I just really remember feeling, “Oh my god, someone out there feels the same way I do.” This connection of being misunderstood was something that really moved me. Now, creating “Friday Afternoon” to have that same feeling – I really like that. It touches my heart that someone else can hear it and get moved by it.

You’re sort of in that process where you’re creating music on a professional level and for someone your age, you sound so mature and grown up. Do you feel a bit more mature than some people your age?

Yeah, I can kinda relate to that. At certain times at school, I don’t know if I necessarily feel more mature than them but I definitely feel something different between us. I mean, I’ve kinda always felt that way. It adds like a new layer to my daily life as well. Sometimes my friends are just like, “How ’bout we just go over to your house and just play video games?” Yeah, that sounds like a lot of fun but sometimes I have to be like, “Oh, I’m at home writing music,” or “I’m in the studio tonight,” and they’ll be like, “Oh really?” and I’m like, “Yeah!”

Making music for you is leisure but it also takes a lot of work. I know you worked with producer, Mark Renk. What was it like working with him and what did he bring to the table when it came to recording music?

Mark Renk is really good to work with because he’s very human. He’s not only a producer but he’s your friend. Instead of wanting to create something that sounded polished and conventional, he wanted me to be able to really express myself. Basically gaining that kind of understanding between a producer and an artist is highly valuable and important so I was very fortunate to be able to work with Mark Renk.

How do you balance being a musician and going to school? Is making music sort of a side thing or do you feel like you’re working more on music?

I think that music, it’s my dream. I’m placing more work, more dedication to the songs that I’m writing. I don’t know if I’m exactly a school person but I don’t know if anybody is, really. I do feel that weight and that balance but music is my goal, my passion and I have my mind set on that. I couldn’t care less about the work at school. I care a lot more about music.

I think it’s also really impressive that Love Ghost also played some music festivals. You also opened up for Buckcherry and The Tubes. How were those experiences and what did you gain from those opportunities as a musician?

They were so special to me. I just really remember that feeling of opening up for The Tubes. It was my first week of high school during freshman year and my high school was really crazy and there was a lot of wacky stuff going on. I remember just looking at the venue in awe. I was like, “Oh my god, this place is so big, there’s so many people!” We’re opening up for this band that’s really good and experienced and I wasn’t really getting nervous but I was definitely stuck in awe of the entire situation.

I then remember being backstage with everyone and the people were really nice. They brought us food and  I just remember feeling like wow, this could be the start of something really amazing and special. This was actually the first time we played “Friday Afternoon” and it was our first song. When that breakdown happens within the solo, I just really remember that feeling of the audience being so into it and we threw energy and they threw energy back and we were kinda like feeding off each other’s energy. It felt so big but at the same time it felt so intimate and personal.

You can stream Love Ghost’s “Friday Afternoon” below!

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