Despite geographical difficulties between bandmates, Minneapolis-based rockers, Ghost Towns Of The West, aren’t saying “farewell” just yet.
In fact, they intend to play a memorable CD release show this Friday at the Cabooze. They’ll worry about the other stuff later.
In late 2008, singer and guitarist Dan Crowe – lifelong musician of numerous bands – pulled the group together. They include Ryan Jansen on keys and saxophone, Andy Dwyer on bass and vocals, Ryan Harding on drums and vocals and Timothe Catlin on guitar and vocals.
Upon first listening of the new album, “Shadows In Light,” it’s immediately apparent that they aren’t shying away from a big sound: driving percussion, effects-driven guitars and crunchy bass — fused with vocals that almost take a backseat to rest of the band (without sounding drowned out).
It’s a band unafraid of its love for guitar pedals and effects. However, it’s not overdone and distracting from the overall sound.
“We all really love gear. I (Joel Korte) own my own guitar effects pedal company called Chase Bliss Audio. Dan and I both use a pedal I designed called Warped Vinyl all over these songs. We use it to do some very subtle pitch bending at slow rates which adds some dimension to the songs without it being immediately clear what it is,” Korte said.
The album, on the whole, is finding new ground in sound.
“It’s more experimental and psychedelic. Our previous releases in 2011 were a little more straight-forward rock and roll, and over the last 4 years we’ve grown as musicians and wanted to try to get into some new sonic territory,” Krote said.
It’s the first new material for the band in four years, and they intend to make the unveiling of it a good time for Cabooze visitors.
“It’s going to be a really special show for us. We really hesitate to call it a ‘farewell’ show because we know that we will be together again, playing music, at some point,” Krote said. “We are playing all of the new songs and many of the old ones too that we haven’t played in years. We think it will be a really fun and memorable show for people watching and certainly for us.”
For more, check out the music video below, along with an interview with guitarist/vocalist Joel Krote.
What do you want people to think/feel when they hear your music?
We hope that our music is evocative for listeners as individuals, so I don’t think we have any specific feelings or thoughts we want to convey. There are certain songs (especially the newer ones) that have a darker “feel” to them, but I don’t think it was deliberately intentional.
What kinds of messages do you intend to send to the listener? Is there a main theme you guys tend to touch on?
In regards to a theme, I think many of our songs touch on the idea of being present, and not getting too caught up in the past or the future. There are exceptions to that, of course, but as a band, we are all really close friends and we spend a lot of time with each other outside of writing music. I think that we like to celebrate that idea of living in the moment, and enjoying life individually and together.
I’ve seen the picture of you guys with Minneapolis as a backdrop – how does the Minneapolis setting influence your work?
I think we are all proud to be a Minneapolis-based band. Drummer Ryan Harding lives in Chicago now and plays drums in Local H over there, and bassist Andrew Dwyer is planning to do some teaching abroad soon. All that said, we know when we get together that it’s very likely going to be in this city, as it is home for us so it felt natural to include that in some pictures.
If there’s one song you’d like to introduce your music to a listener, what song would it be and why?
This is a tough one because we love all the songs on the new record. But I’m going to go ahead and say “Love Yourself.” Andrew Dwyer wrote the meat of that song, and it’s just been feeling particularly good lately when we are playing it. I think it shows our range as a band, has a great groove, and Ryan Jansen has a killer sax part on it as well.
Lastly, what band/artist would be your guys’ favorite to tour with?
Another super tough question! In the limited touring experience we’ve had with this band, we have had such a good time. I would say those experiences were some real highlights for us. We have some really great bands supporting us at the release show including Red Daughters, Little Man, and Chiefs of the North. They are all our buds too. If we toured with any of them, it would be a real hoot.
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