The Ghoul Goes West began as a “one off” show project. It has five members currently with myself, Christopher W. Smith, writing all of the songs. I sometimes play solo but most times bring the full band along for live shows. Two years ago I was invited to play a small set opening for a friend’s band at an album release party. I had been writing and recording songs and playing the occasional solo gig for over 10 years. Over that time period I had amassed a large catalog of original songs that began developing into an obvious style with similar themes and imagery playing out in each. The songs are very lyrically driven often employing horror imagery such as ghosts, bones or blood and sometimes even venturing into darker more disturbing metaphors such as incest or necrophilia. Though upon first listen many of the songs have an upbeat sometimes humorous tone, the lyrics stand out in dark contrast to the pop-folk music.
After writing and recording several songs for an independent film I was making, Dinosaur World https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7X5mG7z0d0 , I decided to take those songs, recruit a drummer, Matt Siliakus, and a lead guitar player, Steven Amos, to round out the sound for this one time show. We had several practices and the sound started to develop very naturally. It was decided at that point that a band name should be chosen so I chose “The Ghoul Goes West” influenced by an unfilmed script by B Movie horror icon Ed Wood. After that first show went so well we decided to stick it out a little longer and keep practicing together until it stopped being fun. After getting together a solid set list we brought my wife, Heather Smith, who is a trained vocalist for back up singing, harmonizing and additional instrumentation and started to play a few more live shows as “The Ghoul Goes West”. About six months in, Aaron Tinnin asked if he could join us on bass and The Ghoul Goes West line up was solidified. Going back through my catalog of songs I began re-arranging them to work better within a full band setting. Everyone started contributing different sounds to the music. Though the bones of my original acoustic songs are still there, they started to take a much different shape and sound. While we continued to play shows around town we decided to capture our new sound for a full length album. Over the course of a year we tracked out each piece of the songs in various studios, living rooms and garages until we had a completed album. Because the recording process took so long to finish up, in that time I’ve written enough material for a second, more concept driven album that we also hope to release. Of course before we begin recording another album, we have to figure out to pay for the first one. The debut album is completed however it still needs professional mix and master. Most of the members of the Ghoul Goes West have years of experience in home recording, but after tracking out and listening to the songs for so long it’s impossible to be objective so we opted to bring in a professional to take the album over the finish line. I started our indiegogo campaign on October 3rd and we’re hopeful that we can get enough eyes on it throughout Halloween Month to raise the small amount we need to complete the album.
We think our sound is original and unique and that there’s an audience out there for us but of course it’s hard to stand out when there are already so many great bands to choose from. The Ghoul Goes West isn’t really looking to become famous rock stars. We enjoy making this music and want to get it in the hands of like-minded folks who would enjoy hearing it.
In addition to writing all of the songs for the Ghoul Goes West, I also personally have a deep obsession with horror movie and Halloween culture. While playing music has always been a passion for me I’ve also pursued a path in filmmaking. Like a lot of low budget art makers I spent several years floundering while I tried to make “Hi –brow” thoughtful films based on my interest in filmmakers like John
Cassevettes and Hal Ashby. After a number of thoroughly misguided efforts my filmmaking partner and I started making things that were more fun to be involved in specifically horror and sci-fi related shorts. Making music and movies allows me all sorts of artistic outlets and of course since no one is bank rolling these indie art projects it also allows complete freedom in the creative process. The only thing it doesn’t offer is a pay check which is why we all have regular jobs that we use to pay our bills and sometimes fund our projects. We were able to crowd source some funds for our newest film “What do you do with a Red Right hand” so I’m hoping to be equally successful in our crowd funding campaign for The Ghoul Goes West.
Check out the videos below and then run on over to their campaign page and throw a dime in their hat!
JUST CLICK HERE
MUSIC SPOTLIGHT: Chris Smith Talks About GHOUL GOES WEST
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