The Ghost Inside Bio
The Ghost Inside make music for the outcasts. They’ve inspired audiences around the world to overcome obstacles, persevere, and find the strength to keep going when it feels like all is lost. Songs like “Out of Control”, “White Light” and “Mercy” are modern hardcore anthems. Passionate crowds have joined them in singalongs at major rock festivals, in theaters and clubs, brought together by the conviction of lyrics like, “Life’s swinging hard but, I’m swinging harder.”
On an early morning in November 2015, The Ghost Inside’s tour bus collided with a tractor trailer, killing the drivers of both vehicles on impact, and severely injuring the band and their crew. When The Ghost Inside returned to the stage for the first time, nearly four years later, Kerrang! called it “Rock’s Most Miraculous Comeback” in a detailed cover story about triumph over tragedy.
While the show in the group’s spiritual hometown of Los Angeles, California was something magical to behold (the historic Shrine Auditorium sold out so quickly, the gig had to be moved to the parking lot), it isn’t the accident, the recovery, nor the onstage return that will define them.
The ultimate victory for The Ghost Inside is their triumphant new self-titled album.
Created with producer Will Putney (Every Time I Die, The Amity Affliction, Knocked Loose) and longtime friend/collaborator Jeremy McKinnon of A Day To Remember, The Ghost Inside is 11 songs of determination, deep resolve, reflection, and newfound hope. The album cover is a montage of The Ghost Inside lyrics, logos, and imagery, tattooed on fans around the world.
Singer Jonathan Vigil suffered a broken back and two broken ankles, among other injuries. Guitarist Zach Johnson would need more than a dozen surgeries. Drummer Andrew Tkaczyk ultimately lost a leg. All three of them and two crew members were in the ICU in critical condition. Bassist Jim Riley, guitarist Chris Davis, and the rest of the crew were injured, ‘though stable.
The band collectively came to see the ordeal as a moment to put their inspirational lyrics to the test. Songs that were once more philosophical in origin had become autobiographical. “Our songs had done so much for so many people for so many years,” Vigil says, with humility. “The lyrics were written from a sincere place, but I had never really had to put my money where my mouth was, you know? had to back up everything we’d said. I had to prove it right, or I’m a fraud. We set out to do at least one more show and one more record as the ultimate [defeat] of adversity.”
The Ghost Inside was formed in El Segundo, California, comprised of Vigil and a group of friends who found inspiration in the long tradition of Southern California punk and hardcore subculture. That early incarnation created Fury and the Fallen Ones (2008). Johnson and Riley were onboard in time for Returners (2010), with Tkaczyk joining the fold before the release of their breakthrough album, Get What You Give (2012). They were touring behind Dear Youth (2014) with Davis, but the incredibly collaborative The Ghost Inside (2020) marks his first official recorded appearance.
The accident will always be a defining moment for The Ghost Inside, but never what defines them. The new album taps into the raw emotional things they’ve been through, but the songs aren’t about reliving that single event. “This isn’t about what happened to us,” Riley insist. “We won’t get lost in that one day. This is about our journey, our growth, and who we are.”
by Ryan J. Downey