Epitaph Artist 'I Am Ghost' Rocks Orlando With New Sound
by Alicia Lyman
In true punk fashion, I Am Ghost is changing the music industry and the way bands rise to stardom. Only a few others have gained such overnight notoriety and record deals through self-producing their first video on MySpace and by reaching over 79,163 new “friends”, but none that fit the base shell of the music biz’s current mold of “what’s hot” so well that their musicianship is actually what overflows that mold, shaping a whole new sound. They’re currently on tour in support of their freshman Epitaph album Lover’s Requiem and so far, both have been quite a success. "Epic-core" is what they've named their sound and They’re currently on tour in support of Lover’s Requiem (Epitaph) and so far, both have been quite a success.
They recently played an early all ages show at Back Booth in Orlando, Florida on a Tuesday evening and still pulled in a decent crowd. Some fans in the audience knew every word, some were ecstatic to be there and weren’t afraid to show it...then there were others who looked like they were either in motionless awe and/or were there to critique what the hype has been all about. Over all, the buzz (stirred up from them getting picked up by Epitaph Records after only a few local shows in their native Long Beach, California) had reached Orlando, they were in attack mode, and made their mark.
As soon as Reyna and I walked through the door, we noticed the intensity of their performance and how utterly tight they sounded, which was amazing since there were no vocal monitors on stage and a lot of their songs require both Steve, enigmatic lead vocalist, and Kerith their violinist (yes, I said violinist...more on that later) to sing/scream in actual harmony. Very rarely did I hear them falter off key, and even bands that have been around the block, playing for years, still don’t pay as much attention to live detail as they did that night. A lot of Steve’s lyrics have been inspired by comic books and vampire films, yet they transcend your typical goth-type story which is quite refreshing for the current state of what’s taken over the mainstream.
In regards to Kerith’s violin and her musical role in the band…A lot of people will hear that they have a girl playing a violin and automatically discredit their sound, thinking they’d lack intensity...but that would be a horrible assumption to make! It’s amazing that not only were her vocals well balanced and intertwined with Steve’s, but that she erupts vaporous melodies across a violin that are a lot less fiddle-esque and a lot more graceful on an orchestral level. Not to mention the dichotomy of that, poised against her stance on stage as a force to be reckoned with.
Holding down Brian’s dexterous grooves was Ryan, whose ever-changing and fury kept classically trained guitarists Gabe and Tim’s paradoxical licks making us want to air guitar and hold up the devil horns all night. As their show went on, it was difficult to photograph them on the tiny, dimly-lit stage as Steve jumped on and off of the Bass drum, thrashed around, and each string member took turns at center stage rallying up the audience. But I, like any concert enthusiast, thrived on it because those are exactly all the things a good band should be doing in a live performance.
We had the opportunity to meet the band after their set, confirmed some of the rumors and laid some of them to rest. Most importantly we had the ability to pick their brains about the making of their new video for “Our Friend Lazarus Sleeps” which was directed by the Matthew McDermott who shot the video in the charred hills of Topanga Canyon after the most recent fires in Southern California. The different stories of Lazarus in the Bible are provocative and disturbing enough, one can only imagine how McDermott will interpret the group’s esoteric single visually. We are eagerly anticipating the release of the video sometime in early January of 2007.