The Reel World: Thee Holy Ghosts
The Reel World is a PORTALS feature that focuses on tape culture. The series will discuss recent tape releases in an attempt to better understand this growing comeback of analog hiss.
Today we talk to Thee Holy Ghosts, the self-described ghetto beach punk trio from Gainesville, Florida. Thee Holy Ghosts‘ first physical release, a 10 song self-titled EP, is filled with a rowdy blend of greasy surf pop, backwoods psychobilly, and scruffy 1950′s-styled doo-wop… sounds like a wild mix of Black Lips, The Cramps, and The Five Satins. The tape itself comes with some killer hand-drawn artwork along with a rad 1″ button to display your affection proudly. The Thee Holy Ghosts EP is perfectly suited for any beer-soaked, humid summer night and works best when accompanying your standard reckless weekend outings with friends… check out the entire release below and read on for more details from the band themselves.
Would you mind telling us a little bit about Thee Holy Ghosts and how the project started out?
The band started as a recording project. I was in a two piece band called Resin Hits. I got kicked out of my house and had a friend in Gainesville, so I couch surfed for a little bit. Eventually that band broke up cause the kid playing drums was really lazy and shit, so I started making home recordings on a crappy four track… those recordings were pretty terrible. I went back to south Florida for a little and talked to my friend Taylor about starting a band when we were at the beach one day and he was down. We actually came up with the song “Sand In My Beer” that day he ended moving to Gainesville and we started playing as a two piece around town. I met Hector at one of our shows and we totally didn’t get along at first and I think I might of thrown a beer at him for being a dick or something. After that we ended up at this house party and talked music, we were both really into Los Saicos. After that I asked him if he wanted to play in the band so we borrowed a bass and that was that. Just recently Taylor kinda quit, so Hector is on drums now and we got our friend Eman to play bass and it’s been working out great.
I see that you guys describe your music as ghetto-beach-punk… is this an accurate assessment? Why or why not?
Haha yeah that’s pretty accurate. I was tired of the whole garage rock genre thing because we don’t even play in a garage or anything like that. It’s kind of a vague genre so we made up ghetto bleach punk to try and get out of that whole thing I don’t think anyone even knows what it actually means but it fits our sound right.
What influenced the sound of Thee Holy Ghosts?
We’re influenced by a whole mess of shit I’d say mostly our friends and the music they’re making inspires us. I’m into a lot of the stuff that’s going on now like all the revival stuff that’s been getting thrown around. We’re all really into a lot of 80′s stuff too. Skateboarding, Weed, and Narragansetts also helped inspire us, or at least for the last recording. And GG Allin, RIP.
Why did you choose to release your first EP on cassette?
We didn’t really choose to put it out on tape it kinda just happened. When the EP was done we wanted to have an actual hard copy not just some lame ass CD. I hit up a bunch of people about getting it put out but no one really got back to me about doing something except for Michael from Panther People.
Who is Panther People Records? I can’t find anything about them!
Panther People is this skateboarding tape label run outta New Jersey by Michael Walsh.
Tell us about the artwork for Thee Holy Ghosts EP… what was the process like for developing the packaging?
The artwork and pretty much all of our art stuff is made by our good friend Brandon Shafranski aka the Shithouse Mouse he’s been killing it since I met him as far as the art thing goes. I just told him some ideas I had and knew anything he comes up with was going to be rad so I just let him do his thing. We didn’t actually do anything as far as packaging Michael did all of that the only thing we actually packaged was pins when someone bought one.
What are your thoughts on the current rise in popularity of tapes and why do you think (or not think) the tape format is still culturally important?
I think it’s really cool that people are putting out tapes still. I’ve always liked collecting them because of the whole accessibility and affordability aspect of them. I don’t think culturally very many people get it but the people who do probably dig it when they can get a tape of a band they’re into. We just got back from tour with our friends Honey Train and they had copies of their new tape and people bought that shit up.
The Thee Holy Ghosts EP has a very maniacally raucous sound to it (with plenty of wild surfy pop hooks)… how in the world did you get all those cool kooky sounds involved?
I think it’s just a blend of stuff we’re into mainly 60′s garage rock but even stuff like doo wop and surf music from those times too. We just like rock and roll. As far as the asthetic goes we don’t have good equipment or the resources to make something really clean sounding nor do we really want to. I’ve always been into shitty recordings all that digital crap sounds too fabricated for my ears. And what you hear on our recordings is how we sound live. I think it’s important to stay true to that kind of thing.
Are there any future plans for the band? Tour? Full-length?
We’re working on getting a van for a west coast tour really soon. Hector’s car is all fucked up so we can’t really rely on that thing anymore. Were also half way through recording our next EP. I’m not sure when it’ll be out but it’s definitely not going to sound the same as the last recording we did. It’s got more of a punk thing going for it but with the same kind of vibe.
Thanks for your time guys! Any closing remarks?
Keep music evil.
The Thee Holy Ghosts EP is available in its entirety to stream/download. Also, physical copies are still available here from Panther People Records! For only $4.00 you get 10 sweet songs, your selection of gnarly skeleton surfer or surf tomb artwork, and a 1″ Thee Holy Ghosts button… what a deal!