Hailing from the state of Ohio, Ghost Train is an eclectic rock n roll band combining elements of pop, classic rock, country, and reggae into their authentic sound. Ghost Train was formed by drummer Ryan T. Griffis and guitarist Eric Moss in 2017 at Miami University in Oxford. Ghost Train released their self-titled debut album in September of 2018 with the addition of Sean Stone on bass and shortly afterward added Andrew Stuve on keyboard. The band is currently writing new material for 2020 and plays on continuing to tour throughout Ohio and hopefully beyond!
Ghost Train’s debut album includes 7 tracks of completely captivating real rock. “Manifest Destiny” is the opener and begins with a fitting eerie train whistle. “Manifest Destiny” lays out the vocal depth and the alt-rock rhythms in a manner that keeps your focus on the concept and on the progression of the ideas. Meanwhile, this raw rock ambiance drives a certain sense of escapism in the way that a live show from a classic band might. “Millennial Bop” follows the opener and injects way more personality into the mix. A fruitful guitar line kicks things off and a subsequently rhythmic, spoken word vocal. The simplicity reigns once more and breathes a certain theme or mood into the project. A second listen lets the story-line sink in a little more poignantly.
“Somebody Like Me” adds an element of brightness in terms of the musical mood. The melody captivates as a few notes rise up and fall back down to layout the personal story-line. A hint of lightness follows later and helps build an interesting structure. “Out of the Woods (Going Inside)” afterward leads with more entrancing riffs and quickly captures your affection for its fine balancing between the quick and the mellow. An easy favorite for the simple yet still huge hook section. The simplicity allows for creative freedoms with smooth guitar and punching vocals.
“Booze in My Blood” is another highlight for the contrast between the secure rhythm of the riff and the beat with the steady pace of the vocal creates something easily memorable and quite classic feeling. Again, the lyrics seem to hit less intensely than the general vibe of the music, but with a second listen you start to form those connections! “The Cave” comes into the mix with a soulful guitar line. As the percussion sections move in, we’re graced with a bluesy, sultry 8 minutes of instrumental brilliance to take us further into this incredible project.
“In a Land That We Call Home” features harmonically rich and emotional vocals to paint a soundscape in your mind, Ghost Train allows the listener to escape into an alternate reality and live in the music. “In a Land That We Call Home” changes the pace of the album, with light guitar strumming and a simple melody. The vocals are perfectly suiting the sentiments and light-hearted aura of this song. A great way to go out, superb guitar work yet again and an overall enjoyable, entertaining piece of music and performance.
Ghost Train’s sound as it stands today is easy to spot. There’s plenty of individuality in the approach, and just enough familiarity to really appeal to the rock outcasts who crave that original, authentic aura. “Ghost Train” is a strong release start to finish. We can’t wait to hear more!
Check out the album here and read more with Ghost Train below!
Welcome to BuzzMusic Ghost Train! Can you briefly introduce yourselves to our readers? How did you go about choosing your stage name?
We are a dynamic rock n roll band from the Great State of Ohio who brings life, liberty and the pursuit of greatness into each and every one of our songs. Our music is inspired through various sounds of classic rock intertwined with modern pop, country, reggae, and hip hop. Ghost Train was founded by drummer and singer/songwriter Ryan T. Griffis & guitarist and singer/songwriter Eric Moss while attending college at Miami University (Oxford, OH.) Our idea for Ghost Train was to incorporate most, if not all, mainstream musical genres into our sound. Using the train as the general concept and analogy, each car associated with Ghost Train should represent some sort of commentary on American culture. The people who #RideTheTrain aka the "passengers," are essentially the ones who keep Ghost Train rolling down the tracks.
How was the production of your latest album? Did your initial vision for the album end up executing as you thought it would?
The production on our debut album was very satisfying for knowing how inexperienced we were with the overall process of writing, recording and producing an album. The process started with writing the music which took us roughly ten weeks to write all of the songs on our debut album. We were still going to college and taking classes full time so it was a struggle at times, but we managed to set aside time for music and we were determined to accomplish what we set out to do. After we had written all of our songs, we went to the studio and began recording our music. It took us several sessions at the studio to record everything that we wanted to be done and after all the recording was done, we began the mixing phase of the production process. Mixing is probably the most important aspect of the music besides the actual recording itself. If we could go back in time, we would spend the majority of our budget on the mixing process. "Money buys time and time is perfection" - Ryan T. Griffis. After the mixing phase, mastering was the next step. Mastering is like putting the icing on the cake, it just makes the song that much better. When all of the recordings, mixing, and mastering phases were over with, it was time to release the album. We used an independent distributing resource called DistroKid. DistroKid allowed us to get our music onto downloading and streaming platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, Amazon, Pandora, Google, Deezer, Tidal, YouTube, etc. Once our music was out there on these services, we promoted it by advertising on social media, handing out free CDs at our shows, and by launching Spotify campaigns. Social media advertising has helped us tremendously especially on Facebook. Handing out free CDs at our shows allows people to have another opportunity to listen to us while they're at home, at work, or driving in their cars. The possibility of one person showing another person a song of ours is highly probable with regards to handing out free copies of our album at our shows. Launching Spotify campaigns has really sparked a new beginning for us. The return on investment is the main goal of using Spotify promotion because it helps get our music onto Spotify playlists that have hundreds to thousands of followers. By using Spotify promotion, we've seen an increase in almost every category Spotify has to offer like monthly listeners, the numbers of streams, and followers. As a result of the increasing numbers on social media, streaming, and downloads, and audience at our shows has led us to want to create another album. Our initial vision for the album was to create a buzz with our music and see what opportunities it could potentially open up for us. We played a total of 15 shows throughout 2019 which was a great step in the right direction. We have put out new music since the release of our debut album and are already booking shows in 2020. We learned a lot from the whole experience and are eager to get back to work.
"Millennial Bop" was that type of track that pulsates with energy! What kind of vibe were you going for when curating the track?
When we first started writing the song, we knew it was going to be the hit on the album. Griffis came to Moss with the song title "Millennial Bop" and Moss sort of laughed jokingly at the name. Once Griffis explained how he visioned the song to go and what the song represented, Moss loved the idea of it. Griffis based the backbeat of the song off of Beastie Boys "No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn" and Moss wanted the song to have a reggae/rock/hip hop vibe, so when the two put their heads together on writing this song, it became prevalent that it was going to be a hit. A little known fact is that nearly 95% of Moss' lyrics are freestyled in "Millennial Bop." The other 5% of the song that isn't freestyled are original lyrics from the Notorious B.I.G from his song "Going Back to Cali"
The whole album is extremely versatile and impressive! What would you say is the track that holds the most emotion? What’s the story or inspiration behind this song?
The song that holds the most emotion would have to be "In a Land That We Call Home." The song was written by Ryan T. Griffis as a poem and brought to the drawing board as the final track for the album. "The song is the definition of hard work, dedication, and persistence all in one track," Griffis says after the song took him nearly four years to finish writing. There are two storylines associated with the song. The first storyline is about the birth of America from where we were back then to where we are now and the other storyline is the birth of Ghost Train from where we started to where we are now. The overall message of the song is that if America can compromise its differences and focus on being the greatest country to ever be established on planet Earth, then Ghost Train can compromise its differences and focus on the music being some of the greatest to ever be made. "We might hit a few bumps along the way, but there is no stopping Ghost Train on the track to greatness" - Griffis says.
Thank you so much for chatting with us! Do you have any upcoming events or shows to tell us about?
We just want to say thanks and we appreciate BuzzMusic for taking the time to review our music and post about Ghost Train. Our first show of 2020 will be at Taffy's "Music Mecca of the Universe" in Eaton, Ohio on Saturday, January 25th, 2020. We will also be releasing a new song titled "Jailhouse Woman" around that same time!