The Boston-based quintet Ghost Thrower began their career in October 2010 by letting out angst over relationships, career-loss, alcoholism, and other general forms of life-induced misery. Since their formation the band has released four EPs of aggression based punk rock and in mid-October released their first, self-titled full-length (via Broken Circles Records).
Bred from numerous bands such as Therefore I Am, Shipwreck AD, and The Tower and The Fool, Ghost Thrower is no stranger to the music scene in which it was formed. Taking cues from a range of influences, Ghost Thrower’s self-titled LP grants listeners a different, cohesive sound of promise with Beach Boy surf hooks and Jawbreaker-esque lyrics akin to their previous style of angry and sad personal allocation, adding a new “I’m cool with it” vibe. The band’s new direction has clearly found them thriving and leaves them appreciative of the former life in which they blossomed from.
Ghettoblaster recently caught up with Ghost Thrower’s Travis Alexander to discuss his roots, the writing process, and being honest. This is what he said.
Did you grow up in the East Coast hardcore scene? How influential were Boston punk and hardcore bands on your pursuit of music?
I grew up in Maine. I went to a lot of shows but I wasn’t really immersed in the hardcore scene until I moved to Boston when I was 19. I wouldn’t say Hardcore and Punk music had any more influence on my pursuit of music than any other genre. Since I can remember, I’ve always been a musician on some level.
On the Equal Vision page I saw that Travis said, “I literally listened to nothing but the demos on repeat for weeks and realized that these songs had a weird way of helping me commiserate with my own misery.” Do you believe that it is important to isolate one’s self from outside catalysts when writing, or is it possible to be uniquely inspired when you are inundated by the art of others?
I think it’s the complete opposite, actually. I find that I get the itch to write when I’ve been listening to a wide array of new music. My favorite albums may always be my favorite albums, but they’re not influencing my writing style as much as they did when I was younger. Expanding your musical repertoire is extremely important as a song writer. Stephen King has a quote about reading that I think applies to listening to music: “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” If you’re not constantly listening to everything you can, you’re going to write the same songs over and over again. More power to you if you’re comfortable with that.
Most of the songs from the Get Miserable EP were recorded in one take. Do you believe that the best and most sincere energy comes when you haven’t practiced something to death?
I do. No matter what I track, I always look back and think I should’ve done something differently. How I feel about some of those one-take tracks is no different than how I feel about previous recordings that I obsessed over and tracked 20 times. I think I’ll always hear something I wish was different. With that on your mind, it doesn’t matter how many times you track. However, some songs (including some on that EP) deserve to be dedicated a little more time and energy.
Do you believe that Ghost Thrower’s music is steeped in self-loathing as some have described? Or is it just honesty?
I think it’s a little of both. I write all of the lyrics and believe it or not, I don’t dislike myself. Our band is an outlet. Our music is a means for us to do what makes us happy, even if it’s singing sad songs. Our music is honesty in the respect that at one point in time, I thought those things about myself. However, as I’ve grown up, I no longer let those thoughts consume me.
When did you begin writing for the self-titled LP? Where there specific catalysts happening in your life that inspired the direction of the record?
We started this record right after Get Miserable came out. Slowly over the past 2 years, more songs would trickle in and some would phase out until we had 11 that we really loved and none that we could part with. I moved to NYC area last January and it played a big part in the majority of the lyrics. I’ve met a lot of over-the-top pretentious people down here. I’ve made some great friends here too, but most of these songs were influenced by undesirable people. Everyone has an opinion.
Would you say that Ghost Thrower offers fans a message? If so, what is it? Perseverance maybe…
In a way, yes. If you could find a message in the songs on our new record, it would be “stay true to who you are” – You’re going to meet a lot of unlikable people and they’re going to make you angry. You’re going to meet a lot of amazing people and some of them are going to make you feel bad about yourself. You’re going to get really confused consistently. Just keep doing you. In addition, our new record is a big commentary on the social media based fame obsessed generation Y society. Treat everyone with respect and put your phone away.
How did the move from EVR to Broken Circles come about?
EVR are some of my favorite people to work with ever. They were awesome enough to pick up our first few releases and we never agreed to on anything more. There was no moving or dropping. Our records came out on EVR and then we had to find a new label. We put out a split on Youth Conspiracy records in the same manner. Broken Circles approached me at a seedy dive bar in the lower east side of manhattan. We clicked and both thought it’d be a great idea to work together.
Do you have plans to do any touring in support of the record?
We’ll be playing as many shows as life and work allow. Unfortunately I can’t give a definite either way.
(Catch Ghost Thrower here:
Monday, Nov 18 @ Great Scott -Boston, Massachusetts
Visit them online here: