Canadas Talent


June 15, 2016

Featured Artist Interview – First Ghost

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Written by: CT
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By Kishan Mistry

Formed in 2013, First Ghost is an indie/alt rock band based out of Toronto, Ontario. Since their formation the band has released two EP’s and have slowly made an impact in a thriving Ontario Music Scene which continues to produce countless talented bands and artists.

First Ghost is amongst the many talented bands/artists that are a part of Toronto’s annual one-week-long festival, NXNE. In preparation of their NXNE Showcase headlined by The Hunna , happening Thursday June 16th at the Rivoli, Canada’s Talent caught up with the band’s drummer Danny Foster-Roman to discuss their latest EP and other fun stuff! Check out the interview our writer Kishan conducted with Danny!

Kishan: It’s great to hear you guys are playing #NXNE this year, how did this opportunity come about and what can you expect out of the showcase?

Danny: Thanks, we’re stoked for the show! The rock gods helped us out with this one actually. We heard recently that some good friends of ours were offered the show first but weren’t available. The Hunna from the UK are headlining and are an exciting new band with a ton of hype so we’re expecting an energetic show with many new faces!

K: Let’s talk about the band’s latest release, you guys put out your second EP “Secret Talk” back in the beginning of April of this year, how has the reception been so far?

D: Our moms and girlfriends absolutely love it! But seriously we’re very proud of the EP. It’s had sweet reviews and our release show was a blast.

K: It is apparent you guys have matured and fine-tuned your sound from your previous EP release “Real Eyes”; did you think the change was necessary to make?

D: I think it was just a natural progression for us.  We started this band to write whatever we feel like so there was never a conscious decision to make any changes.  I guess as we go through different phases in our lives our musical taste and writing style changes as well.  Real Eyes was also completely written, produced and recorded by Anton and our former singer Ryan Sweet, while Secret Talk was more of a full band approach with Danny and Keir recording drums and bass.  Our new singer/guitarist Mike Tompa recorded all the strings on the record as well!

K: The album is produced and engineered by Anton himself, how does this DIY approach affect the overall vision of the band’s sound?

D: We’re very fortunate to have such a talented dude in the band. I think it’s not as much as a DIY thing, as he does it for a living and chooses to do our records. However, with the writing becoming more and more important, it’s becoming tough to separate the writing and producing, and becoming completely detached and just being the musician is a thing we want to try. So we’re toying with the idea of bringing in one or two more creative minds who we really admire for the song writing and producing on the next record.

K: “Secret Talk” also has additional engineering help from Anton’s good friend, Sam Guaiana, where you both operate out of the same studio in Toronto. How did Sam impact the overall outcome of the EP?

D: Sam helped engineer vocals on a few songs and he definitely chimed in on some cool vocal ideas that we used. Again, it’s always good to have another set of seasoned ears in the room who wasn’t involved in the writing process. Dude is also chill, soo.

K: The video for “If You Want To” recently came out and I just wanted to mention how artistically beautiful the visuals for it were. What inspired the music video and is it awesome having a talented friend in Andrew Harris?

D: Thank you so much! The music video was actually inspired by Bilal’s “Soul Sista”, hilariously. None of us have ever heard of this artist, but we were trying to get inspiration one day and we came across this video and loved how it looked with our song playing and we thought we’d mess with black and white and the model aspect, as we’ve actually done before. Andrew is the most talented and is an essential part of the creativity that happens with our videos. Couldn’t do it without him. HUGE shout out.

K:  Two words; Hotline Bling. The cover has been out for about 7 months now and has over 30k views on Youtube and is arguably better than the original version. What prompted you guys to cover the 6ix God himself and did you anticipate it to do as well as it has?

D: Haha, well thank you. I like to think so as well. Honestly, I heard the song like twice and thought “hmm, we could do this in a cool way” and purposely only listened to it maybe once more with the cover in mind, so I wouldn’t get too familiar to the progressions, structure, melodies, vibe, etc. It’s a great song, I just thought it needed dynamics and rock-ness. The rockness monster. It was really just for fun.

K: First Ghost is part of an expanding and successful music scene in Southern Ontario with bands like Seaway, Like Pacific, Rarity, and Coldfront all being signed to labels and doing significantly well and it is very exciting to witness the local scene being put on the map. What are your thoughts on the Southern Ontario scene today?

D: Ontario music scene is the best ever. So proud of all these bands – every one of them are friends of ours and they work so hard. Super cool to have such a solid vibe in this province.

K: Would you like to give a shout out to any of the up-and-coming bands in the scene?

Ready The Prince is unreal. Most slept on band from around here. Also New Design is amazing – we may or may not be doing a thing with them soon.

K: Prior to First Ghost, you guys were under the name UTKF (Under The Killing Floor). Will there ever be a reunion show? The fans want to hear the old jams again!

D: Perhaps. ;)

K: What does the second half of 2016 look like for the band? Any exciting things/plans being announced in the near future?

D: We’re working on a couple tours currently, playing a handful of shows around Ontario this summer and writing for a full length. We’re starting demos in the coming months and hoping to start recording at the end of the year or beginning of next. Recording some stuff next week as well for a thing that we’ll talk about soon!

You can stream First Ghost’s second EP “Secret Talk” here.

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