Tuesday, December 6, 2011

You Should Know: Gross Ghost

You Should Know is a series that has been long awaited for me, after dropping the interviews from Bottom String Sessions it was a conscious decision to add a video feature to the blog, but the matter of bringing it all together was a bit more.  You Should Know is a video feature on local bands that highlights the band's formation, future, and a bit of everything else in between all the while focusing on the aspect of the band that has made them so prominent on the scene for me, their music.

Gross Ghost was kind enough to invite me out to their cabin outside of Carrboro to film our session, upon driving through the dirt roads and passing the "No Trespassing Signs" with an ominous "wrong turn" type of feel to it, Aggie and I came to the end of the path and pretty much dropped our jaws at how incredible this place looked.  Mike later informed us of his gun-toting neighbor being basically harmless, then gave us the grand cabin tour so to speak.  Mike, Tre, Rob, and TJ are all incredibly endearing individuals and upon finding out that they'd planned to film full band inside of the cabin I basically had an inner fanboy freakout over the fact that I'd get to see my own private Gross Ghost set inside of an empty cabin in the woods.  It was as awesome as it sounds.

The thing about Gross Ghost that makes them stand out among the crowded scene in North Carolina is the subtle twists that they can add to tried and true methods.  They're riding a lo-fi wave of glory in their early recordings, but quality aside they have constructed some fantastic songs that seem to implant themselves inside of your head due to how intrinsically catchy they are.  There's a rough around the edges feel to Gross Ghost, they've got a bit of a surf-punk mixture in which both of these elements find their ways of shining through, but it's all candy coated nicely by the brilliant pop melodies that are woven into these tunes.  Whether it be Mike or Tre writing the melodies, they know how to perfectly juxtapose this short, brisk, punk instrumentation (most songs clocking in around the 2-3:00 mark) with some of the catchiest and warmest melodies you can find.  Driving away from our filming and discussing Gross Ghost with the absolutely floored Aggie made me look deeper into why I cared so much for the sounds that Gross Ghost produced and I think it's because they lack the frills and pretentiousness of these other bands, there is no delusion of grandeur with Gross Ghost, it's four guys making music that they love and they're incredibly genuine about it all.

I sat down and talked with Mike and TJ a bit about the formation of Gross Ghost, the future of Gross Ghost, and all of the in between.  We spoke a bit of the band's upcoming full length Brer Rabbit, the artwork for which was just completed by Kelsey Melville, and got a February time-frame for the release date.  Brer Rabbit will be a mixture of older songs re-mastered as well as some new tracks with a tour to coincide with it all.  Gross Ghost are building and building upon the foundation they've set for themselves with these meticulously crafted songs, playing The Soapbox Laundrolounge in Wilmington with The Love Language and Last Year's Men for their New Years Eve celebration.  It shouldn't be much longer before Gross Ghost is becoming as regularly mentioned as these other North Carolina powerhouses that they so frequently find themselves playing with.

For the full video interview plus performances of "You Tell Me" and "Architect", check out You Should Know below!

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