Electronic rock band, Ghost Town, has the Warped Tour scene down. As their second tour is under way, they sat down with MEB writer Kristyn Shannon to chat about Disney princesses, braiding hair in mosh pits, and acoustic albums.
MEB: I’ve watched a lot of previous interviews you’ve done and you guys, as a band, are so chill. I absolutely love that fact. So, in honor of that fact, we’re going to start out super chill. What’s your favorite Disney princess?
Kevin [McCullough]: Ooh.
Alix [Koochaki]: Belle.
Alix: Because Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Disney movie and she’s pretty.
That’s what her name means.
Alix: She turned the beast into a man. It’s true love right there. It’s beautiful.
Kevin: Sleeping Beauty.
Kevin: She’s hot.
Alix: Cool. (Laughs)
Manny [Dominick]: Cinderella.
Manny: Because I feel like, she’s definitely a little innocent girl. You know what I’m saying? You got the stepsisters around and stuff. I’m attracted to innocent women that have to be home by midnight.
Kevin: Oh yeah, that’s respectable.
Manny: If they come home at one o’clock, they can expect some trouble.
Kevin: Very genuine.
Manny: Alix was like, “Oh you ended that off great.”
Alix: That was a chill note.
Kevin: All the Disney Princesses!
I’m going to work for Disney in August. I’m this low at Disney, but I’m working on being a princess.
Manny: If you grow out your ponytail, you could be Rapunzel.
I’m working on it. My braid is a little messy right now because my hair is a little messy.
Kevin: It’s Warped Tour.
I tried to put a bow in it to look pretty.
Kevin: It looks great. Killin’ it.
I literally did this in a pit.
Kevin: There you go. You should do a tutorial on how to do a braid in a mosh pit. No one’s done it.
How’d you come to play Warped Tour?
Kevin: We played in 2014, we did a little over half and it was a great success for us.
Alix: Thank you to Kevin Lyman for having us back, the man behind all this. The mastermind.
Kevin: We did two years of UK Warped. It was awesome for us.
Alix: Last year was insane. We played the main stage and we were the first band on our stage.
Kevin: It was a huge crowd. It was insane.
Alix: I feel like I blacked out for the whole set cause I looked back at pictures and videos and I was like, “I don’t remember that many people!”
Kevin: It was awesome.
I wish I could go to the UK Warped Tour.
Kevin: Seriously, it’s so much fun.
Alix: It’s a totally different beast.
Which bands were you most excited to see on the lineup?
Alix: There are so many. The Maine. Every Time I Die.
Kevin: Sum 41. Good Charlotte.
Alix: Sleeping With Sirens.
Manny: Falling In Reverse.
Alix: I See Stars.
Kevin: So many friends’ bands.
Alix: A lot of these are our friends that we’ve toured with. I’ve actually grown up listening to and getting to tour with them.
I’m very happy a lot of the old bands are coming back.
Kevin: I feel like it’s our generation. Who we saw at Warped Tour growing up. It’s like, “What? They’re here and we’re here?”
Now that you have a few stops under your belt, how’s it been touring with one of the biggest named tours for the summer?
Kevin: Definitely getting through the first leg of this tour and working out all the kinks and kinda getting into the swing of things; now it’s kinda like we can take a deep breath and just go out there and really have fun. I mean, granted, it’s been fun the whole time.
Alix: It’s a lot of work. This tour is a lot of work. But, with any tour, once you get your routine down, then you can kinda not go through the motions, but you know what to expect.
Kevin: You can play with it more.
Alix: Start to get comfortable with the day and the routine.
Kevin: It’s always the best feeling when it’s like, “Yo, dude, I didn’t expect you to do that.” It’s like, “Yeah, I was just riding the wave.”
Has anything strange or awesome happened on your earlier stops? Any memories that you want to share?
Kevin: Earlier stops on this tour?
Manny: Our power fucked up.
Kevin: We had no A/C.
Manny: We didn’t have A/C for like, a week.
Alix: Yeah, for the first week and Warped Tour is in the dead of summer.
Manny: That’s what was crazy.
Alix: It started in the south. It was humid. It was miserable.
Kevin: There was one night where it was so hot that I went to go sleep in the front lounge area. I woke up and everyone was sleeping up there.
Alix: It was just way too hot.
Kevin: On the floor. On the couches. Everyone was just miserable. You could tell we were all just trying to get through that night. It was pretty funny.
Alix: What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
In one interview, you said that you wanted to make “timeless songs.” Do you believe you achieved that?
Kevin: I would say so.
Alix: I feel like we’ve definitely written songs that capture a moment in time, but I mean, only time will tell, to be honest. Until then, we’re still going to keep trying to do that.
Kevin: I love you, Alix.
I love this bromance you got going on.
Alix: I had three cups of coffee today.
Manny: You had two cups?
Kevin: That whiskey coffee?
Alix: Yeah. Don’t tell my mom. (Laughs).
What sort of themes do you bring to your songs and why do you choose them in particular?
Kevin: Tons! Everything from horror to sci-fi to just more realistic stuff.
Alix: Yeah, to real situations that everyone can go through.
Kevin: We don’t like to be held down by any border or genre or anything, no matter it’s a theme or visual aspect. We want to say what we want to say.
Manny: Guilty pleasures.
Kevin: Yes, all guilty pleasures, 100%.
What goes through your mind when you’re writing songs?
Alix: For me, every time I pick up the guitar, I’m waiting for something to come out. It’s exciting every single time because you don’t know what’s going to happen that day.
Kevin: Kinda like a sixth sense. It’s almost like we’re channeling something.
Alix: When you start getting into the flow, especially in a band where you collaborate and write songs together, you start to get on the same wavelength, it’s like a snowball effect. It’s hard to stop and it’s a great thing to be a part of.
Kevin: There’s been moments where we’re like, “Oh, we want to be inspired. Let’s go to a vintage bookstore and buy fucking cool books” and like, just catch a vibe. We’ve written songs like that.
Alix: Aside from playing on stage and that high you get from playing live, creating something from nothing is next to none.
Some of my personal favorites of yours are the older songs that you sing, like “Off With Her Head”, that’s my favorite song.
Alix: That’s what we open our set with.
Dang it, I missed it! I was interviewing other bands! I’m very upset I missed it.
Kevin: Next time.
Manny: You can see us again.
I would LOVE to.
Manny: We’ll put you on the list.
Please do. I’ll be there in a heartbeat.
Manny: That’s pretty fucking fast. We’ll hook you up. Photo pass. Interview pass. Homegirl pass. Rapunzel pass. Everything.
I recently found on YouTube, though they’ve probably been out a lot longer, that the band posted acoustic versions of these songs. Is it strange to see fans comment on these videos saying that the acoustic versions are better than the original?
Manny: No, that’s dope.
Alix: That’s kudos to the song.
Kevin: That comes back to us wanting to write timeless music. We want to show people that, although we are an electronic rock band and very electronic driven, when you break our songs down to their simplest core, we really focus on writing really great songs and that has a lot to do with wanting to write stuff that’s going to last the test of time.
Alix: If a song can’t be felt at its most bare bones form, then chances are it’s not that good.
Kevin: No pun intended or what? The EP is called Bare Bones.
Alix: And we may or may not have some acoustic songs of new songs coming your way. I swear, there’s something magical about stripping away all the glitz and glamour and let it just rock.
To end on a chill note, what’s your favorite song to play live off this Warped set?
Alix: We do a cover. At least, that’s my favorite.
Kevin: Alix likes to be a different band.
What’s the cover?
Alix: Should we say it? Or is it kind of a surprise?
Well, I missed it already. (Laughs).
Manny: We do a song by Rage Against The Machine, that’s all you need to know.
Kevin: It’s a quick one, yeah. But, out of our songs. I don’t know. “W.F.F.” is really fun to play live. It’s not like the most popular of our songs, but it kills live. “Spark” is always fun because there’s a lot of moments in that song. And then “Trick or Treat.” We close with “Trick or Treat.”
Alix: Your favorite! Just one!
Kevin: It is my freaking favorite. Oh shoot, sorry. We just like to get people to move and get involved. Lose themselves a little bit.
Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Kevin: That we love you guys. Don’t settle for less. Don’t ever let anyone tell you you can’t do something.
Kevin: Create and be consistent. Ride the wave of momentum and don’t let it go when you have it.
Now you might be pushing the “ride the wave” thing.
Kevin: That’s my thing.
Alix: Cali, baby.