If I met Baby Ghosts on a dating site here’s how it would go.
There are the initial first impressions – I love the band name – it’s spooky (ghosts), but cute because, well “baby“.
Band photo – two guys, two girls, beards, glasses – a balanced attack, yin and yang, like The Cramps, B52s. I’m curious.
Record cover – a kitty cat in corpse paint – maybe this is Black Metal, or Dark Wave. Hmmm, mysterious.
Song titles – COOKIES; Tumblr; alien.edu – unusual, but they have my attention.
Description – Punk, Pop, Garage – Sad and cute at the same time – now I’m really interested.
Then we meet and I hear the song Ghost Boyfriend. We’re going steady now.
From Salt Lake City, Baby Ghosts are like an unbridled version of The New Pornographers. Their sound expertly straddles the lines between punk, indie, and pop and the hooks are good and plentiful. The result is like they mixed together all the Slurpee flavors at 7-11; familiar and strange, but damn refreshing with a sweetness that can cause brain freeze.
In hindsight my first impressions weren’t too far off (well maybe Black Metal, Dark Wave) and I’m now quite content to listen to all of their records back to back, over and over again. I hope I’m not smothering them…?
Bret, Karly, Chaz, and Katrina
People say we sound like….
(Karly) – a lot of bands that we don’t sound like, basically any female fronted punk-y band.
Mika Miko was the biggest complement, Hole the most confusing.
(Bret) – Someone told us we sounded like Cursive once. They were wrong.
We are originally from…..
Bret: Southern California
Karly: Las Vegas
Katrina: New York
How did you become Baby Ghosts and what’s with the name?
(Karly) – It’s cute and sad at the same time. I originally joined just to sing, replacing the original singer, Lori.
(Bret) – My friend Lori and I started it just for fun, but only ended up playing like six shows before Karly came into the picture, then Katrina, and finally Chaz. The name comes from demo CDs Lori and I would give to each other with funny, fake band names on them. I wrote “Baby Ghosts” on one and it stuck. The second place name was Cat Decade, so think about that if you want.
What music has had an influence on your sound?
(Karly) – We like trying to incorporate doo-wop-y harmonies. The Raveonettes were a big influence in that direction. I have listened to The Ronettes and Leslie Gore quite a bit over the last few years.
(Bret) – Lots of different things. I am actually too easily influenced by bands that I love, so we might create decent music, but we will definitely never make anything original!
Tell us about your live show…
(Karly) – We (I) mess up a lot. It’s Part of the charm!? Our live shows are more about just playing music with your friends and having a good time.
What’s the most difficult part of being in a band?
(Karly) – Nothing. This band is seriously fun to be a part of.
(Bret) – Shipping. I am terrible at running our shipping.
How does the city’s musical history, or landscape influence your sound?
(Karly) – Since the majority of the band has moved to Salt Lake we have become a part of a really great DIY scene. They support us, are our friends, play D&D with us and most importantly call us out on our bullshit. We had a few problematic songs on our first album and the people around us weren’t afraid of telling us so and letting us grow up a bit.
What influences the band lyrically?
(Karly) – I know that when I’m involved with lyric writing it’s mostly about the funniest thing someone said at a point in time when we were ready to give up on that specific lyric actually meaning anything.
(Bret) – I can’t take myself seriously, but I am pretty serious. My lyrics are all jokes masking the saddest and most depressing aspects of my life, but even THAT is pretty funny to me, and makes me feel better. This band is my therapy.
Our most memorable gig ever was….
(Karly) – Well, Baby Ghosts has gone through a few really great lead guitarists. They were all good friends and lots of fun but it wasn’t until Chaz started playing with us that it really felt like a four-piece band. I wish I could remember a certain show that we felt like a whole band but I honestly feel like Chaz has always been in the band… so deal with that answer.
(Bret) – We played at Now That’s Class in Cleveland a few years ago, and there was just ONE scary skinhead dude who was so offensive and terrifying that we just left without getting paid as soon as we finished. I don’t know why that’s the first thing that came into my mind. We toured with All Dogs last year, and every single show with them was a dream coming true… That’s a better answer.
How was it playing Treefort?
(Karly) – It was SO FUN. We were given a spot that we felt like was way better than we deserved and we didn’t mess up very much and we really felt like the crowd was awesome and into it!
(Bret) – It was awesome. Boise is one of favorite places to play. SO many buds, and we make new friends every time we go there. It reminds me of Salt Lake, just with better venues and record stores.
If you could pick any time to travel back to for music, where would you go and what year would it be….
(Bret) – If I was around for a historic period of music then I would be older now, or even dead, so I would choose now and live my same life.
Growing up, at home we listened to…..
(Karly) – We didn’t really listen to music. On trips we listened to books on tape and my parents had 5 kids so I think they were pretty much over the noise. At the lake we would listen to The Steve Miller Band and Bob Marley, My older brother listened to a lot of Less than Jake and Lag Wagon. Needless to say I got into better music later in life.
(Bret) – Fleetwood Mac from Dad, Queen from Mom, and The Cure from one of my sisters. Thanks!
What tunes are currently on heavy rotation for you…
(Karly) – Frankie Cosmos, All Dogs, Waxahatchee.
(Bret) – Lemuria, The Get Up Kids, Third Eye Blind (lol)
If you could open for any band right now who would that be and why?
U2 because we could make a billion dollars and use it to bolster DIY communities. Or maybe just All Dogs again.
If you could only bring ONE record (you can all answer if you like) in the tour van what would it be?
Either of the first two Weezer albums (and B-sides).
When you’re not playing and have some time off, where could we find you…
Working all the time, and playing in all our other bands.
The one thing we want you to remember while you’re listening to our music….
Nothing. Just listen and do whatev.
What’s up for 2015/2016?
Hopefully some new singles and splits! We should have a split with Benny The Jet Rodriguez coming out at the end of Summer.