John Merchant interview
Check out Emmy's latest interview with John Merchant, singer, guitarist & co-writer of Ghosts of Sunset
Emmy: How did the name come about? John: The name is an homage to the Sunset Strip music
scene predominantly the 1980's “hair metal” movement we grew up on. But it's also recognizing everything from the 50s scene to the 1960s with the Byrds, the Doors, Buffalo Springfield as well as bands on the 70s like the Runaways. It's our change to salute our heroes.
Emmy: How would you describe your genre to someone who isn't familiar with your music?
John: Rock n roll. Our sound is heavily influenced by the 1980s “hair metal” sound, but since we've been writing and recording for over 30 years, we allow ALL our influences to
surface in Ghosts of Sunset.
Emmy: How did the band form?
John: My partner Todd Long and I have been friends and bandmates
for over 30years. We've made music across several genres. I had an idea for a concept
EP based on a fictional 1980s band and told Todd about it. Within a day he had the
music for our first single “Miles In-Between” and we were off and running. After
completing that song, we knew it was more of a band than a “project” and it would require our full attention.
Emmy: What are some of the artists that influence you?
John: From that 1980s scene it would be Ratt, Motley Crue, Guns n Roses, Faster Pussycat, LA Guns and so many more. But it also encompasses stuff like country music from the 50s,60s, and 70s, as well as 80s new wave and pop, grunge, and even current hits. We don't descriminate. A good song is a good song and we allow any of them to influence our work.
Emmy: If you could tour with any artist or band (still active or not) who would it be?
John: Great question. Active? Any of the bands we grew up on or were influenced by. Lots of bands from the 1980s “hair metal” scene are still active, making great new music, and delivering the goods live. Of all time? The Beatles didn't tour much but that would be amazing. We could sure learn a lot from a band like Def Leppard or Bon Jovi who managed to stay relevant, keep their fanbase, and always play stellar live shows.
Emmy: What's your favorite show you've played?
John: Theres something great about any time you get to exchange energy with other humans and share something you love. This pandemic has reminded a lot of people about how important it is to share moments with other human beings.
Emmy: What's the future hold for the band?
John: Right now, we're promoting our second single “Never Goodbye” and then will release a third single before years end. Our full EP should see the light in 2021 followed by a full-length release later in the year. It's our goal to do some limited touring if our industry recovers enough to allow that to happen.