Friday, June 14, 2024

Ghosts of Sunset

Ghosts of Sunset is a musical project put together by singer/songwriter John Merchant and singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Todd Long, the pair having had a 30 plus year making music for both the major record labels and independents.

They released the EP Headed West on 5th February and through its various songs it told the story of a fictional midwestern band, tracing their move to Los Angeles, rise to national touring artists and their decline as tastes and the industry itself changed.

The story which has become common fodder for TV shows such as Behind the Music spoke to both Merchant and Long who came of age during the golden era that became known as “hair metal”. A term that speaks to what many viewed as being focussed on style over substance.

To make the record a cast of musicians with their roots in the 1980s hard rock/hair metal scene were brought in. We’re talking musicians with resumes that include L.A. Guns, Ratt, Enuff Znuff, Kix, Lita Ford, and more. Renowned producer Adam Hamilton (Missing Persons, L.A. Guns, Vains of Jenna, William Shatner, David Hasselhoff) was brought in to mix and contribute keyboards.
The EP was released globally by Golden Robot Records, presenting the songs in chronological order and the listener not only takes the journey via the lyrics, but also in the production style and writing maturation process. As the six song EP moves along, the tone darkens, the themes reflect the bands disillusionment before ultimately circling back to making music for the “love of the game”

Ghosts of Sunset released several singles in support of the extended player, with them clocking up several hundred thousand streams digitally.

On 29th March they release ‘All I Wanna Do Is Rock’, and all proceeds will go the charity Save Our Stages. You can pre-order it here.

Regarding previous single releases, first up was ‘Miles In-Between’ that harkened back to the glory days of hair metal, its intent to take you back to when the Sunset Strip was the place to be.

“The story behind Miles In-Between‘ is once you’ve signed the big record deal, it’s time to take it on the road and share it with the world. The road is unrelenting. It changes lives, crushes relationships and can lead a trail of career ending destruction,” commented the Ghosts of Sunset pairing.

The track features John Merchant (Vocals, guitar), Todd Long (Bass, harmony vocals), Johnny Monaco (Ex-Enuff Z’Nuff on lead guitar), Kent Slucher (of Luke Bryan, on drums) and Brian Roth (Keyboards).

You can stream/buy Miles In-Between’ here and check out the lyric video here at RAMzine.

They followed that up with ‘Never Goodbye’ regarding which Todd Long said: “What do you do when your shelf life is up and the writing is on the wall? You have to go back to your roots and find your true self! You just say goodnight, never goodbye!”

‘Never Goodbye’ features  Merchant (Vocals), Long (Guitar) and Roth (Keyboards), plus Tracii Guns (L.A. Guns – Lead guitar), Bruno Ravel (Danger Danger – Bass), Adam Hamilton (Tuff – Drums),  and Patrick Kennison (Lita Ford Band– Harmony vocals).  You can listen/order the single by clicking here and watch the video for it right here at RAMzine.

Third single, ‘Another Rock N Roll Show’ was released as we 2020’s Christmas festive season.

“In an era when bands delivered arena level performances in small clubs on the Sunset Strip, the ‘Rock N’ Roll Show’ is where you make the biggest noise and create the biggest buzz,” said Merchant. You can order the single here and watch the video below.

Ghosts of Sunset dropped title track, ‘Headed West’ in February and you can still stream/buy the single here. As for the EP itself you can pre-order/pre-save the Headed West EP here. 

Paul H Birch
Paul H Birch
RAMzine Senior Writer - Writer of fiction, faction and fact, has edited several newsstand magazines. He declares himself a hack for hire but refuses to compromise on the subject of music.

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