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Behind the Noise: Interview With The Exhilarating Returning Hardcore Band GHOSTxSHIP


The band casually standing lined up side by side
Photo credit: Samm Aversa

After a multi-year-long hiatus, the illuminating, hard-hitting, hardcore band from Syracuse, New York, GHOSTxSHIP, rose from the ashes with their first release since 2014. On May 1st, the band made their presence known with their latest single, 'Ties That Bind.' With the band's resurrection, they're undoubtedly going to add some spice to the scene with their momentum. We had the chance to speak to Sean Mott, one of the band's guitar players, to talk about their new approach to making music, their creative process, the magic of the heavy music scene, and more in this exclusive interview!



Iceis: To start us off, I thought we [should] just go through some random fun questions before we get into anything too serious. So, my first one is, if you could talk to an inanimate object, which one would you choose?

Sean: Honestly, maybe a guitar. I would like it to be a guitar [that has] traveled, [and] not just owned by the same person its whole entirety of existence. A guitar [that has] toured for years and years and years, ‘cause I feel like it’d have some stories, you know.

Iceis: It would have some backstories.

Sean: Yeah, I think I'll go with that. Or anything like that. Anything that just travels, just to hear its perspective of being something that's used for entertainment purposes and just exists to do that. Something that can travel the world. You don't really think about that kind of thing. It's a cool question.

Iceis: That would be sick. That's much funner than mine. I was going to say the refrigerator so it can tell me when something's about to go bad or if I forgot something that's in the refrigerator and I haven’t eaten it yet. But a guitar sounds a lot cooler.

Sean: I mean, that would be handy with a refrigerator.

 

Iceis: Our next one is if there was only one candy flavor left in the world, which one do you think it should be?

Sean: Ah, man. This is a complicated question for me because I love Reese’s. But in the last few years, I've become vegan, and my wife, of almost eight years, is allergic to peanut butter. But there [are] vegan sunflower seed butter cups. So, I guess those vegan sunflower seed butter cups ‘cause they're the next best thing [I’m] gonna get with it being vegan and not killing my wife.

Iceis: Yeah, ‘cause murder over candy does sound like a reason for divorce.

Sean: It could be a little more finalized than divorce.

Iceis: That is a really good answer, and I also really like Reese’s cup. So, I will totally one hundred percent get in on your answer for that. But I would make it dark chocolate instead of regular chocolate. I am a dark chocolate person.

Sean: A lot of dark chocolates do end up being vegan ‘cause they don't have milk in them. Some of them. Not all of them. But a lot of them do ‘cause they're less milk than everything else that’s in chocolate.

Iceis: Hell yeah. Then that’ll work out.

 

Iceis: Our next one is if you could start a mosh pit to a 2000s song, which one would you choose?

Sean: When I [was growing] up, I really liked boy bands. So, I’m trying to remember the name of the song that's off [of the] Backstreet Boys [album] Millennium. [I think it’s] ‘Larger Than Life.’ I remember the music video so vividly in my head. There's a car chase in it. I don't know why. There's no reason that I would pick that other than I have a fond memory of it from when I was a kid. I don’t even think it'd be good to mosh to you, but I'm gonna pick that.

Iceis: Fair enough. The only knowledge I have about boybands is NSYNC, and ‘Bye Bye Bye’ is the only NSYNC song I know. If we’re going into [the] 2000s, Big Time Rush came out when I was nine or eight. So, if we're going the boyband route, and I'm choosing something from the 2000s, we could do ‘Elevate’ [by Big Time Rush]. Although I think that was more 2012, it doesn't matter.

 

Iceis: Number four [is] if you were to write a song about an internet slang term, which slang term would you choose?

Sean: I've recently learned that Ohio Means weird.

Iceis: Wait, what?

Sean: So, apparently, Ohio Means weird. My wife, Sam, was [watching something on] TikTok or YouTube, and it was a daughter asking her mom, “Oh, do you know what this slang term means?” Kind of thing. And yeah, Ohio means weird, apparently, which I guess kind of makes sense. Ohio is pretty weird. But I think I would write a song about Ohio because then you can hide the meaning [of] it. Just say you’re writing a song about Ohio. It's really just about being weird. I think all of us [who] are into heavy music [are] all weird. So, [I think] we all [have] a little Ohio in us.

Iceis: Put a little Ohio in all of us. That will be the new phrase for the metal scene.

Sean: I like that.

Iceis: That's a TikTok thing. That’s why I don't know it. I refuse to acknowledge that TikTok exists, and I think I’m the only person in their early twenties who is like that. Supposedly, TikTok [will be] banned soon, so maybe I [won't] need to worry about it anymore.

Sean: That's very true. I don't get sucked into TikTok like a lot of people. I have it, but I rarely go on it.

Iceis: I open it every six months because I follow some bands and artists, and I look at what they're doing. That keeps me occupied for like thirty minutes, and then I'm over it.

Sean: Yeah, I scroll for [about] thirty seconds, and I'm done. It just does not catch me like other people. People will just be in a hole for hours. I can't do that. I don't know.

Iceis: Apparently, I'm too spiritually old because I also don't get it.

 

Iceis: And finally, what is one item sold in stores that you wish didn't exist?

Sean: I don't think I vehemently hate things that much to wish that something wouldn't exist. I don't know. Peeps, I really don't like peeps. I think they're gross.

Iceis: Okay, well, they are just colorful marshmallows, and they're only relevant at Easter. What other time are you eating peeps?

Sean: I'm never eating peeps.

Iceis: yeah, I'm just talking about the general population.

Sean: I don’t know, people really like peeps. Good for them. I guess I would eradicate peeps from existence.

Iceis: A band I follow was posting tour things, and they were talking about some kind of coffee-flavored energy drink. Apparently, Hostess has a Twinkie iced latte in a can, and I'm just like, “Why?

Sean: Yeah, those canned coffee drinks are gross. [I’m] not into them at all.

Iceis: No, I hate them.

Sean: It tastes so weird. I like coffee. I like lattes. But [when it comes to] the canned ones, I've only had a few that I like.

Iceis: Starbucks does pretty decent. I know Bang has coffee energy drinks, And I can not. I'm like, “I don't want my coffee to taste like cookie dough. That's disgusting. I want my coffee to taste like coffee.

Sean: Canned cookie dough flavor. Yeah, there's no way that's good.

Iceis: Yeah. See, I did it for you, so you don't need to ever try it.

Sean: [There are] only certain ones [I can drink]. Like I said, I'm vegan, so they have to be the oat milk ones. Those ones tend to be better. I don't love them, but I don't get sickened by them. I remember when the Monster coffee energies came out years ago; they were such a big thing. And I just have always [been] like, “These are so gross.

Iceis: I would never. After trying Bang, I would never try the Monster form of it.

Sean: Yeah, I don't blame you. A Bang coffee drink sounds so bad.

Iceis: It is.

 

Iceis: Moving on to some of your background. I feel like every musician, or anybody who creates anything, whether that’s art or writing or whatever, always [has] a defining moment where they realize that they want to create and do that thing full time. What did that moment look like for you?

Sean: Man, it's so weird ‘cause I see people post their first shows, and they're always so sick. I grew up in Watertown, New York. It's pretty much Canada. It's [about] ten minutes away from the Canadian border, but it's [still] New York. It's what I call upstate New York. A lot of people everywhere else think upstate New York is just near the city. It's like, “No, I live like four hours away from the city. I'm nowhere close to the city whatsoever.” That's upstate New York, not just right next to the city. But I went to this local metal show when I was sixteen years old, and I just fell in love with it. At that point, I was already listening to the bands that kind of got me into heavier music. [Bands] like Senses Fail, Killswitch [Engage], Eighteen Visions, and As [I] Lay Dying. Those are the bands that really got me into heavier music. And seeing a local show like that and seeing it live [where] people are sweating over each other, pushing each other around, [and] everything like that, I was like, “There's something to this.” And ever since then, I just found ways to be a part of it. I would help pass out flyers, and eventually, I started playing guitar. And then that's [when] I figured out what I wanted to do with my life. I started making really terrible flyers in [MS] Paint when I was seventeen, and I had a bunch of friends who were in the same music scene, [who were] like, “Oh, yeah, we're going to college an hour away for graphic design.” So, I picked [that up, and] that’s what I do as a job. I still work in the music industry doing stuff for that. [Music is] what I owe my entire life to. I met my wife at a show, like a million years ago, [and] all [of] my closest friends are through music. It's just such a beautiful, magical thing that alternative music is. It creates such a special bond between everyone that's in it. But it was that moment, just a local metal show. I don't even remember who played. I honestly sometimes think, “What was the headliner band?” Because they were kind of big in the area for a minute, and then they just broke up because they were just a local band and they didn’t really do anything. But yeah, I just went to a local show, and [the] rest is history.

Iceis: That's more exciting than [technically] what my first show was. I went to middle school with a local rapper, and I remember his dad was his manager. So, he invited people at school to go to the show. It's like, “Oh, cool, I'll go or whatever.” I'm not into rap at all. Even back then, [I] was not into it, but I’m like, “Cool, this is fun.” And I remember none of that show. I remember nothing other than the kid from my school. I only remember him and the headliners. I think they were called [Mindless] Behavior or something like that. I have no idea. I don't keep up with that. But I was like, “Okay, cool. I don't know what's happening. I don't know who these people are, but cool!” And I remember nothing. However, if we're talking metal, that was right after the pandemic. So, [in] November of 2021. It was Ice Nine Kills, Bad Omens, and, I think, Currents. That was a sick show. It was also up in Baltimore [at] the end of November, and I just remember being like, “Yo, how do people survive in Baltimore?” Because it is so cold at seven pm at night. [I was] like, “I think I got frostbite.” I didn't actually get frostbite, but [I was] like, “Yo, I'm gonna get frostbite walking ten minutes from this parking lot to the venue.

Sean: Yeah, you don't want to come to New York. It's brutal in the winter.

Iceis: Yeah, you can keep your cold up there, and I’ll try [to] keep the humidity down here. We’ll compromise.

Sean: Fair, I'll take it.

 

Iceis: [With] GHOSTxSHIP, you guys started putting out your music a little over ten years ago. When you started your band, originally, what goals, expectations, or objectives did you really want to achieve?

Sean: I am not an original member. Chris, our drummer, and Matt, our other guitar player, are the original members [who] are still in it. Kyle, the bass player, joined very shortly after the band started. They had a different bass player when they actually formed. And then Keith joined in 2011 or 2012.

Iceis: So, right around the first album.

Sean: Yeah, I joined right when Cold Truth was released. I was just a fill-in at first. I had this other band [called] Atlas that was a hardcore band. If you try to look us up, there's like twenty million Atlases. So, you might find it. You might not. It was a very common name, especially back then. But we used to play shows together all the time, whether it was in Syracuse or Watertown. I used to book shows in Watertown, so I would book GHOSTxSHIP and everything like that. And then, eventually, when GHOSTxSHIP wanted to start playing shows more, they asked me to fill in because their guitar player was actually a drummer. And he ended up joining [the] band Off With Their Heads. [They’re] a pretty sizable punk band. And [he was] like, “I'm going to be touring most of the year. So, there's no way I'm going to be able to play shows, you guys.” So, I was just a fill-in at first. [I] played a couple [of] shows and then we went to go do our first tour. I think it was right when Cold Truth dropped. But again, I didn't contribute anything to that album. The album was already done when I started filling in. I just learned the songs. So, at the beginning, I had no expectations ‘cause I didn't even think I was gonna be in the band. I was just helping my friends out. I was like, “Cool, I get to play music with these guys. That's cool.” And then, when they asked me to join, we just did tours when we could and started writing new music. The real catalyst for new music is when we got Keith in. That's when we released Carry The Flame. And then a few years later, we did Cold Water Army. But I guess we never really had expectations. We [were] just going along doing the thing and seeing where it took us. We played a bunch of cool fests. [There are] a lot of places we still haven't hit that I'm hoping we can hit now. I guess that's our [expectation] now. I never expected the band to get back together at all, and then we got asked to play a show with Earth Crisis in our hometown, and we all were like, “Sure, let's do it!” And then, when we got into a room together, we all realized, “Huh, maybe we should do this again.” And here we are doing it. I guess the biggest thing now [is there are] no expectations for us for anything. We're just doing it for fun and trying to do stuff that we haven't done before. Like, we never got to Texas or California or anything like that, and those are big hopefuls. Hopefully, we can do stuff like that in the future. We got offered Japan when we were a band before, and we had to turn [it] down because we were just broke kids. So, I'm hoping that opportunity can come back around again. And we've been having discussions about potentially going to Europe, which would be really cool if we can make it happen eventually. So, there's stuff we hope we can do. But if we don't, that's fine. Us getting back together and playing music is the gift. It's really cool to reconnect with these guys after all these years. Everything's different but the same, but better if that makes any sense. [There are] not really any expectations. [There are] just some things we hope we can do. But again, if we don't, it's been awesome being able to hang out with these guys again, write music, and play shows [has] been really cool.

Iceis: I feel like that's such a [popular] thing. I was talking to a band last week [that] went on hiatus. The last thing they put out was in 2015, and they stopped touring in 2017. They just now dropped something new, but that was the whole thing. Because, you know, [with] small bands, it's hard in those beginning stages if nobody knows who you are. You're doing everything yourself, you're driving back and forth all over the country, and you have no money most of the time. It gets rough. Something they said [was], “The biggest thing that made us healthier coming back together [was] we came back with no expectations because we were so burnt out from having expectations. And then when we didn't meet them or get them, it was devastating.” I mean, to some extent, everyone has expectations and big things [they want], but sometimes it's better to let go and be like, “Oh, that’d be cool if that happened one day.” But not be set in stone as in “This has to happen.

Sean: Yeah, exactly. That's pretty much what we're trying to do. Yeah, [there are] things we want to do, of course, but if they don't happen or don't happen immediately [that’s okay]. We're not in a rush for anything at all. It's nice to have that feeling.

 

Iceis: How do you feel like the band, and just you guys as people, have evolved from the beginning stages to now?

Sean: We're all different people. You know, we've all gotten married, had kids, [and] either progressed in our careers or forged our own paths. So, personally, I think we're all a lot different. Even just writing music seems so much different. The thing about us is we all personally listen to a bunch of different things, and we all vary in age range. Our ages go from thirty-four to forty-eight. So, there's a big gap, but we all fill out that range between the five of us. [There are] a lot of bands we enjoy together. We’re like, “Oh, that band’s super sick.” But we all come from different backgrounds. I think what makes writing music so much cooler [is] having that “Oh, what if we try this thing?” [dynamic]. It's such a collective effort. Usually, the way we [do things is] someone brings a riff, then one of us finishes the skeleton of a song, and then we go back and refine it and stuff like that. If anyone has any ideas, we plug it in. Or if they're like, “Ah, I don’t really like this part.” We’ll change it. We’ll always do that. Everything feels easier and more natural. [That] is the biggest difference. Nothing feels forced. Nothing feels like we're butting heads or anything. It all feels natural, which is definitely different than what it was writing sometimes in the past when we were a band before. Sometimes, [people would] be like, “I don't know if this song works.” I think that's another thing [with] us [having] no expectations or no anything. We didn't even think we were going to be a band again, so now we're just writing what we want rather than being like, “Oh, we need to put out an EP. Oh, we need to put out an album.” There's none of that. We're just like, “We're gonna put [them] out song by song, see how it goes, and just go with it.” [We’ll just] see what happens [and] how people react to them as we put them out and everything like that. So, a lot has changed, but I think only for the better. It still feels like we picked up right where we left off in a lot of ways.

Iceis: It’s always cool when you have different people who like different things and bring different things to the table because I feel like you're more likely to make something unique and cool. This is going to be my hot take on metalcore. I'm very picky [about] metalcore. I feel like the metalcore market [is overly saturated. There are] so many different small metal and metalcore bands everywhere, [but] I feel like I have heard the same metalcore song structure and riff ten thousand times. And then [when] you get someone who brings something different into it, whether it be maybe some elements or they redid the song structure in a different way since I get bored of hearing the same thing over and over again, that’s when I’m like, “Oh, this is sick! This is cool! This could be something!” I feel like those are usually the bands that get further in their career when you start thinking about bringing other things into the mix, and you're not stuck with just, “We have to write a song in this style. It has to have this breakdown, it needs to have this riff, and it needs to go verse chorus verse chorus breakdown end chorus.

Sean: exactly.

Iceis: And that’s my hot take on metalcore that people who read this will probably come at me for. It's fine.

 

Iceis: Cold Water Army came out ten years ago. How do you feel your sound, in general, has evolved from then to now?

Sean: I think it's very much in line with Cold Water Army, but I do think we're taking things to the next level as far as being a band. I think [a lot of that is due to] what we talked about before; us just evolving as people, evolving as musicians, and [approaching] things in such a different way than what we used to. I think that's been the evolution. We're not trying to reinvent the wheel or anything. We're not trying to recreate what that is. We're just trying to put out more music that is GHOSTxSHIP. I don't want GHOSTxSHIP to be defined as one singular thing. I want us to be able to do different kinds of [things]. Some of the music that we're finalizing and recording to put out next is very different in certain ways. [It’s] stuff we've never done before, and I'm very excited to put that out. Obviously, it's cool when people are like, “Man, that new song you put out is sick!” That's awesome. I love that. But it's like, “I think the song is awesome! We all think the song is awesome!” It almost doesn't matter if people like it. Obviously, that's kind of needed for a band. People need to like the music you put out. But we're writing music that I genuinely like and think is super sick. I think the most important part [is] putting that before anything. We're putting out music that we want to put out, rather than [being like], “This music needs to be a smash hit.” or something like that. There's no agenda behind it. It's just five dudes writing music. That's it.

Iceis: That's always the important thing. There are bands that I listen to who have done the (every band has their own signature touch to their music) same type of song or sounding song over and over again. It's so funny when you hear a band do something different or change their sound in any way; you’ll either have people who absolutely love it, or you’ll have people who absolutely hate it. I'm just over here like,  “Yo, I could not create the same thing over and over again for ten years.” I don't know what people expect. I don’t think that they think the music is bad. It's just the idea that you change. And I don't understand that., I feel like if you're gonna grow and evolve, you have to make it fun for yourself again [and] make things that seem cool to you. Even if everyone else thinks it sucks.

Sean: Yeah, exactly. I feel like if you listen to this song, ‘Ties That Bind,’ [versus] Cold Water Army, it doesn't seem out of place. But we did a lot of things [different]. We tried to approach it in a different way. Even [with] the way we wrote it. Keith came up with the idea of how to start the song and how he wanted it to start, and then the first riff we wrote just me and him sitting with my guitar plugged [into] our practice space and [mapped] it out. And then we brought that to the guys, started workshopping, and then I was like, “Oh, what if the song goes this way?” We just kept refining and adding [to it] until we got to the final product. That end breakdown part we rewrote like six times. There [were] so many different variations of that ending until we finally got to the one that made it work. But I'm happy we did it the way we did it because I’m very pleased with the way it came out.

 

Iceis: How do you feel like the process for that song changed from Cold Water Army or your stuff from before?

Sean: It's kinda like what I said before. Everything just feels easier. The only thing that's a deterrent for us is that a lot of us have very opposing schedules to each other. So, it is pretty difficult for us to get together. That's the hardest part. But with technology and stuff like that, [it makes it easier]. Matt is pretty good with production stuff. And for the stuff we're doing, he's not recording the actual song. We just demo stuff out with him and things like that. We can go, “Here's a song.” He'll put some fake drums on it., and then we'll send it to the guys, and be like, “What do you think?” It's never like the stuff is set in stone. They're like, “Here's the song.” And then we'll get in the room and play it. If things sound off or weird, or if anyone has anything to add to kind of spice it up, we'll always do that. I don't think we really did that before [or with] Cold Water Army. We unearthed a bunch of unfinished demos that we did from years [ago in the] past, and we've been revisiting those and picking riffs out to use and expand on and things like that. But they were all from that time period. I think we had a friend just come live mic a practice, and then we just ran through a bunch of songs. We had those to listen to and think about, rather than just us playing around with them. It's so much different than playing it with someone and listening to it after the fact when you're not playing it. As silly as that sounds. But we have an easier approach to it [now]. Even if we're just demoing stuff out and being like, “Hey, guys, what do you think of this? Is there anything we need to change?” We've done that, even if we're recording it with our phones while we're practicing or anything just simple like that, so we have it, we can listen to it, [and] be disconnected from playing it, [so we can be] like, “Okay, this part's cool. This part doesn't really work. What can we change?” [Everything has] been more collaborative and just easier.

Iceis:  You're more open to the things that you can throw in to make it better. ‘Cause when you're working with a group of four other people, you have to be. Otherwise, if you’re standing your ground too hard on that one thing that could be changed to make it better, how do you get better if you're not willing to hear other people out who might be thinking differently, have more knowledge, or have more experience? [You] only weigh yourself down when you're in that mindset of “I need it to be like this, and It can never change.

Sean: One hundred percent. [There are] definitely [times] where someone will bring up a point and be like, “Hey, maybe we should try this.” And then multiple of us will be like, “No, I don't think that would work.” But we're always pretty open to trying it, even if it does sound silly. And at the end of the day, we all agree on it, which is cool. We do what's best for the song, not what's best for any one member. Which I think is a very important thing. It goes [back] to exactly what you just said. You have to come to the sum of all the parts, not just the parts.

 

Iceis: I have a sentence here that has a couple of blanks in it that I would like for you to fill in for me. Your sentence is “’Ties That Bind’ is the best song to listen to you when you're going to blank, because blank.

Sean: I think it's a good gym song. I'll say, “’Ties That Bind’ is the best song to [listen to when you’re going] to the gym because it'll get you pumped up.” I think it's a good gym jam, as I like to call them.

Iceis: I can see that. And then you got the gang vocals in there, too. It would work out so well.

 

Iceis: If you could turn a lyric from ‘Ties That Bind’ into a commercial jingle, which one would you choose? And what product would the jingle be for?

Sean: [There are] a few lyrics [that] I think would work well for a jingle. The ending lyrics “All [of our] heartstrings have been spun into gold.” [Would have] to be [for] something [that brings] people together. I don't know what product that would be, though.

Iceis: I don't know why, but it suddenly makes me think of wedding rings. [So, maybe a jingle for] some kind of wedding attire?

Sean: Yes, Zales. It's for Zales. That's good. I like that. Teamwork.

Iceis: It's a group effort. I’m filling in for Keith.

Sean: Yes, perfect.

 

Iceis: You were talking earlier about [how] you guys just want to put singles out, and one day you would like to go to Europe and stuff. Without going into too much detail, or as much detail as you're allowed to go into, what kind of projects or plans do you have or that you want to get into soon that people can expect?

Sean: The next song we're putting out is [the] one I was talking about earlier. I think it's a big swing for the band, but I love it. It's an idea that spawned from Matt, our guitar player. He sent me, “I don't know if the guys would like this.” And [I was] like, “Dude, this is incredible! We need to do this.” And [now we’re] finishing it. I was thinking about this today, not even just because [of] this interview, I was just thinking about the song because I'm just so obsessed with recording it and putting it out. I think it's my favorite song we've ever done. I think it's probably my favorite song I've ever been a part of writing. So, I'm so excited to put out [that]song. This isn't a project or anything music-wise, but we have some shows coming up in October that I'm very stoked to announce. It's kind of surreal that we're a part of them. So, those are probably the two biggest things that I'm the most excited about for now. It's fun [being in] this band because something cool could pop up tomorrow that we weren't expecting, and [it] could change my answer. But for now, it's those two things.

 

Iceis: Before we get into these last two closing questions, this is just an open segment to literally talk about any topic you want. Whether it is musical-related or not, I don’t care. It's open to you.

Sean: Wow. I'm gonna use [this opportunity] to plug some bands. Fox Lake just dropped a new song. They're the best. I love them. MORTAL [REMINDER is] dropping a new album on the 17th of May. They're an incredible band. Knocked Loose just dropped a new album. That's probably the best album of the year. Not that they need the promotion. They're the best band on the planet.

Iceis: Their shows are going hard. A band [I listen to] is on tour right now. They had an off day, and they went to a Knocked Loose. They were showing footage of that, and it looked so fun.

Sean: Yeah. [Around] nine years ago, Knocked Loose did some of our last shows [before] we [went on] the hiatus. Well, we thought we were breaking up forever, but just kidding. We didn't. They did a few of our last shows in the Northeast [playing to] not that many people. Seeing the crowds they’re playing to now is incredible. So, those dudes hold such a special place in this band’s heart [for] being a part of something with us. It's so incredible to see what they're doing. And the fact that they just continue to be heavier the bigger they get is one of the coolest things for heavy music. I think exposing heavy music to the masses is so cool. Bands like them. Lorna Shore’s doing it. Even Kublai Khan’s doing it. I mean, DRAIN’s doing dates with blink-182. Having a hardcore band on a blink-182 show is so rad. The fact that these bands are just being themselves and getting massive is the coolest thing ever. I think it's so important for heavy music to only expand and grow. I'm very anti-Gatekeep. I'm very [much about] teaching people instead of being this weird bully. Because that's the reason we go to heavy music. It's because we were all the weird outcasts in school, in our groups, or whatever, and it was a place where all of us weirdos could go and be together and not feel like weirdos. Now that it's hitting the masses, I feel like we just need to educate people rather than alienate them.

Iceis: It’s so cool to see how heavy music has gone more mainstream. Bring Me The Horizon has been pretty big for years, but seeing the success they’ve been getting is huge. Or even the fact that Spiritbox did that collaboration with Megan Thee Stallion is mind-blowing to me, in a great way. But it's so cool to see this little niche scene of heavy music getting put more into the mainstream. [There are] some people who hate that so much, and I don't understand why because I'm like, “Yo, that means that heavy music is going to become more popular, cooler, and trendier. And all the things that you were told you were weird for liking back in the day, you're gonna be the cool one now because you knew about it before anybody else.

Sean: Yep, exactly.

 

Iceis: What is the most important thing for people to know about GHOSTxSHIP?

Sean: The most important thing to know about GHOSTxSHIP [is that] the biggest thing with us is that if you come to a GHOSTxSHIP show, we just want it to be a party. Obviously, we're a band full of straightedge dudes, and we've been known as a straightedge band. But, especially with Cold Water Army, we tried to show that it [is] mostly about being positive and being a good person more than anything. ‘Cause there's a ton of people like us that aren’t on straightedge. My wife isn’t straightedge. So, [when you’re] seeing us live, have a party. We're throwing a party every time we play a show. That's our goal. We're lucky to do this. We don't do this full-time. Obviously, we play very select shows, but it is a gift that we get to do this thing called music in any capacity. When people come, and you're on stage giving all [your] energy out, and people are reciprocating that, It's magic. That's all we want. When we play shows, we want to go lose our [minds], and [for] people [to] lose their minds with us. That's it. That's all we want. Anyone is welcome. Everyone is welcome. We just want to go crazy like we do. That's it.

Iceis: That's probably one of the greatest [feelings] playing live. I can only imagine how wonderful, surreal, and cool it is to be able to perform the art that you make and then have people enjoy it so much that they then give the energy back to you. It always seems like such a fun atmosphere. I think that's why most people [into] heavy music are all concert junkies because there's something so nice about that exchange between [artist or] band and the audience, especially in those smaller shows where it's more intimate. You really get to feel the atmosphere.

Sean: There's honestly not much that [you] can compare to it. It's truly insane to witness or be a part of in any capacity. I think it's a special thing. It really, really is.

 

Iceis: You already talked about having some show dates [coming] up in October and a new song to come out sometime in the near future. But besides that, is there anything you are looking forward to, personally, professionally, or both?

Sean: We're playing a show [on] June [28th] with It Dies Today in our hometown of Syracuse. Band-wise, that's what I'm looking forward to right now because it's the closest thing. I'm very stoked to play with It Dies Today. I think when we were a band, they were still broken up [and on a] hiatus. So, we never got to link up with them. Keith has [a] history with them a little bit because he used to book Hellfest back in the day. They're from Buffalo, New York, so [they’re] not very far [from us]. But they played Hellfest at least a few times. So, that's what I'm looking forward to currently. And then recording a few new songs [so we have them] in the tank. [We’ll] see what we're going to do with those. I edited the new video myself. I didn't shoot any of it, obviously, because I'm playing in it. I shot some of the recording stuff. I took my wife's camera, and set up a tripod and shot some of that stuff. She set everything up, and I pressed record. It was really all her. That's all I did. But it's been cool. I've learned so much more. I used to do a lot of the design stuff before, but I learned a lot of stuff with video and things like that. So, [it’s cool] being able to create even just like the teaser stuff, or anything like that. It's been really cool to do that stuff. I've been trying to collab with artists [and] friends, whether it be for single artwork or merch designs. Stuff like that. It's been cool to reach out to friends I've met over the years and be like, “Hey, would you want to do this thing? Here's my idea, but do your thing.” It's a freeing experience, and it's cool to collaborate with different people on this kind of stuff. So, I'm looking forward to doing more of that. This next video [we’re doing], we're definitely gonna do a shoot for, which I'm very excited [about]. We have an idea in place and everything like that, so I'm stoked to do that.




 

GHOSTxSHIP is playing a show with It Dies Today on June 28th in Syracuse, New York. You can find more info here.


GHOSTxSHIP

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