XS ROCK: Tell me about the latest band news? Any new projects coming out, live shows or announcements?
Steve: Absolutely, we’re currently on a big two month long USA tour, and getting ready for a European tour as well afterwards. So lots of live shows in the near future.
XS ROCK: How long has the band been together?
Steve: We have been together 9 years, started in the summer of 2008.
XS ROCK: What was your main motivation for starting or being in a band?
Steve: In 2008 my best friend passed away, his death made me really question what I was doing in life, and motivated me to do something more, so I started the band as a sort of memorial to my friend.
XS ROCK: What is your music background?
Steve: I have been playing guitar awhile, but only started playing heavy rock when the band started. Before that I played acoustic folk music, and jazz.
XS ROCK: What image do you think your music conveys?
Steve: We aren’t really trying to convey a certain image with our music, but more so trying to create a sound that the listener can create their own image for. Not trying to force something into the listener’s mind, but just allowing them to create their own imagery and ideas from our music.
XS ROCK: What are your immediate music career goals?
Steve: We just want to continue growing with our music, and our fan base. Always trying to push through to the next level, I don’t like to sit still so just continuing to work hard, and make music that feels good to us.
XS ROCK: What are your long-term career goals?
Steve: To leave our artistic impression on as much of the world as possible.
XS ROCK: Which do you prefer? Writing new songs and recording or playing for a live audience?
Steve: Without a doubt playing live. There is nothing like the feeling of being on stage. Writing and recording can be very frustrating and tedious, but playing live is where you can completely let loose.
XS ROCK: What are your songs about?
Steve: Nothing specific at all, once again I just try to write lyrics that can mean different things to different people, let the listener make their own decision about what the song is about, instead of shoving literal subject matter down their throat.
XS ROCK: Do you have any outrageous tour stories from the road? If so, please fill us in.
Steve: Not really, unfortunately we’re pretty boring, we don’t drink or do drugs, and for the most part we really just keep to ourselves. So it’s definitely not as exciting as one would think. Sorry for the letdown.
XS ROCK: What’s the strangest request that you’ve ever received from one of your fans?
Steve: We were asked to play someone’s wedding, and they wanted to pay for me to become ordained so I could legally marry them on stage during our show. That was pretty odd, unfortunately we never were able to do it because I actually got married the same day as them.
XS ROCK: Were your parents supportive of your aspirations to play in a rock band?
Steve: Surprisingly enough yes, very supportive. All they wanted was to make sure we work as hard as possible and push this as hard and as far as we can.
XS ROCK: What are your favorite tracks to play live?
Steve: Now, probably the songs off of our new album Cypress Ave.
XS ROCK: Which band or artist inspired you to perform? Why?
Steve: Lots of the old blues greats are a big inspiration on me, Muddy Waters especially. Tom Waits and Nick Cave really changed my view on what a live show should be, making it into an experience, instead of a show.
XS ROCK: If you could design a dream tour for your band, who would be on the bill?
Steve: Probably Tom Waits, John Coltrane, and Muddy Waters.
XS ROCK: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment so far?
Steve: Probably our newest album Cypress Ave. We’re extremely proud of what we did with this record, and the direction we took with it.
XS ROCK: If you weren’t performing in a band what kind of career do you think you would have?
Steve: Well before I was touring around playing music in this band I was a special education teacher. So I probably would still be teaching.
XS ROCK: What type of equipment do you use for live shows?
Steve: Fender amps, and Gibson Guitars. For me that is the perfect mix, and the sweetest sound out there.
XS ROCK: What do you think of the current music scene?
Steve: Not sure, like I said we kind of stay to ourselves, so outside of our own shows I’m pretty unaware of what is going on in the music world. But for us it seems to be going pretty well.
XS ROCK: For anyone that doesn’t know you, what would they be surprised to know about you?
Steve: That I absolutely hate listening to heavy music. I do not like to listen to heavy rock or metal at all. Jazz, blues, and folk music, and hip hop is the music I listen to.
XS ROCK: If someone had never heard you before, how would you describe your sound?
Steve: We usually just tell people it’s heavy rock. Hard hitting bluesy heavy rock.
XS ROCK: Is there anything that you’d like to promote or say to your fans out there?
Steve: Just that the new album Cypress Ave. is out now, and to keep an eye out for us on the road supporting our album release tour. Check out www.themidnightghosttrain.com for tour updates and everything else.
XS ROCK: Thanks again Steve, for taking the time to talk with us at XS Rock!