Origin: Los Angeles, California, US
Genre: Shoegaze, Surf Pop
from Summertime In Heaven LP (out next week on Summer Time In Hell and Orchid Tapes) and In Your Room EP (Amdiscs, 2010)
[More downloads from the artist's bandcamp]
[Don't miss our interview with Michael - half of Ghost Animal below]
1. How would you describe your sound in a few words?
Dark, gloomy, ginsoaked bedroom pop dying to get out of the summer.
2. Name 3 bands without whom you wouldn't exist.
Jesus & Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, The White Stripes (bonus fourth: Pixies).
3. If you'd have the chance to work with any film director, who would that be?
4. Tell us a bit about the making of these songs.
Almost all of them were recorded in my bedroom at my parent's house in Granada Hills, which is about twenty-five minutes north of downtown Los Angeles, using Garageband, an old drum kit that hasn't been fixed or cared for in four years, and a little M-Audio interface. Most of the vocals were recorded directly into my laptop (without an external mic).
It was basically how I spent the past three months - we're on summer break now, so we've had a lot of free time to play shows and I've spent innumerable hours shut up in my room recording. I don't think there's anything really interesting or unique to say about it - it's just the product of a lot of free time and creative energy that kind of built itself up over the past six months or so.
"Summertime in Heaven," which eventually became the title track of the album, was the last song I recorded for the album. Since no one was really in town I got super drunk by myself to celebrate having finished recording our first album and woke up on my floor at eight in the morning.
As for the writing of the record, it was kind of a long-time-in-the-making deal. The earliest song was written back in November ("Vanity Affair"). I wrote most of the songs on my acoustic guitar in my dorm room at college (Reed College, in Portland). I wrote "Fever Not Dead" in January in a Paris hotel room in a kind of persistent limbo-like state between drunk and hungover. "In Your Room" is about a friend of mine who died back in March of an overdose.
Some of the songs are drawn from my own emotions or experience and some tell stories about invented relationships fueled by sexual confusion and frustration ("Some Other Time," "Change Your Mind," "Single Man").
The record as a whole basically represents the amalgamation and manifestation, in a sense, of a lot of creative energy and frustration and inspiration that was slowly building as far back as last October and finally found its outlet.
5. Do you still buy CDs/vinyl/ tape?
I still buy vinyl - probably way too much. I only started buying vinyl back in October and I think I have over 200 records already. But I'm a collector - I may not listen to everything I own but the fact that I own it is enough for me.
My most prized record is a used copy of Psychocandy that I found for $8. That record will stay with me until I die.