Love Ghost Takes the Stage

Love Ghost Takes the Stage

  Love Ghost, an alternative grunge band based primarily in Glendale, Calif., took the stage at The Canyon in Santa Clarita on the evening of Sept. 14. The crowd was completely engulfed in music, to the point that one could not even hear the sounds coming from the bustling Westfield Town Center.

  It takes a certain level of musicianship to transport an audience all the way to an alternate world, and Love Ghost certainly possesses that skill. Each and every live show they play leaves the audience holding on, grasping the melody, and wishing that they could hear just one more song.

  Not only has Love Ghost been working on bringing back the 90’s grunge scene to audiences of 2018, but the young artists each have positive attitudes that set them apart from the stone-cold, straight-faced grunge artists we have seen in the past. The world has never quite experienced a band that plays drawn-out melodies with lyrics that evoke a sense of rebellion and melancholy, while simultaneously the band members promote things like helping the homeless population and saving the world.

  Love Ghost’s members range from the ages of 17 to 22. The youngest, Ryan Stevens, plays the bass guitar for the band. Stevens also seems to be the “comic relief,” between songs, cracking jokes with the audience and telling quick stories while the band tunes.

  The lead guitarist and singer for the band is Finnegan Bell, whose voice can only be described as a unique blend of sultry and haunting. He is able to captivate the audience with his singing, and his masterful guitar riffs.

  Samson Young, the band’s drummer, is the oldest member of the group. He is a recent addition to the band, having only been playing with them for about a year. His talent is able to easily get any audience on their feet, dancing to the beat of the drums.

  Lastly, Mya Greene is the band’s viola player. Mya adds an extra bit of musicianship that sets Love Ghost away from the rest of the alternative-grunge-rock genre we see today. Greene has written a number of songs for the band, including “The Scarlet Letter,” which was inspired by Mya’s experience with being misdiagnosed with autism at a young age.  

  At the Canyon, Love Ghost played for 30 minutes, and throughout the entire set, the audience could not take their eyes off of the stage. Everyone was bobbing their heads and tapping their feet, cheering after each and every song or solo. Love Ghost’s sound has been compared to bands like Alice in Chains and Smashing Pumpkins, and they’ve been able to incorporate elements of modern music into their sound.  Love Ghost’s long, slow vocals resonate throughout the room or leave the listener in chills if one is listening through headphones. Their songs feature long guitar solos, including “The Scarlet Letter,” in which at different points in the song, all instruments pause except for the lead guitar which plays a quick-plucking solo.

  Love Ghost has a number of music videos, and each one tells a story relating to a real-world issue we face today. For example, the music video for the song “9mm” is an animated story about a school shooting. This was created in order to shed light on the massive epidemic that our country is facing.

  At the end of their set, the crowd chanted for an encore.

 

  After the show, I sat down with the band to dig a little deeper into the minds of these musicians, wondering exactly how they decided to take this path and what they have already accomplished in the short four years since Love Ghost was formed.  

When did you start making music?

 

Ryan: I started in fifth grade, which was about eight or nine years ago.

 

Finnegan: I was around six or seven.

 

Samson: I started really young. Around the time I was seven or eight. I’ve been around music all my life.

 

Mya: Well, Finn and I were the original band members, and we formed Love Ghost almost four years ago. But for all of us, we started creating our own music at different times. I really got into it about 10 years ago.

 

What do you consider to be Love Ghost’s genre of music?

 

Ryan: Maybe close to alternative grunge, but our genre is whatever you want it to be.

 

Finnegan: I don’t think our genre is a definite thing. Maybe right now we’re one genre, but the next album might be something different.

 

Mya: Hopefully we continue to evolve. It’s gotten more distorted and heavy since we started. I’ve never really been a huge fan of the idea of ‘genre’, because you can’t really find when one thing stops and another starts. A lot of people use genre to limit themselves.

 

How did all of you meet?

 

Ryan: I met Samson a couple years before Love Ghost. Before I even joined Love Ghost, Samson and I would jam around a little bit.

 

Finnegan: I met Samson when he was leaving School of Rock and I was starting.

 

Samson: I met everyone after I auditioned into the band.

 

Mya: My dad and Finn’s dad worked together, so that’s how we met.

 

How did you come up with your band’s name?

 

Finnegan: Basically, I was kind of completely out of ideas, and in 8th grade I asked myself, “What two subjects do you think about the most?” and I said, “Love and death.” So, I thought we should be called Love Death, but everyone thought that was really stupid, so I changed it to Love Ghost.

 

What is your favorite part about performing live?

 

Ryan: Performing live gives me the best feeling on the planet. I can’t really describe it, but it makes me feel really whole. The fact that people are enjoying what we’re playing and listening to us gives all of us a huge adrenaline rush.

 

Samson: I love to get on stage and kick ass.The best part is when you get off stage and you know you kicked ass.

 

Mya: It kind of fulfills my extroverted needs in a way.

 

How have you improved as musicians over time?

 

Ryan: Playing live in a group really helps a lot because it motivates you to get better, at least for me.

 

Finnegan: For me, music definitely helped me step out of my shell. At my first ever performance, I kind of just stood behind my amp and looked at my feet the whole time, so I’ve definitely improved when it comes to playing live shows.

 

Samson: Growing up, I was exposed to a lot of jazz and things like that, so I’ve always been around different types of music. I think just listening to music helps you grow. The more you listen to, the better you get.

 

Mya: Definitely practicing, which I don’t do nearly enough of these days, but at one point I was practicing around four or five hours a day.

 

Do you have any advice for those who want to make music in the future?

 

Ryan: Don’t even think about it, just do it. Whatever you want to do with it, just go for it.

 

Samson: Start now!

 

What music are you working on at the moment?

 

Ryan: We’ve been working on a lot of new stuff at rehearsals. We definitely want to get some new music out soon.

 

Finnegan: I’ve been writing a lot more acoustic stuff.

 

Mya: I sent everyone a lot of crappy demos that we can hopefully build off of.

  Love Ghost does much more than simply create music and inspire the next generation of young artists. The band feeds the homeless every first or last Sunday of the month. They go to 6th and Wall, which is near the heart of Skid Row, bringing sandwiches, sodas, waters, bananas, oranges and other foods and materials to pass out. In Finnegan’s words, “It’s a great feeling when they all say, ‘Thank you.’”

  To learn more about the next feeding-the-homeless event, follow the band on instagram @loveghost_official. To listen to all of their albums and singles, you can find Love Ghost on Spotify, Apple Music and Soundcloud.