The Ghoulies are a high octane rush of rock ‘n’ roll! Hailing from Denver Colorado, their low down, b-movie tinged punk blues will get your toes tapping! I recently caught up with the band for an interview! So, let’s get to know the Ghoulies!
First off, since we’re a horror movie site…is the band named after the 1984 film “Ghoulies?”
No, the band name actually stemmed from us googling synonyms for the word “ghost.” We’re all fans of the paranormal and fans of a good ghost story. We actually started out as a 3-piece Blink-182 ripoff band called Grampa Tom and the Family Business, but sort of changed direction and added a member and it felt like we needed a new identity. Plus, Connor has worked for six years as a paranormal investigator and researcher at the Stanley Hotel up in Estes Park and has appeared on a couple of paranormal TV shows, so we felt it fit. None of us have actually seen the movie, “Ghoulies.”
So, tell us a history of the band?
Four of us knew each other as far back as middle school. Connor (our drummer) sat next to Adam (our singer) in study hall in 8th grade. When Adam and Dan (our organist) wanted to start a band when we were 17, Connor was the only guy we knew who drummed. So we started playing pop punk covers. After a while, we wrote some originals and started playing shows. A year or so later, we added Dan’s twin brother to the band, our guitarist, Jake, which is the best move we ever made. Jake started attending local blues jams and that was incorporated into our sound. Soon after we graduated college, Dan moved to Florida for a teaching job for a year and we brought Spencer, another mutual friend of ours, in to play bass. Dan came back and instead of taking over bass duties again, switched to organ. And that concoction led to the Ghoulies we know today.
Your facebook bio says you are “everything good about coffee, alcohol, UFOs, conspiracies, and ghosts. Everything bad about rock and roll.” What does that mean? Are you all space ghosts here to enslave us?
In addition to rock music, we are all caffeine addicts and lovers of the paranormal and all things weird, so that’s sort of our mission statement. We are indeed all space ghosts here to enslave you. Bow down, human.
You recently toured down into Texas, home of the Chainsaw Massacre. What was that experience like?
First of all, if you haven’t seen Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2, you’re missing out on some great American cinema. We love Texas and had a great time there. We almost got robbed in Austin after our show there on our first night of tour, so we went to Wal-Mart to buy a machete because when it’s one in the morning and you’ve had three hours of sleep in a van, that seems like the logical thing to do. We wrote a song about it called “Texas Machete” that will appear on our next release.
Where is a place you’d like to tour to in the future?
We think our slight rockabilly and country influences would fit well in places like Memphis and Nashville. We’d like to try that out at some point. Our next tour will probably take us out west of Denver like Vegas and SLC. We feel like we’ve made some headway in the Denver scene, so we’d like to spread our punkabilly reach out west.
My personal favorite song is “I Wish I was Wanda Jackson.” What was the writing process on that song like?
Dan wanted to write a doo-wop song, so he and Jake put the basics of that song together. We added the organ so late into the writing process of our last album that it’s really the only one that was built around that organ sound and sounds really weird and empty without it. Other than old pop songs like Bobby Darrin tunes, we pulled some from alt-rock like Weezer’s soft-loud motif and Connor was inspired by Green Day’s retropop song, “Brutal Love.”
What goes into a typical Ghoulies tune?
Usually, the music starts with Jake or Adam, our two guitar players, sending us a video on Facebook. Then we bring it into practice and we all put our fingers in the pot. Usually on our albums, one or two songs is written primarily by one of the other guys in the band, but most of it starts with Adam and Jake. Adam usually comes into practice with a full song all ready to go; verse, chorus, and bridge, while Jake usually has a riff and they meet somewhere in the middle.
Tell us about recording your most recent album.
After our self-titled record, which was, honestly, all over the place, we all eventually agreed on a more unified sound. While our first album was a mishmash of genres, we tried to meld it together more cohesively. We tried three separate times to record the album on our own. After way too many hours and nearly a year of trying to do it ourselves, we had enough money to go into the studio at Black in Bluhm here in Denver and do it right.
Weirdest experience playing out or dealing with a fan?
Well, we’ve played some pretty strange places- a hot sauce shop, a bakery, bars with wooden posts right in the middle of the stage, and a skeezy biker bar. We’ve had a few weird experiences. Spencer’s kind of a Youtube celebrity, so one time some random kid liked our pages just for him. He started sending us some weird and rude messages and basically only spoke in internet memes. We just stopped replying to him and and quit.
Some fans will see Connor’s face around Denver on billboards and buses because he’s a two-time heart transplant recipient and volunteer spokesperson for an organization that raises awareness for organ donation. So sometimes people will tell us that he’s on the wall at the DMV or were sitting behind his picture in traffic.
What is coming up for the band?
We’re working on a new record. We are pretty much always writing and we never wait to sit down when it’s time to record for an album, we collect it as we go. We think it’s some of our best material, but we’re biased. We want to get a music video out at some point and do some more touring, too. Fall is coming up and with Halloween, that’s kind of our time of year, so we go full blast.
In closing, how is Elvis and have you seen him lately?
Elvis is doing fine. He’s living in an old folks home in Toledo, Ohio. If you haven’t seen Bubba Ho-Tep, that’s another great one. Bruce Campbell is a better Elvis than Elvis.
Check out more of the Ghoulies on their Youtube channel at this link!