Anyone who has been following my interviews for awhile knows that The Ghost Inside is one of my favorite bands, and has been for years. So when I saw the band in late 2013 in Portland and learned that they were hitting main stage at Warped Tour, that was the moment I knew I had to hop on more than just two dates. I ended up hitting seven different dates, starting in Pomona, CA, which is the band's home market - as you can see here, they got an absolutely massive response that I won't ever forget. It's always a privilege to catch up with them, and I look forward to seeing them excel.
I spoke with lead vocalist Jonathan Vigil about the tour, upcoming new album, and more. Expect a follow up interview in a few months.
You guys are finally here on main stage at the Warped Tour. How's it feel to be where you are after all these years? I mean, I'm looking back to the Bring Me tour back in 08', and now you're here on main stage.
Yeah man, it’s pretty crazy man. The first time we did Warped in 2012 was a big deal to us, let alone now in 2014 being one of the main stage bands. I remember the years going and being a fan in the crowd and looking up at some of my favorite bands – now we get to do that, and it’s a pretty cool feeling.
You mentioned that Less Than Jake was one of your favorite bands on this tour – from a fan perspective, what does that band mean to you?
Well, aside from seeing them on various tours, they were one of the first Warped Tour bands that I’d ever seen. To be on the same stage as a band that I first saw on my first Warped Tour is kind of crazy. I dunno, it’s cool to know that we’ve come as far as we have.
Now I now you guys are sharing a bus with Stray From The Path, and you’re sharing main stage with Motionless In White. What does it mean to you to be reunited with those guys again?
Oh it’s great, so many good friends on this tour. Hanging with out with Stray is great, hanging out with Motionless and For Today is great, there’s just so many bands on this tour that we get to hang and be friends with.
I love seeing “Test The Limits” in your setlist, but what is your favorite song to play live on this tour?
I think for me, playing “Engine 45” is my favorite, because I know that song means so much to people, you know? A lot of our songs are fun, positive songs, but that song specifically means a lot to a lot of people, and it’s cool to look out into the crowd and see kids genuinely not just singing along, but you can tell they mean what they’re screaming back, so that’s a cool feeling.
If you had a couple extra minutes to add one more song to the set, which one would it be and why?
It’d probably be an older one, I feel like we play a lot of stuff off Get What You Give. It’s always cool when a band plays older stuff and appeases their older audience. Maybe “Shiner” or another song off our first record (Fury And The Fallen Ones)
New album is done – how does it feel to say that you have a fourth full-length record coming out?
It’s crazy, like I say on stage “I never thought we’d come as far as we have” And to be saying that we’re putting out our fourth record, our second with Epitaph Records, which is the coolest record label ever, it’s a trip – I’ve always this, but I never thought it would pan out. I dunno, I’m just taking it day by day.
How does this one similar to your past records, but how is it different?
I think with our sound that it’s evolving a little bit, but still staying a Ghost Inside record. I think it’s a natural progression from Get What You Give to the new one, I don’t think it’s anything that anyone’s gonna hear and be like “Woah, this is weird”. There’s still really heavy and fast stuff – believe it or not, there’s a lot more melodic stuff which is cool, because we made sure to make it a point to make sure we had a lot more melody in this one, as far as instrumentation is concerned. There’s a lot of hard hitting stuff, not necessarily super heavy, but really hard hitting – and that’s kind of what we wanted to do with this record, showing that we do what we do, and we have a good time doing it.
As a whole, what does this album look like lyrically?
Lyrically, it’s about the fact that I’m getting a little older now, and it’s about the opportunities that you have when you’re younger. When you first start getting into adulthood, you have so many open doors and so many opportunities and so many places to go and things to do – literally, the world is whatever you want it to be. For a while, I felt like I was stuck in this bubble where I was just only had this one path and this one decision to make, and I can only go this one way. It’s about remembering that as a human, I am boundless and I can do whatever I want to do – just because I’m getting older, doesn’t mean that those doors can’t open again.
Jeremy McKinnon (A Day To Remember) was in the studio with you guys again. What was it like having him back, and how did he push you guys to make the best record you could?
Jeremy’s great, he’s obviously a very talented and very good songwriter. When it comes time to show him the finished product, he always has these cool ideas. He just brings this stuff out of us that we never knew that we could do on our own, you know? He takes something that we have that we’re proud of and brings the best elements out of it.
Is there something on this record that you guys tried that you haven’t on past records? I know you did clean vocals on “Engine 45” on Get What You Give.
Well there’s a song on the record that’s a slower song - I don’t want to say a ballad, but for us it’s a ballad song. It’s got a little bit of strings, violin and stuff. It’s triumphant sounding, and it’s kind of a break in the album. It’s something that’s definitely different for us, but still in the same style of us – you’ll hear it and know it’s a Ghost Inside song.
Let’s talk about guest vocalists – are there any on the record?
Yes. Jason Butler from letlive. is on the record, and that’s actually it. We didn’t really have time to get too many guest vocals because we were touring so much and we were writing and recording in-between touring, and it was a really long process and it was really hard to get the finished product together. So yeah, Jason’s on it…
Is the one he’s on a fast one?
His part’s a faster one.
After Warped, I know you’re doing a tour with Crown The Empire and Asking Alexandria in the U.K., but what does fall touring look like?
Yeah, we’re going to be touring the States. It’s going to be a fun tour, I can’t announce what it is.
Is it a headliner?
It’s a full U.S. co-headlining tour, and we’ll hit Canada as well.
Wrapping up, for someone new to The Ghost Inside, what is the most important thing people know?
I think the most important thing that we want to get across as a band is that we’re just regular people like anybody else that would be listening to our band and we’re just up there doing what we love, and we love to get everyone involved. If you see us walking around in the street or in the crowd, you’d never be like “Oh, those guys are in a band” We’re just average, normal people and we’re really lucky and blessed with the things that we get to do. We like to let kids know that what they want to do is not very far off from what we get to do. It’s a big thing for us.
Great interview! I've loved all three records, so I'm definitely excited for the new one – especially after reading "...there's a lot more melodic stuff." I'm also really interested in how the song with strings will sound.
I liked the overall lineup for Warped this year quite a bit, and I probably would have went to more than two dates if an ATM didn't fuck me over the first time I went; it would have been great to see Parkway Drive and The Ghost Inside (two of my favourite bands) a few more times this summer. I hope that the fall tour stops in Toronto and/or Buffalo (which it probably will) so I can see TGI again before the year comes to an end.