InGhosts, a four-piece post hardcore band from Fort Wayne, Indiana have released their highly-anticipated debut album today, titled Still Breathing. The album features one electrifying song after another, unleashing heavy breakdowns and meaningful lyrics that demand the attention of its listeners. Vocalist Tyrus Denton, guitarist Mike Kenway, guitarist Robert Koch and drummer Garrett Dewald offer an album that easily competes with popular signed bands, an album that will surely launch them into success.
BRP’s Chelsea Renee Scofield sat down with Tyrus Denton and Mike Kenway to discuss the meaning of the album, the band’s professional sound, the journey to create the album, the CD release show taking place tonight and possible touring in the future. Check out what the guys had to say below!
Let’s talk about the album overall. What does the album name and the band’s name mean and what themes were you guys trying to communicate throughout the songs on the album?
DENTON: InGhosts is the idea that one day, you’re not going to breathe anymore. We all leave behind memories. We all become the ghost of ourselves. The songwriting is focused to create these questions for people. “What have you done to leave behind, what have you done to better yourself or the world around you.” We focus on the positivity aspect.
You mentioned the meaning of the band name, would you mind adding the meaning of the album title? From what you said, it would seem to go hand in hand with the band name.
KENWAY: Still Breathing comes from “Everon,” the first album single, which is about standing up for yourself. Don’t let anyone hold you down and fight for what you believe in.
DENTON: Yes, keep moving forward.
As far as the album art goes, how would you explain that?
KENWAY: Chelsea, everyone knows Ghosts are always creepy little girls [laughs]. Real talk: this is the article that inspired the cover art. It’s kind of symbolic in representing someone who feels bullied, alone, vulnerable, not taken seriously and naive.
What has the process of creating the debut album? How long did it take, and did you encounter any obstacles along the way?
KENWAY: Ty and I have been writing the album for almost three years. We actually recorded our first single over two years ago and didn’t release it until September before last. We wrote something like twenty songs that we slimmed down to the ten that made the record. A lot of back and forth and changing things to get them just right. We did our first two singles with Joey Sturgis and they sound incredible! But the style just wasn’t for us. Josh Schroeder is absolutely our secret weapon, he’s the invisible fifth member of the band. I’ve been working with him for something like five years now, so we go back a bit. The way he writes and the vision he has is just such a solid contrast with us that it didn’t make sense to go anywhere else. The biggest obstacle for us was always meshing everything together, I think. We’re both into a lot of different stuff that it was hard to get as many of our influences into one coherent sounding record.
There was also a huge focus on the album feeling real. So many bands in our genre, while this is fine, have this super over-the-top and “fake” or robotic sound to them. Everything is so cut, tuned and processed. Almost everything on the record is done in one pass, from start to finish. The vocals were done in tighter sections, but we used absolutely no vocal tuning or processing tricks. It’s 100 percent us. Obviously there are still a lot of cool production tricks added in because we like it that way. But the instrumentation is as genuine as it could be.
So, for listeners of the music that you guys have released so far, it’s hard to believe that you’re a local band. You guys have a sound that competes with bands like The Color Morale and Secrets. What do you believe sets you apart, creating such a professional sound?
DENTON: Well for one thing, we’ve all been playing music for ages, so there’s a level of maturity with our craft that some locals don’t quite grasp yet. We’ve all been involved in other projects before. Another thing is we all have such different musical tastes that we all mix together. Guarantee Mike listens to my iPod and he goes “What the hell is this, Tyrus?”
KENWAY: [laughs] We have been doing this a long time. He’s not kidding. I started my first band ten years ago. I think Ty’s was ten or eleven years ago too. You learn a lot in that time, as well as make a lot of relationships along the way that help craft who you are and what music is to you.
DENTON: My sophomore year of high school. You kinda graduate from band bro to musician somewhere in there.
KENWAY: In one of my first real bands, I played next to a guy named Luke Schroeder. That dude will make anyone feel insufficient in guitar ability, it really forced me to step up my game.
That’s interesting! It’s awesome that you chose to take it as a challenge rather than let it bring you down.
DENTON: You can’t get better till you let your faults kill your pride.
KENWAY: If we let life beat us down, we’re nothing more than defeated. Choose to strive to be better, not jealous. We can all have more than we’ve got because we can become more than we are.
So, obviously a banger of an album is incomplete without a banger of a release show. What can your fans expect from the show tomorrow?
KENWAY: Someone’s going to break something. Whether it’s a string or Kenny’s arm.
DENTON: Most definitely.
What’s next for InGhosts? You guys going to tour soon? Pretty please?
KENWAY: Tour is on the list. We don’t know when, but it is something we want to do. We keep joking about doing a Maroon 5 cover EP, I really want to do it [laughs]. Our calendar is already filling up for 2016 so I’m hoping it’s an exciting year for us.
DENTON: We think it would be funny to advertise as the metalcore band that can also do an hour of Maroon 5 covers.
Can you guys play “Sugar”? Because you should.
KENWAY: “Sugar” is absolutely on the tracklist. “Harder To Breathe” is already on my computer written [laughs]. BRP
Come out to InGhosts’ CD release party, kicking off at 7 p.m. tonight at Smith’s Downtown Tap & Grill located in Mishawaka. The band will be supported by two opening acts: New Age Curse and Skies Beneath Us. The all-ages event will cost $5 to attend. Check out the event page here and the flyer below for more information.
Written by Chelsea Renee Scofield