Written By: Natalie Perez
Hailing from Long Beach, California, Los Angeles based dark-rock group, I Am Ghost, was conceived by front man/vocalist, Steven Juliano in 2004. Little did he realize what his idea of forming a band would lead to. How about a quick signing to Epitaph Records, causing a major uproar, leading off to an EP and two LPs to get their name out? After various line-up changes over the years, 2007 had struck. Front man Steve Juliano (vocals) along with Timoteo Rosales III (guitars), Ron Ficarro (bass) and Justin McCarthy (drums), had re-formatted the band’s direction/sound, returning to a much more raw, powerful intensity.
Adding a seamlessly mind-blowing essence of metal, melodic-hardcore, and screamo tactics with sweeping sing-along choruses, and blending together fantasy/reality into one big twisted tale of death and tragedy, Juliano seems to want to reveal his view of the world in a beautiful decaying fashion. Set to unveil their music and their legion of fans everywhere they roam, I Am Ghost have been placed amongst the music scene aside most elite bands. Steven spoke to me briefly about how the band formed, what’s exactly in store for the next set of months along with everything else in between.
NP: Tonight you plan to record your first live album, is there a reason why you chose the Chain Reaction, and why now?
Steven: The biggest thing was that we were really proud of our live show. Most of the kids that talk about I Am Ghost, who have seen our live show, get more of the real live energy than compared to our albums – Which we are really proud of. But when you listen to the album it’s totally different from the live experience I guess you can say. We really wanted to capture a live performance we could be proud of. I wasn’t sure if we’d be able to do it or not.
I think our live show will turn on more kids to the band, because we are a live band more than anything else. We’re not a studio band like other bands out there. We have amazing albums. When you get to see them live you’re like, “Whoa!” So, we wanted to see about what we could do live- the Chain Reaction is perfect. Our hometown shows are always fun, and this place has a rich history with us. It was where we had our first show ever and we love to come back here again and again.
NP: What’s the secret show you guys plan on having?
Steven: It’s a small show this Friday at a place called Dipiazzas’ in Long Beach with our friend’s band, Vanity XO. They asked us to play and we told them, “Sure,” as long as we wouldn’t tell anybody until the show was over. It’s a small place that only holds 200 people, and it’s really intimate. It has a full bar, but it’s all ages, and it’s going to be a party more than anything else. It’s $5 if you’re over 21 and $8 if you’re under 21.
NP: Is there any work done on the next album or music video?
Steven: We’re shooting a music video in August for the song “Bone Garden,” with an actual story. It won’t be a live version like the one up on YouTube. We decided to do a new video now that we have a budget, actors, and stuff to use. Another album probably won’t be for a while, because “Those We Leave Behind,” is out right now, it hasn’t even been a year yet. Usually bands tour a good year before they go back and write another album. We’re basically going to be touring for the next 6 or 7 months and then take some time off and write the next album.
NP: When you guys started I Am Ghost, where did you see it going? What were your goals?
Steven: Originally this band was just something we did for fun. We didn’t think we’d get signed so quickly. We thought we’d be your typical local scene-type band. We made a demo, by ourselves because we wanted to get shows, which was the main reason we did it. We didn’t do it to get signed; we didn’t do it to get big. We just loved the venues around L.A. Those venues told us, “We’ll book you if you have a demo.” Since then it just blew up. We were the ones more surprised more than anyone else, actually.
NP: Did you ever see yourself being a “professional” musician?
Steven: If you would have told me 6 or 5 years ago I’d be doing this for a living I probably would have laughed, because I’ve tried countless times with other bands to get signed. It wouldn’t ever work out. No one wanted to sign my last band. So I decided with this band just to have fun with it. So… We did a demo and the rest is history.
NP: When and where was the first I Am Ghost show? Can you describe the scene?
Steven: Our actual first show ever was a sold out show at the El Rey Theater with Sonia Bomb. Our manager at the time put us on as a favor. We had just gotten our demo done. We had never played a live show before either. Having your first show having thousands of people watching your band play is overwhelming. Our two guitarists at the time were barely 17 , so it was their first show too. Most of the time the first real shows were your basic backyard parties, so it was kind of cool.
NP: What keeps you guys going?
Steven: The fans of course! On the road, you realize touring is a hard job. You want to be able to provide for and see your family, friends, and loved ones, but since you’re always gone out on the road; you wonder to yourself, “Why do I do this?”
When I see 50 to 500 kids singing along, going crazy for I Am Ghost, that’s the feeling that keeps me going.
NP: Have there ever been any major road bumps where you’d consider you’d had enough of the band?
Steven: Not necessarily any that made me think about giving up, but definitively a lot of bumps when it comes to losing members. We’ve gone through 4 different members since the band started. Losing Kurt and Brain was hard for us to handle. For us, we just want to play and rock out. We haven’t been a band for that long – only since 2006. It’s funny how people think we’ve been out a lot longer than we actually have.
NP: Looking back, do you have a favorite album or any particular song, and why?
Steven: Honestly, our new album, is my favorite. I love “Lovers Requiem,” but to me, along with all 5 of the members in this band now, I Am Ghost is what I always wanted a band to be. We all get along, all hang out, and we’re all friends. There was something missing before, but there are always cliques you have; a wife or husband to live for. When it comes to your band, there’s always going to be our own little cliques. We’re finally together as a whole.
NP: How long do you see yourselves doing this? What do you want to accomplish with I Am Ghost? Have any last words?
Steven: I want to do this for as long as I can. There’s always time to start a family and settled down. There may be a day where we all get together for lunch and decided right then and there “Hey we’ve done all we can do.” As for now, we are 100% in this band, we’ll do anything we can do, to get us as far as we possibly can get.