Getting to know: Ghosts of Sunset

Somehow managing to create music while living nearly 4,000 miles apart in Western Michigan and Alaska, today’s band are:

Ghosts of Sunset

…who have a most excellent name!

Introduce your members, what do each of you bring to the band?

John – I’m John Merchant. Singer/guitarist/co-writer/co-founder.

Todd – I’m Todd Long Drummer/Bassist/co-writer/co-writer.

When did you last speak to your families?

John – Today! They’re the most important thing in the world to me.

Todd – My family lives back in Michigan and I am currently in Alaska. We talked yesterday. I talk to my wife and kids daily!

What are your instrument makes/models of choice and why? Which effects could you not live without?

John – I have a large collection of Gibson’s and Fenders. I noticed I had a pop-up gig this last weekend and took a Stratocaster. It’s the Swiss Army knife for me when it comes to an unknown gig. Effects? I could plug straight into a good amp and getaway with it, but most of my pedalboard is various gain stages and drive pedals.

Todd – I play a Dw PDP kit and I absolutely love the sound of that kit! For bass I play an Epiphone Thunderbird with a compressor pedal and blues driver for a little growl. This bass sounds great for the Ghosts stuff!

What are the defining characteristics of Ghosts Of Sunset?

John – I think we have strong roots in the 1980s “hair metal” scene, but we bring a wide variety of influences to the table that insure we’re making solid, literate statements within that framework.

Todd – We play great off of each other. If one has an idea we can tell the other what we want by just using another band or musicians name. For example, “Can you make it sound more Beatles like” the other would know what the other meant.

If you could have a DC or Marvel superhero as a member of your band, who would it be and what role would they have? Which band member would they have to fight to get the position and who would win?

John – Oh wow, that’s WAY out of my wheelhouse. I guess Superman could get the gear to the gigs quickly and safely.

Todd – Hmm I know nothing about comics or superheroes. So I am definitely not the person to ask, lol.

What are you working on at the moment?

John – We’re two songs into our third Golden Robot Release right now. The songs are exciting and coming together nicely. Trying to look at some fall touring options as well.

Todd – Like John said, two songs in. One has a killer movie, action feel to it and the other is a down and dirty sleazy song!

Who are your favourite bands/artists/songwriters/musicians?

John – I love all the Stones/Beatles/Zep/Faces classics along with all the Sunset Strip stuff from the 80s. Mix in classic country, singer-songwriters like Jason Isbell, Americana like Lucero, and current rock ‘n’ roll like the Great Affairs and you’ll find me in the middle.

Todd – Always had love for the 80s Hard Rock scene. Poison, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard but I also love Pop/Punk. Blink 182, girlfriends, New Found Glory, Broadside. Currently loving the new Ryan Adams album “Big Colors”.

Who is your favourite author, which is their best book and why?

John – Ben Hamper. He wrote “Rivethead” while working at the GM plant in Flint, Michigan. He tells those stories with first-hand knowledge and un-wavering honestly.

Todd – I’ve never been into reading. My attention span does not allow for it.

When is your next single/album likely to be released? What is it called and where can we get it in our ears? Why should we buy it?

John – Currently our single “No Saints in the City” is available on all digital platforms with physical copies coming soon!

Find Ghosts of Sunset on:


Apple Music





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