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Exit Ghost

August 29, 2012

Exit Ghost

If you like your rock a little jangly, with just a touch of twang, look no further than Chicago-based indie outfit Exit Ghost. One of Paste Magazine’s “Top 10 Illinois Bands You Should Listen To Now”, Exit Ghost has been sculpting its energetic brand of country-tinged, lyrical indie rock since the group’s formation in 2010. From the rooted acoustic creaks of The Pony Soldier EP (2010) to 2011’s lush Hang The Lights EP—a project engineered by Mike Hagler of Wilco’s Summerteeth— Exit Ghost has proven itself an inspired and insatiable writing vehicle. Their live shows were hailed by Performer Magazine as “like After The Goldrush on steroids”. Move Alone, the group’s first full-length album, was released May 2, 2012.

Exit Ghost are Evan Holmes, guitar/vocals; Jordan Stacey, bass/vocals; Julian Stacey, drums/percussion; Mike Golas, guitar/lap steel; Dorian Gehring, guitar/keyboards/violin. Evan, Mike, and Jordan responded to the Questionnaire on behalf of the band.

Exit Ghost have paired up with Denver new-folk darlings Glowing House for a co-headlining “Middle America” tour, promising a captivating live experience in an effort to promote each band’s respective new albums. The tour launches tonight in Denver at Unit E, with upcoming dates in Liberal, Kansas; and Lubbock and Austin, Texas; before turning north and winding up in Chicago.
 

 

1. What is your hometown?

Evan Holmes:

Mostly Chicago, though I lived in Galesburg, IL. for five years through college. And it stuck.

Michael Golas:

Denver, Colorado

Jordan Stacey:

Chicago

2. With what fictional character do you most identify?

EH:

Oh man! I’ve actually been really into Mad Men lately, and Harry Crane is this energetic, ambitious copywriter who decides to start a media department at Sterling-Cooper. He has this great clarity in how he wants to move the company forward, and knows that TV and movies are the future of advertising. Harry takes all sorts of risks and grabs at opportunities that sometimes leave him looking naive– but sometimes he’s right. He’s a character with a sense of faith and wonderment– and humor– in the midst of an industry of schmoozers. And sometimes he wants to be a schmoozer. I like his glasses.

MG:

Chevy Chase as Ty Webb in Caddyshack. Na-na-na-na-na-naa.

JS:

Jack Sparrow

3. In the movie of your life, cast an actor to play you.

EH:

Brad Pitt. No! Wait! Jimmy Stewart! OK, Jimmy Stewart with Brad Pitt’s stubble.

MG:

Oh, boy. Either Ryan Gosling or Owen Wilson. Probably more likely Owen Wilson though – he’s just mentally askew enough to fit my life.

JS:

Kid from the Karate Kid

4. What work of art speaks to your soul?

EH:

Ed Ruscha’s “Twentysix Gasoline Stations” is this very plaintive series of drive-by photos of the gas stations on Route 66 that Ruscha would pass as he drove from L.A. to Oklahoma City in the early sixties. They’re all BP-Amoco stations now, so the collection is this kind of tongue-in-cheek testimony to the gas-station as an “outpost”, a marker showing that a driver has really gone somewhere new. He’s looking at something as totally mundane as a gas station as one of the last examples of a “frontier” in America.

MG:

There’s a piece by Alberto Giacometti titled Isaku Yanaihara. It’s a portrait painting done in a very signature style with these brilliant, heavy lines that give the space of the painting a weight that I’ve never felt in any other piece of visual art.

JS:

Alabama Shakes – Hold On is really screaming at me nowadays, makes me wanna throw my head back.

5. What books are you currently reading or recommending?

EH:

Right now I’m reading a book called “Drawing Distinctions” by Patrick Maynard, a philosophy professor at U. of Western Ontario. It’s a sort of cultural history of drawing that points out the importance of blueprints, sketches, and even graphs as ways of interacting with the physical world, rather than an idealized one in an artist’s mind– which is the sort of Platonic way drawing is usually regarded. A crazy idea he brings up: without the invention of perspective in sketches in the Rennaissance, a way of creating and “owning” space, would Europe have been so eager by the end of the Renaissance to chart out and navigate the New World? Maybe just the idea of a vanishing point, a horizon, drove a kind of desire to quantify the world, to literally “put things in perspective”. That’s my pitch. Read it.

MG:

Right now I’m reading 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. It’s a not so in-your-face sci-fi novel, which I’m not usually into, but, it has taken me by surprise and is well worth a read. I really great book I read a few months ago and highly recommend is called The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson. It follows the growth of a brother and sister whose parents are renowned performance artists constantly involving the public in their pieces. It’s absolutely hilarious.

JS:

Anything by Brigit Callaghan.

6. What song or album is currently in heavy rotation on your iPod?

EH:

Sharon Van Etten’s “Tramp” is playing in my head constantly. Her harmonies are just too perfectly offset by Aaron Dessner’s guitar work.

MG:

Daniel Rossen of Grizzly Bear released a solo EP this year called Silent Hour/Golden Mile which is only five songs and has this great sense of isolation behind it all that I’m particularly fond of. More recently, this kid from Brooklyn named Joey Bada$$ blew up on the internet who has this 90’s hip-hop feel. It’s so cool – I mean, the kid sounds like he was in A Tribe Called Quest and mixes in beats from the likes of J Dilla and it just blows my mind to hear this soulful hip-hop coming from a 17 year old. It makes no sense, but I love it.

JS:

I have a playlist of songs each month that I listen to on repeat. My playlist for last month was: 1). Alabama Shakes – Hold On; 2). Flo Rida – Wild Ones; 3). Carly Rae Jepson – Call Me Maybe; 4). Raconte M83 – Moi Une Histoire; 5). Gym Class Heroes – Ass Back Home; 6). Civil Wars – Poison & Wine; 7). Civil Wars – C’est la mort; 8). Jordan Stacey – Too Low Sun; 9). Jordan Stacey – Know You’re Alive (acoustic)

7. What’s the last movie that made you cry?

EH:

I feel like I always cry when I watch “Royal Tenenbaums”, but recently I think Paris Je’taime really got me. I spent a New Year’s Eve in Paris with my college girlfriend, and then we kind of naturally drifted– but it’s really hard to watch the vignette with Natalie Portman.

MG:

I don’t think I can even recall the exact last movie that made me cry – it’s always the ones I don’t expect to do so. I do remember that when the Adam Sandler movie Big Daddy came out I cried pretty hard in that – It was embarrassing because I was pretty young and didn’t want any of my friends to see me crying at the end of that movie, but it broke my heart!

JS:

It’s been awhile…I dunno if movies are doing so hot right now…I feel like it’s all about TV Shows…and I think Breaking Bad, the scene where Jesse’s girlfriend dies

8. Cat person or dog person?

EH:

Dogs are so great. Whatever you say to them, they look at you like it’s the most insightful thing anyone’s ever thought. “You’re right! I never thought of it that way!”

MG:

Dogs all the way. Although I do have one cat love that will never be replaced.

JS:

Neither

9. What is more important, truth or kindness?

EH:

I think in the long-term, truthfulness is always the way to go. Kindness is definitely easier at the time.

MG:

There’s a fine line between the two. Truth can be painful, and kindness can disguise the rough edges that truth can bring. That’s a tough question.

JS:

Truth

10. How do you define sin?

EH:

Consciously acting without thought for how you’ll impact others.

MG:

Blatantly taking advantage of an individual or group without a sense of remorse or consideration to what one’s action might impose.

JS:

Gaining by making someone else lose

11. How do you define virtue?

EH:

I think of virtue as acting selflessly– whether that’s holding the door for someone with their arms full, or building a whole house through Habitat– acting without clear benefits.

MG:

Being kind to yourself for your own betterment without blurring the paths of others.

JS:

Standing for something so you don’t fall for everything

12. Design your headstone: What does it say? What does it look like?

EH:

It’s a three foot-tall headstone under a tree in Dover, England, and it says:

Evan Holmes
1987-?
Made and Loved

MG:

I’d like to be cremated. Strew me among the aspens.

JS:

Here lies Jordan Stacey, a little bonus to the world

Bonus Question: Who would you like to see answer these questions?

MG:

Jordan Canjar. He’s a brilliant visual artist from Denver and produces some of the beautiful pieces of art I’ve seen from a young artist today.

JS:

A chipmunk, because they can’t talk, so wouldn’t that be cute and cool?

Connections:
Exit Ghost
@exitghostband

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