San Diego’s Ed Ghost Tucker recently released their debut EP Channels. The refreshing collection of songs has been building buzz in SoCal and beyond. GroundSounds recently caught up with the band to discuss their formation, Channels, San Diego’s music scene, and more! Check out the interview below and watch the band’s video for “Sofia.”
How did you meet and form the band?
Rutger: Somehow, we all got started in music together around the same time in elementary school. Despite having come from different countries and states, we all managed to converge in San Diego when we were between 8 and 10 years old. We’ve played music with one another in many different forms since then, so we are lifelong collaborators. We formed Ed Ghost Tucker after graduating from college and/or coming home from abroad around two and a half years ago.
In most cases, I try not to ask – but I’ve got to ask you how the name Ed Ghost Tucker came about?
Rutger: Actually, those three words pretty much appeared right before our eyes on an old receipt and we decided to use them in the name one day. We knew we wanted to make music as a band, but coming up with a name was becoming a chore, so when “Ed Ghost Tucker” came along it kind of just happened.
You’ve been building some really good buzz in San Diego. What’s the music scene like there right now? What are your favorite venues to play there?
Rutger: There’s a great community of people running the venues and supporting music in general, and the scene here has been fun to be a part of. It’s also changed quite a bit lately with venues shutting down, taking on new ownership, etc., but it seems like the music community as a whole is taking care of itself and growing slowly. The Casbah sounds great for a small club, and we like it there.
The Channels EP is a really exciting and refreshing release. How long had you been working on those songs and where did you record them?
Rutger: Thanks. These songs have been in our live repertoire as a band in various forms since we started playing together for the most part. Some have been worked on more than others, but all 6 have taken on different forms along the way, which probably has to do with how often we were playing live as a younger band. We always like to keep things fresh.
Ryan: That’s a tough one. I’ve always liked playing “Mom Got Fat,” because there’s a fun energy in it live for me, but there are also a few newer songs that have been fun lately. It depends on the crowd and if we’re getting them to move! Each night is different, but the body is always important.
There a really cool quality about the EP that seems like you are “making a lot of noise without being loud,” if that makes any sense. I listen to a song like “I Do,” and there’s so many great touches and a lot going on, all within this delicate framework. Tell us a little bit about the idea and inspiration for that song.
Michaela: “I Do” had a couple different forms and was written during our band’s transition from a more folk-jazz driven sound to whatever eclectic pop genre we are using to describe ourselves now. There’s folk and funk and other stuff. I remember being in our rehearsal space and having a good time trying to figure out where this song could go. It felt like we had endless possibilities, and maybe we used all of them on this song at once, but it turned out to still flow and happily combat my somewhat depressing lyrical content.
This song was a personal one written from the perspective of a good friend of mine who has watched me most of my life going in and out of relationships and his possible view of how I do and view things. Quite exaggerated and also untrue in how I actually feel about love and life, but all my anxieties and self-conscious thoughts about how I was perceived were able to be somewhat let go of in writing this song. The week I was going into the studio to record vocals I had watched this Feist documentary that showed her recording in this French chateau, living where she was creating “Reminder” and I was really inspired. I read that her engineer recorded some of her vocals through tube amps, and I have always loved the way her voice sounds on record. So, Rut hooked it up and we did that. (I believe that Rut had this exact idea during the recording process and it was one of those ah ha moments of “let’s do this,” “ok yeah, that’s what I was thinking, let’s do that.”)
The camerawork and how the “Sofia” video was shot is great. Where did the video idea come from and who did you get to film it?
Rutger: We had a great time making that video. We collaborated with Roman Arriola and his local production team at SnowGlobe Studios for some of the basic ideas and themes, like the fact that we wanted some performance element, and a more broad “water” theme throughout. We converted Cameron’s living space into a production set, hired some very dear dancer friends, and Roman brought his A-game to make sure we got some great shots.
What’s coming up in 2015 for Ed Ghost Tucker and where is the best place to stay updated online?
Rutger: We’re in the process of demoing out another 6 songs that have been in our live set-lists lately, and we are planning to release a sister EP to Channels by summer. After that, hopefully we’ll get to keep playing more inspiring shows and do some good ol’ touring. Facebook is probably the best way to stay up to date with us online, but our website, www.edghosttucker.com, went live a couple of months ago, so that’s a good place to visit as well.
Last but not least: what is one “must see” thing to do in San Diego and your favorite place to get a bite to eat?
Rutger: Must see – Balboa Park (generic, but a must)
For a good bite – Underbelly, City Tacos, mom’s house…