Ghost Lit Kingdom
By Dani Kowalczyk
Hailing from different states, cities, and coasts, the members of Ghost Lit Kingdom managed to find one another through their years of travel, self endeavors and side projects. Today, all but one of the members still live together in an apartment in Torrance. Just south of Inglewood and Los Angeles, one may find it interesting how the band derives its inspiration. However, the mid-20 somethings often reflect within their own personal lives and inter-personal relationships to draw inspiration and purpose for Ghost Lit Kingdom’s sound, message, and music. With an aim to be solid, substantial and trustworthy in a saturated, inflated state that is the music industry…especially in L.A., Ghost Lit Kingdom desires most to be revered by their peers and reliant on their fan base for continuity and solidarity in their musical conquests. After all, radio play is honorable but not always justified.
How did Ghost Lit Kingdom get started?
Ghost Lit Kingdom:Taylor and Ela met about 5 years ago at a day job while playing in separate bands and started doing some side project writing together that eventually tip toed into a more formal project but still with musicians and friends filtering in and out as the band. It wasn’t until December of last year that Mike auditioned to join the group on guitar and Ghost Lit Kingdom was really born. Jason and Ela met in early 2015 at school and Andrew joined up a few months after that.
Approaching your next EP, how do you find inspiration?
Ghost Lit Kingdom: Often times, the songs act as a means of catharsis and molded forms of self-expression. The actual music itself, the instrumentation, is often times inspired by other artists or by little pieces of instrumentation written by one another that can be built upon by simply following what feels natural during the writing process.
Do you look to cultural, political, or environmental elements for inspiration or influence?
Ghost Lit Kingdom: There is a lot of societal influence in our lyrical content. A great deal of our writing deals with relationships whether it be romantic, platonic, individual, etc. and the most identifiable and inescapable relationship, especially in LA, is the one an individual has with the world around them so that often finds its way into our writing.
Your song ‘I Was Born’ seems to have religious elements. Are there any religious or spiritual influences?
Ghost Lit Kingdom: No, I Was Born is a depiction of internal turmoil and the darkness of its associated mind especially in those moments of self evaluation where you come to the conclusion that you, as a person, are beneath your unadulterated potential.
What are the toughest challenges you face as an up and coming band in a musical community like LA?
Ghost Lit Kingdom: Standing out and trying to do it on a consistent basis is certainly an uphill battle. The LA music scene is so very saturated with more bands and artists than could even be tallied and a lot of them are very good so it is difficult for bands such as ourselves who have been around for less than a year to really stick in peoples’ minds. Our resolution is to just keep performing at the highest caliber possible and to continue to put out solid content that everyone will, hopefully, enjoy.
What musical era do you prefer most and why?
Ghost Lit Kingdom: We all have a pretty strong affinity for the 90’s just cause the industry was really booming at that point so the diversity of the music was really widespread. It was also a more realistic goal to be a musician in terms of making a living and such so it attracted a wider array of talent whereas today the industry might lose out on some really wonderfully musicians that choose other lifestyles because “making it” is such an almost unfathomable reality. The classic rock era will always have its place as well, though. The way people listened to, wrote and performed music in those years was with such passion and appreciation. That has a strong allure as well being that we live in “The Age of the Single” when music is so rarely purchased as a complete album and, thus, listened to and created in a much different way.
Where would you like to see Ghost Lit Kingdom?
Who are you listening to now?
Ghost Lit Kingdom: These last two questions are quite connected to us at the moment. We adore the current bands and artists like Ben Howard, Daughter, Young the Giant, Bon Iver, Alabama Shakes, etc. who are not necessarily major radio bands (YTG excluded) but have amassed a great deal of respect in the musical community and have been incredibly successful with their music as well. As much as major radio play would be a great honor for us, being able to build a lasting career based on the foundation of strong musical merit is the most appealing thing for us as a group.
Photo by: Bryant Glenn