An Interview With Steve Moss Of The Midnight Ghost Train
The Midnight Ghost Train has a trajectory much like a train driven by a ghost would. In a short time, the midwestern blues-influenced band has been on countless tours (currently touring with Jucifer), including European dates. The band members are absolutely determined to spread their gospel around the world with their self-titled album (reviewed here).
I had a chance to interview the vocalist/guitarist Steve Moss while on the road to talk about where the band's incredible sound came from, blues men that sold their souls, and why the group can't understand why people think that Midnight Ghost Train is a metal band.
Buick Mckane: How are you doing today?
Steve Moss: I’m doing good.
Buick: That’s awesome. How was your tour with Jucifer?
Steve: It’s going great. We’re still doing it; we’re on tour with them for the next three months.
Buick: Wow, that’s a long time.
Steve: Yeah, it’s going good.
Buick: Any fun stories from the road?
Steve: There’s always a bunch of stories, but probably stuff I shouldn’t talk about. We go fishing on tour; we always bring our poles and fish like crazy.
Buick: That’s awesome. So yall catch fish and eat them?
Steve: No, we don’t eat them, we just throw them back.
Buick: I see. Well, I haven’t found much information on yall’s history, so how long has Midnight Ghost Train been together?
Steve: Three years now.
Buick: And how did yall get your different amalgamation of sounds like rock, metal, southern preacher stuff?
Steve: I don’t know. Well, I listen to old blues and old gospel and stuff. But when I get on stage I play heavy, so it just kind of went like that. We all pretty much listen to different music. But, yeah, I just listen to a lot of old blues and my drummer listens to a lot of singer/songwriter stuff. We really don’t listen to much metal to tell you the truth.
Buick: That’s interesting.
Steve: But we like to play heavy.
Buick: If you look up some old sludge metal, you’ll see the similarities yall have.
Steve: Yeah we hear it all the time from people; they tell us we sound like this band or this band and I’m just like, “Yeah, I don’t even know who they are.” I listen to, like, Robert Johnson.
Buick: Yeah, that’s probably a good thing so you don’t try to sound like a metal band and then mess something up.
Steve: Yeah I guess.
Buick: So who are your favorite blues artists?
Steve: Definitely Skip James and Blind Willy Johnson; those are probably my two favorite. Robert Johnson is great; I’m a big fan of Robert Johnson. But Skip James and Blind Willy Johnson.
Buick: When did your self-titled album come out?
Steve: The self-titled one came out last winter. So about a year now. And we have another record as well that we were told we’re sold out of now. That came out two summers ago.
Buick: Sold out? That’s really cool.
Steve: I mean, we tour so much it’s inevitable.
Buick: Do yall have plans for a new record right now?
Steve: Yeah, we’re working on a new record right now actually. We have this tour with Jucifer and then we’re off for a month, and we’re going to use that month to finish writing the record. Then we go back out on tour for a couple of months, and then we’re going back to Europe, and then after Europe we’ll record the record probably.
Buick: And for such a young band, how are you getting these awesome European tours and tours with bands like Jucifer?
Steve: I don’t know. We tour so much, we tour, like, ten months out of the year. We’ve kind of thrown away everything for music. We just made it all happen ourselves, we’re not on a label. We funded and booked our whole last Europe tour all by ourselves. We’re doing this one by ourselves. Chances are that we played with [a band] in Kansas, and Jucifer liked us, and asked if we could go on tour with them.
Buick: That’s amazing. How do the European people react to yalls music.
Steve: Oh its awesome over there. Yeah, we do really, really well. Like, we did a month and a half out there in October, and yeah it went really well.
Buick: Do yall play headlining shows or open for other bands?
Steve: It depends on the night. It all depends. Out there people fucking love music. They just want to hear music, they tend to like our style and our sound. It went over really well.
Buick: Where have yall played in Europe?
Steve: We pretty much did every country west of Poland. We went up to Norway, we’ve been to ten countries.
Buick: Yall seem very determined, if you’ve only been together three years and you’ve already done that much. That’s really amazing.
Steve: Well like I said we threw everything away for this. I got nothing else.
Buick: Do you regret it?
Steve: Hell no. I’m not good at anything else in life. This is what I’ve always wanted. This band started in memory of my best friend John who passed away. That’s why we start all of our shows with that song “John the Revelator.” So yeah we started in memory of him. And a few months ago, my dad died. My dad was very supportive of my music and what I do, what I love. And pretty much one of the last things he told me was never to give up playing music and to do it to the fullest. So that’s what I’m doing.
Buick: That’s good that you have so much motivation from the people in your life to do that. That makes all the difference.
Steve: Yeah, it does. It does make a big difference.
Buick: Is there anything else you would like to say?
Steve: Not much, no. Just that we’re never going to quit what we’re doing, and keep doing it. Hopefully a label will come along someday and get us out there more and more.
Buick: And with that kind of drive and determination, I’m sure yall will make it. Thanks so much.
Steve: No problem.
Emily is an avid supporter of the New Orleans scene, often filming shows and conducting interviews with local bands to help promote their music. She also runs her own site dedicated to the New Orleans scene, Crescent City Chaos.
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