Everything you need to know about Ghosts in Pocket can be gleaned from the “About” section on the band’s Facebook page.
Don’t take that the wrong way. The description is a beautifully written piece of prose that had me wanting to be 20-something again so I could enjoy them properly. The Southern California indie-rockers play tonight at Visalia’s Cellar door. I did an email back and forth with singer Keith Beshwate.
Start with the basics: Who does what in the band? How long have you been playing and how did the band come together?
I play guitar, keyboard and lead vocals. Zach Mullen plays guitar, Nick Hartman plays bass and they both step up to the mic every once in a while. It’d be rude to say Chris Pulley plays drums; he is a drummer. For now it’s a pretty standard unit, but we’re trying to add a couple members of the synth and horn variety. We’ve been playing since early 2011, but I think the moment we knew we were a band: Our first show at the West Palms Conservatory Pancake Dinner. Literally performing for elementary children strung out on maple syrup screaming for “Mr. Hartman” speaks for itself.
Tell me about the band’s name.
It’s actually a concept from Dave Eggers’ A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, as horrifically pretentious as that sounds. It’s the idea that your past is always with you, serving as a constant reminder, and is a lot closer than you think. Plus, skeletons in the closet just sounds like an awful band name. But mostly I feel like it suits us well, and makes for a lot very interesting interpretational typos (I’ve taken to adding the tagline of “plural, not possessive” during our shows, but it doesn’t seem to be sticking).
You Facebook description is wonderful as a piece of prose and feels like an accurate description of the scene (as opposed to a single band). Not sure if there is a question here. Maybe … Who wrote it?
That’s all Nick, and he’s honored to hear your appreciation. I don’t think any of us feel comfortable with writing about ourselves, so it just made sense to write about the response we’re looking for and the feeling we’re trying to get across.
That description aside, how would you describe the band? In like, one sentence.
At the end of the day, we’re just trying to play the type of music we’d like to listen to ourselves, and do it well. If people enjoy it, so much the better.
The description also mentions driving long distances to practice. Are you guys in different cities? How does the distance (literal and figurative) affect the band dynamic?
We’re all in Southern California, but we’re spread out over the expanse of 120 miles (admittedly Google-mapped). It gets tough planning practices and shows and traveling, but it honestly makes it so much better when we get together. That kind of distance has really conditioned us to make the most of our time together, and it shows both on and off stage.
Because it’s festival season: You’re putting together the ultimate festival lineup. Give us the top five slots.
After some not so careful deliberation, our top five slots (in no particular order) would be:
- My Morning Jacket
- The Hives
- The National
Here’s the official video for “Bushes.”