Local alt-country legends The Ghost Hotel release their long-awaited new single, Hell To Pay, this Saturday, October 5, at PICA Bar. Support comes from Umpire, Luke Bostelman and Sean Pollard. We had a word with erstwhile hotelier, Aaron Gibson.
It’s been a long time between drinks as far as Ghost Hotel releases go. Why the wait?
The Ghost Hotel has always been a fairly seasonal affair and when you are doing something like this for love alone, it just depends on what everyone is doing with the rest of their lives and how up for it they are. We released an album last year and recording that was a fairly drawn out process for a bunch of part-timers like us so after we did some shows to support the album, we kinda downed tools and got on with our real jobs. Now I think everyone’s ready to be in a band again for a stretch, so here we are.
Tell us about the writing process behind this track.
This is one of Woody’s (Paul Wood), although it copped a fair bit of collective re-structuring in the studio and is probably a much rockier track now than it started out in rehearsal. Woody’s lyrics usually tend towards the abstract and poetic, so I could be wrong but he’s become quite a political little animal lately and I think that’s what’s driving his ideas in this song. Mind you, he will probably tell me I was way off!
Would you say the song is reflective of your current creative direction, in terms of other material you’re working on?
I’d say it’s a bit of a one-off actually. It’s certainly not a straight country rock song. It has a bit more groove and it’s a fair bit shorter than the average Ghosties song too – normally we take more time to build dynamics in our songs. Recording it as a single meant we could let this particular track just go where it wanted to and not have to worry about it sitting in with a larger body of songs.
Speaking of other material, what are you working on right now?
We are just starting to throw around ideas for the next album now and working out which direction it will take. All going well, we’ll be recording early next year.
That aside, what does the future hold for The Ghost Hotel?
In the short term, just enjoying getting back to playing live more often now everyone’s ready to get back on the bus.