Currently engaged in a lengthy European run of dates, southern rockers The Midnight Ghost Train have just completed a jaunt around the U.K. in support of last years' 'Cold Was The Ground' release. We put a series of questions to front man Steve Moss and got some surprising answers.
Hi Steve, how are you today?
I'm doing good. We're on tour right now in Europe, playing somewhere in Germany tonight. All is going well.
How did you been enjoy your short U.K. run of dates?
The U.K. has been good to us. We did three shows in the U.K. on this tour, and it went great. It's good to get over here and play, as we don't go to the U.K. as much as we should.
The band's interests include touring and fishing. Have you been able to cast any lines in between shows?
No, unfortunately not. We don't have any poles with us when we tour Europe. It's a bummer!
‘The Midnight Ghost Train – Cold Was The Ground’; that’s a fantastically titled album, isn’t it!?
Yes it is, but it's not our work. It comes from an old Blind Willie Johnson song called 'Dark Was The Night Cold Was The Ground'.
The album artwork is striking too. Did you have much involvement with that?
Yeah, my wife did all the photos for this record and our last one [2012's 'Buffalo']. She's an amazing photographer. Together we came up with some ideas and she carried it out.
A look at the band’s biography reveals quite a few members have been part of the line-up over the years. Would you say the current line-up is what you’ve been looking for all along?
I hope so. The current line-up is definitely the strongest it's ever been. It finally feels right. We all click really well on stage and with writing.
How has the band’s sound evolved as line-ups have changed?
Well, the biggest part is our new bass player, Mike Boyne. He is just an unbelievable player and he really brought a whole new dynamic and sound to the band. His presence in the band made us all evolve in our craft.
The band has a fantastic doom / stoner guitar sound; it’s key to your aural aesthetic, isn’t it?
I'm not sure if its key - it's just the sound I'm using right now, at this time. I love the sound of Fender amps, and it just fits it for this last record. But I'm always looking for improvement and changes.
Despite that obvious tag, your influences are myriad. Who would you cite as your main inspiration?
For me personally, I'm a big fan of old jazz and blues. I love John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Skip James, Muddy Waters and Tom Waits. I'm not a big fan of heavy stuff to listen to or take influence from, but it's really fun to play.
What bands would you love to tour with, given the opportunity?
Well yeah, everyone from the above list, but they are mostly dead! We would just love to tour with any band that could help us progress and grow the reach of our music. I guess a band like Clutch would be a really good fit for us.
‘Cold Was The Ground’ was released in 2015. Have you any plans in place to follow it up?
Absolutely, we are working on writing it now. We're looking to change things up with this new album, and starting to embark on different paths and sounds. The last record was great, but we don't want to make the same record over and over again. We are always looking to change, and it's time to do something new.
Finally, what’s next for the band?
Finishing this current tour is first and foremost, and then working on writing and recording this next album is the next big step. We are really excited to get back in the studio and try out a brand new Midnight Ghost Train.
The Midnight Ghost Train are on tour in Europe throughout August. For a full list of dates visit the band's official website.