February 2013 “Band of the Month” – ROADKILL GHOST CHOIR

TBI Band of the Month - Feb 2012When I started the “Band of the Month” feature last year, I had no idea we would be introduced to all the amazing artists that we wound up working with. From a feature with now-indie-giants, Of Monsters and Men, to the beautiful bedroom tunes of Faye Webster, the site found community and excitement in this feature. As we move ahead with 2013 and put this whole “mayan apocolypse” phase behind us, we plan to continue to share with you music that we’ve grown to love. Thanks for all your support these past few years. 

– Sean Pritchard

Roadkill Ghost Choir

The boys in Roadkill Ghost Choir have covered some impressive ground over the past nine months. Combined with their non-stop travel on the I-75/16/20 corridors, they’ve gained the attention of media thousands of miles away – most recently, Rolling Stone Germany. The pockets of fans they’ve earned have multiplied and there’s a welcoming party waiting in any of the number of SEC/ACC towns they visit. Based in Deland, Florida, the band was picked up by a young agent in Athens, then eventually a full PR/management team, who helped them take their 2012 release, ‘Quiet Light’, on the road. This band of brothers (quite literally) will be showing up at Savannah Stopover, SXSW, the Governor’s Ball, and a number of other fests around the country and already have a full schedule of club dates on the books. Long hair, don’t care.
As of a few months ago, theblueindian.com crew was unfamiliar with the band. We noticed a few shows you all were on, but it wasn’t until the recent show with Dead Confederate that we were able to make it out to get the real story. Can you give us the short and sweet on the band for anyone reading this?
It all started when Andy got an offer to play a show, and he decided he did not want to play it by himself because he thought it would be boring. He decided to recruit Maxx, Kiffy, and myself (Zach) to play with him and it evolved from there. Garza was teaching me guitar lessons around that time and we brought him in, and Joey joined towards the end of the recording of the E.P.
 
In the past few months, your reach has extended well outside of The Sunshine State, with shows on the books as far north as New York. There seems to be an especially strong connection with Georgia markets though. Do you remember your first show in Georgia, and how have things changed since then?
Yes, we remember it well, it was about 8-9 months ago. We played on the Georgia Theatre rooftop and we were all really nervous. I think we have gotten a lot tighter as a band and a lot more comfortable playing in front of people. Our sound has expanded and gotten a little more ambient and spacey, which we have been digging.
 
Quiet LightThe debut EP, Quiet Light, was released in September of last year. Produced by David Plakon and mastered by Doug Van Sloun (Bright Eyes, She & Him), the album received acclaim from a number of outlets, including Rolling Stone Germany. Any idea how the German connection came about?
We actually have no clue. We also still aren’t quite sure what it really says either haha.
 
I’m the youngest of four brothers in my family and I get along with them about 90% of the time, thought I’m not packed in a van each night. What effect does the family dynamic have on life on the road, as well as the overall writing process ? 
Me, Andy and Maxx all live with each other so life on the road is like life at the house, It is really not too different. There is a lot of teasing and jokes, but we all get along well. I’m not too sure if the family dynamic effects the writing process too much. I guess we are a little more blunt in telling each other if we like the parts they are writing.
 
You just supported Thomas Wynn & the Believers at Georgia Theatre on Jan. 31st, alongside Sam Sniper & Dana Swimmer. Athens has been good to you in the past, so has your fan base held true there?
We are always pumped with Athens. It has been treating us really well. Each time, there are new faces, along with the familiar ones. And Athens has the best food around, every restaurant is killer.
 
Roadkill Ghost ChoirDaytrotter recently had some very emotive and heartfelt things to say about the bands performance and recording. What are your thoughts about the time recording the session, as well as the finished product?
Daytrotter was awesome. We had a great time going into the studio and just looking at all the awesome gear that they had. There was a room in that studio that had like 10 super awesome vintage synthesizers.
 
Thought you’re staying close to home the next month, as March rolls around you’ll be making an appearance at Savannah Stopover, before heading West with every other band in the country to SXSW. Is this the bands first appearance at SXSW?
This is the bands first trip to SXSW, we are really excited to be playing.
 
What bands from Florida should we have on our radar these days? 
There have been some really great bands coming out of Florida lately. Hundred Waters is unbelievably great, Levek just put out a great record a couple months back, Saskatchewan is awesome and they should be putting out a new record pretty soon. I have heard a couple tracks and it sounds super good. Day Joy have been doing really well and they are putting out a debut album in a couple weeks, Maximino is also a personal band favorite.
 
What albums have you all been listening to in the van?
I would say the most listened to artists in the past couple months are: Kurt Vile’s Smoke Ring for My Halo, The War on Drugs’ Slave Ambient, Tame Impala’s Lonerism, Damien Jurado’s Maraqopa, Phosphorescent recently put out a great new song that has been on repeat, Sparklehorse’s It’s a Wonderful Life, Mac Demarco’s 2, and Real Estate’s Days. 
 
It was just announced that you’ll be playing a slot at the Governor’s Ball festival in New York City in June – sharing one of the best lineups we’ve seen from a festival this year. What are you looking forward to about the fest?
We are most looking forward to seeing so many awesome bands that we listen to. It still doesn’t seem real to see our name on that lineup. Being in New York is also a lot of fun.
Deland, Florida is: The sky diving capital of the nation.
Deland, Florida is not: Fun.
Favorite album of the Capricorn Records era: Eat a Peach
Worst drive in the South: Florida to Athens
When you leave this city, you’re hungover: Athens
Gators, Seminoles, or Hurricanes: Shrek
Best album of the 80’s: Speaking in Tongues
When you’re not on the road, you’re: Sleeping
Are you aware of the serious problem in Florida with pythons, and have you hunted any yet? Yes, every Floridian is required by law to kill two per year…
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