That Ghost is the ‘solo’ project of 18 year old Ryan Schmale. He plays live with the help of friends and recorded all of the music from his latest full length,
Young Fridays, in his bedroom. BTR’s own Lottie Leymarie took a few moments to ask Ryan a few burning questions:
BTR: You are a solo artist… Tell me about being a solo artist!
That Ghost: It is great to have complete creative control and write and record whatever I want without having to get it approved by anyone else. But I am very thankful for the people who play with me live, like my friend Chris Natividad who plays drums, and everyone who has played bass or whatever.
BTR: Can you give me a little background info/bio about yourself?
That Ghost: I live in Northen California and go to school here and don’t have a job
BTR: What are the difficulties of being a young artist in the industry versus being an older, established band?
That Ghost: Sometimes I think that the fact I am so young is a disadvantage because people may not take me as seriously. People also tend to focus on my age too much as opposed to just listening to the songs and focusing on that.
BTR: Tell me about your recording process…
That Ghost: I just record in my room. The process is always different though. It depends on what kind of song I want to make.
BTR: Who are your influences?
That Ghost: Mostly rock n’ roll, rockabilly, garage, and pop music from the 1950s and early 1960s. A lot of stuff you would call “oldies,” I guess. As well as old punk and a lot of old folk and blues type stuff.
BTR: What is your writing process like?
That Ghost: I usually make up some simple guitar first and go from there. It’s never too complicated. I’m trying to focus on lyrics more now.
BTR: How do you envision the music growing and developing?
That Ghost: I don’t want to make the same stuff over and over again, so I’m trying to record different sounding stuff as I move along. Like I said, I am trying to focus more on the lyrics, as well as trying to improve the recordings a little bit. I love the reverby vocals and twangy guitars on old rock n’ roll and pop recordings from the 50s and 60s, so I think my stuff will always have that kind of vibe.
BTR: Do you play out much? Do you find it difficult to get gigs?
That Ghost: We don’t play shows very often. I don’t really try too hard to get shows. I’m pretty lazy, I guess. No shows for me to play in Santa Rosa.
BTR: How do you promote yourself?
That Ghost: I don’t.
BTR: Any new music/albums in the works?
That Ghost: Yes, I am always recording and writing music. I don’t really take breaks or anything.
BTR: Tell me about some bands you are listing to right now…
That Ghost: Well, really recently it has been a lot of Link Wray, Neil Young, Cass McCombs, Coachwhips, The Ventures and some others.
BTR: Anything else you would like to ad? ANYTHING AT ALL!!!
That Ghost: Nothing much else to say. Covered it all.