Posted On 21 Jun 2019
On May 31st, the Texas and U.K.-based rockers Ryan Hamilton and The Harlequin Ghosts released their debut album, This Is The Sound via Steven Van Zandt’s label, Wicked Cool Records. “Far Cry” was one of the latest singles released from it and it is a nostalgia-inducing classic rock-style track about being a “far cry” away from who you imagined yourself to be.
“I think the sentiment of this song is something everyone can relate to,” shares Hamilton. “As kids, we have these crazy, far-fetched ideas about what we wanna be when we grow up…or maybe, later down the road, you thought you found ‘the one’ in High School, only to find out you don’t really know what the hell love even is…yet. Haha! We all grow up and grow into what life delivers. The trick, if you ask me, is not settling, but at the same time finding happiness in the hand you’re dealt.”
“Far Cry” follows the band’s previously released tracks off the album “Get Down” and “Mamacita,” the latter of which is currently thriving on radio across the U.K.. All 12 new songs on This Is The Sound, recorded in the U.K. last year, find Ryan and the band on familiar musical footing, staying true to an aesthetic that’s a modern distillation of their classic influences.
Hamilton, the group’s only American, and the U.K.-based Ghosts – core members Mickey Richards (drums) and Rob Lane (bass) along with Carol Hodge (keyboards and backing vocals) and Dave Winkler (lead guitar), who round-out the lineup when they perform as a five-piece – recently wrapped a string of U.S. tour dates supporting Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers, giving fans across the country an early chance to experience the band’s new music.
After stints in the bands People On Vacation (with Bowling For Soup’s Jaret Reddick and Ghosts members Richards and Lane) and Smile Smile, this current phase of Ryan’s career began with a late 2016 single called “Fuck You Brain,” which he wrote and recorded with friend Ginger Wildheart of the legendary U.K. hard rock band The Wildhearts. The melodically rocking track caught the attention of Wicked Cool honcho Steven Van Zandt, who added it to his Underground Garage playlist, along with half the songs from Ryan Hamilton and The Traitors’ 2017 album The Devil’s In The Detail, the first album from the band prior to the name change. Ryan’s classic rock influences – among them The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, David Bowie – combined with a bit of country music from growing up in a small town just outside of Fort Worth, Texas laid the foundation on which Ryan Hamilton and The Harlequin Ghosts formed.
Learn more about Ryan Hamilton and The Harlequin Ghosts in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! What is on tap for the rest of your day?
Well, I just arrived in the UK for our “This is the Sound” UK Tour…and tonight we’re playing a secret warm up show at a small Pub, so it should be a fun day.
Now that we are into the 6th month of the year, how would you say that 2019 is treating the band so far? What have been some goals this group has had this year? How close are you to reaching them?
Treating us VERY well. We put out a new album, and it’s doing great. Killin’ it on iTunes and Amazon. Cracked the Top 10 in the album charts in the UK and selling out in most record stores in the UK. So, yeah… we’re super happy with the year so far.
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be in this group together? Was it hard to think of a name that you could agree on? Has anything surprised you about this musical journey so far?
I can recall the phone call when we decided to stick together after our former band called it quits, yeah. Names are never easy to decide/agree on. Lucky for us, we have Stevie Van Zandt helping us with the name change. This journey is FULL of surprises. Around every corner.
How do you think your hometowns have influenced the sound and how you all carry yourselves in this group? If not, what do you think does influence this group?
Well, I’m the only American in our band…and I grew up in Texas. So, we have a very interesting dynamic. Especially when it comes to our different hometowns and upbringings. The rest of the band are all from different parts of the UK.
I always like to ask bands if you all hang out socially apart from the music? In other words, when you aren’t working on music, do you guys enjoy hanging out for fun?
Of course! We are like a family…or a gang…but the good kind. Haha!
Congrats on releasing your debut album, This Is The Sound last month! What did that feel like? How did you all celebrate? Did anything surprise you about putting this collection together? How long did it take overall?
It felt amazing! Thank you. We are in the process of “celebrating.” Our UK album release tour starts tomorrow! I’ve never been more proud of an album. Nothing really surprised me about putting the collection together, no. It took exactly 7 months, 4 days, and 11 hours.
While it’s hard, can you pick out a few favorite songs on the album and talk about the inspiration for them and how they got to be on this collection?
My favorite song on the album is the title track, “This is the Sound.” For me, it was inspired by the magical time travel device that music is.
Why do you think Wicked Cool Records is the right place for this band and your music right now?
Because it’s the most artist-friendly record label EVER. Working with this label, and Stevie Van Zandt, is an absolute dream.
Generally, how do you go about writing your music? Do you write together or separately?
I write the songs. I have to wait for them to come to me. Then, grab them, before the evaporate.
How has your sound grown or changed over the years? What has remained the same?
It’s absolutely grown. We sound bigger and better than ever. Our band has a unique sound. Total accident. Haha. But I’m super proud of the way we sound. I’d put our live show up against ANYONE else.
Where do you think you are all happiest- in the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?
Performing. Definitely. Something extra magic happens when we all play together live.
Where can fans see you perform next? What do you think makes for an ideal show for this group? What has been a favorite show of yours in the past?
Impossible to pick a favorite. But the UK has been incredible to us the past few years. I think every show should be different, and every show should be memorable. No cookie cutter, “same show every night,” bullshit.
What was it like touring with Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers? What did you learn from that touring experience?
It was wonderful. I really look up to Roger. He’s a hero of mine, and I learned some invaluable lessons about how a band should operate. On and off stage.
How has social media impacted this band? How often are you all on your different sites interacting with fans?
I love it and I hate it at the same time. But if you’re not using social media these days, you’re gonna get left behind. I’m online, ALL THE TIME.
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how you all think being musicians and in this band still gives you the most joy in life today? Do you find that your music is an escape to all the current events?
I don’t combine politics or music. Music is a joyous experience. That hasn’t changed. But I am happy to provide an escape for others who might me feeling down.
What musicians would you love to work with in the future? What artists have really been inspiring this group and your music since day 1?
I think all my heroes, who I would like to work with, are dead. So this is an impossible question. Tom Petty has been an inspiration since the jump.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
Hope, and happiness…even in the struggle. That.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about this group?
Yes: GO BUY OUR NEW ALBUM!