Originally from Youngstown but currently based out of Columbus, the members of Ghost Soul Trio describe their sound as “Indie-pop sensibility with an experimental edge.” The band features James Harker (vocals, guitar), Joe Amadio (drums) and Nate Gelfand (bass).
The group formed in 2015 in Columbus, Ohio with a focus on indie rock combined with pop and psychedelic influences.
“Pantherland” started as a bass and drum loop by Joe and Nate, and after sending it to James on a late night, the group went into an inspired frenzy to create one of the group’s lead singles.
“Heartbreak” was initially written for a solo EP, but the EP never came to fruition. The song was brought back for their album “Too Many Futures,” and after adding an extra verse, the group experimented with a recording of James’s dad playing the clarinet, which was turned into the “synth” background sound during the song.
By pairing a hard guitar riff with one of Joe’s drum loops, “Futures” was fleshed out with inspiration from “Noticed” by MuteMath, Joe’s all-time favorite band. The song was shelved until the end of production for their “Too Many Futures” album when it was brought back, completed, and became the final song added to the record.
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Meet The Musicians
Ghost Soul Trio consists of from left to right: Nate Gelfand (bass), James Harker (vocals, guitar) and Joe Amadio (drums).
Interview with lead vocalist and guitarist, James Harker.
The Origin Story
We all went to the same high school in Youngstown, Ohio, but we never started playing together as a band until we all moved to Columbus. Joe and I recorded most of our first EP partly in Youngstown and partly in his old bedroom in Columbus before we brought Nate on to play bass. From there, it evolved into a much more collaborative process.
How Did You Come Up With Your Band Name?
We tossed around a lot of ideas in a group text for a while before Nate pitched the idea of specifically using the word Trio in our name, which we all agreed was interesting and worth exploring. Afterward, we kind of listened to all the work we had done thus far, and tried to pin down a name that fit the sound. Eventually, we landed on the Ghost Soul part.
Give us the lowdown on your sound
Most simply, indie rock. More specifically, indie rock with some pop and psychedelic influence; we use a lot of synths and try to bridge the gap between accessible and weird sounds.
What is your favorite movie/video game soundtrack?
Speaking for everyone, we all share a love for video game soundtracks in general, and we’ve shared a lot of time together through games (we have three PlayStation 4s in our house). As a group, we’ve all loved the music from “The Last of Us,” “Super Meat Boy,” and “Kingdom Hearts” series.
For me personally, one of my favorite film soundtracks is from the movie “It Follows.” It’s a really visceral synth-based horror movie soundtrack and it fits the movie perfectly. Also, Thom Yorke’s soundtrack for the 2018 remake of “Suspiria.”
How did you get the blue in the food on your official music video for “Pantherland”?
We bought a lot of paint for that video shoot, and a lot of it was used for the food. For the eggs, we filled a small Ziploc bag with paint, cooked egg whites into an omelet, and placed it over the paint bag so that when I cut into it, the paint came through the top. For the chicken, we hollowed out the middle of the chicken and did the same thing with a bigger paint bag. In the shots where I actually eat the food, we just used food coloring mixed with cornstarch, so I didn’t have to eat paint. It was a long and messy few days.
How did it feel to play at Express Live back in August 2019 with Lizzo, Ally Brooke, and Spencer Sutherland?
It was completely surreal; it honestly still doesn’t feel like it even happened. I’ve seen lots of shows on that stage, so to actually be a part of one was an absolutely huge bucket-list item that we got to check off that day. We’re forever grateful for the people who helped make it happen!
What is your favorite thing to do on the weekend in Columbus?
I personally love Old North Arcade and just using my free time to walk around Whetstone Park or German Village. Some of our favorite local restaurants are Tasi Cafe, The Eagle, A Common Table, and Lemongrass. We’ve also been pretty frequent about going to local festivals lately, some being: the Italian Festival, Coffee Festival, and High Ball!