Ghost Ease Interview
Stream & Buy Ghost Ease’s S/T album below
The powerhouse trio Ghost Ease from Portland did a little Q&A for us here at Tuffgnarl.
They play in the space of ‘ The Lonesome Crowded West finds Pod ’ twang and bent strings, the overdrive is just enough. Quick changes to a noisy breakdown to a distant yell, the strings bend again and it’ll drive some more. Crash of the cymbals to a pause, a ‘BOOM BOOM’ to a controlled build-up, which drives to a moment of lounge rock. Its dreamy and their live recordings prove a good show is out there.
Jem Marie – Guitar & Vocals
Fabi Reyna – Bass
Nsayi Matingou – Drums
Who is the Ghost Ease and when did it begin? Where is it now?
Jem Marie: I came up with the name in 2010 and performed under it since then. The members throughout the years have changed around but it’s at a solid place right now.
Nsayi Matingou: Dude, I’m sorry, but I want these tots. I can’t think about anything else right now.
Jem Marie: We’re at a bar.
Fabi Reyna: The Cure is playing.
What prompted the energy boost?
JM: Having a full-on band is something I’ve always dreamt of putting together ever since I was a kid, but working with other people hasn’t always been very easy for me to do. I played with a few folks here and there, but it was when I met Nsayi that things started to make the most sense. When that happened, my whole song-writing dynamic changed. A sound exorcism, if you will, was called to order. Then Fabi came along shortly after…and here we are.
Where are you all from and what’s home now?
JM: Portland is my home. Though, I’m from Miami, FL — Area codes 503 vs 305
FR: I’m from the south …born in Mexico, grew up in Texas.
NM: I was born in Oakland but have been living in Portland since I was 2. This is my hood.
JM: Portland is home to all of us.
Do you think east coast musicians think differently than west coast musicians in the sense of tone and gear used, or rhythm?
FR: There are definitely different cultures within different regions in the country and that makes a difference in the way people write, but I think that people from the east coast could be inspired by the west coast, and vice versa. I think there are things like atmosphere and where people grew up that effect the way they approach music in any part of the country, not just east or west.
NM: These tots are hot… fresh off the grill.
JM: The tots have made their way to us.
Fabi was recognized in Tom Tom Magazine as a drummer. What put her on bass for Ghost Ease? Does she play drums on any Ghost Ease songs?
FR: I play drums and bass, but I’ve been playing guitar for 12 years. Guitar is my main instrument, but I got offered a cool tour gig in Europe and that’s when I took on the bass. I also run a magazine about women guitarists/bassists called She Shreds Magazine.
JM: She doesn’t play drums on Ghost Ease songs.
FR: Nsayi and Nsayi ONLY!
What other bands has Nsayi been in?
NM: I was in a band called Kusikia where I sang and played guitar. Guitar is where my heart and soul is at. It’s my language. I also play bass in Fabi’s other project, Older Women. And I jammed pretty hard in high school.
JM: I love Older Women…AND Kusikia.
FR: Nsayi taught ME how to play guitar!
JM: Yeah, I heard Nsayi was blown away by Fabi’s guitar playing.
NM: I did not teach Fabi anything.
FR: You’ve gotta know…we’re guitar players.
JM: Fabi was also in a band called Reynosa.
FR: It’s a cumbia-punk band.
What were everyone’s first albums purchased?
JM: With our own money?
NM: TLC – Crazy Sexy Cool
JM: YEEAHH MAAN! There are some good tracks on that one.
FR: That was a great album. Mine was….damnit… Britney Spears – Oops I did it again. Britney was my childhood first love.
JM: Nirvana – Bleach was the first album I bought with my own money.
What other art mediums do you all handle?
FR: I run She Shreds Magazine.
NM: Pressed flowers and paper.
JM: I do lots. Drawing, painting, sewing, crocheting, photo, film…everything, maybe.
Where do you record?
JM: Well, if you mean to ask where we recorded our self-released, self-titled LP…that was recorded at Pupilated Dials in Winter ’12 and Spring ’13. We recorded in his bedroom in the attic of a house in SE portland. With two really scary, crazy dogs.
NM: Yeah with my cousin, long time jammer, Joey Binhammer.
JM: I also record my rough drafts and our rehearsals on my phone — However, I never release those to the public.
Who are some of your favorite recording studio junkies?
JM: I don’t associate with junkies.
FR: Since I’ve been in Portland, I really haven’t recorded with anyone other than with my friend Peter Ryan.
JM: Yeah, he mastered our album. He also played drums in Kusikia. Very talented individual.
At your July 18th show you need to dedicate a song to me – it’s my birthday – it is also Hunter S. Thompson’s – so it’s a full on party.
JM: I’ll whisper your name in my pickups…and Hunter’s name in a cup of my own water.
What can we expect from Ghost Ease in the next 6 months?
FR: Lots of partying.
JM: We’ll be touring along the west coast this August, releasing our album on vinyl through Talking Helps Records, playing a few festivals…recording a new album possibly…
FR: Maybe soon we’ll be going to the east coast.
NM: Expect music.
Follow Ghost Ease on Twitter : https://twitter.com/@the_ghost_ease