The Midnight Ghost Train spread gospel of stoner blues
By W.C. Rufnel
The Midnight Ghost Train are no strangers to touring. In the past five years, this heavy-as-fuck-stoner-blues goliathon has completed 13 tours of the United States and 2 in Europe. Talk about effort – I can’t even get out of bed to take a shit (sorry about those sheets, mom.) The band lives on a 500-acre farm in Kansas (where they most likely still bother neighbors) and this is where they recently wrote their new album, Buffalo, which was released this month on Louisville-based Karate Body Records. We caught up with Scott Moss, singer & guitarist of TMGT on a day off on the West Coast to ask him some questions regarding his son, the Midnight Ghost Train.
So, who are the Midnight Ghost Train and what do each of you do in the band?
Well the guy you’re talking with is Steve Moss and I’m the guitar player and singer. My best friend Brandon Burghart, who is the drummer, started this band with me. Right now we have a temporary bass player – he’s a friend of ours from Mississippi and he is filling in for bass for the next 4 months until we find someone permanent…but he’s awesome. We put him through boot camp and he kicks ass. –Steve Moss
How has your tour been thus far?
Very good. Our new record is selling like crazy and the shows have been awesome. -SM
You were on tour with Truckfighters last time you came through Dayton. How was that tour?
That was a great tour, but it was quite cramped. The Truckfighters were in our van the whole tour so there were 7 of us in our van plus two bands worth of equipment. Lots of laughs in the van and lots of Swedish being spoke. The shows were great. Almost all were sold out. -SM
What has your impression of Dayton been? Does our city smell worse than others?
We loved Dayton. The show we played there at Blind Bob’s was more than sold out so it was awesome and we had a blast. As for the smell – well, I’m engaged so I stayed away from the women. -SM
What city smells the worst that you have been through?
Moss, a city in Norway. It smells awful. There’s a paper factory there so every time we drive through it we blame each other for farting. -SM
Riff off: “Into the Void” or “Space Truckin?”
I love Black Sabbath so I always have to give it up to them. “Into The Void.” -SM
What inspires your music?
Well I’m a blues guy through and through. There are very, very few heavy bands I listen to. I get all my inspiration from old blues and gospel guys like Skip James, Blind Willie Johnson, Fred McDowell, Pink Anderson and Lightin’ Hopkins. New stuff I love – Tom Waits, Black Diamond Heavies, Scott Biram and Nick Cave. -SM
Would you give up the band for 5,000 extremely lucrative Subway franchises that will undoubtedly make you rich beyond your wildest dreams?
Hell no. I don’t know how to run a Subway. The reason we do what we do, tour as much as we do, and the reason we threw everything away for music is because we suck at everything else. We can’t do anything else for a living but make music. That’s who we are. We’d blow our brains out if we were on a payroll. We’ve gone this far and we ain’t ever gonna stop. -SM
What’s next for the Midnight Ghost Train?
We’ve got this tour in the states, which we will be on until September. Then we head back to Europe in October to tour on the new record. We will then take a month off because we HAVE to find a permanent bass player. Then it’s back on the road. -SM
Where is the Midnight Ghost Train in 10 years?
Touring our asses off still. Doing it just the same way, although by then I want us to be selling out big venues and have several more awesome records under our belt. We’re not stopping. We’re just gonna grow. -SM
What rockstar would you punch in the mouth and why?
Probably Slash, ‘cause that motherfucker ran over my pet frog. -SM
When you hold your album Buffalo in your hands, you must realize the cover rules. Yeah? Who is the woman and what does she have to do with any buffalo-related articles on Wikipedia?
Of course the cover rules -and no, you can’t have her number. Her name is Hollis Sherman-Pepe. She’s a friend and fan of the band and she’s also an actress and a model in LA. She was the perfect choice for the cover. All the pictures were taken with film by my fiancé Megan Silovsky, soon to be Moss. The film gave it that vintage look. The cover has absolutely nothing to do with a buffalo, in fact there is no symbolism behind it. We just figured, “What’s more rock and roll then a naked woman?” …other than two naked women. The buffalo picture is on the inside of the record but no one cares about the other pictures once they look at the cover. -SM
The Midnight Ghost Train will play Blind Bob’s 430 E. 5th St. July 29. Also on the bill are Grand Mammoth & Electric Banana. The show starts at 9:30 Cover is $5 for 21 & up. For more information visit www.themidnightghosttrain.com.