Tom Hamilton Talks Ghost Light, the Band’s First Show, and Their Future

Last night was something really special as Sound-Fix was a part of Ghost Light’s first ever performance at Winston’s in Ocean Beach.  For a band that’s never played in front of a crowd together as a unit, this band really delivered an unforgettable punch that fans of jam music and psychedelic rock can seriously appreciate.  The band consisting of Holly Bowling, Tom Hamilton (Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, American Babies, Brothers Past), Steve Lyons (Nico’s Gun), Raina Mullen (American Babies) and Scotty Zwang (Dopapod) is embarking on a tour around the country, and we recommend checking them out if you get the chance.  We had the chance to talk to Tom Hamilton about the performance, the future of the band, and what’s going on with Ghost Light.


Sound Fix: Awesome, so I’m outside Winston’s with Tom Hamilton


Tom Hamilton: Aye


SF: Can I crack a joke?


TH: Sure


SF: So where did the idea come from for the band, did you run into Holly Bowling at the hipster hat convention?


TH: (laughs) Hey, our hat game is pretty strong, that is undeniable.  Nah you know man, we had been playing together here and there.  She’d been sitting in with my old band American Babies a bunch over the course of a year, and I wasn’t happy with the people I was playing with, so I was going to see if she wanted to join the band [American Babies].  Then I thought about it and was like ehh lets just start new.  So I spoke to Steve [Lyons] and Scotty [Zwang] our bass player and drummer to see what they were doing and if they were available.  Once I knew they were around and into the idea, I took it to Holly and was like “listen, I got this idea for a band, it’d be me and Riana [Mullen] and you, and I have this rhythm section in mind and she was like “yeah, let’s do it”


SF: And it just all clicked


TH: Exactly, it just all clicked


SF: So we were talking before the show, you I and the band [Ghost Light] and I asked you what should we expect, and everybody was like “we don’t know” and you even said it that you don’t have the music fully written and it’s just kind of happening as it’s happening.  Do you have anything to say about the creativity amongst the band and just how that’s working for you, just going up and doing it?


TH: It’s interesting, the whole thing, I’ve just been trying to not force anything and let it all happen.  Like the songs aren’t completely ready yet and that’s ok.  Let’s just go with it and play them how they are and see what takes shape from there and so on and so forth and it’s treated us well so far.  You know, our first show, obviously it was well attended and that’s really super awesome, but most importantly I think musically it was where it should’ve been for a band playing their first show, and that’s all you can really ask for


SF: I think for a band playing their first show that was impressive and the bar is set really high moving forward


TH: And that’s where it should be man, that bar can get set pretty low sometimes in this scene, and that’s not what I do man.  The bar should always be high for anyone that’s creating art, you should really be trying to do something special and I’m not saying we’re the Beatles but we’re trying


SF: Absolutely, it definitely feels special what you guys are doing.  And on behalf of the new music, should we expect a new album to come out this year?


TH: Yeah man, we’re hoping by the Fall we’ll have something out and be back on the road and come back out here and do the whole country again, that’s the goal.


SF: That sounds awesome.  So last question, just wondering, do you even have names for the songs that you played tonight?


TH: (laughs) Half of them have names, half of them we just sort of call “John.”  Like “that’s that John that’s in A” or “that’s that John that’s in G.”  Actually, the first two songs we played tonight were the A-John and the G-John.


SF: (laughs)


TH: You know, because the lyrics are still being formed and we’re still trying to figure out what we’re trying to say.  Like I said, it’s about not rushing anything.  We’re taking our time, letting it happen, and letting the answers come to us.


SF: Well, thank you so much Tom, I appreciate your time.


TH: Anytime brother, we’ll do it again.


We’re starting to get the feeling that we’ll be seeing this exciting new project for years to come.  For more info on Ghost Light tour dates and tickets, click here.  To listen back to and download Ghost Light’s debut show from WinstonOB, click here.  Audio recorded by Charlie Miller.

About author

Zach Schwartz

Born and raised in Upstate New York, and residing in Southern California for the past 5 years, Zach has a vast taste and passion for live music. In 2018, Zach graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelors degree in Communication. Aside from music journalism, Zach is working hard at his blossoming career as a Lighting Designer. Feel free to contact Zach with any comments, questions, or concerns regarding anything music related!