Shane Ghostkeeper and Sarah Houle grew up in Northern Alberta, and I can personally attest to the fact that living there can be somewhat isolating. Their band, Ghostkeeper, has an inviting sound though, mixing traditional folk and country influences with more-recent independent rock elements. They’re bringing their tradition-turned-around stylings to Toronto for North by Northeast, and TWM talked to them about what they’ve got in store for fans.
1. What bands are you looking forward to catching at NXNE?
2. Two of your members call northern Alberta home and you’re still based
in Calgary. How does being Albertan shape your music?
It’s a long drive to get anywhere
3. You are touring across Canada, have you encountered any interesting
4. What’s the best thing you’ve had a chance to eat?
Hamilton Trinidadian food and roti/sushi in Vancouver.
5. Your music draws on traditional genres: folk, bluegrass. How does that
musical heritage impact your writing?
“Don’t call him a cowboy till you see him ride”
6. You released a new album this year; tell us a bit about it?
We recorded it on cassette (4 track and stereo) as well as reel to
reel in stairwells and warehouses across the city and in our
studio. It’s the first record we made as a band too, so that made it a
more complete process with everyone contributing to the songs and
7. What is the recording process like for your band?
We were trying to make a record that utilizes a variety of spaces but
was still all analogue. This was the main focus for this record and
affected many of the choices we made.
8. How did the music video for “Haunted” come to be?
Our friend Raman Yazdi approached us us with a concept and we just went
with it. He addded a bunch of CG and it turned out pretty sweet.
9. Have you ever seen a ghost?
10. What else is happening in 2010 for Ghostkeeper?
Folk fests in Calgary, Winnipeg and Regina. We also have a 7″ pending
in the fall as well as more touring in Canada and Europe.
Ghostkeeper play NXNE tonight (Thursday) at the Dakota Tavern at 11PM.
Photo by Sarah Houle