Interviews — June 3, 2016 at 10:00

John The Ghost


Photo credit : Cole Kiburz

    Photo credit : Cole Kiburz
About a month ago, John O’Callaghan from The Maine released a book and an EP as part of yet another side project of his, John The Ghost. If you have followed the happenings around John a little, you will remember that in 2014, he (along with ex-ARTTM and ex-This Century guys) released an album for a side project called Eagles In Drag. This time around though, it is a solo project and fans get to once again read John’s poetry. Last this artist released poetry, he teamed up with Dirk Mai to release the Exhaltation, a collection of words by John O’Callaghan and photos by Dirk Mai.
Read on to know what he had to say about this side project and listen to the playlist he gave us!
Scroll down and click on the playlist John gave us while you read the interview!
CONFRONT: What’s the story behind the name of this side project of yours? 
JOHN: The Ghost simply documents the other voice inside myself most strangers have never heard before.    
CONFRONT: I’m very visual so I’d like to know how the cover of the book/EP came along.
JOHN: I wanted to keep things very simplistic, and could see the eyes that came to be the cover in my head. So my manager/best friend/designer/jackofall and I sat down and came up with what you see together.
CONFRONT: I recently interviewed someone who told me there is something very different between writing poetry vs writing songs, even though sometimes people don’t see that difference. I feel like you would agree with that saying, and seeing as you dabble in both, I was wondering what your thoughts were on the matter. 
JOHN: Personally the approach is vastly different. When I sit to write poetry, I allow the words to seamlessly fall out and flow as they wish to. I mostly always revisit a poem, but don’t alter the structure or word choice that often. More of a “come as you are” process. Music is an animal of a different breed entirely. It’s mostly melody first. Words aren’t usually finalized until the studio. So I suppose the music is a bit more calculated and drawn out where as the poetry is more of a write and let go approach.
CONFRONT: And do you think there is one that comes easier to you than the other?
JOHN: Melody has always come more naturally. I feel as though melody just inherently lives inside, whereas the poetry still lives mostly in the thesaurus. 
CONFRONT: Now, I am going to be going into the rest a little “track-by-track” but with a twist for half of the EP
Sour grapes: Why was this track chosen as the first glance at the project? 
JOHN: I believe Sour Grapes is the easiest song to understand upon first listen. Not to discount it’s integrity by any means, but I think we chose to put it out first because it was the most upbeat tune and again isn’t hiding much meaning behind what you hear and read in the lyrics. 
Nowandlater: Now, the release is happening and in the past, you’ve also explored different creative outlets. Is there a particular project that you would love to do eventually that you haven’t done yet?
JOHN: I envy painters in the greatest way. I’d love to one day work with paint on a large scale and see what shows up on the canvas, but right now I’m still ultimately focused on The Maine and our future together as a band. 
Everyone is a DJ: I’d like a little playlist of from you. With tracks that may have inspired you, tracks that you can’t get out of your head right now or that you find underrated and maybe a couple of guilty pleasures? 
Patsy Cline – “Three Cigarettes (In An Ashtray)” : This is one of those tunes (and singers) that make you believe there has got to be someone or something behind the greatness. It’s religious.
Red House Painters – “Grace Cathedral Park” : The tune “Red House” was inspired by simply listening to this band and pondering a recent conversation with a friend. The song sort of speaks for itself.
#1 Dads – “Homeward Found” : I can’t stop listening to this song. There’s not much behind why because I can’t explain it, I just know I can’t escape it and I’m alright with that.
Daughter – “How” : Just as with the aforementioned tune, I can’t shake this one either. I wouldn’t want to either, it’s truly beautiful.
CONFRONT: What would you have drawn to represent this whole project, had I given you a pencil and a paper?
JOHN: A bath.
Get it?
John’s Playlist

Leave a Reply