Friday, December 12, 2014


Change has the best grooves. As most of you know we started the year 2014 and what would become the new EP stripped back to the original 2-piece and with updated ideas of the UG sound. The "underlying light-grid of beats and synths" that had always been there was becoming more and more apparent and, although we are not the kind of band that has long conceptual talks, it seemed that side of things naturally wanted to come up more... and we were ready to explore.

We love synths and drum machines of course, but on top of that we also felt it was necessary to add some more colors to the palette, reflect the world around us. Guitars alone just didn’t do it. So we bought new toys, dug deep, listened to inspiring sounds, both new and vintage, and then, armed with our new machines and a massive roll of paper to accommodate our Kindergarten approach to lyric writing, we went to work. Ideas came very fast and we decided to cut back to an EP instead of an album to create an even more immediate snapshot of where we were at.  

By June we had five songs and, after picking OUT OF LOVE as the lead track, we went on to work on the video with director Arian Soheili. The location was very special indeed, the 6000 sqft Cirque School in Hollywood, a massive space dedicated exclusively to teaching people circus arts, which as we all know, includes clowning. We quickly learned that it's probably a good idea to stay off the trapeze when one has been drinking.

We had a brilliant couple of nights of shooting, breaking stuff (in the name of “light experiments”) and getting repeatedly and hilariously “video-bombed” by a baby possum (pic at the end) We very gently kept putting the little bugger outside, only for him to re-appear a mere few minutes later, wandering into shots, providing background, hanging out …  but eventually we got it done. You can check out the finished Out Of Love video (minus possum) here

With the video in the can, we decided on a name for the record, "Dear Electric Sun" and  ShaunDurkan once again came up with some incredibly inspired sleeve art. Now we were ready for our summer release and tour.

First up our home, LA. We loved both the Bootleg with A Sunny Day In Glasgow and the Troubadour with the amazing EMA. Here are a couple of shots photographer Debi Del Grande took for LA record at the Troubadour. 

Then it was on to NYC for two shows. We adore playing here and hanging with our friends and fans.
Especially the second night at RadioBushwick was a real treat, featuring a top-notch bill put together by DreamwaveRadio’s Steven Newcastle, whose support from day one means so much to us. After a great experience and some choice New York moments, we had to say good-bye to the city and to our US touring drummer and new great friend Joey Ponchetti . Many thanks, sir, more dates to come soon! 

Time to get ready for the last leg, then: London. Someone asked me in an interview later what the biggest difference is between playing London and LA, and I said “Stairs and one-way systems”!! It’s true. In LA you drive up to the back of a venue in the sunshine, throw your gear out of the car and get ready for sound check. In London, not so much. First you get rained on, then you're lost in a maze of back alleys, including a vicious trap of one-way systems called the “Shoreditch triangle”, where a few times we could even see the venue, just across the street, but still couldn’t get to it in a car! We were later told that many bands have the same experience there, which made us feel a little better. For all we know, there's still some lost indie bands out there now, circling....

We have to give a hats-off here to those (most) London bands that negotiate said club circuit on public transport. There's something heroic about showing up absolutely soaked from a rainy bus or tube-ride with all your gear on a bloody hand-cart. That’s dedication for you. Maybe that’s why the scene there keeps coming up with a surprising number of great bands. The other ones simply give up and stay home. 

Still, we absolutely adore London and as usual all was well once we got onstage. Both at VICE magazine’s new venue The Old Blue Last (check out the coolest poster of the tour) and, a few days prior, at the legendary George Tavern, famously saved from demolition by Kate Moss and some of her celeb friends after bands like the Arctic Monkeys and the Libertines shook the foundations and brought down chunks of dodgy ceiling  and it was declared "unsafe". Needless to say we tried our best to make it more unsafe during our set! 

UK media had once again been good to us, with major love from BBC6  DJ Lauren Laverne playing and plugging us on her “recommends” show and a slew of nice press, interviews (here's one with the lovely LA of Reprezent Radio) and of course, fans. Real fans are always the best part, especially those who travel from far away. There were those from way outside of London, even a couple of Germans. We made sure they all went home with autographed merch and hopefully memories of a top night. Love you all! Special thanks here also to our drummer for the UK leg. Glen, you’re a gentleman and you rock. 

So, back on these shores now, grafting hard on what is to become our second album due out in 2015. In the meantime, the Dear Electric Sun EP is still alive and kicking. Remixes by some amazingly talented people are coming your way, starting with Wildbeliever’s take on Shine And Let Shine. Press is still coming in, too, check out the latest below by the always-on NY magazine (and site) The BigTakeover, which will hit the shelves this week.

Thanks to all of you for checking out the latest from camp UG. 

Stay tuned for those EP re-mixes and 2015 live dates to be announced very soon. 

Much U.G L.U.V. and see you all on the road!!   


Baby Possum!!


Monday, May 13, 2013

THE RABBIT AT THE END OF THE WORLD (United Ghosts UK tour diary) PT 2

 Just to re-cap for those of you catching up, we left part 1 with us getting back to Camden to find Animal reading a book on Jazz drumming and warming Sean's bunk.

 Intrigued and missed out on checking out part one? You should consider doing so before reading on.

The next day it was time for our first proper show in London at the legendary (Heavenly) Social. Opened in the 90s by the founders of Heavenly records, this is the place where Oasis, Primal Scream, Charlatans and many others were regulars, vibing to house DJ’s The Dust Brothers, later to become The Chemical brothers and huge rock stars. It’s a tiny place with an enormous vibe and, as we learned during our set, a dancing sound-man! The guy was right behind us, too, bopping and mixing and doing a pretty good job at both. First-night-nerves quickly subsided and we had an amazing show. You can see some of the video evidence here. And a lovely review from Artrocker.

Then it was on to Brighton, another show with a bit of magic (and a nice review). The fans here were truly amazing and the town, too, has a surreal pull on the soul that still sticks with us now. Naturally, given Brighton’s Mods-vs-Rockers history, we had to have a little Quadrophenia-themed pilgrimage to the beachfront. There really is no sound quite as English as that of those pebbles crunching under your feet as the air reverberates with the psychedelic cries of hundreds of seagulls.

A discussion quickly ensued about who in the band would have been a mod and who a rocker, given the legendary rumbles between the two factions down here. Turns out most of us couldn’t decide and would have been “mockers”. Undecided Ghosts.

A honorary mention here has to go to our amazing Hotel Pelirocco, where every room had a rock’n roll theme. Punk, Mod…all represented…United Ghosts rocked the “Skint room”, which fittingly means “broke” in American.

 Next stop Colchester, Essex, which proved to be yet another highlight, despite the county's reputation for being... well, let's just say not the most forward-thinking spot in the British Isles. This night, though, Essex proved them all wrong. We had a top show with cool folks rocking out and afterwards experienced some amazing hospitality from our hosts, who filled us up with lovely Hobgoblin Ale and then gave us a freezing, yet absolutely amazing, midnight tour of the ancient Roman city.

Colchester IS the oldest town in England after all, built in 60 A.D. when old J. C. had just been dead, hmmm, 60 years. Check out the pic of U. G. getting our history on in a spooky Roman Arch. (Was Jesus really an Essex boy?)

 As you can probably tell by now, we had a blast on the road. We weathered a few minor crisees, lived at close quarters and most importantly found out we travel well together. A proper crew. Time flies, though, and before we knew it, it was time to head back to London for our last show at The Water Rats.

Talk about history, this place has it in spades. A vaudeville theater back in the day, the likes of Bob Dylan, Oasis and P.J. Harvey (not to mention yours truly) have all graced this stage since it became a club in the early 90s. As we went on to a packed house ( recent XFM radio play may have had something to do with that), we keenly flicked on our US electrical transformers, only to immediately KILL the PA!!

Amps went dark, fuses blew, the music stopped. It looked bad; this could potentially have been the end of our night. We managed to keep our tour cool, though, and after a 10-minute scramble, the landlord, who had once, long, long ago, been a roadie, miraculously managed to fix things and we went on to play the best show of the tour.

The audience rocked. The band rocked...we had it and they loved it! It was a seriously pretty night and everything we wanted it to be.

Half way through our set, whom should we spot in the crowd, though, our drunken, dodgy friends from our first night at Camden Palace! Including scissor girl, still bonkers as a bagful of monkeys.
She later mounted a one-woman stage invasion and generally caused havoc throughout the night. And she was still threatening to cut my hair!

It was here, too, that we re-connected with our photographer from the Artrocker feature a few days prior and his lovely girlfriend, who invited us back to the very place we’d been meeting at all week. The World’s End in Camden, though not to the pub this time, but the club underneath, aptly named, the UNDERWORLD.
This was Easter weekend and she would be at the door, dressed as a bunny. We had made our all-important rabbit connection. First, though there was an epic after party in Camden featuring all the Shenanigans you’d expect from the last show of a tour.

 The next day, sporting matching hangovers, we got through a slightly blurry afternoon, during which sadly, Sean had to leave for the airport for an early flight home. The remaining crew of three then headed out to beautiful Alexandra Palace where we saw a cracking set by a reformed and re-energized Suede. In the course of the evening we picked up a couple of lovely Mancunians and decided to share a taxi with them afterwards-a taxi back to the End Of The World!

We got there to a massive line outside, but we had our trump card ready, proudly walking past the frustrated throng, only to tell security that, yep, “We know the bunny!”

And not just any bunny, but big, bad Mac-bunny in charge of the door. And there she was, all ears and whiskers and free tickets for all.  Score!

So down we went to the Underworld, and I mean all the way down. As is the custom at the UK Indie disco, we drank like fish and bounced and twitched like poisoned insects on the dance floor, alongside a few hundred other punters to indie faves past and present, all played at stupefying volume. Brilliant!

Apparently they’d spun Holes into the Night earlier, just to round off our now slightly VIP-ish night and in the process a truly amazing first UK tour. We shall be back.

“See you at the End Of The World”, said the Rabbit…

Friday, April 19, 2013

THE RABBIT AT THE END OF THE WORLD (United Ghosts UK tour diary) PT 1

“We know the Bunny”!! Not the phrase that usually gets you past a huge line and straight into the club without paying (bet you Kanye never shouted that at the bouncer) Yet there we were on a freezing cold night in Camden Town using our new rabbit connections to full effect.

Just under two weeks earlier we had touched down at Heathrow only to realize we had picked the coldest March recorded in the UK since 1963. Keep calm and carry on, right? Try and keep warm and carry on. We’re an LA band after all.

Since we were coming in on different flights, and only one of us (me) knows their way around London we decided to pick a pub opposite Camden Town Tube station, slightly pessimistically named “The World’s End”, as our meeting point. In the course of our tour preparations this had become a catch phrase: “See you at the end of the world”!

And that’s what we did. First time that ever worked out well for anyone, but then this is United Ghost-world and things work a little differently.

The next day, jetlagged yet fired up and rested after a night at our awesome friends Isa and Pappas’ place in Camden, we rolled into Hackney aka “Hipster Town” for a video interview and photo shoot for Artrocker magazine. Our first encounter with the UK music press turned out to be a really fun afternoon and, as is the custom over there, we found ourselves straight down the pub for “a quick one” after. The quick one turned into several (as is also the custom over there), and a few hours later we had to get a cab back to Camden to catch an early show by the Inspiral Carpets. It turned out to be a top night in an even better setting (Koko). Trying to get into the after-show, we were at first foiled by a bouncer demanding wristbands, but quickly solved that problem by making friends with a nice, yet slightly questionable crew that had printed their own (!) Three fellers, all very drunk and friendly and a wide-eyed lass, talking 100mph and bouncing off the walls, all the while offering (more like demanding) to cut my hair. Not to be rude, but even with the jetlag and the booze snapping at my heels, I definitely wasn’t going to let her near me with a pair of scissors.

The after party proved to be fun but a little unimpressive and we drunkenly parted ways after promising our new mateys guest list spots for our own show a few days later. So a good photo shoot, pub time, rock show, new people, a little dodgy behavior. All in all we had found a good way to get into the London groove.

Time to get ready and start our tour. We were still short of a drummer, though, as Sean was flying in the next day. Time to head back to the end of the world….where we found him, slightly travel-weary, but as usual ready-to –go.
So, on a freezing cold Sunday we were getting serious about this UK tour. We first picked up some gear from various places, including the magical Church Studios in Crouch End. Until recently owned by Dave Steward of the Eurhythmics, this place still reverberates with waves of The Jesus and Mary Chain, Swervedriver, My Bloody Valentine, and all the other legends who recorded here. And of course Annie Lennox’s voice getting that take on “Sweet Dreams Are Made Of This”. It was really quite amazing to be there. Later, after a much-needed night of rehearsal, we headed back to our place in Camden, where Sean found this on his bunk, left by fellow drummer and one half of stellar hosts, Pappas. Yes, that is Animal reading a book on Jazz drumming. Nothing could go wrong now…. …to be continued..

Friday, November 9, 2012


As the days grow shorter and we're frequently heading back to a certain dimly lit, now sometimes foggy, cul-de-sac to play with new sounds, we're pretty happy with the echoes and reactions to our video and free download of "Unhypnotized", the first track off our upcoming album. In the three weeks since its release it has had way over 3000 youtube hits plus blog and press action from LA to NY and even a bit of Europe. Just a few choice quotes:

"Unhypnotized' features lovely female/male vocal interchange over a film-noir-inspired riff. Ironically,the whole thing’s pretty hypnotic." That was Billy Gil on the Amoeba Music Blog, which also premiered the video.

"'Unhypnotized' is a delirious cocktail of woozy guitar, boy/girl vocals and haunting echo. United Ghosts are working on a full-length, and like the white-clad party-goers in the video, maybe everybody will snap out of it in time to pay attention.”says long time UG supporter Kevin Bronson on the essential blog. Indeed.

"Set in an LA warehouse with a cultish crowd, radiant hues and majestic sound, it is definitely worth a view". That one came all the way from Texas via Red River Noise, Austin.

" a just world, Unhypnotized would have definite hit-potential" says German dream-pop blog Coast Is Clear! Danke!

The list goes on. Check out the bottom of this post for a full set of links.

Meanwhile final touches are being applied to the album, with mastering almost completed and art on the way from London via designer and filmmaker Paul Kelly who handled our 7' sleeve so beautifully.

An LA show with Nightmare Air has just been confirmed for Dec 12th, probably our last of the year, and we are plotting a path up the West Coast and quite possibly all the way to London for the early part of '13. Stay tuned, cadets!

Some more press:
Radio Free Silverlake
Red River Noise
Los Angeles Beat

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


…but we got it done. The video for our track "Unhypnotized" is now live! It premiered this weekend on the Amoeba Records blog along with a nice write-up, describing it as "lovely female/male vocal interchange over a film-noir-inspired riff, while the video sees the band seeming to de-brainwash a bunch of nerdy cult members with their extremely cool sound" before adding that "ironically the whole thing is quite hypnotic"More press and blogger action is coming in all the time from around the planet with, hopefully, still more to come once it's officially out.

Needless to say we are really proud of this one, and once again would like to thank director Arian Soheili for bringing the magic. And all our amazing friends and fans for bringing themselves. It really turned out the way we imagined, and even a bit better. Despite the fact that yes, we did have a very expensive light stolen from a Downtown sidewalk, and yes, my friend Curt was missing his white trousers and Vanessa was a hero and scored some around the corner. And the elevator got stuck. But that's for the "Behind the Scenes" documentary. In the meantime enjoy the end result here (click on the link to go to youtube)

The official release party/show will take place tomorrow, Wednesday 10/17 at LA's Bootleg Theater, with a top line-up also featuring The Ross Sea Party (with ex-Mere Mortals guitarist Will Holland on bass), Dona Nicha and Spaceships. Click here for details and tix. (Please note we moved our stage time up to a more school-night friendly 9:30!) We will also premier Unhypnotized on a big screen!

We also have a FREE DOWNLOAD of the song available on our Soundcloud for a limited time only. Go get it!

Of course all of this is just a teaser and start of the build-up to our album release this winter. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


It's 6:30pm, still light out, but inside the Echoplex LA psychedelic music festival Echoes West is already in full swing. We just played and are checking out one of the next bands, doused in those pretty, oscillating projections. It's a great time, but the tall, lanky guy next to us is not well. In the last few split-seconds he has gone from a passable upright, wide-eyed sway to a dangerous backwards lean and now gravity is rapidly sending the stone floor the direction of the back of his head.
No reaction. He just keeps going, drops backwards like a tree, his hands still in his pockets. Smack! We pick him up, sit him on the nearest chair and get security to get him a water.
Their response is quick… and cold. They give him the water, make sure he can stand, and then immediately throw him out..

Hey all. It's been a while again, and a lot has happened. We spent a "studio summer" and, as a result, don't have LA tans. In fact we re all rather pale, but we do have an album! Nine songs are recorded and mixed and awaiting artwork, a title and of course a release date.

For this, our first full-length outing, we turned our lens on the world and the scene immediately around us. The pulse we feel from "our LA", the life and space we know. Away from soft-focus cliché and sun-drenched oblivion, to where the dream has a different meaning and sometimes takes a wrong turn into the electric night.

During these sessions the writing process opened up a lot and, in part, shifted from the "Magic Garage" studio to the rehearsal room with all four members involved. We really dig the results and hope you will, too. A taster, in the form of new track "Unhypnotized" with the accompanying video (once again directed by Arian Soheli), will be released in the next few weeks.

Of course, even in the midst of all this, we needed to come out to see you all and play. Our second from last show at Bootleg was truly fun! Apart from the little episode where I had to "mug a mugger", as someone put it, after I spotted a guy trying to make off into the night with our beloved Hagström bass. It was a scary moment, a bit of a stand-off, but in the end no one got hurt and the bass is back.

Then, this weekend, we played the epic "Echoes West" festival, an all-day extravaganza of psychedelic music, good vibes and expanded minds in and around the Echo and Echoplex here in Los Angeles. Great stuff! So many of you came out early to see our show and the rest of the evening was an absolute blast, too. Silver Chords rocked, Spindrift rolled, Strawberry Alarm Clock wafted, Dead Meadow riffed, all drenched in amazing lights and projections. We loved it, and we loved being up on that stage.

Bring on Vegas next week, Sat 9/15, for another great festival. Neon Reverb! And stay tuned for more show dates tba, including the LA release party for our "Unhypnotized" single and video this October.

It's now 10pm, Strawberry Alarm Clock are in full swing. It's good stuff, but I like my psychedelia a bit more 21st century, so I go and sit down to have a chat with a lady friend. A few minutes into this I feel someone's eyes upon me from the next table over. It's the guy that passed out earlier. He's back! And he's grinning at me from behind some seriously altered-state pupils. What can I say, some folks love their medicine! The good news is this time he's sitting down.

Friday, September 7, 2012

United Ghosts Plays Echoes West Festival This Saturday - 4:30pm at EchoPlex!

This Saturday September 8th 3pm - 2am

United Ghosts joins a killer lineup of 20 bands on 3 stages, including Dead Meadow, Lords of Altamont, Gram Rabbit, Spindrift, Strawberry Alarm Clock, The Silver Chords and more. United Ghosts plays the beautiful EchoPlex stage at 4:30pm!

Check here for lineup info:

Get Pre-sale Tickets now for $4 off:

Click 'GOING' on the official invite:

Check out the video previews below. See you there!