The GhostShip practice space is exactly like a clubhouse … for grown men.
Situated right under the Floyd Boulevard bridge near Fourth Street, no matter how rowdy they may get, no one will hear them. A strewn bottle of Black Velvet whiskey over here, a poster of Pamela Anderson without a shirt on over there – it may be a housewife’s nightmare, but still, the place feels like home.
Meeting up with the band in its studio last week to discuss the release of its second ever album in 13 years, the excitement for Saturday’s upcoming CD release party is tangible.
“We were getting cabin fever,” bass player Barry Hodges explained. “We needed to finally get this thing out.”
And the new album, “Etched in Stone,” which was four years in the making, is very much out. Within the last month the disc has been added to iTunes, CD Baby and Spotify (to name a few) along with getting physical copies into F.Y.E. and Sam Goody stores.
The full lineup for the long-haired act is as follows: Dan Loofe on vocals, Rick Moore on guitar and vocals, Jarrod Paulsen on drums, Dan Wozny on vocals and Hodges on bass, keys and vocals.
As anyone reading this list will notice, vocals now reign supreme in GhostShip’s sound but that’s not the way it started out. The group does take advantage of it adding layers of vocal harmonies throughout its songs.
“It makes it a lot better to sing has hard as you want when there’s another lead singer in the band,” Loofe said. “Woz and I balance each other out.”
But one thing the band has never changed is the type of music it plays – metal.
“A lot of bands have moved on from metal,” Paulsen said. “But we grew up in that era. And in a way the genre is kind of back, just with a new spin.”
And in metal-obsessed Sioux City, GhostShip has been very successful, garnering many fans over the years. Proficient in promoting the crap out of their shows, the guys said they’re able to keep fans excited to see them by just being consistent.
“Plus, we’re not stuck-up people,” Loofe said. “A lot of people show up at our shows you wouldn’t think would be into this sort of scene.”
Like most boys, the members play pranks, like setting up a fake website after one-too-many drunkos at their shows misheard the band’s name as the Goat Shit Band. (Yes, GoatShitBand.com is real, although it does redirect you to GhostShip’s actual site).
But they also get serious when it comes to rocking. The band practices at least once a week, unless of course if the Stanley Cup, or some other important “holiday” is happening. Along with a huge catalog of heavy metal covers to perfect, the group works hard on originals, writing down chords and lyrics for new material on a large white board.
“This system keeps us straight,” Hodges said. “But it also keeps us from forgetting stuff we’ve written from week to week.”
Although GhostShip did have a brief hiatus in the late 2000s, the group just likes getting together and playing music.
“For us this is like club,” Loofe said.
“We don’t golf,” Moore added. “This is what we do.”
Of course, the perk of being paid to go out and have a fun time doesn’t hurt either. Playing gigs peppered throughout the summer, among them Awesome Biker Nights for the fourth time, the band is most looking forward to Saturday’s show.
“Just know there will be hair flying and hangovers the next day,” Moore said. “We’re going to get the crowd going. We’re all about the audience.”