Get to know Miami’s SunGhosts

Miami’s SunGhosts are bringing sundrenched rock ‘n’ roll from the suburbs to the terrace on Monday, May 28 for PAMM’s Memorial Day BBQ. The garage rockers have been a staple in the local music scene for the past five years, playing venues all around town, and now finally at PAMM.  

As part of our Blue Star Museums program kick-off, join us for a special Memorial Day BBQ open to the public on our waterfront terrace. Catch a live performance by SunGhosts, barbecue food and refreshments for sale on the terrace, art-making with PAMM teaching artists, and a special appearance by Coast Guard Air Station Miami. Inside the museum, be sure to check out our latest exhibitions, Meiro Koizumi: Battlelands, The World’s Game: Fútbol and Contemporary Art, william cordova now’s the time: narratives of southern alchemy, and more.

We caught up with SunGhosts’ bassist Jared Steingold and front man/guitarist Nik Olas ahead of Monday’s show. Check out our interview with the band below. 

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SunGhosts. Courtesy of SunGhosts

Who are the members of your band and their roles?
Steingold: We’re mainly a three piece. Nik plays guitar, Louie drums, and I play bass. Both Louie and I accompany Nik’s vocals with our own harmonies. I promise you will only hear the finest professional stage banter from us in between songs! Occasionally, we have accompaniment from several of Miami’s top notch players. Notable mentions are Julian Harris (Berklee graduate, guitar player for SoulPax) and Carlos Vivas (independent jazz guitarist and percussionist). Having a revolving door of extra players not only gives us a bigger live sound, but also gives each show its own unique vibe, making every gig unique. This is extremely fun for us as musicians and lets fans hear something that stays true to the record while being expanded upon with different instruments and changes to the song structures to keep them on their toes (not to mention the occasional improvisational jams).

How did you all meet?
Steingold: We all met while taking music business courses at the Miami-Dade College Kendall Campus. Professor Stephen Quinzi had put the bug in Nik’s ear about a couple musicians throughout his classes that he may want to start a project with. Included in this starting lineup was Arminio Rivero (a second guitar player) who introduced us to our drummer Louie and now produces Death Spin Films.

Tell us about the band’s inspiration behind the latest single “Cold Rituals.”
Olas: I wrote this song last year while I was in the thick of a bad depression. I was trying to piece together what was going on, what I was feeling, how I was coping, how to find my music again through the fog; I was looking for a way out. I’m very glad this song came out of all that chaos, it healed me to write it and I hope it heals you too, or at least that you jam out hard to it.

What can fans can expect from the upcoming EP? How is it different from previous releases?
Steingold: They can expect a more mature record overall. Our playing has advanced a lot since our last album and it definitely shows on this new one. We really pushed ourselves to play to the best of our abilities on it. Our recording approach was much different this time around as well. Most of it was recorded at my home studio and I did a lot of the recording and engineering myself (the boys put a lot of faith in me and for that I thank them). I learned a ton from Jorge “Quaz” Palacio (the recording engineer on our last record as well as a couple of the new tracks, he’s also our touring soundman/tech as well). He gifted me a lot of recording gear that helped me out a bunch and spent a lot of time showing me different mic techniques and mixing strategies. I owe him a lot for that. We got really creative on this one. Recording all of the instruments for different songs in different locations/studios around the city to give each song its own character and personality.

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As part of our Blue Star Museums program kick-off, join us for a special Memorial Day BBQ open to the public on our waterfront terrace.

How does Miami inspire your sound?
Steingold: Miami, in many ways, has given us a unique sound. The bar is set high and people need something that will really get their attention. There’s so much great entertainment here that sometimes it can be little intimidating to jump into the music scene. If anything the friendly competition pushes you to put on the best damn show possible and make you play like it’s your last show every time! We incorporate rhythmic feels and certain melodies that are not common for the average rock band. Not to mention everyone having a different musical background. Nik’s funk and indie vibe, Louie’s jazz education, and my heavy metal upbringing all meet together to create something quaint and fresh.

What are your thoughts on Miami’s music scene? Are there any new emerging local bands that we should know about?
Steingold: I think Miami has multiple music scenes. You have the grungy crust punk rockers and metal heads shredding wild at Churchill’s, the jazz cats playing on the UM campus, indie kids throwing house shows and warehouse parties, electronic artists at Gramps Wynwood, and so much more. There’s a band that asked me to record a live show for them called Palomino Blond. They’re a great example of how musicians from different backgrounds can come together to create something new. I’m also a big fan of their DIY approach they have when it comes to booking their shows and recording their music. You can find them at palominoblondband.com

What does it mean to the band to play at PAMM?
Steingold: Playing at PAMM is a big deal for us. We started this band in college and it’s grown into something bigger than we ever could have ever imagined. I know that sounds incredibly cheesy but it’s so true. It’s wild to see what you can achieve with such a fantastic team of people. We all have our strengths and weaknesses and pick each other up when the other is down (especially Nik he has really big muscles). Going from playing house shows and small bars (which there is nothing wrong with) to playing festivals and touring the country. It’s taken a lot of hard work to get where we’re at and it feels great to be appreciated by our fans and musical peers. Performing at such a prestigious art museum is yet another achievement showing just how far we’ve come and I just can’t wait to play honestly (just typing this is getting me so hyped up)! I happen to really enjoy the museum and have been multiple times with my lovely lady to check out all of the fantastic exhibitions and relax on the terrace. I really can’t think of a better way to spend my Monday afternoon.

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