GHOSTS OF SUNSET has released the band’s new video, “If You’re Not Coming Back,” via Golden Robot Records.
Ghosts of Sunset is the project of singer-songwriter John Merchant from Western Michigan and singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Todd Long.
“If You’re Not Coming Back” sticks true to the band’s hair metal/Hollywood rock stylings, with a ballad-esque vibe. The single demonstrates that it’s hard to really know what ‘gone’ means until you come to grips with what ‘forever’ means. A slow fadeaway allows time for preparation, but a quick flash and burn leaves you with more questions than answers. Asking your only true love what to do if they’re not coming back.
The band’s debut EP, Headed West, released in February 2021, features the work of both Merchant and Long (who have made music for 30+ years for 615 Records Nashville, IDOL/RCA records, and independently) as well as a cast of musicians with their roots in the 1980’s hard rock/hair metal scene. The duo brought in outside musicians with resumes that include L.A. Guns, RATT, EnuffZnuff, KIX, Lita Ford and more to complete the EP. Renowned producer Adam Hamilton (Missing Persons, L.A. Guns, Vains of Jenna, William Shatner, David Hasselhoff) was brought in to mix and contribute keyboards.
The concept takes a fictional mid-western band and traces their move to Los Angeles, their rise to national touring artist and their decline as tastes and the industry itself changes. The story, which has become common fodder for shows such as Behind the Music, spoke to both Merchant and Long who came of age during the golden era, now known as “hair metal.” A term speaks to what many saw as a focus on style over substance.
The EP, released globally by Golden Robot Records, presents the songs in chronological order, with the listener not only takes the journey via the lyrics, but also in the production style and writing maturation process. As the six song EP moves along, the tone darkens, the themes reflect the bands disillusionment before ultimately circling back to making music for the “love of the game.”