Greg Walsh’s New Ghosts BTD Artist Interview
Written by Matt Zin on February 27, 2021
Greg Walsh believes in ghosts, old and new. “I’ve never seen one, but I’ve never seen Idaho either, and I know it’s there,” he laughs. Up until recently he was the longtime drummer for the Boston band Pop Gun. Today, Walsh is concentrating on his own music, which has yielded airplay not only in his home state of Massachusetts, but all around the country and Europe, thanks to JV Music Services PR maven Joe Viglione.
His song “Counting Down to Zero (From 1)” has just been released on the Boston Rock and Roll Anthology Chapter #21 on Varulven Records.
Here is his interview with T Dawn of Beyond The Dawn Studios, which runs BTD Radio.
Hi there Greg Walsh! How’s it going?
As well as it can be considering the state of the world. Just like everyone else, I’m trying to make the best of it and keep busy. Music sure helps a lot.
I am looking forward to our interview. I see you are from Boston Mass., were you born and raised there?
I was born in Boston right down the street from Fenway Park. The hospital isn’t there anymore, I believe they’re condos now. Come to think of it, I’m sure I’ve walked by them dozens of times without it even registering it’s where it all began for me. I’ve lived in Massachusetts for most of my life, went to Northeastern University, got married and had kids here, but there was a three-year period as a youth that my family lived in Southern California, for my dad’s job. I thank God I had that experience because it was so far and away different from Massachusetts, but it eventually felt like home. We were so close to the border we could hear the “Olés” from the bullfights.
Who are the members of Greg Walsh’s New Ghosts?
I guess I’m the only official member. I get the tracks started by recording scratch guitars, drums and guide vocals, and then I recruit people to play when the time is right. I play the drums, rhythm guitars and some keyboards, but the heavy lifting on guitars has been done by my son Dylan, my former bandmate Jim Melanson, and the studio owner David Minehan.
If you were to sum up in ten words or less what your music sounds like, what would you say?
Melodic. Poppy. LOUD. A blend of A LOT of influences!
I see you write your own music. What was going through your mind when you wrote, “Counting Down to Zero (From 1)?” I see that it’s dedicated to people with sucky friends… so something must have been going on there. (LOL) Tell us more.
I do have my own stories behind it, but universally it’s about when people you thought were your friends let you down in a big way. We’ve all had it happen. The song is juxtaposed with a doomsday theme because sometimes when friends betray you, it can feel like the end of the world.
“Counting Down to Zero (From 1)” is a release from your future album, “Greg Walsh’s New Ghosts.” Very interesting album cover. I see what appears to be a woman with long black hair, black dress and no arms. I am assuming she is the ghost. Is she a vision that you had of a ghost, did you see her, or am I off my rocker… you tell us the story. (LOL).
You are definitely NOT off your rocker! I was out walking my dog and I saw the woman up ahead. The long black hair and black dress really stood out because it was summertime. As I got closer, I realized it wasn’t a woman at all, but a mannequin! It was out there to advertise a barn sale, and I could only wonder how many near-miss car accidents this thing was causing! So I turned around and ran home to get my camera. From a distance you really can’t tell it’s a mannequin, so the missing arms create a really stark image.
I was watching your video of your song, “June Gloom.” Sad song. What inspired you to create the video and write the song?
When the family moved to California, I wasn’t on board right away. I was 12, so I was leaving a lot of friends behind, my neighborhood, little league. I spent a lot of time in my room because I was pissed off that I had to start over again. I eventually got out and made friends, some of whom I’m grateful to still have today. But for the song, I tapped into that feeling of isolation. And Derek Hughes of Hughes Recording down in Florida, who I met through my friend Mark Rockower who I know you interviewed recently, had a great vision for the video.
If I was a little speck of dust on the guitar that had eyes and ears … ok… just imagine with me…lol… what would I have heard and seen on those very last days of finalizing your songs?
Indecision. I have a really hard time letting songs go, deciding when done is done. Love that question.
Who are your music inspirations and why?
My favorite bands are Mott the Hoople and Queen. I think Ian Hunter is one of the most prolific and underrated songwriters of our time. And live and in studio, nothing can compare to Queen. I also love Bowie, Sparks, Alice Cooper, Cheap Trick, Heart, Social D, Van Halen, The Clash, Sex Pistols, Angels & Airwaves, Luscious Jackson, The 1975, A Day to Remember. The Beatles go without saying, right? … Man, don’t get me started!
How many instruments do you play and which one is your favorite? Wait, one more question to this… when did you start playing an instrument?
Drums are my favorite, but it wasn’t until high school that I started to take it more seriously. I was playing guitar and I tried out for this band, and they said I could join if I played drums! That’s how it started. Drumming has been a lifelong learning process for me. I don’t think I’m anything amazing, I just work for the songs.
I have been asking this question to all artists and it has to do with COVID. How has COVID changed your way you do music?
I managed to get into the studio once during the pandemic and I have three songs that are off to a healthy start. But getting back in is harder now because I think a lot of bands are out there recording with no gigs to play. So I have to be patient. I also recorded a song completely at home with my son Dylan, which really turned out great and ended up on a local compilation album. I’d like to do more of that.
What hobbies do you have outside to music?
I love to swim. Pools, ponds, lead me to the water and I’m in. I was going to the gym up until they started closing. I’m wary of going back until I’m fully vaccinated. I spend a lot of time with my wife Kelly watching Netflix, and over the summer we did a lot of work on the house. One of my more obscure hobbies is collecting Queen bootlegs from the “New of the World” tour in 1977. That was my first concert at the Boston Garden, and it changed my life. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and hearing.
What kind of future plans are in store for Greg Walsh?
Just to keep recording. Once our schedules clear up, Mark Rockower and I plan to record again. We played together in high school and during our college years we were in a band called The Precious Few that played the clubs on Boston’s North Shore. In 2011, we recorded a full-length CD called “New Waves” that featured old and new material from the Few, and we hope to start another album this spring or summer.
Where can our listeners purchase your music?
At Bandcamp and Spotify. When there are enough songs, I will release a physical CD with the ghostly lady on the cover.
We are at a close of this interview, is there anything else that I left out that you would like to talk about?
Just that I love your station. No BS. When “Zero” was first played (on BTD), I heard this Swedish band Rattanson, which I later found out is basically a one-man show. I love the song “Sure of My Doubts.” The title is great wordplay and the tune itself is textbook garage rock. There was also this band from Wales called Second Hand Arms Dealer, and I’m a fan. I’ve actually reached out to them and they seem like cool blokes!
Thanks for taking this time out to interview you!
My pleasure! Keep doing what you’re doing.
~ T Dawn