The Midnight Ghost Train
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On August 1st 2007, John Goff was pronounced dead. He died in his small house in Abilene, Kansas from a severe asthma attack. This was the influential event that caused John’s best friend Steve Moss, to start The Midnight Ghost Train as a eulogy to John. “Something had to be done,” Steve says. “John’s memory and life has to be remembered in some way.” Moss then moved to his hometown Buffalo, New York with a plan to form a band, record an album, and go on tour. This was the idea and drive that fueled The Midnight Ghost Train’s engine.
As soon as Moss arrived in Buffalo he began to recruit members for the band. The original lineup consisted of Steve Moss on vocals and guitar, Toby Cole on bass, and Jake Levin on drums. They weren’t yet sure on what direction they wanted to take their sound, and what genre to ordain to. All they knew was that their lives needed to be dedicated to music. Moss is a big early blues aficionado, so it was inevitable that the music would have strong roots in the blues. It was the hard rock side of their music that was most surprising since the band was not influenced by much heavy music. “When I’m on stage I love to bang my head and feel the roaring amps and drums behind me, and when I pick up an electric guitar I have to play heavy and with force,” Steve says.
When it came time to record their first album, The Johnny Boy Ep, the band replaced their bass player, Cole, with Keith Harry-Carrey. This record was very diverse in sound. Ranging from heavy rock, straight blues, and even acoustic and piano driven songs. Once the record was finished, Moss started to book their first DIY U.S. tour. They had no idea how to do it, how they were going to afford it, or how to be successful at it, but they knew they needed to be on the road, live for the stage, and give up everything in their lives for it. Before the tour started, Keith was replaced by Moss’ old friend Brandon Burghart, because of Keith’s complications with being on the road. So Burghart, Levin, and Moss took off on the road in the summer of 2008, and started what was to become a long life of touring.
After two full U.S. tours drummer Levin was asked to leave the band, and bass player Burghart stepped in to fill the void. The bass was then filled in by friend Odie Lallo, this was the lineup for TMGT’s 2009 summer tour. On this tour they were playing brand new songs, and started writing what would become their first full length record. After this tour the band decided to relocate to Kansas, which is the home state of Burghart, and where Moss lived for seven years prior to the band forming. They felt it be best if they recorded their new record on their own. So they got a house out in the country (outside of Topeka, KS), built a studio in the basement, and began recording and producing their 2009 self-titled release. Odie had medical complications with his hand, so he could no longer play with the band. As a result, Moss recorded the bass parts for the record. The album “blends gospel hymns of the sermon, down tuned rock and roll riffs of southern rock, and dark delta blues” -Metal Underground. The band wished for it to portray the honesty and passion of their live shows, which so many have come to admire.
After this release, it came time to get back on the road, so they had to find a new bass player. This is when they came across Topeka native David Kimmell. After so many band member changes and hard strips, the lineup was complete again. Burghart, Kimmell, and Moss, went back out on the road for a long period of touring. In 2010, they went on their first European tour, in which they were met with great success. They returned to Europe every year after that.
Brandon BurghartNo matter how small or how big the crowd is you will never catch TMGT playing any less than to the best of their ability. Their live show has been reviewed as being one of the best of all times. So much soul and energy is put out when TMGT takes the stage. They always play every show like it was their last, leaving tons of sweat and blood in their path. This is not one of those bands that just stands around, this band makes sure to give the crowd what they deserve. They will take you for a ride, and you will not be able to look away. Their live show has become the pinnacle and well sought out experience of this band’s existence.
The Midnight Ghost Train released their second full length album, Buffalo in 2012. It was rated “Greatest Stoner Rock Record of 2012” by Heavy Planet magazine. It was by far the best work from TMGT to date. The album was recorded and mixed completely analog at Chase Park Transduction by David Barbe. This explains the powerful and organic sound displayed on the album. TMGT recorded all the songs live in the studio, as to replicate the intensity of their live shows that they are known for. Buffalo is faster and more driving than their previous releases. The album was released by Louisville label, Karate Body Records. Soon after the release, bassist Kimmell left the band. The next year would be spent trying out different bass players on the road. In April of 2013 they played the Roadburn festival in Tilburg, Netherlands. Shortly after, they released TMGT Live from Roadburn 2013, on Roadburn Records. In May 2013, they found bassist Mike Boyne from Lafayette, Louisiana. He was the perfect bassist for TMGT. In 2014, TMGT signed with Austrian metal label, Napalm Records. This was a huge step for them. Napalm will release TMGT’s third full length album, Cold Was The Ground, in February of 2015.
With nonstop touring in both the U.S. and Europe, TMGT now currently spends nine months a year on the road, playing as many shows as they can book.Their main goal is to spread their music on tour and hope to leave their artistic impression on the world. In 2010, Moss’ father and mentor died of a heart attack. His last words to Steve were “Don’t ever stop playing music no matter what. Push it as hard as you can.” These are the words that the band will live and die by. The Midnight Ghost Train will never stop, just continue to grow bigger and pick up speed. They will continue to tour, make records, and never fail to impress their fans and the world with their passion for music. The Midnight Ghost Train has burned all their bridges so they can never retreat. They have given it all up for the road. “We ain’t ever gonna stop, we’re just getting started,” says Steve Moss. This band is the ultimate eulogy for John Goff.
Steve Moss – Vocals, Guitar
Brandon Burghart – Drums
Mike Boyne – Bass
The Midnight Ghost Train - 2009
Buffalo - 2012
Cold Was the Ground - 2015
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