LA hardcore outfit The Ghost Inside have experienced a busy 2015. From an unprovoked attack on their frontman to playing a US tour with only local bands supporting them, it’s been another significant year for the Californians. We recently spoke with vocalist Jonathan Vigil ahead of one of the biggest heavy tours Australia has seen.
Hey there Jonathan, where are you right now?
Hey man, we’re just in Texas right now, we’re playing a show in Dallas later tonight.
Sick, that’s for the Locals Only Tour, isn’t it?
Yeah man, it’s been going pretty well so far.
The Locals Only Tour you’re doing is a great incentive to help out new and younger bands. Do you hope that catches on?
Yeah, I do hope so, as it’s a pretty cool thing because most tours come through and it’s just big touring bands and no local bands, which is sad to see. As it’s hard to put so much effort into something and not get anything back and have some big band come through and take all the credit. But some of these bands I have become a legitimate fan of too, which is awesome.
Oh, sweet. To me it seems a bit counterintuitive, all that “pay to play” crap, but what are your thoughts on that set-up that a lot of local bands go through just to get on a show?
Well, we had to go through it when we started out and it sucks. Venues say you have to bring them say, $2,000 dollars, one way or another just to play. Maybe we’d have played bigger shows or maybe we’d have been a bigger band, but that’s not the point of touring. The point is to have fun and enjoy it. We didn’t want to put bands into debt. It’s basically a contract. The local bands are selling tickets just so they can get their friends or family in for slightly cheaper, not just so they can play.
That’s cool man, with all the touring I imagine that you don’t get to spend as much time as you’d like with your loved ones?
Yeah, we’re a pretty busy band and there are definitely times where I miss them a lot, but, I get to go around the world and play music so you know [laughs].
With the upcoming Big Ass Tour, The Ghost Inside will be playing some of the biggest venues those cities have to offer, like Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne for instance. Is that daunting at all for you guys or are you all taking it all in stride?
Yeah, it is a little daunting, like with the arena in Melbourne for instance, that’s huge. But we’re not a band that really let the nerves get to us, as we just go out and do it, no matter what. I suppose that Amity probably play those kinds of shows in Australia all the time, and A Day To Remember could maybe do that just by themselves, but we’re probably never going to play arenas just by ourselves. But it’ll be a great tour, and we’re literally counting down the days.
I bet man. Has it ever been a dream of yours to play arena shows of this size?
Well, we’ve played some pretty big shows in Europe but they were for festivals, not just one sole arena show. So I’m pretty excited.
I know that you get this a lot but I was very sorry to hear about you being jumped a while back, hope you’ve been doing ok since.
Yeah man, I’m doing all right, thanks. What happened was, as I’m an outspoken guy, I made some comments about fighting and violence at shows and these guys jumped me, just out of nowhere. No one could have seen this coming, as they must have thought it was a personal attack against them. I don’t think it’ll happen again, I think it was a random attack.
Still, that’s so shit. I know that fighting fire with fire rarely helps, but sadly I’ve noticed that the only way to stop those kinds of people at shows is to use physical force against them, do you have any thoughts on that?
I am never one to advocate fighting fire with fire, you know, meeting violence with violence, I am just so far from that kind of person. Some people are just brought up differently, you know, and that’s the only way they can express themselves, which I just don’t think is the right way. When that sort of thing happens I just try and get them kicked out, because those types of people are usually in a group and if you try to fight them you probably won’t win.
It does suck man, and even if it’s one person, sometimes just going to the promoter or security is best. Finally, I heard it was your birthday a couple weeks back, how was it man?
(Chuckles) Yeah, it was man. November 1st was my birthday. It was good. I got to see my mum, as we planned the tour around being in Colorado, where she lives, so I could see her. We also played a show that night, so it was petty cool.
Well with that, we’ll call time, I think. Thanks so much for talking to me today Jonathan.
Hey thanks man, are you coming out to a show?
Yeah I’ll hopefully be rolling out to the Melbourne show, very keen to see you guys for what I think will be the fifth or the sixth time now.
Whoa dude, that’s awesome, thank you. Hopefully you make it out.
The Ghost Inside tour nationally this December, with The Amity Affliction, A Day To Remember and Motionless in White, for the Big Ass Tour. Dates and info can be found here.