Artist Spotlight: Love Ghost releases satirical new track, talks music video shenanigans and dream collabs
Los Angeles’ own Love Ghost are back with new single “Chasin’ Money and Bitches”. The satirical track parodies the life of a “typical” young person in LA, living it up as they cruise down Sunset with the top down. Atlas spoke with singer Finnegan Bell about this funny new song, the shenanigans behind the video and Love Ghost’s wide spectrum of influences.
What brought about this new song? The track and the video are both hilarious.
This song was basically made in a laptop. I was at my producer’s garage- he has a little setup in his garage. We were just messing around. There was actually a ton of revisions on this. At first it was like a super total dark, kinda goth song. And obviously it’s nothing like that anymore. We call it “trap rock”. It’s a rock song, basically, but then just with trap production with the 808 hi-hats added on to it.
That makes me happy that you could see the humor in it. There’s definitely some serious lyrics in that song but it is supposed to be a funny song; it’s supposed to be a feel-good song. It’s really just supposed to bring joy to people, like “I’m chasin’ money and bitches”- it’s not supposed to be the most serious thing in the world. We all are chasing money and bitches in one way or another. It’s also kind of having fun while you’re doing it too.
What was it like to film the video?
The video was really awesome to film. We’ve done a lot of music videos before, but [for] this one I really wanted that kinda hip hop feel, that urban [feel] that looks like people just hanging out and having fun. We shot the whole video in maybe two days. The first scene, we got all of the stuff that was outside. So all of the stuff of us driving around in the car and the high school stuff.
We got into a lot of shenanigans when we were filming it. We were in the convertible and we were driving around and just listening to music, partying, filming. The bass player was sitting on the convertible with his legs dangling on the outside as we were driving down and all of a sudden we drive next to a cop. So everyone just goes back to normal really fast and literally the second we get past the cop, just [siren noises]. We’re all kinda nervous because we’re in a rental car so obviously we didn’t have any registration on us. And just by coincidence, our drummer who was driving didn’t have his license on him that day. He just forgot. So there’s no license, no registration for a really nice convertible with a bunch of kids in it and we’re all just partying and stuff. And she just comes out of the car, she’s super pissed and she just goes right to the bass player and goes, “You didn’t have your seatbelt on! Horrible! When you’re in a moving vehicle, you have to have your seatbelt on.” That was the one thing that really set her off. She didn’t ask for any license or registration, she was just so mad at him for not having his seatbelt on. I’m really grateful the situation didn’t get any worse but I think he still has to go to court for it.
That’s quite a story!
Yeah, and right after that, we went to the liquor store. I think the four of us all together just look a little bit funky. Samson’s like 6’8”, he’s really big and he’s tatted up and stuff. Sam and Ryan are both pretty tall too, and I have piercing and tattoos and colored hair so we all just look kinda funky when we’re going to the store. So we just have the speaker and we’re playing the music and holding up the Hot Cheetos and waving them in front of the camera. The guy who was working in there, his face just dropped. He’s so shocked, he has no idea what’s going on. We just film and after five minutes we leave and he was not happy about that. He comes outside and he’s yelling at us more and threatening to call the police. So we just leave in the convertible and in the span of five minutes, we became outlaws.
It was really fun to film. Even the party scene and the stuff in the classroom, it was all super good vibes. I asked a bunch of people to come and they brought a bunch of their friends too and it was just basically like a party.
So how did you come together as a band and find your sound?
I’m the original member of Love Ghost [and] I’ve been doing this since I was 12. Now I’m 19 and I’ve been playing out at coffee shops in LA and stuff. Love Ghost has been a band since 2015 and there’s been a lot of lineup changes. Me and the bass player have been in the band together for four years.
When we first started it, we were a rock and roll band straight up. We still are a rock band- that’s our roots- but really with this batch of songs that we’re gonna be releasing, we put a lot of hip hop beats and trap beats [into it]. I like to think of it as if you’re seeing Nirvana but in 2020; it’s like Nirvana but with a trap machine.
What names come to mind when you’re thinking of your influences?
Kurt Cobain was my childhood hero and he was the first [artist] I saw that made me want to be a musician. I’m super inspired by Radiohead, Elliott Smith but I also love hip hop like Tupac, DMX.
I was super inspired in my teenage years by this whole SoundCloud movement that’s going on with Bones and Lil Peep and Juice WRLD, etc. A lot of it’s super sophisticated and it’s really awesome. I think that SoundCloud is a super loving community for the most part so I think it’s really positive. It’s showing kids that there is a possibility, you can release your song online and really great things can happen.
What kinds of themes or topics do you find yourself writing about most often?
I try to be as genuine as possible when I’m writing songs. I try to talk about things I have direct experience with- I talk about depression sometimes, I talk about addiction, anxiety. I like to have fun too, not everything is super serious. I definitely gravitate towards a lot of dark subject matter, but a lot of my songs and a lot of my work definitely have overtones of sarcasm in it.
Even “Money and Bitches” [is] almost a political song in a way, too, about everything that’s going on in the world right now. I think that people should be able to think whatever they want about it but it’s definitely tongue-in-cheek.
What’s it like working with Danny Saber on your new music?
It’s been really fun. We recorded all this new music just on a laptop in a garage which I think is just hella real. It was a really fun experience.
I like making music with all different types of people….if I gel with them. If I trust someone and they’re hella cool and we’re on the same kind of mission statement- that’s a big thing for me too with music. I have a board in my room that I wake up to every single day that tells me why I’m making music so I never forget it. I write music to heal people and give a voice to the voiceless and so no one is alone. I look at that every single day. I talk about that with other producers and other artists and if they’re on the same manifestation of that as I am, I just know it’s gonna work out.
If you could collaborate with anyone, who would be on your vision board?
Ooh, there’s a lot of people I’d want to collaborate with. I’d collaborate with Bones, I’d collaborate with Gizmo and I’d love to make a song with Billie Eilish one day. I’d love to make a song with Drake if that was possible.
I’d love to make a song with Dr. Dre. I actually met Dre a few times. This was back when we weren’t doing anything but we did have a few songs up on SoundCloud. This one song, “Forgive Me”, which I released when I was maybe 15 or 16, and he told me ‘I listened to your song and I actually really liked it and it was really cool, you should keep on making music’. If I could make a song with Dre one day, that would be amazing. Or Billy Corgan- he’s another big inspiration for me. There’s a lot for sure.
Love Ghost has toured in some very interesting places. Do you have any favorite memories or crazy stories?
I have many, many crazy stories. Going to Ireland was awesome. The thing about Ireland- we all got really sick when we went to Ireland. Since we were all so close to each other, we kept sharing this one cold so that was a weird part of the experience. Going to Ecuador [was] amazing. That was also the biggest show I’ve ever played, too, it was a festival show.
We have a lot of Latin supporters. On our Spotify, our top city isn’t LA or New York- it’s Santiago, Chile. We definitely have a lot of supporters over there and I love that.
What’s coming up for Love Ghost this year?
We’re definitely gonna be releasing a lot of music. We basically have an album that’s just sitting right now. Originally, we were gonna try to release a song every single month but that’s a little difficult so it’ll probably be every six weeks. After “Money and Bitches” comes out, we’ll be releasing a song called “I’ll Be Fine” which is another trap rock song. It’s a lot more serious- it’s about depression and mental health. I think that’s a really important thing to talk about right now, especially when everyone is in self-isolation. No one can really talk to each other [and] I bet a lot of people feel really alone right now.
Definitely, we’re going to be releasing a lot of music throughout this upcoming year. We had a tour scheduled and obviously things are kind of put on hold for the foreseeable future with everything that’s happening. As soon as we get through this, we’re gonna be playing out all the time and have that tour and many more.
What’s something you’d want people to know about you or something you wish you got to talk about more that you may not get asked?
We’re nice people. At shows, you can always come up and talk to us. We’re super responsive to fans- if you ever want to message us on Instagram or Twitter or SoundCloud, we’ll definitely respond to you. We’re all about those relationships. We’re very loving people, we don’t bite, so if anyone wants to talk to us at all, feel free!
“Chasin’ Money and Bitches” is out now!
Story by Olivia Khiel
Photos courtesy of Love Ghost