I got a LP from SBÄM records a late fridayevening. I listened on it on Saturday and I was really happy. So good, so unexpected…here´s an interview with the american group done in may 2024


Please tell me a little about every member and the history of the band?  Tell me a little about every member, previous bands and band on the side of Burntmill Ghosts, work, age and what do you work with besides of the music?

-I (Pete) sing lead vocals and play guitar. I’m a middle school History teacher and I coach American football and basketball. Ian is our bass player, who also sings backup vocals. He’s an ironworker. And Justin plays drums. He does construction and home improvement. Ian and Justin also play in an awesome thrash punk band called Molotov Muchacho. 

Ian and I used to be in a band called The Fullers. We put out a record on SBAM in April 2020, but we never really had the chance to promote the album with live shows, mainly because of the pandemic. Also, our guitarist moved away and our drummer had already been living 7 hours away, so Ian and I decided to start a new band and called it Burntmill Ghosts. 


Your music is a style which came foreward many years ago, old favorites which you like today?

-I started listening to punk rock in the early/mid ‘90s so a lot of my old favorites come from that period in time and earlier. Some of my favorites growing up were Bad Religion, NOFX, Bouncing Souls, Rancid, Descendents, Operation Ivy, Pennywise, Strung Out. And I still love those bands. 


The name Burntmill Ghosts where did it came from? You weren´t afraid that not any other would be named so before?

-When Ian and I got together to write songs at my house, we decided on the new band name because it’s the street I live on, which is where we made the decision to start anew. Also, a lot of our songs are stories about the past, which is where the Ghosts come from. We googled the name just to be sure and there didn’t seem to be any other bands with that name. So it stuck and we love it. 


Is it important to release physical things? Or can you feel that you have done a record if you only release it digitally? Is SBÄM records a good label?

-I don’t think our album would have the same appeal if we only released it digitally. We put so much time and thought into everything involved with this record. So to get the full effect, a physical release was crucial. Stefan and SBAM have been amazing to us from the beginning. Stefan designed the logo and the cover art for us, which adds so much more depth to the album. He did an amazing job. It was exactly what we were looking for. 


You have never been to Sweden and played or been here as tourists? With this band or any other band you have been in? If you not have when do you come? Which countries have had the pleasure to be hearing the band live?

-We haven’t played outside of the US yet, but we hope to sometime soon. We’d love to play some shows in Europe, including Sweden. Hopefully we can make that work. 


I thought when I saw the pictures on the band that this would be a really hard hardcorerecord but here it is more Rancid/Misfits/NOFX-styled record….How would you describe your music in three words yourself?

-Ha, yeah, Ian and Justin are tough looking dudes. Three words to describe our music: Melodic, catchy, lyric-driven


Who does the lyrics? Please tell me a little about the following songs?

-I write the lyrics, though Ian and I both wrote the lyrics for the first track, Another Round. 

As the Crow Flies takes place during  the California Gold Rush of 1849. In the first verse, the narrator of the song is leaving his family behind temporarily to strike it rich in California. But then, as we get to the chorus, we find out that he’s having trouble finding gold. So he decides to get a job as a carpenter, building the gallows, used for hanging supposed criminals,  because it’s very lucrative and there’s always work. 

Broken Promises tells the story of Chief Joseph, a Native American in the Northwest US. It’s written from his perspective and some of the lyrics are taken from his surrender speech. 

Maple Place is one of the only personal songs on this record. When I was younger we used to play American football, ride our bikes, and play in the woods at Maple Place. So the song is basically about what life was like to be a kid, when times were so much simpler. 


Is there any subject you never will sing about?

-I’ve never really thought about that, but I tend to stay away from anything overtly crass or crude. 


How is it to live in USA nowadays, racists, politics etc? Is it better to live in USA if you compare for say about 25 years ago??

-As you probably know from the news, the US is a very interesting, crazy place to live right now.  But America is huge, and vastly different from state to state. We live in New Jersey and we love it here. It is such a diverse place and there’s just so much to do. We live near the beach and we’re just a train ride away from New York City. The music and cultural scene is thriving in our area, near Asbury Park. It’s definitely better now, compared to 25 years ago, despite all the drama that’s shown on social media and the news.


Do you have any favorite football team(I support Arsenal and a Swedish team called GAIS myself)? Or any s is it American football or hockey which is the thing or any sport favorites at all?

-None of us are football fans. It’s not as big in the US as it is in Europe. I love watching American football. Growing up I was a New York Giants fan. I loved hockey growing up as well. I used to go to Devils games all the time. 


Beer is expensive in Sweden. I have a very big interest in beer and brew myself? Your favourite beerstyle ? You don´t have an own Burntmill Ghosts-beer? If you do that or will do that what is it going to be called? Or maybe you are straightedge?

-I’m a big fan of beer, but Justin and Ian mainly drink vodka. That’s so cool that you brew your own. I typical gravitate towards lagers, ales, and stouts. I’ll try just about anything, but I'll stay away from IPAs or anything super strong. I’d love to have our own Burntmill Ghosts styled beer. Hopefully we can make that happen someday. 


Is there any good bands from USA worth to mention? And how is the hardcore/metal/punk scene living on in USA right now? Is there some of the old and good american bands which still is around?

-Right now seems to be an awesome time for punk and hardcore. A lot of the legacy punk bands are doing big tours coming through NYC, Philly, and Jersey, probably because the pandemic sidelined everyone for so long that a lot of bands were just itching to get back on tour. Also, a lot of these bands are playing anniversary shows. 


What is your strength when you play live? What is the most difference between playing nowadays and if you compare when you started to play?

-We just want to make sure we have fun on stage because that’s the whole point. And hopefully the crowd has fun too and sings along with us. 


Which type of people comes to your concerts? Which type of people do you miss?

-Most of the people in the crowd are around my age. I’m 43. But more and more, we’re starting to see younger kids at the shows. So hopefully that continues to happen. I love seeing young kids getting into punk rock. 


Do you buy much records, or is it only Spotify and those type of things to listen to music? Any good record store in your town?

-I love buying records. I’ve been going to Jack’s Records in Red Bank, NJ since I was 14. I also love to go to Princeton Records in NJ.  I think it’s important to have a physical copy of an album because that’s part of the whole process. You can learn so much more about a band looking at the lyrics and all the artwork while listening to it. I think Spotify is good to listen casually or to find a new band that I may not have heard of, but it definitely waters down the listening process. To me, digital will never be better than physical. 


Are you selling any merch on your gigs, do people buy it? What sells best?

-We have t-shirts and sweatshirts for sale, as well as hot sauce, which sells well. And we obviously sell our records at the shows. I also have a little distro of some records from SBAM and Double Helix Records, which is our US label. People seem to like flipping through my little crate of records and are happy to buy a record that they didn’t expect to find at one of our shows. 


Which is your own favorite song among your own songs? And which song is the people choice?

-Man, that’s a tough one. I can honestly say that I love every single song on our record. And I’ve never been able to say that about any record I’ve made in the past. And to be honest, our fans seem to have all different favorites, but The Body seems to be the most popular. 


Do you do any cover songs when you play live? If you do which have you played?

-Yeah, we play Nothing Compares 2U. We combined the Prince and Sinead O’Connor version and stuck it right in the middle of our live set. 


Do you care about reviews? Which is the most peculiar you ever had, with this band or any other band you have been to?

-I like to read about people’s interpretation of the songs and what they think the songs are about because a lot of the tracks can have a double meaning. I don’t remember reading any peculiar or bad reviews, but there’s still time for that, ha. 


If you could choose five bands from the past and the history and nowadays and both dead and living bands to have a concert together with your band. Which five have you been chosen? Or have already shared stage with all these bands?

-This is a great question. I would have loved to play with:

  1. Operation Ivy at Gilman Street in the ‘80s
  2. The Ramones at CBGBs in the late ‘70s
  3. The Pogues in NYC in the ‘80s
  4. Against Me in the late ‘90s
  5. Descendents at any time. 


Is music a good way to get out frustration and become a nicer person outside the music?

-Music is a great way to allow yourself to navigate through such a crazy world and punk rock has always taught me to look out for the little person, to care about others. People tend to gravitate towards punk rock because they’re looking for an outlet or looking for people with common interests. I love the fact that punk rockers can be individuals, but can also be a part of a community that is so accepting. 


Politics and music, does it belong together?? Which is your most political song or do you not want to put politics into your music?

-Music is a great tool to use to express social and political injustices and musicians have been doing it successfully since the beginning of time. We don’t really have political songs per se, but a lot of our songs tell the stories of historical injustices. Tulsa Heat is a good example of this. The song is about the racial conflict in Tulsa, Oklahoma in the early 1920s. 


Any good Swedish bands you like?

-I loved Millencolin, No Fun At All, Randy, and Bombshell Rocks when I was a kid. And I still love those bands. One of my favorite shows was when I got to see Millencolin play with Good Riddance and Down By Law at the Stone Pony in Asbury Park when I was 15. They were on tour for Life on a Plate. I still have such vivid memories of that show. Millencolin was just having so much fun on stage. And I’ve tried to emulate that ever since. 


Is it boring with interviews? Is it much interviews? What do you prefer Telephoneinterviews, face to face or as this one via e-mail?

-Any interview is great. I prefer face to face because it’s more of a conversation and just hanging out, but I appreciate any time that an interviewer takes to write about our band. 


Futureplans for the band? 

-We’re going to keep playing shows and hopefully make it over to Europe one of these days. 


Futureplans for yourself?

-I’m going to continue to go with the flow and hope for the best. 



-Always be positive and always stay kind.  


Something more to add?

-Thank you so much for taking the time to listen to our record. It means the world to us that people like you are able to hopefully enjoy something that we really care about.