• Twitter
  • Apple Music

 After drawing attention to themselves in 2020, with their debut Ep, ‘Headed West,’ the duo of singer-songwriters John Merchant (former Dutch Henry frontman) and multi-instrumentalist Todd Long (previously with The Verve Pipe) aka GHOSTS OF SUNSET has returned with their second shot of melodic hard rock – and debut full length album – No Saints in the City.


With Merchant and Long living in Michigan and Florida respectively, both the writing and recording process for No Saints in the City were a bit unconventional and at the same time, par for the course with 21st Century technology. "We did all our recording via File Sharing,” says Long. “First, one of us will have an idea and then we just start sending mp3s back and forth while building the track up. After a basic track was completed we’d then seek out who we feel might be right to put a guitar solo on it. If they like the track then we proceed. If they don't then that's fine too. We just hoped they feel connected enough to the track to want to contribute."  


While not a true concept project like ‘Headed West’ was, the intent of No Saints in the City is to take listeners on a guided tour of the world inside the world of New York City (although it could truly be any large city, anywhere in the world.)  Merchant explains, "After completing the "concept" EP, I started to discover that for me as a writer, it helped to place characters and story arcs in "locations". It's not that everything we write is a concept, but I found it useful to learn a little about where these characters are from. Unless it's something that's more internal like "If You're Not Coming Back", getting a feel for the characters day to day surroundings seems to really help. I had been deep into the late 1970s and early 1980s NYC scene and that really came out in "Saints". I mean from the Village to CBGBs to the introduction of crack cocaine, to the crooked cops of the seven-five, it just seemed like it was overflowing with stories wanting to be told." 


As for the name, GHOSTS OF SUNSET, John Merchant sums it up perfectly: "Naming a band is always a tough one. I think every junior high kid had a notebook full of potential (and usually terrible) band names. Me too ("Lazer" anyone?). When we hit upon "Ghosts of Sunset" it really paid homage not only to the 1980s "hair metal" scene we grew up on (Quiet Riot, Ratt, Motley, Warrant, Faster Pussycat, GnR, etc..) but for music fans like ourselves whose tastes run pretty deep, it was a tip of the hat to the predecessors like The Doors, the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, and going back to Frank, Sammy, Dean, and all the greats. We hope all those "ghosts" continue to haunt our music for a long time to come."