From Delivery to Departure: An Interview with The Sound of Ghosts

James Orbison had started to move away from music when a close friend, Dave Lamb of the band Brown Bird, was diagnosed with Leukemia and passed away not too long after his diagnosis. In memory of Lamb, Orbison formed Americana rock band The Sound of Ghosts.

Orbison, along with his wife Anna, guitarist Ernesto Rivas, drummer Jon Sarna and fiddler Phoebe Silva brought their eclectic tastes and backgrounds to form a super group of sounds one doesn’t normally hear together. While Rivas brings heavier aspects of rock and metal to the table, James’ background has ranged from punk and ska to even a rap group.

For Anna, her background began in musical theater. While this is the first band she’s been a part of, her classical training has been put to good use since the band’s inception. “This is fun, like a totally different adventure for me,” she said. “We couldn’t really be more varied as far as what we enjoy and what we officiate and what we grew up on so we really try to incorporate a lot of that to what we create.”

The creativity of each member has really sparked inspiration between one another and given them the push they needed to create their upcoming release, Delivery and Departure. While their first record, Come Home, had more of a rock sound, this time around they’ve brought over sounds from classic country and folk genres. Concepts of life and death are heavily sprinkled throughout each track, from living life to the fullest to the very end of life.  

While each track may sound different from the next, by the end of the album the reasoning behind them all comes together. Some of these songs are essentially B-sides from Come Home, while others come from their experiences while making their first album. “I think we tend to stay in the moment as far as our creativity and we try to not overthink if the songs will be a hit or if people will like it and really try to stay with what’s inspiring us and hope that that resonates to people,” Anna said.

When they aren’t being inspired by each other, they’re being inspired by a multitude of other artists. The Orbison’s love listening and going to see live music, taking in the different kinds of sounds and bringing them back to their band mates to see if it’s something they can incorporate into their music.

“We want to celebrate all these different types of Americana sounds and what that entire umbrella of sounds sound like,” Anna said. “Creatively, we’re just trying to put out what we think is best and hope it speaks to other people.”