Here we are, with another ‘Music Spotlight’! This time we shine a light on Pittsburgh local band, Ghost Party, whom is formerly known as Vertical 48. Ghost Party is an Alternative/Pop Rock band from Pittsburgh, who came together in 2011. Their first single, “Dancin’ Underwater” came out in 2016, with their EP, “Waves” being released shortly after.
Recently, I did a photoshoot with the guys of Ghost Party, before they announced their name change and we got the chance to catch up a bit. The band, or duo I should say, is made up of brothers, Vinny (guitar) and Mario Tierno (keyboard/vocals/drums). They have one of those sounds that just makes you want to get up and dance. I’ll be shooting one of their shows and I just can’t keep myself from dancing, even just a little bit. I asked Mario how he could describe their sound for those who aren’t familiar with their music and he stated that, “It’s a blend of mainly pop music, with elements of Funk, Hip-hop, R&B and Indie Rock. Our main influences at the moment are Charlie Puth, Blackbear, Bruno Mars and twenty one pilots.”
I met the band back in 2018, when they opened for another band friend of mine, VictoriaDrive, on St. Patrick’s Day. They asked if I’d taken any photos of them from that show and I hadn’t, so they ended up inquiring about a future show a month or so later. I first really met the band in person at an intimate show that summer, at the Funhouse at Mr. Smalls. They were so energetic on stage. Vinny is a “beast” on the guitar (as my boyfriend likes to put it) and Mario just enjoys every single second he spends on that stage. Mario plays all his instruments extremely well and I don’t know how he does it all at the same time. It was a ridiculously small show with a really small crowd, but that didn’t matter to them and I loved that. That spoke volumes about the boys as a band and as people in general. I then fell in love with their music and their sound and it’s only gotten better since.
Having a sister myself and knowing how hard it is to get along sometimes, I asked Mario about how that experience has been with the two of them. He said, “we’ve been playing music together since I was 12 and Vinny was 9. I had been playing the piano for many years and Vin had just started playing the guitar, and our love for the Beatles drew us together as musicians and we’ve been at it since.” I also asked him how they cope with being in a band and also being brothers to which he said, “of course we fight all the time because we see too much of each other, but because we’re siblings it’s easier to be brutally honest with each other and not take it personally. We both have a pretty clear and concise vision of what we want for our music and having that shared goal in mind makes collaborating easier and a lot more fun.”
As I’ve said in previous Spotlights, I am always so interested in how band names end up being created, whether it has major meaning behind it, created by accident, or they just liked the name and it stuck. In the case of Vertical 48/Ghost Party, I learned they both came to be in the same fashion. In person, Mario told me that they both happened over FaceTime and were words in a conversation that were completely misunderstood, but sounded cool enough to be band names. Their new name, Ghost Party, has a little more of an in-depth meaning, according to Mario. “It happened from a misunderstanding over a phone call between Vinny and I, but that misunderstanding has led us to a much deeper meaning within the name. Without getting into too much detail, it basically refers to all of the people that one encounters throughout their lifetime, whether it be through a strong relationship or just a simple acknowledgement in passing. The name “Ghost Party” is basically a collection of everyone who has impacted your life, no matter the size or magnitude of that impact. That’s why we feel like our shows are so special; they bring all of these people together, whether or not they’ve met or encountered each other before, and gives them the chance to be together to share in this moment with us.”
If you have the chance to catch a GP show, I would for sure. I can’t stress enough that although they’re pretty low with their exposure on the local level at the moment, they play each and every show like professionals and that’s damn hard to find. They are the sweetest guys and they obviously put on a great show. Some of my favorite songs of theirs include, “Late to the Party“, “I Like“, and “Don’t Forget to Breathe“. They are all tunes that you can’t help but dance to. Last week, under their new name, they released their first single, “Calvin“, as well as a video to go along with it. If you’re a Pittsburgh native, you’ll definitely recognize some landmarks within the video.
Ghost Party is just getting started. Although they formed several years ago, they are just beginning their journey in the local Pittsburgh music scene and I definitely think they have a shot in getting much bigger, on the local level, in the next year. I’ve only seen them a handful of times live, but I know what they’re capable of. In 2019 you can definitely expect a lot more from Ghost Party, and if I were you, I’d keep your eyes on them. Mario says that this year, you can expect some more singles, videos, as well as an album and some shows.
Catch Ghost Party on all of your music platforms, as well as social media, maybe mention you read about them through my post and give their newest single, “Calvin” a listen! Their links are available below.