Recap Interview of Ghostly’s 15th Anniversary Show at St. Andrews Hall, the Shelter, May 23rd

By Ryan Solecki

One of the most gratifying things about being a music lover is seeing home grown true bloods stamp their name in the industry. With the deepest roots of Ghostly International Records resting in a party at the University of Michigan, where Matthew Dear was DJing and label creator, Sam Valenti was amongst the crowd. Per usual, Matthew Dear was so impressive that Valenti approached him about a label idea and the rest was history.

15 years later they sold out St. Andrews Hall with a legendary two floor anniversary celebration. With artists on the line up from inception to some of the label’s noobs, all that graced the stage on this momentous Detroit night gave their best in honor of such a loyal and loving label. Typically we conduct show reviews, but with this special occasion, it was only fitting we recap it in an unconventional way. Therefore, we reached out and got a chance to speak with Jeff Owens, Label Manager at Ghostly International Records about the 15th anniversary show, Ghostly’s history and more.

HEAR Magazine: With such vast collection of talent how did you guys boil down the group to take the stage at the 15th Anniversary show?

Jeff Owens: It was really a mixture of past and present really. Good mix of artists like, Shigeto, who has released a few albums with us and is becoming more of an established artist. While you had some of the quote unquote legends like JTC, Matthew Dear, OSBORN and ADULT who have been around for quite a while. Just a mixture of both worlds that we were trying to make happen, which was kind of the idea. It was also a matter of who was available and not on tour already.

HEAR Magazine: What about the venue, what made you choose the historic St. Andrews Hall?

Jeff Owens: Capacity played a part and also the ability to have two floors playing. Another main reason was also the label used to throw a monthly in the Shelter early on. Mike Servito, OSBORN and Matthew Dear would play those events often. So it was kind of a launching pad for live events for Ghostly early on, so there was value in that sense.

HEAR: Going into the event were there any expectations for the event for the label as a whole, or was it let’s just have a hell of a night?

J.O: It was more just celebrating the label and hoping that it meant something to the city and the people coming to the city for the festival. I think obviously that it did since the event sold out. At the end of the day it was just let’s celebrate that everyone is here and reflect on the past and the present so to speak. Got to see some old friends that you don’t get to see as often as people get older and younger.


HEAR: You guys are Michigan based but hold down the fort all over the world, will there be any other anniversary shows after seeing the success of this one?

J.O: We actually have something set up in New York that we’re collaborating on with another label, Cascine, in July we’ll have two acts playing at that one. It’s not to the extent as the one we held in Detroit but still a 15th anniversary celebration. We also have one set up for sure in London in August. We’re looking at other cities at the moment such as L.A or San Francisco. It’s kind of a difficult time though with artists and their schedule during this time of year with touring and that kind of stuff.

HEAR: What was the most epic moment of the night that happened?

J.O: The whole night was great but ADULT happened to play an old track, from a compilation album we did really early on called, Nite Life. We’ve known ADULT for a really long time and after we made that single, we didn’t work them for a while because they were doing their own thing. But recently we made a full length after a little hiatus they had. And when they played Nite Life it was a little bit of homage to the label and its history.

HEAR: Any live releases to be expected?

J.O: Unfortunately nothing there. We didn’t record the show just enjoyed it.

HEAR: So moving forward what is the next big thing for Ghostly as a label?

J.O: Good question, beyond the shows and festivals it would be more released based. But as a company Ghostly we have a lot of different companies. One of them is Drip FM which is something that we’ve been working on. It’s like an extention of the label because we try to go beyond just releasing records. It is only two years old in the works but we’re looking to expand. We have a lot of releasing coming up as well, honestly too many to list off.

HEAR: Finally, how special was it to host the event in Detroit with such deep roots in Michigan as a label?

J.O: Detroit is the trade. Michigan is just such a big part of why the label is the way it is, with so many people involved with the label being from Michigan and it starting at the University of Michigan. It will always be a part of the DNA of the label. It’s also important to the artists because we have so many artists from the area on the label.

Keep an eye out for more releases by Ghostly International Records and catch some of their artist if not all on tour this summer. Big thanks to Jeff Owens and Ghostly International Records for speaking with HEAR Magazine and Forever Go Blue.

Photos Courtesy of Ghostly

For more information please visit Ghostly International Records’ official website: http://ghostly.com/

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