Celestial Shore is a Brooklyn trio that cites bands like the Zombies and the Pixies as influences, but whose sound has never been anything but their own- spacey, floaty, always-shifting rock. When we talked to the band’s guitarist/vocalist, Sam Owens, they were preparing to book it to Austin for SXSW. We chatted about the early and last days of Glasslands, the drawbacks of email, and the time Deerhoof insisted on opening for Celestial Shore in a Syracuse basement.
AF: I really liked Enter Ghost as an album name. What inspired that?
SO: It happened one night when I was in Brooklyn, and I was driving in a cab through all these parts of town, going back to my apartment in Ridgewood. I was thinking about how all the corners I was passing- I was with my girlfriend, Cassandra, and it was very late one night- and we were thinking about how we were driving through all these areas that we had inhabited, or had moments in, and how they were kinda like ghosts. And also, it’s from when Hamlet’s father, when he enters- he’s dead- anytime he enters the stage, it says “Enter Ghost.” He always like, proclaims this evil, revenge plot that Hamlet gets obsessed with, so I kinda thought that was interesting too.
AF: Is Celestial Shore planning any new albums?
SO: Definitely. We’re going to SXSW in March, and then immediately after that I think we’ll record a third album. We’ve been writing and getting songs together, and we’ll test them out on our tour, then just hopefully jump right into the studio in April or May.
AF: Who are you touring with?
SO: For the first four shows we’re playing with Rubblebucket. They’re funny, and I’ve known them for a long time. It’s a new crowd for us, so that’ll be fun.
AF: You played one of Glasslands’s final shows. How do you think the closing of that venue, and others like Death By Audio and Goodbye Blue Monday, have affected our local music scene?
SO: Oh man, that’s a big question. I had a “so be it” attitude about Vice buying up that corner, and Glasslands going away, and 285 Kent going away, and everything going away. I was driving down Kent avenue two weeks ago and basically, every area of this place, in NYC, in Brooklyn, is going to be void of any young, spirited, artistic culture. Forever. Which is terrible. Despite its irregularity, Glasslands- and Death By Audio- all these places were huge for so many people. I slept in a couch in the back of Glasslands the first couple of weeks I moved to New York, and my band had a practice space there, and