On February 21, Good Bison will be releasing their new EP, Ghost on Mulholland. The independent release is based on a self-penned short story about the protagonist’s flight from a ghost who’s followed him all his life. The narrative is inspired by R.L. Stine and his Goosebumps series. A press release gives a synopsis of the Ghost on Mulholland plot: “After being driven off the road by the ghost, running through the dark desert and stumbling upon a convenience store in the middle of nowhere, our protagonist finds a secluded beach with a fire already burning. Although he knows the ghost cannot be far behind, he simply can’t resist the call of the flames and the pounding of the bass. Dancing, drinking, and blinded by lights, he fails to notice the eerie orange glow creeping into the edges of the scene.”
Good Bison released “Can’t Waste This High” as the EP’s first single. The song was written and recorded in Miami by Good Bison brainchild Pablo Álvarez and Abraham Méndez. Likewise, George Spits was in charge of additional production, mixing, and mastering, and Agustín Mas played the lead guitar. Also, Estefania Kröl, founder of Krölhaus, created the EP and single artworks which feature the neon ghost.
Soundigest had the chance to interview Álvarez about the new Good Bison project, his songwriting process, and the challenges and blessings of releasing music independently. Check the interview and the visualizer for “Can’t Waste This High” below. Also, remember to follow Good Bison on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to keep up to date with their releases.
In what ways did Miami inspire the concept behind Ghost on Mulholland?
In the past year or so, I’ve spent more time in Miami than I had since moving to Los Angeles in 2014. Working on this record, I had the opportunity to not only reconnect with the city but also with my mom, old friends, and ex-bandmates. This EP is about getting in touch with your roots again, and, for me, most of those roots are in Miami.
“Can’t Waste This High” has a mysterious vibe to it, and the fact that it doesn’t have a lot of lyrics makes it even more cryptic. How was the process of creating this song?
It all started with the bass riff. Abe came up with that, and, immediately, the melody popped into my head with most of the words already in place. It was one of those songs that feels like you just pulled it out of thin air.
Do you find it difficult to express your emotions when you write a song? How do you feel when people listen to your most vulnerable side?
Sometimes, I feel like songs are the only place where I can express my emotions. I might not even realize I’ve been struggling with something until I write about it, so I’d actually say it’s pretty easy for me to be vulnerable in my lyrics. It helps me process whatever I’m going through, which is what drew me to music in the first place. Being able to share more of myself, and having others relate to that, is something I’m incredibly grateful for.
Which song in the EP took you the longest to write?
Probably the second half of “I’m Tired of Waiting, Come on Home.” It was originally a separate song, with a completely different arrangement, and we went through quite a few verses before landing on something we felt good about. After months of working on it as its own song, we combined it with the first half and started approaching it as one track. The last thing we added was Abe’s sax, and that entire section is the glue between the two halves.
You sing in Spanish in “Haunting.” Have your Colombian relatives listened to the track yet, or are you keeping it as a surprise?
I haven’t shown the EP to almost anyone, so it’ll definitely be a surprise. It’s not the first time I’ve incorporated Spanish into my music, but it’s definitely never been so prevalent. I’m excited for them to hear it.
In your case, what are the benefits and the downsides of releasing music independently?
I love having full creative control over the music and the ability to release songs when it feels true to me, but reaching new people can definitely be a challenge.
What do you expect listeners to take from Ghost on Mulholland?
This EP should feel like a trip, with much more emphasis on the journey than the destination. I’m not sure what people will get out of it, but I hope they know they’re not alone for the ride.