Jesse Smith & The Holy Ghost
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Jesse Smith & The Holy Ghost

Band Alternative Rock


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Still working on that hot first release.



Hailing from the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains of Parkersburg, West Virginia, Jesse Smith has lived the all too familiar "ups" and "downs" of the music business for the last 15 years. As a founding member of the seminal Christian metal-core band Zao, Jesse went on to sell hundreds of thousands of records, tour the world with some of the biggest names in metal, and influence the sound of countless major heavy acts.

Zao was praised in many circles as ground-breaking innovators but often times riddled with criticism and controversy. This gave way to years of addiction, self-indulgence, and self-loathing for Smith. "It was hard dealing with the pressures of that world,” he recalls. “We were sometimes the hero but often times the villain. I didn't know how to deal with it and wasted a lot of my time medicating myself and trying to rationalize my actions.” After leaving Zao in 2004, Jesse began his journey to recovery.??Jesse spent several years in counseling and managed to get his life back on track. He began to find solace once again in the one thing that brought him true peace and happiness - making music. Smith spent the better part of 2011 writing and recording demos for what would become his latest work.

Recorded in a home studio in the middle of a 400-acre pumpkin farm, Jesse’s debut EP was produced and recorded by longtime friend Matthew Holmes and mixed and mastered by Andy Waldeck. This debut EP showcases a post-classic rock sound and is a mixture of Jesse’s wide range of influences. With echoes of Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd to The Cure and Echo and the Bunnymen, Jesse’s extremely personal lyrics laid on a sonic landscape of unique vocal hooks, infectious grooves and intricate guitar work leave listeners with an unexpected sound from Jesse Smith.?
“Over the years I have struggled to find my niche as a songwriter,” explains Jesse. “I’m a huge fan of heavy music, but I’ve always been into all types of stuff. When I began writing these songs, I just wrote from the heart, with no preconceived notions of what they would turn out to be.”
Many a great lesson is learned through inner turmoil, Jesse came away from his struggle with personal demons with a new perspective on life, one that allowed him to open himself up help and guidance from others. That same perspective brought his new music to a different level.

“This was an amazing experience because I was living on a farm all by myself when I started playing music again,” he explains. “I had all the songs written when we began recording, but I was completely open to the idea of Matt and I overhauling the songs together. There was an incredible freedom in those sessions, which came from allowing myself to be open to someone else’s opinion.”

The end result is truly Jesse’s vision, augmented by the insight of a friend who knows him best. The EP was recorded entirely during live takes, using all organic methods of creating sounds. “It was really fun and interesting to play around and find different ways to create sounds,” Jesse recalls. “We didn’t use any programmed instruments or sequencers on the record. The creativity in the recording process itself was just another element in the freedom I felt during the sessions.”

Jesse has triumphed and failed publicly in his career only to return once again to stomp his boots and make you, most certainly, jump on the bandwagon with his songs of unabashed rock and roll redemption.