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Miami, Florida, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013

Miami, Florida, United States
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Rock Indie




"SunGhosts hope to live up to the title of Miami's Best Band"

New Times readers have spoken. During our Best Of 2015 Readers' Choice poll, with a resounding click of the mouse, they chose the garage/surf rock four-piece SunGhosts as Miami’s best band. The honor had SunGhosts' singer/guitarist Nik Balseiro — who discovered the achievement one morning in Chattanooga, Tennessee — humbled and amazed. “That was the best news to wake up to. All the bands we went up against are amazing,” he told us after celebrating a laid-back Fourth of July.

“What I love about music is being able to get a message out to a lot of people. SunGhosts tries to bring hope that people can take with them in their lives. Music helped me get through my crazy adolescence. We have a strong teenage, middle-school fan base, so I hope to pay that message back.”

It wasn’t that long ago that Nik Balseiro was one of those teenagers. As a high school student at Belen Jesuit Preparatory School, he knew by his senior year that he wanted to be a rock star, inspired by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Strokes, and growing up watching his father playing funk guitar in clubs. He was in a series of bands that all fell through. But two years ago, when he was studying music business at Miami-Dade College, he met bassist Jared Steingold, guitarist Arminio Rivero, and drummer Luis Estopiñan, and it was love at first jam session.

“Jared is a metal bassist, Arminio likes classic surf rock, and Luis likes ’90’s stuff like Incubus and the Deftones, but it is the positivity that brought us together.”

Last year, they released a three-song EP, Phosphenes, and a month ago released the single “Polterguy,” which Balseiro says is consistent with the band's philosophy of positivity. “I never want to record a song that makes people feel bad. 'Polterguy' is a song about someone who sees ghosts while doing dishes. It sucks that it could be scary to see ghosts, but we give it a positive spin in that maybe it’s a gift too.”

That song, which is scheduled to have its video released July 19, is part of a productivity push for the band. It's aiming to spend all of July in preproduction to record a full-length album, which Balseiro is busy writing the songs for now. The band found plenty of inspiration bonding during its longest tour ever, 18 days, which took it from Miami to Milwaukee and back with many stops in between.

Nik Balseiro steps up to the mic.EXPAND
Nik Balseiro steps up to the mic.
Photo by Edzster Photography
“We had a six-seat van for six people cramped all the way to the back. Every hotel room I would check in to the front desk — I’m not sure I should be telling you this — but we’d have to sneak everyone in and the air mattress through the back door so we wouldn’t have to pay for an extra room.”

Balseiro says whatever devotion and admiration SunGhosts have found is owed entirely to the energy the band puts forth during live shows. “We rock out. Our live energy is intense. I don’t know how Luis hasn’t broken his drums yet.” You can see for yourself at SunGhosts' happy hour show at Bar Stache on July 16 — just, maybe don't get too close. “We’re extremely sweaty if you approach us after a show. It’s a chaotic clusterfuck.”

SunGhosts. 5 p.m. Thursday, July 16, at Bar Stache, 109 SW Second Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Admission is free. Ages 21 and up. - Miami New Times

"AP&R (Nov. 2014)"

It was a shared love of surf- and garage rock that brought Sunghosts vocalist/guitarist Nik Balseiro and bassist Jared Steingold together last year. A meeting at a mutual friend's party led to a three-hour jam session where the two soon realized they had something good. A few member changes (guitarist Arminio Rivero first joined as the band's drummer; Luis Estopiñian now mans the kit) and an EP later, Sunghosts are prepping for their first performance outside of Florida. "We can't wait to continue writing music we love, smiling, laughing, touring regionally then nationally then internationally and hanging with people we meet around the world while spreading our music," says Balseiro. "There's so much to experience and we're jittery with excitement for it all." - Alternative Press Magazine

"Polterguy single review"

Native Miami rockers, Sunghosts, have proven themselves worthy of the local attention they have received with anthemic hook-filled tunes like “Til the City Goes Under” and their hyper-active onstage characters. These incredibly active personalities that each member of the band possesses are at the root of who Sunghosts are and what their music is about. The light-heartedness and fun that their music, performances, and smiles emit is reminiscent of the dream that all of us had as kids to be rocking out onstage, and this idea of innocence is central in their music as well; their music seems to intangibly promote a sense of innocent fun without restrictions.

With their new single “Polterguy” it seems that Sunghosts have not only further honed in on their ghostly aesthetic, but also incorporated new musical elements that take their sound away from innocent fun, towards a heavier garage-rock setting. The delayed and synth-dressed guitars catch the listener’s attention from the start, and immediately set the tone for “Polterguy”, an endeavor with more teeth and bite than any of Sunghosts previous music. The guitars proceed to move into a more straightforward rock ‘chugging’ technique while the lead guitarist noodles around, chopping the sound up every once in a while, while also exploring expansively pentatonic melodies at other points in the song. This eclectic combination of lead guitar techniques paints a funny picture of Tom Morello running the effects chain on psychedelic-era George Harrison fiddling around on his signature Grestch.

The production on this track certainly mirrors the newfound boldness, grit, and garage influenced sound that the ‘Ghosts have developed. The pumping drums are a great improvement from their past release, this time having a more humanistic, ‘live room’ sound to them in both recording quality and in how they fit in with the rest of the instruments, a switch that brings the band away from the bedroom recorded Logic-replaced quantized drums, into a more professional and enchanting sound that better suits the aesthetic they seem to be trying to portray. Furthermore, the processed vocals on this track are a perfect match for Nik Balseiro’s charismatic performance. The production on the track not only brings out the best in their instrumental performances, but finally will allow listeners to understand, perhaps, what Sunghosts are about. This accomplishment attributed to two-time Grammy-winning producer Joel Someillan at Cutting Cane Studios in Davie, Florida, where their full length album is currently being produced, not to take any credit away from the ‘Ghosts themselves, of course, who are the ones that bring that magical, intangible, charisma to the table that can only leave listeners thirsty for more sun-drenched garage rock.

Find their social media links on their Website
Buy the song on:
CD Baby
Amazon - Kurrent

"SunGhosts, garage rock en el sol"

SunGhosts es una banda de Miami, Florida, y que con la misma intensidad que el sol cae sobre aquella maravillosa playa, la banda toca un Rock N Roll directo, agresivo, certero y contagioso o en palabras de la banda, ellos suenan a explosiones, concursos de bikini, peleas en bares, amor y buenos tiempos.La banda, recientemente, fue nombrada como la mejor nueva banda de Miami, y es que al escuchar por primera vez a SunGhosts, uno puede darse cuenta que el potencial está ahí y que es cuestión de tiempo para que explote toda esa agresividad surf/rockera que irradian. Inspirados por los Red Hot Chilli Peppers y The Strokes, la banda integrada por Nik Balseiro (voz y guitarra), Jared Steingold (bajo), Arminio Rivero (guitarra) y Luis Estopiñan (batería) está próxima a lanzar su álbum debut, una vez terminado el proceso de grabación en el cual ya se encuentran.Te dejamos aquí un par de vídeos para que conozcas a la banda.

Puedes conocer más acerca de esta banda en sus redes sociales:
Twitter: @sunghostsband
Facebook: sunghostsofficial
Website: - Monterrey Rock


SunGhosts - Miami New Times

"SunGhosts drop "Polterguy" music video"

Watch out for the Polterguy.
Well, the song “Polterguy”.
The latest single from Sunghosts, accompanied by a brand new music video, goes supernatural. Don’t worry, this isn’t some dark evil symphony dedicated to the poltergeist, in fact it’s just the opposite. Keeping with the bands consistent mood, it’s another upbeat “sun-drenched” song following the haunting of someone experiencing the Polterguy. And honestly, that experience sounds pretty good.
The TV turns to static as the guitar comes out oscillating alongside the drum pounding, all leading to the buildup: “BOO.” Then the garage-punk rock infused beat kicks in and you’re in for the jam. Behind the band are a bunch of old TV’s stuck on a static loop, while smoke fills the room, as Nik Balseiro stares at you with wide open eyes. The haunted lyrics blend perfectly into the guitar interplay. Each member is jumping, kicking, hair flipping and bending as they bang their instruments, lots of emphasis on movement, after all it is a rock song right? Guitar and bass play off each other great, creating just the right flow, with drums hitting away right behind them. The energy is definitely kept high.
Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of the song is the Polterguy himself. He’s somewhere, you just don’t know where. The chaotic melody seems to be chasing him, slowing down and creeping up right before the chorus. Cue that iconic ‘GASP’. You’ll find static, high pitched noise, and echoing scattered around giving that broken radio/entering the twilight zone vibe. However, it’s obvious that the theme doesn’t dictate the mood of the song. At the songs core, the intention is to excite and not to spook. Just like a good cheesy horror flick, you’re never really off guard, because Sunghosts doesn’t want you to be. They just want you to rock out to the little mystery they created so wonderfully.
I got a chance to ask SunGhosts a few questions about themselves and the entity that is SunGhosts. Shout out and Thanks to SunGhosts and Christine for doing that!

1: Your newest song, “Polterguy,” is an energetic song mixed with a somewhat darker theme. Is keeping your tunes positive and upbeat the common staple you want people to think of when they hear Sunghosts?
Nik: Yes, that aggressive positivity is a keystone to the SunGhosts sound. Polterguy, as well as some new songs we’re writing, flirt with darker themes while keeping the overall message optimistic. Life isn’t always happy-go-lucky. When things get real, people need to know that there is always a way back to the light. Hope is a powerful, beautiful thing and we like to spread that.

2: How has the reception to “Polterguy” been so far in the last few days?
Jared: Polterguy is the first single we’ve released to have video accompaniment and let me tell ya it won’t be the last. The feedback we’ve received across all of our social media has been so positive throughout the video’s campaign. It really goes to show how much fans love “seeing” us just as much as they love “hearing” us and we hope to put out much more similar content in the future!
3: Coming from Miami, Florida of all places, how would you say that this location has influenced the band’s sound?
Arminio: It’s influenced our sound in many ways. Living in a city by the ocean has definitely inspired us to add the surfy/beachy element you can hear in most of our tunes. You can also hear the Latin influence on some of our unreleased tracks like “Sweet Water Girl”, but you’ll have to wait for the album or come to us live to hear for yourself. (; When we jam live we also like to throw in some Latin spice to get people dancin’.

4: How did you all decide to start up a band together, what was the “click”?
It was immediate and palpable. We had all played in other bands before but as soon as we met and started jamming together, it felt like we were almost “cheating” on our other bands because it felt so right. That’s actually the main feedback we hear from new fans at shows, that they can feel the energy from us — our love and friendship. It just shines through.
5: Being named the “Best Band in Miami” by the NewTimes, where do you see the Miami music scene going? Not just in the rock essence, but also how the current Electronic and Spanish music domain affects the city.
Jared: I speak on behalf of my ghostly brothers when I tell ya there’s no room for slackers in this band and we all have an excellent work ethic; it’s a pleasure to work with such a kick ass group of guys. It also feels pretty damn good to be acknowledged for all the hard work you put into something you have such a passion for. First and foremost, I’m a fan of rock n’ roll, I have been since I was 10 and I always will be. Miami is a fan of partying it has been since the ‘70s and always will be. The influence of hispanic culture in this city is beautiful; the Calle Ocho Festival has welcomed us with open arms twice and the stage gets packed less than a minute into our set! We really know how to party in this city and it’s not limited to any musical genre.
Nik: The rock scene in Miami has been bubbling for quite some time now, just waiting for the right ingredients to reach that next stage, an eruption if you will. I think that with all the amazing artists in this city, at this time, something big is coming soon. We’re doing what we can to attract attention to Miami because it is a goldmine for live music potential.

6: Where are you in the process for your next album?
Nik: We are currently finishing up the last of the songwriting & arranging because… *drum roll* Next weekend Louie is laying down aaallll the drums at Cutting Cane studio!! Afterward we’ll work song by song on other instrumentation and vocals, making the LP a varietous palette of tasty tunes - Jolt Radio

"Behind The Music: Sunghosts | TROPICULT"

“We play sun-drenched garage rock from the heat-strokin’ streets of Miami! We sound like love, explosions, bikini contests, and good times.”
Their words, not mine, but it doesn’t make the description any less accurate.

Over the past few years, the local music scene in Miami has exploded. Maybe I’m biased, but Sunghosts might just be totally is the best local band coming out of South Florida right now. Despite only being together for a year, they have the sound and stage presence of an established, professional band. Combining the infectious energy of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the modern sound of the Strokes and an inimitable vocalist, Sunghosts are well on their way to becoming local legends.

We got to talk to the band ask them some questions about their tour, upcoming album, and life in the band:

Everybody, introduce yourselves:

Luis: I play drums and do backup vocals.

Jared: I do backup vocals and I play bass.

Arminio: I’m Arminio Rivero the Third, I play guitar and backup vocals when I feel like it.

Nik: I sing and play guitar and we all write songs together.

So, you guys are here in Sunset Place and you’re talking about the old days, playing on South Beach where nobody actually goes to shows. How were you able to secure this sort of space to play in?

Nik: Well, there’s this awesome lady named Vanessa Spatz, that is really trying to bring together a lot of the local talent here because there are a lot of good bands in Miami- it’s just we don’t really have a platform to be heard by other kids in Miami. She’s been really helping to secure a lot of shows and kind of create a presence and it really works.

Would you say it’s an increased presence compared to, say, a few years ago?

Nik: Yeah, definitely.


On their tour:

Jared: We did like three shows in one day up there, it was crazy, but I wouldn’t do it with any other guys. We went through so much stuff traveling up there, all the load-in’s and load out’s, you can imagine, it’s three times loading in, and three times loading out. And everybody was a champ about it, everybody pulled their own weight, and I think it’s sweet to go to another city like outside of our hometown and get such a kickass response.

Nik: We put a lot of hard work for it too, we busted our asses for that but it was so rewarding. Every night, we’d wind up going to sleep really late and waking up at 8, and the guys were just all right, let’s do it.’ We went to a conference and we sat through all the information and the panels and there was a lot of good info there. We learned a lot and we were all on it.

So, what are you guys recording right now?

Luis: THE album. At least ten songs on that baby.

How is that coming along?

Jared: All the songs are almost written. It’s like all the songs are almost written but again, we’re super omega indie. We’re so indie, we’re Indiana Jones. We do everything ourselves, we have more people helping us out now than ever before, which is really, really cool. We’ve got a friend named Trooper Quintana, he hooked us up with all of our art, and he’s done our website and everything, our stickers. All of our art is streamlined and it’s unbelievable. The more people that we get to help us out, the easier it is for us to focus more on the music.

So, the songs that are on this album, is it something that you’re improvising in the studio or are those the kind of songs that you’ve had in your back pocket for a while that you’re refining?

Nik: Some of the songs on the album are songs that we’ve been playing for a good long while that we need to release and then other ones are brand new songs that we haven’t even shown anybody. At their concert, the band toasted bread and gave it to audience members…

What’s with the toast?

We’re the Sunghosts with the Suntoast.

I’ve never seen a band feed the audience as they’re playing.

Jared: I was so into, well I still am, I can’t say that I’m not, into Rush. When Getty Lee, the lead singer of Rush. When he switched from using bass amps live to straight DI, it was kind of awkward, not having space on stage. Like, you have Alex Lifeson and all of his guitar amps and Neil Peart’s humungous drum set. One of [the shows] he was making rotisserie chicken, live, and while they were playing they had a chef make rotisserie chicken, and I thought it was the coolest thing in the world. So, I was making breakfast one morning and I was like, “That’s it.”

Nik: And, I’m glad it’s whole wheat toast because if it was white toast, what would we be feeding our fans?

Arminio: Eventually, we’ll play a show next to the ocean and catch fish while we’re playing and we’ll cook it and by the end of the set it’s a feast.


What’s your favorite song of yours?

Nik: Coastin’

Arminio: BB Gun

Jared: Polterguy

Luis: Sweetwater Girl

What’s your biggest challenge as a band?

Arminio: I think it’s balancing the band and life. The band is the most important thing to all of us but we all also have other things going on, so we have to make time for the other things while we’re doing this.

Luis: A big challenge is that we’re doing everything ourselves… Nik books most of the gigs, we don’t have a manager or anything, but it’s good that we’re doing everything ourselves so we can develop and learn.

Nik: I feel like I know a good share of the music industry, and we’ve got good heads on our shoulders when it comes time to make decisions. Recording the songs, and writing songs and then practicing the songs, then booking shows and answering emails… it’s all us. Our creative circle is the four of us and our artist. Thank god for Trooper [Quintana.]

Arminio: We should have a song called “Thank God for Trooper.” That sounds like a good song.


What’s your ultimate goal for this band? Do you want to make a career out of this?

Nik: Three words, no four words: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That’s like six words. Essentially the path of all great rock bands. To be honest, I want to do this for the rest of my life, I want to play music and make people happy. I want to pack festivals and just have a bunch of people go out to see a band that they love… because I did that. I went to Coachella and saw the Red hot Chili Peppers headline [and I saw] Tame Impala and Vampire Weekend… bands that make me so happy that they make my life better. We’d love to be that for somebody else and just make the world better.

Jared: I think we’ve already achieved so much. We’re where we want to be, it’s just a matter of we want to bring [our music] to even more people now. We do [shows] on this kind of a scale, and people and people are like, “Dude, thank you so much.” Or, “It [your music] is so amazing.” We’re all best friends, it’s so easy to radiate this energy and positivity. Going back to when we went to Atlanta we played at the Hard Rock and at different universities. We set up these little thirty watt amps in the middle of campus and one person walked by [and said,] “I’m having a really hard time in school right now, and I just want to let you know that you made my day.” It was one person and then thirty and forty and there was a huge crowd around us and we played for a good hour before they stopped us.

Nik: We passed out a lot of stickers and now we know when we go back to Orlando, that’s where we set up at UCF, we know that when we go back there we’ll have a following. It’s about making friends and making people happy. So when you travel make people happy and they’re going to want you to come back and make them happier.

Jared: We’re having a good time. I guess it’s more than spreading music, its spreading love, its spreading positive energy, it’s way more than a band. These guys are my family.

If you guys could tour with any band, who would it be?

Nik: Red Hot Chili Peppers. If I had to make this decision I would say that.

Arminio: I’m with him, if not, The Strokes, if not, The Arctic Monkeys… Or if we could somehow open for ACDC.

Luis: I would say the Chili Peppers or my personal favorite band, Incubus.

What’s the worst thing about being in a band?

Jared: In my opinion, you leave lots of people behind. It’s a lot of traveling… you know that they’re always gonna be there but you start to miss your family and friends.

Arminio: Sometimes you meet someone cool in another city and it [makes you wonder,] “Am I ever going to see this person again?” You make new friends and then you just leave.

Luis: I agree with missing your loved ones, that’s like the worst part, everything else is pretty amazing.


Cliché question, but is there a cool story behind your band name?

Jared: If we have to think about it, it’s not that cool. We wanted to rep Florida, so we had to have “sun.”

Nik: What it means to me is that [the] sun is light and love and the ghosts is mystery. The two greatest things in my opinion, about life, are love and mystery. Because you can’t know everything, but it’s fun not to know things. And love, because it’s just love. It’s all you need.

What careers would you guys want, or what do you think you would be doing if you weren’t in a band?

Arminio: Daredevil firefighter, MMA fighter, I’d get in a cage with sharks, or I’d want to run a record label.

Jared: For an unrealistic career? Monster truck driver. Realistic career, I’d probably be in advertising. If not, I’d probably build gear. I have basses that I’ve built, I’ve built guitars, pedalboards, and amps. If I wasn’t so busy making music, I’d make the gear.

Luis: I’d definitely want to be an actor or anything in the film industry. Anything in the arts I would definitely pursue.

Nik: I would be a video game designer. That’s what I wanted to be before I did music. But then I realized that designing one game takes like three years and a bunch of people and I have ADD. I can write a song in a day if I wanted to, that’s a lot easier, so I stuck with that.

Are you all self-taught musicians?

Jared: I had some lessons but from different people, I’d like to call out two very important teachers, which were Brev Sullivan and Trey Combswas a band director from School of Rock that encouraged me to pick up bass. Amazing guy all around and he taught me a lot of stuff.

Nik: I learned a lot from Tom Lippincott, my jazz teacher- awesome guitarist. I didn’t have too many lessons for guitar except [Lippincot] and my own dad. Can’t forget that one, he plays guitar and he taught me when I was in ninth grade. He said, “Nik, you want to learn some chords?” [and I did] and one day I picked it up and played Otherside by the Chili Peppers and everything happened.

What do you feel each of you brings to the table (of the band)?

Luis: All of us bring a very high energy.

Nik: Each of us is so different [from one another] but we all contribute to the same energy it’s a force to be reckoned with.

Arminio: Everyone has their own task, some us do business stuff, if something breaks [Jared] will fix it.

Luis: Arminio is more on the business side, and Nik as well. Jared is the tech and I just tighten up the screws of the music. We help each other out in every way.

Is there anything else you want to say about your band?

Arminio: I would like to let the records show that this is my favorite band I’ve ever been in.

Jared: Going back to what we said, it’s so much more than a band.

Nik: There’s nothing else I’d rather be doing right now.

Jared: We’re a family, and we’re in for the long haul. There’s nothing else we’d rather be doing and I don’t think there’s anything else other people would rather us be doing.

Sunghosts is currently preparing to release their first album as a band. Their music can be found on Soundcloud and YouTube. Check for upcoming shows on their website, and follow them on Instagram and Twitter. - TROPICULT

"Miami-based band SunGhosts to perform first time in GNV"

Garage rock band SunGhosts will shake Gainesville in a full-throttle performance today.
The Miami-based band, consisting of Nik Olas on guitar and lead vocals, Luis Estopiñan on drums and background vocals, Arminio Rivero on guitar and background vocals, and Jared Steingold on bass and background vocals, is known for putting on an unforgettable show.
“We’re all best friends, and you really see that on stage when we start rocking out,” Olas, 25, said. “We really have fun with the audience.”
The band will perform at 9:45 p.m. at The Jam, located at 817 W. University Ave. Doors will open at 9 p.m. and tickets can be purchased for $7 at the door or for $5 in advance at
Good vibes are in the air for these rising stars, who have just released their first-ever single, “Polterguy.” The release, which is available now on iTunes, is just one of many recent breakthroughs for the band. They are currently working on a full-length album after signing with Orchard House Music, a startup label in Miami.
The band formed when the four friends started to jam together and decided that they wanted to assemble a band of their own.
“We created a giant list of band names,” Olas said. “SunGhosts was one of the ones that stood out…it paints a picture about the beauty of life.”
“The ‘G’ has to be capitalized,” Rivero, 21, said. The band often encounters a frustrating mispronunciation as people read their name as “sung hosts.”
From picking out strong names to working with two-time Grammy winner Joel Someillan, hard work and dedication to their craft seems to have paid off. This month, the band will entertain the masses at Summerfest, named by The Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest music festival.
“No matter where we go we seem to draw in a big crowd,” Rivero said thoughtfully.
Their inspiration? Aggressive positivity. They play for any age, standing by the principle of diversity in their music. The band draws inspiration from all the great rock stars they grew up listening to.
“Music overall is my passion,” said Estopiñan, 21. “It really drives me.”
[A version of this story ran on page 10 on 6/11/15] - Alligator


Goddamn, it’s a beautiful day. There may be several reasons for this. Let’s get meta-physical, then plain-ass physical. Yesterday was mad. Mad, we tells ya. You ever had a set of three meetings back-to-back first thing in the morning, sans brekkie-fast, nearly sans-body washed, that lasted a grand total of 4 hours and you really need a wee at the same time? Then a release announcement (did you see our big ol’ shout out to our denim-touting man Thomas J Speight yesterday? If not, get with it, you planks)? Then calls? We barely had time to go get a shepherds pie from Raoul’s across the road (it is not a kebab shop as inferred by those Welsh indie party boys The Automatic back in the day. It is a very expensive and upstanding cafe-bistro frequented by the likes of us, Draper, and ocassionally Bill Bailey. Ain’t no thang), and we’ve just realised upon typing this that we promised we would bring back the baking tin that justified the artifically-inflated price of £7.50 for a tiny pie in order to get a quid back, and we just haven’t bloody done it. Dude’s gonna be pissed and most likely spit in our delicious eggs benedict that we like to treat ourselves to at least once a week. Fair play. He’s never getting his fucking tin back in that case. As a result of said-cramming activity, we managed to drift off to a particularly macabre episode of South Park at the rather-conservative time of 11pm. We slept like a fucking boss; and woke up all like “let’s DO DIS”. The weather seems to be on our side with this sentiment. This is called a pathetic fallacy, but there’s nothing pathetic about this gorgeous sunshine. Suitable happy-bopping soundtracking comes from the equally-sundrenched locale of Miami, in form of a track called Til The City Goes Under by what appears to be a three-piece rock’n’roll outfit called Sunghosts. Cool name. By way of background, we’ve sort of learned that these guys have recently released an EP called Phosphenes (we don’t know what that means, but we intend to spend at least three minutes trying to find out) from which our current Track Of The Day is taken. It smacks and reeks of upbeat indie tune-ness, akin to that which We Are Scientists, The Cribs, Rilo Kiley and Rooney (who we only really recall as that band on the second series of The OC who sing that song that goes “shake shake shake, shake shake shake it up”. It may well be called Shake It Up. We dunno) have been known to churn out. Get happy. - Killing Moon

"Sunghosts: Indie Rock with grit"

Miami-based sun-drenched Garage Rock band Sunghosts can be best described as a fierce collision of aggression and positivity.

The band, made up of four lively 20-somethings, has been together for about a year and has already become one of Miami’s best kept secrets.

Nik Balseiro plays the guitar and sings lead vocals, Arminio Rivero III also sings and rips it on guitar while Luis Estopinan is the man behind the drums and Jared Steingold is responsible for slapping the bass.

SEE ALSO: Better Days: The little Pop Up that Could

Balseiro, who is touted as the groups’ songwriting machine, writes most of Sunghosts songs but all four of them have a say when it comes to the final lyrics.

“Nik presents the rough outline,” said Estopinan. “And from there we all contribute.”

A band by any other name

The band’s name, almost as obscure as the band itself, was chosen by the foursome because though these two words are contradictory the boys felt they were a perfect fit to define their sound.

“It’s a combination of positive and negative,” said Rivero. “It’s light and mystery at the same time and that’s how we think about our music.”

Sunghosts' have songs in a variety of genres including Latin music.
Sunghosts, is a local indie rock band from Miami, Florida. Their range of music however, includes songs from different genres. (Our Brickell Staff/ Daysi Calavia-Robertson)
For Balseiro the name, Sunghosts, provides the imagery of warmth and light that Miami is known for as well as the haunting qualities associated with ghosts.

“That’s what this band is about, mystery and fun,” he said.

The boys from Sunghosts have been sharing the yin yang-y sounds of their music with crowds by playing venues all over South Florida. They’ve played at Sunset Place in South Miami, Black Bird Ordinary in Brickell and Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale.

“We’ve had some gigs in West Palm and played at both Hard Rocks, the one in Bayside and the one in Fort Lauderdale,” said Balseiro. “Yeah, and we’ve also played at a strip club and let it be said on record, that it was amazing!” Rivero chimes in enthusiastically.

“We’re a humble band and we’re not pompous enough to be like ‘no, not you.’,” said Steingold. “It’s all in good fun.”

Sunghosts, Phosphenes and Performing

Sunghosts released Phosphenes, their first EP, earlier this year.

“This new EP is like love explosions and bikini contests,” said Steingold. “We sound like Indie Rock but if Van Halen was playing it.”

Shaking up the genre is what the Sunghosts live for, they’ve combined contorted yet technically sound instrumental command with strong songwriting abilities, gritty vocals and a carefree attitude. But it’s when the boys take the stage that they quickly separate themselves from other local indie rock bands.

SEE ALSO: Brickell Fashion Market: From Online to You

One of the character traits shared by Sunghosts band members is being goofy. The boys don't take themselves too seriously and definitely enjoy messing around with each other. (Our Brickell Staff/ Daysi Calavia-Robertson)
One of the character traits shared by Sunghosts band members is being goofy. The boys don’t take themselves too seriously and definitely enjoy messing around with each other. (Our Brickell Staff/ Daysi Calavia-Robertson)
They spew untamed energy and take listeners on a roller coaster ride. Sunghosts tracks range from upbeat to mellow, their songs travel from rhythmic party anthems to romantic, melodic songs of healing.

“Each of our songs is in a different genre,” said Balseiro. “There’s from 60’s Rock and Roll to Rockabilly, to Punk and then there’s songs that are more modern Indie Rock, like something you could hear an entire stadium chanting to and others have more of a Latin music influence.”

Balseiro admits he often drops his guitar in the middle of a slow song and scoops a girl from the crowd into his arms.

“A girl at the last show was like ‘what? what are you doing? Oh my God!,” he said. “And I told her…nothing just dancing!”

“The dynamic of our whole show is up-down, up-down,” said Steingold. “Yeah, it’s definitely all about the energy,” adds Estopinan, who joined the band after watching Sunghosts perform with a back up drummer.

“I believed in the band from the first time I saw them play live, I thought ‘wow, they have so much potential and they’re going to make it’,” he said. Despite being a Top 40 Band drummer for nightclub Blue Martini Estopinan decided to quit and become part of Sunghosts.

“When we saw him play, he won us over,” said Balseiro. “His hair was going wild, going everywhere and we knew he had the same passion we had.”

Passion is the common denominator that ties the members of Sunghosts together. On stage, that passion makes them thrive at keeping audiences on their toes through dynamic live performances.

Musical Influences and the future, What’s next?

The band Sunghosts has been together for about one year.
The guys from local indie rock band Sunghosts, from right to left Nik, Luis, Jared and Arminio bared it all in their interview with Our Brickell. (Our Brickell Staff/ Daysi Calavia-Robertson)
Listening to Sunghosts it’s not hard to tell that they’re influenced by the likes of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Their driving guitar riffs and gritty lyrics are key signs of this. While listening to Sunghosts’ music I pegged them as the lovechild of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Black Keys.

“We definitely want to play shows all around the world and play huge concerts,” said Balseiro. “As well as small dive bars from New York to LA and then Europe.”

For now, Sunghosts will continue to promote Phosphenes and continue to play in a variety of venues in South Florida as well as a few in Georgia so keep your eye out for them. For a full listing of performance dates and venues in the Brickell area visit - Our Brickell

"SunGhosts Premiere Debut Album This Weekend"

At first glance, at least three-quarters of the band SunGhosts — with their long, greasy hair and Lennon-style glasses — do not appear to be the picture of ambition. But on the band's long-awaited, full-length self-titled debut, you can hear the hunger that's made them a success the past two years.

SunGhosts kicks off with a scream on the ska-inspired “Sunnyside Uppercut.” The album will be available to stream and purchase across all music platforms on August 23. Physical copies will be available at the album release show at the Open Stage Club on Sunday, August 14, with supporting acts Magic City Hippies, Alex Di Leo, and SALAS.

The release show had originally been scheduled to take place during Saturday’s Wynwood Art Walk but has been cancelled and replaced with Sunday's show due to concerns about the Zika virus. The show will also serve as the kickoff to the group's Magical Mischief Tour in support of the new album.

The booking process for the tour is just one example of SunGhosts’ steadfast dedication to forging its own success as a band. As guitarist Arminio Rivero (nicknamed “Crocodile” by the band) explains it: “We didn't have enough money to pay for a touring or booking company to do it, so me and my girlfriend started a company. We're planning the tour and we're pulling all nighters, but we got 22 shows in 30 days. And if we had to, we would've recorded our album in [singer/songwriter] Nik’s garage.”

On the full-length debut, the band had assistance from Grammy-winning producer Joel Someillán, who they met when he and his business partner, Christine de la Huerta, went to see the band play at Bougainvillea’s at the request of de la Huerta’s daughter, who is a fan. “They were trying to find some kind of new Miami sound — something that they could start their record label with and build with one band,” says Nik Olas.

“[Someillán] comes from a very different side of the industry. He's worked with a lot of Latin artists, but he grew up in the ‘80s. He was a teenager in his garage rocking out to Van Halen and AC/DC. That was his shit. He went through Berklee and worked with Latin artists and got two Grammys for making these albums sound perfect and pristine, and now he's working with us and we're like, ‘Oh, we want it to sound like shit. We want it to sound dirty.'”

The band found that while it had a pretty clear sense of the sound it was aiming for, the group was open to Someillán’s suggestions and expertise. “That's why the album doesn't sound like a lo-fi album," Olas says. "But it doesn't sound like Maroon 5.”

Album highlight “Til the City Goes Under” is Olas’ commentary on the struggles of Miami youth, particularly immigrant children who face parental pressure to pursue lucrative career paths, sometimes at the expense of their artistic passions.

Its music video is an endearing tribute to the Miami music scene, featuring cameos from Magic City Hippies, AstroMaps, Long Shore Drift, and more.

The song was the first SunGhosts ever put out, and it immediately struck a chord. “Nik got really excited and made a Facebook for the band,” remembers bassist Jared Steingold. “We posted just ‘Till the City Goes Under,’ and that's kind of how we got our first shows. There were no pictures of us or anything, it was just that song.” - Miami New Times

"SunGhosts New Single Is About Everything That's Wrong (and Right) With the Miami Music Scene"

Few local bands have been as prolific as SunGhosts this past year. After being voted Miami's best band in our 2015 Best Of Reader's Poll, the group released a new EP, Parhelion, and toured heavily to promote it. Now, SunGhosts just released a music video for their newest single, “Til the City Goes Under."

The song and ensuing video is a statement about being a band in Miami, and all the struggles that come with it. A few lines of text appear onscreen before the video begins: "With this video, SunGhosts hopes to shine a light on the Miami music scene and the challenges its impassioned musicians must overcome. Miami has an undeniable treasure trove of talent waiting to be discovered."

We couldn't agree more, so we sat down with vocalist Nikolas Balseiro to discuss the track and some of those "challenges" his band is talking about.

New Times: The video featured a few other locals, including Deaf Poets, AstroMaps, Magic City Hippies, and Long Shore Drift. Tell us a bit about the production behind the video and how these bands came to be involved.
Nikolas Balseiro: We have been waiting for a music video to this song for a while. I’ve always had such an ambitious idea in my head to promote local musicians and push this positive message — I just didn’t know how. We worked with one of our drummer Louie’s childhood best friends, Luis Rubio. He goes by L.A. Rubio Productions. We saw the work he did with some other local hip-hop artists and loved the energy and sense of action in his videos. We took two days to sit down around a coffee table and giant white board to jot down ideas and come up with the storyboarding. It took a few weeks to get this right but we finally locked in on a great idea, which was spreading news via paperboy trope to other local bands.

SunGhosts Hope to Live Up to the Title of Miami's Best Band
SunGhosts Break Down New EP Track by Track
SunGhosts Premiere Debut Album This Weekend
Now choosing bands was a tough one. We definitely wanted to rep the hardworking bands that we knew well that really hustle full-time to make their dreams come true — those who are always gigging and networking and are genuine, beautiful people playing music from the soul. The bands were represented in their own environments with their logos superimposed in a cheesy '80s way. It was fun to feature them like they were approaching challengers in Super Smash Bros.

The title of the track alone references Miami and its impending doom in relation to sea level rise. Tell us about how this ties into the overall theme explored in the song.
During my first ten years as a gigging musician, having been in three different bands before SunGhosts, I learned a lot about Miami and its music scene. I’ve seen a fair share of sketchy promoters, sketchy bands, sketchy venues that disappear months later and even a sketchy record deal. But those have only opened my eyes, allowing me to truly see the hustling promoters, hardworking and talented bands, iconic venues and eventually a beautiful record deal. I couple those things I’ve learned with a theory I’ve always had growing up hearing family horror stories from friends with conservative Hispanic parenting methods. What I’ve gathered is that some people have come to Miami to seek a better life for their family, yet oftentimes this means forcing their kids to study any profession that is known to rake in big money. I know a lot of kids with artistic potential who just want to figure themselves out and they’re not given that chance due to these harsh social pressures. Their parents lock them in the house with unnecessary curfews and don’t even seek to understand their own children.

Before I started writing the song, I created a survey and sent it to a select few of my friends. I asked filmmakers, musicians, visual artists, and even a non-artistic entity what they thought about the city, its people, and its music scene. And the results I compiled led me to write the lyrics, especially for the chorus where I describe the three different kinds of Miami people. According to the song’s mythology there are: those who leave the city immediately after high school or college because they despise it, those who stay to help bring about positive change, and the others who are either OK with living in the city or completely indifferent.

Where do you fall in that category?
It’s funny ‘cause I always thought I would stay, looking to change the city for the better. I realized everyone has a path and the more we played music and moved forward, it seemed that our path involved touring outside of the city as much as we could. But the end goal is still there. We don’t have to stay to change the city; we can work hard to be the best band we can be and that will, in turn, bring positive vibes back to our hometown. We’re always repping Miami and telling people there are amazing bands here whenever we’re on tour.

Bringing attention to Miami and its talent is something you’re also trying to achieve with the new music video, as stated in the opening sequence. Can you expand on this?
Sometime in the last two years, I realized there are different pockets of music scenes scattered throughout the city. So we started bringing in bands from other areas of Miami to play the local Kendall shows we started at and then we reached out to other bands to play on their shows. We hoped to connect the scattered scenes in this way, because, damn, there are so many cool bands that didn’t even know each other existed. Now, our guitarist Arminio runs his own booking company, No Wavve, that threw its first big fest at the start of this year and put on a solid mix of bands from all over the city. I remember when I heard Long Shore Drift’s reaction to seeing Dénudés; they were blown away by them. You should’ve seen the diversity at that show. Every kind of person was present, from music-loving hipster chicas to studded-denim-jacket, mohawk-wielding dudes. That’s what the scene is about. We’re taking our music to the next level with our album coming out this summer and the tours we’ll be going on to spread it. Seeing bands move forward like we are now has always motivated me to push and find the next steppingstone on the path. So I hope that by us working hard, we can motivate other Miami bands in the same way I was. - Miami New Times

"SunGhosts on Miami's Music Scene"

In collaboration with WRGP Radiate FM’s program titled Local Radiation, FIU Student Media has had the chance to interview several up-and-coming as well as established acts in the Miami scene.

Some of these artists include Panic Bomber, Smurphio from the local electronic funk band known as Afrobeta, Jean Jacket, The Cornerstoners, Flight Williams from the collective rap group known as Outta This World, Juan Turros and Michelle Forman of ¡Suénalo!, DJ and producer Jesse Perez, The Halfways, Millionyoung, Eagle Chief, Hunters of the Alps, vocalist Juan Rozas from Tremends, frontman Anthony Fernandez of The Vilifiers, Deaf Poets, Astronauts, Wilkes Oswald, Blue Jay, Beyond the Boundary, Kazoots, Lavola, Plastic Pinks, and Cog Nomen.

This time around, FIUSM got to sit down and interview lead vocalist and guitarist Nikolas Balseiro, bassist Jared Steingold, guitarist Arminio Rivero and drummer Luis Estopinan of Sunghosts.

You’re always really excited both on stage and off. Where do you get this energy from?

Arminio: It’s life man.

Jared: I think it’s a good blend of life and music and friendship.

Nikolas: We’re doing what we want to do and we’re all friends and we all happen to be guys who like laughter and dancing and just being goofy.

Luis: Just playing this music is a non-stop high energy that we will always have.

Nikolas: The music is the drug.

What are your musical influences?

Nikolas: Me personally, I have a Red Hot Chili Peppers on my right wrist and the Red Hot Chili Peppers got me into playing music. Watching their videos and reading the “Scar Tissue” book. I’m a big fan, I’m like a fanboy. So just the energy that they have in life and the music they play, dude that’s what got me into wanting to be in a band in the first place. I feel like that same energy now with this group, that’s why we’re always hyper and energetic. That’s why I do it. It’s beautiful.

Arminio: I really like The Strokes, The Arctic Monkeys, The Hives, The Whitest Boy Alive. Bands like that.

Luis: I freaking love every kind of genre out there up into whatever.

Jared: I’m like the odd man out. I like a lot of old school metal like all the old school Metallica and Pantera. But shoot, these guys showed me the tunes and everything and it was easy to get into because they were all just so cool and the vibes were so right on. I think it didn’t really matter where the influences came from, the influences came from us just getting along. That’s really what it is, the friendship band.

Tell us a bit about your current project.

Nikolas: Our first and only release so far is an EP called “Phosphenes,” which is a scientific name for that phenomenon that happens when you stare at the sun or a light and when you look away, you still see the shadow of the sun. So it’s kind of like a cool reference to the whole Sunghosts idea. So it’s just three of the first original songs we wrote: “Till the City Goes Under,” “Teazr,” and a song called “Indecision Incision.” We just self recorded them using a program on my MacBook Pro and got it out to iTunes and Spotify and it’s all over the place now. It’s really cool to hear our friends say “Oh I was listening to it at work the other day.” People are listening to it and saying “Oh what band is this?” And it’s just really cool to hear that type of stuff, the impact we’re already having.

Arminio: It somehow made it to the U.K. Some blog in the U.K. called “Killing Moon” put us up as the track of the day one or two days after.

Nikolas: They called it the “sun-drenched” track of the day.

Arminio: So now we’re using that, we’re calling our music sun-drenched garage rock.

In terms of garage rock, are you inspired by a specific era of garage rock?

Arminio: I’d say more modern but I really like the 60s stuff too.

Nikolas: But all the modern bands are influenced by the 60s, so you get indirect influence.

How do you feel the garage rock scene is doing here in Miami?

Arminio: I think it is doing better. I see more bands of that style coming out, emerging. People seem to be leaning towards that style of music rather than before you would see a lot of post-harcore. Now there’s more garage rock.

Would you say there’s an audience for it here?

Arminio: There’s an audience, there’s definitely an audience.

Nikolas: There are so many people out here who love indie-rock in general. The Arctic Monkeys, that place got packed at that concert. There are not that many bands that play that down here so you know there’s an audience when you go to The Fillmore and it’s completely sold out and there are girls that are crying because of Alex Turner. So there is the audience. They live here. It’s pretty much like a strange secluded sector of the U.S. because it’s like another country but it’s in the country. But we all grew up with the same American media, we grew up watching the same movies and T.V. and listen to the same music but we don’t get that same reception. We don’t have the same types of scenes or the same events going on because Miami is so different and kind of governed by different people. The music scene is something that is slowly building up and it’s always been a tough journey, but I feel it.

What do you think about the music scene in Miami as a whole?

Arminio: It needs improvement but there are some good bands.

Nikolas: There is a lot of good talent down here, a lot of kids that like good music.

Arminio: There’s talent but not enough people that appreciate it.

Nikolas: The venues gotta step their stuff up. The way I see it, Seatle had it’s breaking out, and LA and New York and all these places had their scenes. At one point there wasn’t a scene but then there was a little big bang and then there was a scene. But it hasn’t happened in Miami yet. I know plenty of people that are like “I need to leave Miami,” and they go because they want to succeed artistically somewhere else. But if you don’t try hard here, when is that big bang going to happen in Miami? That’s actually what are song “Till the City Goes Under” is about. Miami youth have a lot of potential and the whole song in metaphors talks about us having magic in us but how we’re detained by evil warlocks, a lot of conservative parents that are stuck in their ways and don’t want their kids become their own person and do what they want. It’s very stifling creatively for a lot of the kids that are here. So that song is about that and I just felt like that message needed to be out there so people can understand the current state of Miami so we can help it break out. - FIUSM

"The Ten Best Bands From Kendall"

1. SunGhosts
It’s easy to just automatically place this group at the top. They did win this year’s Best Band title after all. But I honestly can’t think of another group more deserving of the number one slot than SunGhosts. Comprising singer/guitarist Nikolas Balseiro, bassist Jared Steingold, guitarist Arminio Rivero, and drummer Luis Estopinan, the progress this band has made since I first met them at the Vagabond is a feat worth acknowledging. The group has consistently put out fabulous, sun-drenched, indie-surf tunes and has always maintained a high energy on and off the stage. It is SunGhosts' hard work and friendship that makes them extra special, as one can never fail to see the teamwork and love for what they do ooze out of each song. - Miami New Times

"Bonnamu Brings Music and Miracles"

One thing about music, when it hits it does great things. For Phi Mu, great things come in the shape of Bonnamu.
Saturday, Oct. 17, Phi Mu filled the space between Gold and Blue Garages with 400 people to attend Bonnamu, a music festival which features local bands and food trucks.
“We have a very good relationship with the Miami Children’s Foundation owner Yisenia (Rodriguez), has been a really good contact for us. She always comes out to our events, whether it’s our pageant, Miracle Man, she’s always a judge for us so they know about what we’re doing and they know we are going to donate to them so we are hoping that it’s going bring if not a lot of money at least enough to make a difference,” said Phi Mu sister Maytal Maor, senior, a marketing major and vice president of External Affairs at Phi Mu’s FIU Chapter.
Bonnamu has its roots in other chapters of the Phi Mu sorority nationwide and FIU’s chapter felt it just had to get in on the action.
“Well, there are a lot of chapters around the country doing it and FSU were close by so we were like ‘Let’s give it a shot ourselves’. We figured that we might as well try to do something fun and different aside from Hoop-a-Paluza. Plus, since nobody else has done it on campus, it’s just something that we wanted to try,” said Phi Mu sister Amanda Cantillo, senior, a hospitality management major.
At the end where the two roads meet was the stage where each band played in front of a crowd of more than 400 people. There were four bands that played between 5 p.m. and 11p.m.: RedShift, high-school heroes Long Shore Drift, the Muse-influenced Quantum Waves and popular local rock band, Sunghost.
Long Shore Drift, while being composed of young members (their drummer in middle school at 13 years old), have the beginnings of a great band, matching great chemistry with musicianship and their influences, like Vampire Weekend, can be heard in their music.
Not much longer after they came on, Quantum Waves came on and played a couple of songs reminiscent of something off of an album by Muse and got the audience hyped for Sunghosts, who played right after them. Then, after all that patience, Sunghosts, a local favorite in the Miami music scene, played a set full of songs off of their newest EP to close the festival.
Near the entrance, next to the food trucks, was a table where WRGP, FIU’s student-run college radio station, did a raffle for concerts that are going on around the Greater Miami area.
Bonnamu is an annual event and proceeds are donated to charity; this year’s proceeds went to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Miracle Network. - FIUSM


SunGhosts describe themselves as “sun-drenched” and they’re right.

The band is upbeat and bright – both in character and sound – and emulate that into everything they do. Their latest self-titled 14-song release begins in a hurly-burly jam- including segments of choppy guitars and melodies with a glimmer of metal influences alongside ska strokes – “The misfits we were born to be/ We gotta spread the SunGhost mischief/ From sea to sea” sleekly sings vocalist Nik Balisario on “Sunnyside Uppercut.” It’s part tagline and part fun, but wholly expression- regarding women, weather, and woes. It’s pop-oriented rock. A sound that could considerably reach commercial radio.

Balisario grew up in Miami and has been playing music in the city for over eight years, in several other bands building up to the creation of SunGhosts. Following Rivero was former metal bassist Jared Steingold, who Balasario met at a party, and drummer Louie Estopiñan, who quit his job to join the band.

“The whole semester we [Rivero] were just joking the whole time, laughing a lot, obviously learning about music business,” says Balisario. “Then we were talking about quitting our bands we were with, because there were bad people in them who weren’t working hard. And we’re like, ‘oh! let’s start a garage/surf rock band.’ we were super into that […] It felt good and it was fun and it was like three random dudes who didn’t know each other at all just getting together and playing music. And it worked.”

SunGhosts have gained notoriety both in the media and their fandom – from young girls crying over missing the band’s set, to being chosen to perform the first annual Okeechobee Fest back in March via a Battle of the Band’s showcase at Gramps in Wynwood, to playing at Austin’s SXSW festival, as well as booking a slot on the Sunday date of Miami’s iii Points festival. Currently they’re enduring a full-length national tour, and continuously they’re working towards being future proprietors of the music festival circuit.

How did SunGhosts start off?

Nik: We started two years of us doing our own thing and handling/maning our own social media and going out to shows and meeting people, we have a big campaign. [We] just made some really cool stickers thanks to our artist Trooper, he lives in Orlando and we started passing out these stickers as a way to get the word around. Make a cool sticker, pass it out. Before doing any social media posts it was like,‘coming soon: our album.’ People have to be able to hear music, so I recorded a three-song EP within like half a year of us getting together and we released it and that’s been holding us off for two years.

Talk about your music

Nik: We finally released a new EP with a record label and indie start-up that signed us last year, with gentlemen Joel Someillan, an engineer and he has two Grammy’s, really really awesome cool dude. And Christine De la Huerta, she works like PR and marketing, she helps us as our personal manager with everything we do. So our team is like, us four, then them two and then our artist Trooper, who is long distance right now. So we’re building our team little by little and our goals are to start touring more often, play more festivals, and we’re about to release our album.

Where does the band name come from?

Nik: The term “Sunghosts,” it’s like a scientific thing that happens, but what happens when the sun is rising or setting and there’s some kind of reflection in the sky on either side and it looks like there’s three suns, like a big one in the middle and they’re like, two reflections of the sun on either side, and so that’s what sunghosts is and parhelion is. It kind of looks like a ring around the sun.

Who are your influences, both musically and personally?

Jared: There’s a lot of people who’ve influenced me, and most of them are not bass players. Like Freddie Mercury. When I saw this Live at Wembley Stadium on video cassette that my dad had and I saw that in our entertainment system like at the house i was like ‘WHOA! that’s what I wanna do!’ which is cool because I play in a band with a guy that looks like Freddie Mercury, so I’m pretty close.

If I had to pick a bass player that really got me, it was the second bassist for Metallica, Cliff Burton. I saw this thing called Cliff Em’ All and it’s like an homage to him and he has this solo called “Anesthesia (Pulling Teeth)” and that was the first time that I heard bass kind of more isolated as a solo instrument that you could do all this stuff with. I was like oh man, I kinda wanna do that.

Nik: When I was growing up, my first two role models were Jim Carrey and Robin Williams. I was a hyper kid. I’m still hyper, you could tell, but I love humor so much. It’s one of the best parts of life. And if you see us we’re always fucking around we’re always laughing and making jokes and we like cartoons a lot, like we watch Rick and Morty and Armenio and the dudes love Regular Show, which I still need to get into.

(the artists and songs on this playlist were chosen by SunGhosts)

Nik: And in music, Anthony Kiedis from the [Red Hot] Chili Peppers. I read his book Scar Tissue so many times. And Julian Casablanca from the Strokes. I met him and had him sign my arm to get it tattooed on. That guy is a real role model. So many people go crazy to meet him in that huge ass line and he just gives everybody the time of day, looks them in the eye, smiles at them, and signs whatever the hell they want. Like that’s the way to do it, man. That’s how you make people happy. So that’s a good role model right there.

Arminio: I’m gonna say my mom, the Doors, Nirvana, Quentin Tarantino, and my dog Torpedo.

Louie: My whole family in general but especially my brother, ‘cause my brother introduced me to playing an instrument and that started my whole path into that musical direction. So I really gotta thank my brother. And then other influences, definitely my favorite bands of all time are Incubus and Deftones so all of them.I fucking love Christian Bale, Jared Leto and Dave Grohl, because Christian Bale, well he’s like my favorite actor ‘cause of how serious and how much he gets into his roles, but with Jared Leto and Dave Grohl it’s like they’re just a ball of talent that really inspires me and I love that.

Louie:There was a bunch of random gigs where these teenage girls they missed us and they got, like, really upset like, “nooo what the fuck!” I don’t remember if I’d seen one of them cry but I’m pretty sure they were.

Jared: It was one of our earlier shows too but somebody missed out set, and just started crying. Like, they were like “are they done?” and they guy was like “yeah,yeah they’re done it was fuckin’ awesome.’ it’s more of like crazy in a good way

Nik: Yeah it’s a good crazy. I think fan interaction is really important. Especially because everyone’s a person and they have a life and it’s good to treat another human being like a human being.’

Louie:That’s what has also helped us definitely gain a lot of attention like interacting on social media.

Nik: It’s a big deal right now.

Growing up in Miami, how do you feel about the way music is changing around here as well as the rest of South Florida?

Nik: I’m so glad it’s finally growing. It’s been years, and I know usually the South Florida scene goes up and down, and that’s what I’ve heard and that’s what I’ve seen, but now the internet has really helped a lot to just connect people and South Florida’s finally catching on. And there’s a lot of really good bands here. They just need more all ages venues.
Like my cousin would pass out stickers at his high school. And one of our friends went there, so we were able to get in with the teen crowd. They love rock n’ roll. They’re super into bands and all they need is a place to hear bands. It’s hard for us to play an all ages show. We have people sending us Snapchats like ‘hey! when are you guys playing again. Like where I can actually go that’s gonna be close by.’

Jared: It’s cool to see, like, a lot more local bands kind of taking matters into their own hands. Now, there’s house parties all the time where people are playing that we go to all the time and we played a lot of them too for a while before we started getting booked in a lot of other places. And kids are super into it. There’s way more shows there’s tons of venues that are now kind of like, if they were 21+ they’re all ages now. At least they have all ages shows. It’s like – Seattle had nothing, they didn’t have anything and then it happened there, this is just how these things happen. It’s not for any, maybe, particular reason, but just because it has to. - Tropicult


Sunghosts are a indie/surf rock band in Miami that are getting more popular everyday. The band consists of four members,(from left to right); Crocodile (guitarist), Nik (singer), Louie (drummer), and Jared (bassist).

I’ve seen them perform a few times and I get blown away at every show. The energy they put into their songs is out of this world and I can’t wait for them to get even bigger. They’re new album titled ‘Sunghosts’ is full of rocking tunes that take you to another place. I had the chance to interview them and get some great responses.

You can find they’re music on iTunes, band camp, soundcloud, and spotify, and here are the links to their website + social media.

Social Media:

1. How did all of you meet?
Nik: Yoooo! Well I was in MDC walking into my first day of Music Biz II class and I see Crocodile, I remember I met him once before and he laughed at my stupid jokes so I decided to sit next to him. We became boyz and would talk about all the awesome garage/surf rock bands we were into. . . I met Jared separately at a friend's house when I had him partake in a silly video I posted on IG. We hit it off immediately with our high energy and spoke about our musical pasts and decided to jam, which we did the following week for a gnarly 3 hour session. I showed him my collection of 1000+ song ideas I've saved over the years on my computer and told him to join me for an ultimate magical musical alliance, aka "a band". I called up Crocodile and the three of us started SunGhosts, with Croc bringing in his boi Louie the following year.

2. Did you guys always know you wanted to be musicians?
Nik: I wanted to be a video game designer like Shigeru Miyamoto (Creator of Super Mario & Zelda). But in high school I realized I could write songs much quicker than creating an entire video game, I also enjoyed the satisfaction of capturing fleeting emotions & moments into a song, moving onto the next.
Croc: 12 or 13 when I heard System of a Down. I always knew I wouldn't want a regular job, it had to be in music or film.
Louie: When I was 10 I started jamming with my brother, me on drums and he on guitar. I immediately knew it was for me.
Jared: I knew when I was 10 years old when my dad showed me the Hot for Teacher music video. I said "you can do this?" and then decided that's what I'd do
3. Whats your guys’ favorite song off your newest album?
Nik: It's always changing, but My Shining Phantom was written from a hard breakup and I'm glad I was able to capture that into a powerful song
Croc: Vibe Killin' Villains
Louie: My Shining Phantom
Jared: Vibe Killin' Villains
Evenly split hahaha

4. How did you come up with the band name?
Nik: I have a list of band name ideas from 2012, so I brought it up after a couple weeks of jamming w/ Jared & Croc. "Sunlight specters" was in there, pulled from a line of lyric I wrote for my old band, "a carousel waltz with sunlight specters". It gave me this haunting yet beautiful imagery of a blue phantom dancing in the sunlight. We shortened the name and got "SunGhosts" and it felt right.

5. What was the best show you guys have ever played?
Nik: Every show is different but I gotta say when the crowd is feeling it, we get pumped up. It's an exchange of energy that keeps me wanting to play live. The first annual Okeechobee Fest 2016 was amazing. We played in nothin but undies & shoes - Vibe Up Magazine


Phosphenes EP 1 & 2 - 2014
Polterguy single - June 2015
Upcoming EP - Fall 2015
Upcoming LP - 2016



Sun-drenched garage rock from the heat strokin' streets of Miami, Florida!

Named Best Band in Miami in 2015 and Best Band in Kendall by the people of the Miami New TimesSunGhosts have been living up to the titles since their self-titled debut album was released in May 2016. The album was recorded at Cutting Cane Studios in Davie, Florida, and was produced by two-time Grammy-winning producer Joel Someillan after signing with Miami indie label, Orchard House Music.

With inspirations ranging from 60s garage and garage revival to late-Beatles-esque psychedelia, SunGhosts' are redefining genre norms. What sticks out in the audience's memories the most however is their rowdy live performances. From jumping off stage to dance with fans to playing entire sets in drag or in their underwear, SunGhosts will always leave you with something to remember.

SunGhosts was formed in 2013 when the four members met in college. Nik Olas, Crocodile Deathspin, Jared Steingold and Luis Estopinan all had two things in common:  Miami roots and an intense passion for rock n' roll music.  

Media features on the band have included PBS, Miami Herald, Miami New Times, Alternative Press, Balcony TV, Tropicult and “From the Garage” live radio program on WVUM “The Voice” 90.5 FM where the band set a new record for the most audience response the show has ever garnered. SunGhosts charted (Top 30) at 24 college stations nationwide (according to Crowd Control Music). 

SunGhosts frequently tours throughout their home state. Performances have included Okeechobee Music Festival (which they won via Destination Okeechobee Battle of the Bands), III Points Music Festival, Calle Ocho Festival, Wynwood Life Festival, Gaines Street Festival, Et Cultura Festival, No Wavve Music Fest, Hair of the Dog Fest and the Coconut Grove Arts Festival. Venues have included Revolution Live, Churchill's Pub, Bardot, Gramps, Respectable Street, The Social, Florida International University, University of Miami, University of Central Florida, The Bends, and Hard Rock Cafe in Hollywood.  

After attending the Driven Music Conference two years in a row, they were asked to play the VIP showcase at the Driven Music Conference in Atlanta in 2014. After that first taste of touring beyond Florida, SunGhosts has been hitting the road on frequent tours throughout the US. In March 2016, the band played five live-music showcases during SXSW in Austin, Texas and NoDa Summer MusicFest in North Carolina and Summerfest in Milwaukee in 2015. SunGhosts have been touring the East Coast heavily since their album release with dates in New York, Boston and Nashville to name a few. Their plans for 2017 include heavy touring, partying and getting to work on new songs. 

Band Members