When Van Ghost releases their forthcoming studio effort The Domino Effect, it will serve as a fitting allegory. The band is at the tipping point, the sweet spot where the grind becomes success. They have checked all the boxes: the catalog, the festivals, the press, the fanbase and the team. Now, it’s time to let the pieces fall into place and reach a broader audience.
Of all the exciting things on the docket, the development that has perhaps aided the success more than any other is the establishment of the permanent lineup. In the past, the band functioned as a bit more of a collective, but now the five-piece led by Michael Harrison Berg and Jennifer Hartswick is as Michael puts it, “the band.” This adds a challenge to the scheduling given the various members’ other projects, but it’s done wonders for cementing the sound and taking things to new heights musically.
We caught up with Michael Harrison Berg to catch up on the new music, the recent “Pick the Single” partnership with Grooveshark, the story of that curious guitar and a little fantasy football.
Hidden Track: To start, I’m dying to know the story of your electric guitar. I’ve been noticing it in a lot of pictures and it looks an awful lot like a Doug Irwin guitar. Could it be?
Michael Harrison Berg: A ton of people ask me that. It is actually called a Phiga from a custom shop luthier in Texas named Phil Gawen. It is an identical replica/tribute to Jerr’s Bolt guitar. Even though we don’t play Dead songs or sound like the Dead, it’s a cool way for me to represent for that community. Anyone who knows freaks and usually even the people who have no idea think it’s cool. It’s really buttery and stays in tune so well. I love it and have almost switched over to exclusively doing that even though I always write on my acoustics.
READ ON for more of our chat with Michael Harrison Berg…