On the way from their hometown of Philadelphia to Los Angeles where they will catch up with the 2005 Ashlee Simpson tour (opening 40 dates of the tour), Peppers Ghost stopped by Epiphone Headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee.

The blue-collar Philadelphia band has crafted a sound belying its geographic origin: harmony-rich and literally vibrating with manic energy, struts the bleeding edge between polished showmanship and beer-fueled rock 'n' roll mayhem. For frontmen Anthony and Michael Montesano, multi-instrumentalist Rob Bennett, bassist/vocalist David Hartley and a drummer known only as Zil, their collars may be blue but their songs are multi-colored.

Set to release their Hybrid Recordings debut Shake the Hand that Shook the World on April 5, 2005, the album is the culmination of five years as a band, and for brothers Michael and Anthony, a lifetime as musical partners. The record was produced by the legendary Andy Johns, (The Rolling Stones' Exile on Main St., Led Zeppelin's IV and Television's Marquee Moon) and the result of the collaboration is a rock 'n' roll record in the truest sense: an analog gem polished through performance and song craft, not with ProTools or pitch correction.

EPI: Tell me about how you guys got together and how this all started.

ANTHONY: Michael, Robby and I have been together now for about 5 years. We were playing around Philadelphia and played occasionally with another band that Zil played in. At one point we were in the market for a drummer and as it turned out Zil had just left his band so we thought it was a great opportunity for us since we had already known him for a couple of years. Then about a year ago we started recording our record and Dave joined us then.

MICHAEL: Yeah, we signed in January and the album started in February and I think Daves second rehearsal with us was with Andy Johns in the Studio. He was learning the songs as we were getting ready to record them.

EPI: How did you hook up with a legend like Andy Johns for your first record?

ANTHONY: The A&R guy that signed us actually hooked us up because he felt like Andy was a good match for what we were trying to do.

EPI: How was the experience of working with a guy that has worked with the biggest names in the rock world?

MICHAEL: David has the best answer to that question....(laughter)

DAVID: I always say that he is certifiable! We love him ....everyday was an adventure.

EPI: Do you feel like he brought out the best in the band?

MICHAEL: Yeah…he brought a lot sound wise.

DAVID: He is the master of tone and has a great ear for drum sounds and guitar sounds. From an engineering standpoint he was amazing and he definitely doesn’t cut any corners.

EPI: How has working with Andy in the studio translated to your live performances?

MICHAEL: Well, we are definitely trying to duplicate those sounds live. My guitar tone has definitely changed because of it.

ANTHONY: It's even changed my playing style. I'm the rhythm guitar player so I was kind of used to just pounding through it all. After the record I'm a lot more aware of different parts, you know where you might pluck the strings differently or use arpeggios instead of just ding, ding, ding! Those are the kinds of things that make the songs sound cool and add little bit of color to it.

EPI: We're thrilled that you guys are playing our stuff!

ANTHONY: We love it. The whole album is full of Epiphones and we'll be playing our Epi's on this tour.

EPI: And that's where your headed now... right?

ANTHONY: Yeah, we'll be driving all night tonight, on our way to LA. We're ready to get out and play our music and we're excited to get the chance to do so on this Ashlee Simpson tour.

EPI: Well, congratulations on everything and we'll see you at the Ryman on April 11th in Nashville.


Anthony Montesano checks out the new Masterbilt AJ-500RC 12-Fret.


Michael Montesano belts out a tune on piano with the guys.


Robby Bennett checks out an Epiphone Hummingbird.


David Hartley jams on an Epiphone El Segundo acoustic bass.


Back on the Grey Ghost and headed for Los Angeles!

For more information about Peppers Ghost and tour dates with Ashlee Simpson visit www.PeppersGhost.net.

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