A Ghost for All Seasons.

The pandemic killed off live music performances for a while—but COVID couldn’t kill passion.

A Ghost for All Seasons is a Reno-based five-piece metal band featuring guttural and doomy vocals sitting atop a combination of chugging, industrial guitar lines and Jeremy Orris’ driving drum parts. The band released a new album, Hollowed Hope, on Feb. 4, and will be performing as part of Alturas Bar’s “Metal Exorcism II” show on Friday, March 11.

I recently spoke to guitarist Nick Jones about how he joined the band about five years ago.

“I had actually packed up all my stuff and was planning on not playing music for a while and just focusing on my career—but something always kind of felt like it was missing,” Jones said. “I saw an ad on Craigslist that these guys were looking for a guitar player. I’ve pretty much touched down on a bunch of different genres, but I’ve always loved metal, so I was like, ‘I’ll give these guys a shot.’ I wound up trying out for them with the song that’s on our album called ‘The Fallout’ … but on an acoustic guitar, because all my amplifiers were in storage. I showed them that, and my style of writing actually kind of matched up with their style of writing—so it was just a good fit from the start.”

Jones said music is almost as important to him as breathing.

“It’s not something that I can really do without,” he said. “I’ve been doing it my whole life since I was about 15 years old, starting off in a punk band here in Reno. It’s about the camaraderie, and it’s a really good release of tension.”

Hollowed Hope offers tastes of both traditional metal and modern heaviness. (Check out “Unbreakable” and “Oathbreaker.”)

“We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel,” said Jones. “We all love old-school metalcore bands like Killswitch Engage, Parkway Drive, As I Lay Dying and All That Remains. We tend to write in those types of styles, because they’re our musical influences.”

The band has gone through a whirlwind of change over the course of the pandemic.

“I was with the band for three years prior to the pandemic, and within the first three months that I was with the band, we landed a show with JMax Productions, and we opened up for Light the Torch, Like Moths to Flames, and Fit for a King—with a completely different lineup than what we have now,” Jones said. “The only people who are the same now are myself and Mark (Craig, vocalist), and the lineup now is excellent. The guys who were in the band before were good guys, and we kept making steps up every time that we would have to replace someone.”

While many bands took the time off during the pandemic to practice and prepare for better days, that didn’t happen with AGFAS.

“We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel. We all love old-school metalcore bands like Killswitch Engage, Parkway Drive, As I Lay Dying and All That Remains. We tend to write in those types of styles, because they’re our musical influences.” A Ghost for All Seasons guitarist nick jones

“We wound up losing our guitar player and our bass player during the pandemic, just to personal issues, and we weren’t really sure if we were going to be able to carry on,” Jones said “Luckily, there’s an option to pay for advertisements on Facebook, so as, like, a last-ditch effort after I had already exhausted all my first-person efforts in trying to find someone who would be a fit for our band, I purchased some advertisement time on Facebook. We found Bernard Contino (guitar) and Zach Blackburn (bass), and those two guys are just phenomenal. They stepped right in and are great dudes, and we spent the last three months getting those guys up to speed. We’re going to be playing our first show with them on March 11.”

The returning members of A Ghost for All Seasons took their time to get Hollowed Hope just right.

“We took the whole pandemic to release our album,” said Jones. “Member shifts didn’t really affect the process of making the record; the record was complete prior to the loss of two of our previous members. We did get some enthusiasm during the process of mixing and mastering the album from Zach and Bernard, however. Not only are they incredibly talented musicians; they are really good dudes with a solid work ethic, and I have never felt better about the lineup than I do now.”

Jones said he and his crew are looking forward to bringing their new music—and the new members—to the Alturas Bar stage.

“We’re ready to get back after it,” Jones said. “We’re feeling refreshed. We’ve got these new members who are bringing in all this new talent and new ideas, and we’ve got them up to speed and ready to play shows. Now the game plan is to get an electronic press kit, and we’re going to start sending it off to different labels, and we’re going to start playing shows here around town. We want to try to make sure that people remember us—and then we’re really hoping to try to finagle our way into some direct support acts for larger shows that are coming into town.”

A Ghost for All Seasons is performing with Deplete, Dissidence, Ozymandias and Ones True Will during “The Metal Exorcism II” at 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 11, at Alturas Bar, 1044 E. Fourth St., in Reno. Admission is $10. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/AGFASRENO.

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  1. Sorry about that, Jeremy! The omission wasn’t intentional; it was just that the other band members all came up in conversation. We added you in; again, apologies.

  2. I figured it wasn’t, good sir. I was just joking. I appreciate you putting me in the piece, but you have no reason to apologize. Thank you for giving us some of your time, and for interviewing Nick! Much love and respect, Jimmy!

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