SunGhosts rock the Magic City

It’s something that happens to the best of bands, even in Miami. It’s the moment when the energy is perfect, the music is loud, and bad ideas become good.

Jared Steingold, the bassist for the four-piece garage rock band SunGhosts, said the moshing during last month’s show was in true Churchill’s fashion. Steingold said it was “their best show ever.”

“It was so hot because the air conditioner broke. I remember I had to take off my shirt because I was drenched in sweat,” said Nikolas Balseiro, the band’s lead guitarist and singer.

Voted Miami’s Best Band in July, SunGhosts have made it one of their missions to keep Miami on the map as a hub for live music. This Saturday they’ll be playing the 8th Annual Everglades Awareness Benefit Concert at Gramps, where fans can expect them to bring the same heat. Balseiro said he wants to help foster a new culture in the city where people make it a part of their plans to go to shows and check out what the music scene has to offer. “No one in Miami has been taught. It’s not a habit to go out and watch bands,” Balseiro said.

Downtown development and foreign investment have spurred growth, but in the process, venues like Tobacco Road and Will Call have closed, and Grand Central will also be closing in a matter of weeks. While Miami is recognized worldwide as a party city, it’s rarely for its live music scene.

SunGhosts hope to be a driving force to make a statement about the different music that is being created in the Magic City. “If we tour a lot, and make a big splash, and we make a lot of noise then maybe one of the music industry peeps from New York or L.A. will wonder about what else is in Miami. That’s all they need to do — just wonder,” said Balseiro. “There’s something out here a lot of people don’t know about, and it’s beautiful, the music scene out here is amazing.”

SunGhosts have been playing together since 2013. The project started out with Balseiro, Steingold, and Arminio Rivero on drums, but as they grew into their style fourth member Luis “Louie” Estopiñan took over as the drummer.

“When we first started playing we didn’t have our sound figured out yet. Now we’ve been playing so many shows, we even went all the way up to Milwaukee,” Balseiro said. “We’ve evolved so much. Now everything sounds so much more mature, but it’s still very much us. We’re still a bunch of silly assholes.”

SunGhosts signed to Orchard House Music in March, and currently, the band is working on their first full-length album, which they expect to be released by early next year. They also plan to release their second EP before the end of the year.

The band admits that having supportive family and friends has played a big factor in their success, but what has gained them a steady fan base is the diversity in their music. They’re infused with surf, punk, and rockabilly, but no two songs are the same, and neither is their audience at any given show, ranging in age from teens to parents.

“We all agreed that we wanted to have a sound that traveled through different genres and had a lot of mixes of things so it wouldn’t be an issue to appeal to multiple people,” said Steingold. “We all share that goal — it might not happen in our generation, but a world where everyone really digs each other and gives interest to the music.”