“We are the ghosts of the midway, the beasts of the alley,” August Burns Red singer Jake Luhrs bellows at the start of “Ghosts,” a standout cut off the band’s latest album, Found in Far Away Places. “We are the living dead, living in your nightmares.”
Many metal bands have written songs about zombies, phantoms and other nightmarish creatures, but Luhrs is actually singing about very real people — the homeless — and commenting on how many people view them as lesser than human or ignore them altogether. “Ghosts” features a vocal assist from A Day to Remember frontman Jeremy McKinnon, who sings pointedly later in the song: “Act like you know me, but do you even know yourself?”
“I think a lot of people, myself included, have always walked by homeless people or those less fortunate, and either ignored them or immediately thought that they must have done something wrong to be in their current situation,” guitarist Brent Rambler says of the theme of “Ghosts.” “No one ever seems to take the time to stop and think that a small series of events can put you right in their place. A lot of homeless people led normal lives just like everyone else before they landed on the streets, and they deserve help and respect to get back on their feet. Not judgmental looks and whispers.”
August Burns Red bring this concept vividly to life in the video for “Ghosts,” which intercuts scenes of homeless people on streets (and retraces their backstory, finding military veterans and family men who lost it all) with live footage of the band throwing down. You can catch the group doing just that at a venue near you when they hit the road this winter with Every Time I Die and Stick to Your Guns. In support of those in need, ABR will be hosting a food drive alongside each show to benefit local food banks in each city; fans who donate two or more cans will receive an exclusive poster. For dates, visit the band’s Facebook page.