The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Sunday January 17th


Q&A with Holy Ghost Tent Revival

Greensboro-based band Holy Ghost Tent Revival showcases an energetic style of folk rock performed by its seven members. Drummer Ross Montsinger talked to Diversions writer Alex Dixon about the band since the departure of its founding bassist, Patrick Leslie, and its new album, “Sweat Like the Old Days,” due out Sept. 4. The band will perform at Cat’s Cradle on Friday. Diversions: How has the band adapted after the departure of Patrick, especially on the new album? Ross Montsinger: Well, we took Kevin Williams, who was playing keyboard, and we switched him to bass. He kind of had his own signature feel and style that I think contributed to the sound and was also compatible with the kind of music we had been listening to and wanted to make. It’s been an exciting transition for us. We feel like we’re making the kind of music that we’ve been listening to over the past few years. As opposed to originally with Patrick, we just kind of didn’t have many influences at all. DIVE: What are some of these influences? RM: The Beatles, Dr. Dog, The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Band, Harry Nilsson. DIVE: Tell me about the new album. RM: We recorded it in Greensboro. It was a new approach for us. On our older stuff, we basically tried to do everything at once. It was like: do all the band tracks, then do all the vocals, then do all the horns. But this time, we just kind of tried to do it one song at a time. There’s more guitar than there was on previous records and the horn parts are a little more rehearsed. It was a more creative experience for us. We had a lot of fun making the record that way. DIVE: What’s been your favorite city to perform in? RM: Oh, definitely Carrboro. Carrboro, North Carolina, baby. Cat’s Cradle is always awesome for us. DIVE: There are a couple of music festival performances on the tour; is there a difference in playing the festivals and the smaller venues? RM : Absolutely. At festivals, I feel like we get to have a more personal relationship with the crowd because we’re there all day and we’re out enjoying the weather and seeing the bands just like everyone else is. We have lots of friends who are musicians, so pick any festival and there’s a good chance that one of our friends will be playing. Another wonderful thing is that people always come from different areas to go to a festival, so we could go to Shakori Hills, for example, and we know we’ll have friends there from Chapel Hill, Raleigh, Greensboro and Asheville. It’s neat because music festivals aren’t always restricted to people who live in that town. Contact the desk editor at


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