I Am Ghost with The Birthday Massacre

May 14 • Southgate House

Since forming five years ago in Long Beach, Calif., I Am Ghost has been the epicenter of more drama than 10 seasons of All My Children.

The sextet coalesced in 2004 around a conceptual blend of Death Metal grind, Punk passion, Prog majesty and Classical complexity. IAG recorded a demo to get bookings, but wound up signed to Epitaph before their fifth show. Their full-length debut was 2006’s Lover’s Requiem, a Goth Rock opera about the conflict between heaven and hell. IAG was tagged as one of Metal’s most promising new acts and was a highlight of the Take Action, Epitaph, Kerrang! and Warped tours of ’06 and ’07.

Tensions began to surface two years ago when violinist/vocalist Kerith Telestai and her husband, bassist Brian Telestai, abruptly quit IAG. The Telestais, devout Christians, had claimed in interviews that IAG was a Christian band, an assertion that frontman Steven Juliano loudly refuted.

The band picked up bassist Ron Ficcaro but lost drummer Ryan Seaman, eventually replaced by former Silence drummer Justin McCarthy. Last year, original guitarist Gabe Iraheta departed over “creative differences,” and was replaced by Chad Kulengosky for the band’s ’Til Death Do Us Part tour. Last fall, IAG released their sophomore album, Those We Leave Behind, a considerably darker, heavier and harder album, presumably because of the Telestais’ departure.

Earlier this year, I Am Ghost cancelled its So Pretty Dead tour but the blog posting explaining the circumstances has been removed from the band’s MySpace page. I Am Ghost should have its own reality show (Ghost of a Chance? Ghost Screamer? Survivor Long Beach?): Who will still be standing when (and if) their current tour with the Birthday Massacre concludes? Stay tuned.

(Buy tickets, check out performance times and find nearby bars and restaurants here.)