Nick Lutsko’s “Spirit Halloween” trilogy will forever be a staple our spooky song playlist. But its greatness wasn’t enough to keep him in power. A simple misunderstanding/possible murder threat forced him to resign as President of Halloween. Then an unpopular tax—combined with the unlawful political imprisonment of Beetlejuice—resulted in him fleeing Halloween’s royal throne. Now, either all of that makes sense to you or it’s all total nonsense. But no matter which group you’re in, you have everything you need to know to enjoy his newest track. With no formal ruling responsibilities to attend to, this year the musician has dedicated himself to his craft. He’s releasing a new song every week in October. And we have your exclusive first listen to his latest.
This time Halloween’s king is a 19th-century ghost who learns there are far greater terrors that can possess a home. And while this music video is one of his most absurd yet (which is really saying something), it’s sure to genuinely scare one group: parents haunted by a certain kid’s property.
If this is your initial introduction to Nick Lutsko congratulations! You started where you should, in the (very strange) deep end of one of our favorite artists. But for fans of the Nick Lutsko Expanded Universe, this is song is part of a new collection unconnected to his past works. Lutsko explained that and more when we talked to him about “A Ghost Story.”
Nerdist: You have a young daughter, so as a parent myself I have to ask, how much of “A Ghost Story” comes from the fact kid’s programming literally haunts parents forced to watch certain things over and over and over again?
Nick Lutsko: That’s definitely a big part of it. Ironically, my daughter doesn’t watch CoComelon. Primarily because her mom and I don’t like it. I was baffled by some of the songs that started popping up on her automated playlists. They sound like songs written by machines trying to sound human. Then I found out they have like a billion subscribers or whatever.
What were the other inspirations for this song and video?
Lutsko: I’m doing this self-imposed challenge where I write a song and shoot a video every week in October leading up to our show at The Roxy (in LA) on Halloween night. I wanted to do a series of short stories that don’t share any connective tissue with previous lore. This is song number three, and the hope is that turning myself into a 19th century ghost will make that more clear than the previous songs might have.
The initial concept was that I was a ghost who hadn’t had the opportunity to haunt anyone in a very long time. I was so excited because a new person for me to scare was finally moving in. But then that person ends up being way too scary for me. I played around with that person being Rob Zombie, Stephen King, Tim Burton, etc. But I couldn’t really make any of those ideas click. Then I started thinking “What is something that is scary but isn’t supposed to be?” My wife suggested CoComelon and everything fell into place from there.
For the video I’ve worked with Brielle Garcia on a handful of projects and I’m always amazed at what she’s capable of, especially with almost no notice. There’s no way I could have done this video without her. She is a genius.
Considering your body of work, this is really saying something: this is one of the most absurd ideas you’ve ever had. Has there ever been an idea that was too strange even for you?
Lutsko: Nothing really comes to mind, but I could make one up right now. James Corden takes off his shirt and reveals that his stomach is actually a bagpipe made of human skin. He blows into one of the many pipes (which he tucks into his pants) and summons many nightcrawlers (worms). He has no reason to, he just enjoys their company. That idea would be way too strange for me.
Finally, in honor of this song, if you could actually haunt anyone who would it be?
Lutsko: Christopher Lloyd.
Well, that is unless you’re the CoComelon family. In that case just leave the poor guy alone, you scary weirdos.
Mikey Walsh is a staff writer at Nerdist. You can follow him on Twitter at @burgermike. And also anywhere someone is ranking the Targaryen kings.