In-depth: Friends of victims killed in Oakland’s Ghost Ship Fire keeping their music alive


OAKLAND (KRON) — How do you remember two lively, talented musicians who died too soon?

Two of the 36 victims of Oakland’s Ghost Ship Fire a year ago have close friends who say they refuse to let their music be forgotten.

Travis Hough and Chelsea Faith were working on a new record, including a beautiful ballad, when they were killed in the fire.

Now, thanks to devoted friends, that music has been finished and released.

Friends say Easy Street, the techno dance band created by Hough and Faith, was the best-kept secret in the Bay Area’s music community.

“Easy Street was the most fun party band you ever saw,” friend Josey Rose Duncan said. “There was dancing. There were people in animal costumes. It was just so much fun.”

“And Travis would just run around on stage and just enthrall the audience,” another friend Eric Bateman added. “I’ve been making music since I was 12. He was hands down the most charismatic lead music person I’d ever worked with.”

Bateman sometimes performed with Easy Street.

After the fire, it was his idea to gather up the pieces of an unfinished ballad called “Places I Will Never Go.”

Travis and Chelsea’s friends and family members are now completing the unfinished vocals.

The unreleased track is a U-turn from the usual dance music.

The lyrics take on a haunting new meaning after Travis and Chelsea were killed.

“But the lyrics now when you read them, you know, ‘The world is so wide and life is too short. There’s not enough time for everything,'” Bateman said.

‘I’ll never forget the recording session,” Duncan added. “In a year of terrible milestones, it was definitely one of the most moving experiences I’ve ever had in my life.”

The video features a playerless piano with a recording of Chelsea’s music. You also see her as a young girl, practicing her piano.

When everyone saw the finished product for the first time, they were hearing their lost friends joining them in song.

“And we heard our voices in the choir joined together with Travis’s voice,” Duncan said. “Everyone just burst out into tears. Everyone was crying, listening to the song.”

In the year since the Ghost Ship fire, the people who loved Travis and Chelsea say they’ve done a lot of grieving.

Now, they hope they have created a musical legacy.

Friends say the upcoming one-year anniversary of the fire, Dec. 2, will be a hard time for them.

But they call this project very healing.



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