Ghost Stories

AstonTo Transplants lead signer Rob Aston, hearing the trio's new songs on the radio is vindication. Aston says more than half the songs on the punk act's genre-hopping second album, "Haunted Cities," were intended for another project -- his solo album. But his deal with Warner Bros. Records was not meant to be, he says, and the tunes were given to Transplants instead.

It wasn't much of a stretch, since Aston's partners in Transplants -- Rancid's Tim Armstrong and Blink-182's Travis Barker -- contributed to Aston's solo effort.

"I got dropped," Aston says. "It was cool when I first signed [to Warner Bros.]-they were all happy. But they ended up not 'getting' it. I was bummed when it happened, but I wouldn't want to be on a label that didn't understand me." Warner Bros. declined to comment.

"Haunted Cities" is Transplants' major-label debut and the first product of a long-term pact with Barker's La Salle Records and Atlantic Records. The first two singles, the drum'n'bass-driven "Gangsters & Thugs" and the R&B-slanted "What I Can't Describe," have already earned airplay, mainly on the West Coast. The band will appear on the Vans Warped Tour this summer.