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PHANTOM ISLE

RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW PHANTOM ISLE WHAT HAPPENED?

Hiya folks thanks for joining us in the virtual RGM lounge today, grab a brew and take a seat.

What made you decide that music is a thing for you?

We’ve all been playing our instruments since childhood, so you could say we’re in it for the long game. 

Introduce us to you and your musical history.

We’re a trio from Northampton, Peter and Josh went to primary school together and Sam came into our lives during our teens. We’ve been playing together for years, and have just been honing our sound. Pete is our guitarist and vocalist, Josh is on synths and Sam bringing up the rear on drums and BV’s. 

What was life like for you before music?

We don’t really have one as we’ve all been doing it a long time. Our families are quite musical, so we’ve always been surrounded by it, playing it, listening to it, dancing to it. Sam’s been teaching drums since he was 12, Josh has played piano since he was 4 and Pete plays every instrument under the sun. 

Where do you feel you currently sit within the music industry?

We’re poking our heads above the underground scene. We’ve had some incredible opportunities, and we feel we’re ready to really go for it. Our music has been on the BBC, Channel 4, and recently used in a film soundtrack. So we’re seasoned, but not quite mid-tier yet. It’ll happen though.

What’s the biggest thing you have learned from someone else in the industry?

Don’t take it all too seriously. Spend 80% of your time on the music and 20% on the rest, that’s where the joy really lies. 

Tell us Two truths and a lie about you?

We set off a pepper spray bomb in a German nightclub and made everyone sick. We sat next to Yard Act in a restaurant once. One of us got electrocuted swinging from a light fitting at a pub lock-in. Have a good guess.. 

If you could wish for one thing to aid your career what would it be?

To have ultimate control over our collective ADD hyperfocus… imagine the work we could do…

Do you ever worry about people taking things the wrong way or cancel culture? Discuss….

Depends on what your intention is – if your intention is ill-willed, you probably had it coming to you. If it’s harmless fun and not at the expense of others you shouldn’t worry. Some people are too big to fail and thrive off the cancel culture energy, others are beaten into submission. It’s the risk of entering the public square…

Do you sign up to any conspiracy theories? If no why not?

Ha! The Queen was a lizard, the Earth IS flat and the Tartarian Empire will prevail. In all seriousness, we find them entertaining and one of us has a relative who loves to debate on all those topics. But in reality, they’re a distraction for the extraction of billions of dollars by the corrupt elite. 

What was the worst experience on stage?

On our very first gig, Josh’s keyboard got fried, Pete’s guitar string snapped and Sam broke a drumstick. We took it as a good omen.

Tell us something about each member that you think people would be surprised about.

Josh runs a Facebook group called ‘Muscly Women’ dedicated to the appreciation of women bodybuilders with over 10k followers. 

Pete is in the 2016 film Mindhorn with Steve Coogan and Julian Barratt. Sam was an avid Morris Dancer for a good decade. He still dosen’t know why.

What makes you stand out as a band?

We blend our love of pop melodies with synth and floaty breakbeat drumming. I think we all bring our own feelings and influences to mould into something truly special. Sam’s breakbeat drumming is really something to behold, especially live. We also try and make sure every sound is made by us and not on a backing track, so we can still have that live edge which you don’t get a lot of in our genre. 

I hear you have a new music, what can you tell us about it.

Yeah, we’ve got our new single ‘Aerial Photography’ coming out on the 15th Feb. We learnt a lot from our previous EP ‘Out of Blue’ and we wanted to take some of those elements and soften them a bit. Pete came to us with a synth line and lyrics and we started producing this floaty anthemic synth track. It’s a step up from what we’ve done before. 

What was the recording process like?

We worked with Duncan Pym to produce this track, we’d been friends for years and he’s been going from strength to strength as a producer. So we took the plunge and worked together on this track. It was recorded in his studio and also our good friend Ben Hood’s studio in Northampton which was all recorded remotely through Zoom. Nuts with what you can do these days. There’s a janky piano in Duncan’s studio which makes an appearance, every time we came back to the studio it was getting further and further out of tune, it just adds another dimension to the track. We then managed to get hooked up with Grammy award-winning mastering engineer Jonas Westling – was great to work with him and visit his studio. 

What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?

We took a new approach where we all had to agree equally on the track, there’s been times when one of us has taken the lead in the writing and sonic direction, and I think we’ve now learned we’re better when we each get an equal say. Makes for a more interesting sound and greater equity of creativity. 

Would you change anything now its finished?

I don’t think we’d change anything – we’re all very happy with it. 

Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?

Yeah, so our previous EP ‘Out of Blue’ was heavily featured on the upcoming feature film Mr Doom directed by Leif Johnson whch is coming out this year – it will be on streaming sites as of this Summer. Follow us and we’ll tell you where, when we know! 

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