PHANTOGRAM – Interview

Wer ist Charlie Everywhere? Und was ist mit Eyelid Movies gemeint? Das sind Fragen, die sich doch jeder Sonntag morgens nach dem Aufstehen stellt, nachdem er sich Samstags eigenständig am Glühweinfass bedient hat. Aber tatsächlich sind es Fragen, die wir uns gestellt haben und Phantogram waren so nett sie zu beantworten. Das Album “Eyelid Movies” wurde auf auch schon besprochen und ist am 02.Oktober in Deutschland erschienen. Und da heute der 2.Advent ist und somit alle Familienmitglieder versammelt sind, um einen auf besinnlich zu machen, kann man das Interview gleich laut im Wohnzimmer vorlesen. Also viel Spaß dabei!


1.) Band facts

– Name: Phantogram
– Band members: Josh Carter, Sarah Barthel
– Founding year: 2007
– Residence: Upstate, New York
– Current album: Eyelid Movies

2.) Questionnaire:

– How did you become a band?
Josh had been working on sketches and demos for a project. He and Sarah hab been hanging out a lot, and he asked her to help on some vocals. She ended up helping him finish some songs and they began to collaborate on what became Phantogram songs.
– How did you come up with your band name?
We tossed up a lot of ideas for a while until finally settling on „Phantogram“. Josh said „How about ‘Phantogram’? And they looked up what a Phantogram was and thought it sounded like a cool name. -A very fitting name for their sound.
– Why did you change your band name from “Charlie Everywhere” to Phantogram? Charlie Everywhere was the original name we came up with because we had gigs lined up, only 2 songs written, and no name. So we thought of „Charlie Everywhere“ quickly as a name to use for our live shows. We ended up having show after show  and were building a name for ourselves, not giving us much time to come up with a name we were fully happy with. When we started talking to record labels about releasing our debut, we thought it would be a good time to settle on a name we felt fit our sound better.
– How would you describe your musical style?
Our musical style is a blend of swirling guitars, spaced-out synths, looping, chopped up samples, beats, and emotional lyrics.
– Which musical influences do you have?
A lot!!! From Classical to Jazz, Soul, Experimental, Indie Rock, Shoegaze, Pop….we do not discriminate. If it sounds good or interesting, we dig it.
– What are you as a band doing at the moment?
We have been touring in Europe for the past month. We go back home to the states in a couple of days. More touring ahead. In 2 weeks we are on tour with Zero 7 in the states. Our album comes out february 9th in the USA on Barsuk Records. We plan on playing as many shows as possible and continue to write new music. We hope to be back in Europe in the spring time.
– Can you describe the topics you are dealing with on your album?
Our album is about life, love and death.
– What is the meaning of the title “Eyelid Movies” and how is it related to the content of the album?
Eyelid movies are short dreams one has when daydreaming, falling asleep, or closing eyes tightly and focusing on the floating spots. We created songs around dreams or scenarios that we dreamed or thought of late at night.
– Can you describe how you are working when writing and producing songs?
Our Songwriting is a different process for each song. Sometimes Josh makes a beat, and we write over it. Sometimes we improvise and play freely until a cool melody comes to mind. Sometimes Sarah writes a hook or melody on the piano or guitar. Sometimes Josh writes a song on guitar…. There really isn’t any formula for us. Whatever happens usually comes from any inspiration – like a strange loop, sample, guitar line, vocal melody, and then a song is developed from there.
– You recorded the album not in a big city but in the country – what was the reason for this?
There’s really no reason other than the country is where we are from.
– With which person would you like to work together and why?
We can see ourselves collaborating with a producer in the future. Maybe someone like Danger Mouse, Mark Linkous, Dave Fridman…. A remix with Diplo or Madlib would be cool.
– 3 top albums 2009? Why?
We haven’t gotten to hear too much new music from 2009, because we have been so busy. But a few albums we like very much are:
-Why? „Eskimo Snow“ – It’s just a beautiful album. Very emotional, and surreal. A good follow up to his other work.
-Grizzly Bear „Veckitamest“ – A great album.
– The new Oh No Album is awesome.
– What did you learn 2009?
We learned how to deal with being constantly busy.
– Your best personal experience in 2009?
Touring with School of Seven Bells, touring Europe, Playing CMJ with The XX and SVIIB, getting signed.
– Your plans for 2010?
We plan on releasing our debut album in the USA, tour a lot, play festivals and continue working and having fun as a band.
– What can the audience expect from visiting your concerts?
The audience can expect a dynamic, soulful, beat-driven, moody experience. -And hopefully have an effect  on them emotionally.
– What is on your rider?
Food and beer. We get hungry on the road and it’s nice to have a drink. 🙂
– What do you associate with Bedroomdisco?
A website that emphasizes cool sounding music!!!
– Who did fill out this questionnaire? Josh and Sarah

Thank you very much, Sarah and Josh, for answering our questions!