The Los Angeles based duo known as Phantoms don't take the production process lightly. Although they say their approach is not relatively complicated, their musical output tells a different story.
With their humble beginnings DJing house parties in LA to now having their Broken Halo EP released by Casablanca/Republic, Vinnie and Kyle are stepping out in a big way. We got a chance to chat with them about their inspirations, their production process as a duo and how they aim to tell a story with their music. Listen to their Broken Halo EP throughout the interview to get an idea of where their sound is headed and what you can expect from Phantoms in the future.
When and why did you decide to come together and form Phantoms?
Phantoms really came together when we discovered the electronic scene in Los Angeles as teenagers, probably around 2007. It was a really exciting time for us and we wanted to get involved any way we could, so we started DJing under the Phantoms moniker. It’s exciting to see how far the project has come over the years knowing it started as a way for us to DJ house parties.
What are some of the influences and inspirations for your music?
Musically we are influenced by a lot of different genres and types of music. Both of us have backgrounds in funk music through our families, so we always make sure to have a good groove in what we write. We also both love mainstream pop music as much as we love underground dance music, so we are always trying to find ways to make those worlds collide. Beyond musical influences, we’re really inspired by nightlife in general. There’s something thrilling about going out - whether you are younger and doing it to explore or a bit older and doing it to escape. There’s a lot of stories to be told and we want to tell them through our music.
Your sound seems to be a combination of indie dance and future house, what do you want listeners to take away from your music?
The indie dance/future house combo is a good way of describing it. We always struggle to describe the sound since we aren’t locked to a genre. That is one of the big visions for Phantoms moving forward. We want the music to be able to grow with us and not be tethered to a specific genre. We are more concerned with the music telling a story and having a point-of-view. That is what we want the fans to take away from the music. You might be able to dance to it but there is an emotional element to it that we hope our fans can connect to as well.
Tell me a bit about your Halo EP, how would you describe it?
The Broken Halo EP is a way for us to show the many sides of Phantoms. As we mentioned, we like pop as much as techno, so we wanted to showcase a cross-section of our tastes. You don’t often hear pop-leaning songs with techno songs in the same body of work. It was fun to find a way for these different sounds and vibes to fit together and not seem out of place.
What is your production process like?
Our production process is relatively simple. Most of the sounds come from the computer with a few pieces of hardware to give a more analog feel to the music. Once a track is in a decent spot, we sit down with our writing partner E.B. Sollis and start coming up with ideas and points-of-view for the lyrics and melody. Since we come from the acting/film background, we try to inject some sort of narrative into whatever we are writing. We’re a small team at the moment but we like it that way.
What's next for Phantoms?
The next big thing we are doing is supporting Beat Connection on a North America tour while also continuing to promote the EP. That will start on October 30 and go until December. We also have a Selena Gomez remix coming out soon. Beyond that our debut LP will be released on Casablanca/Republic early next year! We’re excited to share this music that has been sitting on our computers for way too long.