Every great band is looking to create that gloriously lustrous wall of sound … West Lothian, Scotland, alt/rockers The Phantoms have found it.
Band mates Colin Simpson, vocals and rhythm guitar; Euan Crowe, lead guitar; Zach Tarimo Goodhur, bass; and Blair Cullen, drums, are a treat to listen to.
“Revolution” is a brilliant mid-tempo rocker with a wild west guitar loop, layered heavily with thunderous guitar licks and a down and dirty bass line.
“Lost” immediately brings on the wall of sound, paring it back to add the vocals, then kicks back in full-bore for the chorus. It’s a work of art.
“Wasting Time” carries that wall of guitars and layers it with drums and bass, then coats it with vibrant vocals.
I recently had the opportunity to chat with frontman Colin about where the band is headed and where it’s been … and that amazing wall of sound …
So let’s start at the start … When and how did The Phantoms come to be?
Through school, I was in another band with my old guitarist and we teamed up with Blair, who play drums for us today. We then brought in my mate Pete to play bass.
Your bassist now is Zach?
Yeah, last year we brought Zach into the line up. He was in another band who were doing some amazing stuff when we started. He always supported us from day one. It’s been great since he joined.
So now you have a killer lineup, right?
Yeah, most recently we brought in Euan to replace Colin Mckilop. Everything has settled now so its brilliant.
Did you have a busy summer? Lots of shows and festivals?
Not really cause after Isle of Wight, Colin left the band, so we took time out. Kinda rediscovered the new line up and have written new songs and worked on making our sound bigger.
Make it even bigger? That’s amazing, because listening to what you already have recorded, it sounds huge. How has it changed?
Adding more live, trying to bring more anthemic sound. I really am obsessed with a big wall of sound. It hasn’t changed, our sound on new tracks has evolved and developed.
I love that massive, stadium-sounding wall of sound … It just blows the lid off things … Do you song write as a group?
Love that stadium sound. That is all I want, if I am being honest. Yeah kinda, like I write the majority. Take to the band with ideas, and the boys then put their spin on it. That way we all have a fair input and everyone is playing something they are into.
Do the melodies or lyrics come first?
Music, the melodies then lyrics. I have always wrote like that. The song mean more to me that way.
Once I’ve wrote them I’ll then reflect a week or two later. Kinda go, “Ahhh right, I know what that’s about.” I never go, “I am gonna write about this.” I kinda just write.
Do you plan songwriting or just grab it when the moment hits?
Emm …. I kinda get told to write songs. The lads will be like, “Right, Colin, we need a song.” From then, I just get in the zone. I am trying to write all the time right now.
Haha … Good for the lads to keep you moving! Who has influenced you musically?
Oasis blew my mind away when I was 16. From then, I have been into music and analyzing walls of sounds. But bands like Kasabain, Foals, Miles Kane, Catfish and the Bottlemen … Love that whole sound.
I was going to mention the Oasis etc. connection, but wanted to see if you did … Yes, I hear that too. So they inspired you to pick up the guitar?
Saw Oasis at Murrayfield 2009. Since then, the rest is history. It was the moment that changed my life. So yeah, it was Oasis.
Many a guitarist has been influenced by them … What’s your favorite kind of venue to play — big or small?
Obviously big …
Haha, obviously … But intimate shows do have their merit as well … Have you ever tried acoustic?
Acoustic can be done, but it ain’t my thing.
What’s been your most memorable gig so far?
King Tuts at the start of the year when we sold it out.
What made it really great, besides being sold out?
Just the whole experience, the size of the crowd and the whole event.
You are playing there again on Oct. 1 — expect it will be a sold-out gig too?
Yeah Saturday 1st October. It is now sold out.
Congrats on that! Any surprises in store for those going?
So is there any new music forthcoming from you in the near future?
Yeah, 2017 is a huge, huge year.
What all have you got planned?
Can’t say just now. (Manager) Gary is working on load just now. It should all come out end of the year/start of next year.
You can find The Phantoms on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TMATW/?fref=ts, on Twitter at @ThePhantomsUK , on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsITfVsmd9ap1PeWG7bfUaQ and on the web at http://thephantoms2016.bigcartel.com/ and on SoundCloud at http://thephantoms2016.bigcartel.com/.