Can a band be neo-progressive rock and old school classic rock at the same time? It can if it’s Phantom Phunk. Their music will remind you of why you fell in love with vinyl in the first place, and yet, their sound is modern and fresh. Their self-described genre, “Indie-Graveyard Pop,” represents memories and respect for the past and promises for future. Not restrained by the limits of mortal inhibition, their musicwill inhabit your thoughts and meddle with your soul. Their exciting mixture of rich acoustics, classic rock and post-punk infused with some of the darker elements of Gothic rock are Alternative - Indie Rock like you have not heard before...
Phantom Phunk has hit the road to spread the gospel of their cross-genre sound which spans from Euro-Pop to Psychadelic Post-Punk infused with flares of Classic Rock n’ Roll. The four-piece consists of Hector Alexander and Juan Gonzalez switching between lead guitar and bass, Nick Emiliozzi on drums and Sasha Cheine on lead vocals and keyboard. Since their founding in 2015, each member has come to contribute their own compositions to the band, resulting in a repertoire that is as eclectic as their personalities.
Their first album, Arboles Ossific, has a fascinating history, from its name to its mastering. Taking a little over a year to complete, the album was produced in the private studio of Harmonic Factory. Creating the music proved the least difficult stage of the process, as Juan suggests, “There are no egos… We collaborate. When we come together it’s for the same mission—to create kick ass music.” According to Nick, “Someone comes up with an idea and then we start experimenting and the songs progress from there.”
Outside the studio however, hours of intense rehearsal led to deaths of many drum sticks—shattered by the combustive energy of Nick’s drumming. Every time a drumstick broke they planted it in the yard outside the studio. They eventually dubbed the area the “Drumstick Graveyard.” The bare sticks, erected between the studio lawn and wild foliage beyond, gives the effect of fossilized tree trunks—thus the name, Arboles Ossific.
Once the album was completed, they made the decision to master it at Abbey Road Studios in London. According to Sasha, “a bunch of people I look up to have all worked in that same space. It didn’t feel real, even though it happened. Even now it doesn’t seem real.” Having the chance to work with the engineers and walk through the halls of arguably the most famous music studio of all time was definitely a once in a lifetime moment for the band.
Arboles Ossific was officially released on November 19, 2016. With the support of their music studio Harmonic Factory, the band chose to celebrate the release of their album by hosting a concert at Water Works Park in downtown Tampa. The event was organized as a benefit show in support of Metropolitan Ministries who provided barrels to collect food donations for struggling families in the Bay area. Along with the food drive, many vendors attended helping to draw a large crowd and hundreds of pounds of canned good donations. Due to its success, the show, known as Saturday in the Park, is to become an annual event. The next Saturday in the Park event will be held on November 11, 2017 at Water Works Park. Mark your calendars!
Arboles Ossific has had quite a few write ups in music magazines and online music sites. Mindy McCall of Indie Mindy had this to say:
“Phantom Phunk’s Arboles Ossific goes places you wouldn’t expect and does so with an ease that surely belies the considerable work that went into making this project a reality. This talented four piece band presents its audience with a large variety of moods and never fails to bring them both intellectual stimulation and a true sense of entertainment that is, ultimately, the hallmark of any great release.” 9 out of 10 stars
Catch Phantom Phunk’s music on more than 70 college/non-commercial radio stations across the country, on Spotify and SoundCloud and on their YouTube channel. Their album is also available for download, on CD and vinyl at ITunes, Amazon, on their website and at numerous record stores in the Tampa Bay area.
What’s up next for the Phunk? Back to the studio where they will be recording their second album. Catch a preview on SoundCloud.