Northants/London psych-rock quartet Phantom Isle have released their third single, ‘Focus’. Scroll down to hear it, but first New Boots speaks to singer-guitarist Peter Marchant about all things Phantom.
How did Phantom Isle get together?
Myself and my brother Matt got together in 1991 when I was born, and we started playing with Sam back in 2012 when I was writing and performing under my own name, as some in Northampton may remember. We then started writing music together and relaunched ourselves as a band. Last year we got together with our keyboard player Josh who me and Matt knew from primary and secondary school.
How would you describe your sound to the uninitiated?
Psych Pop Disco Inferno™
Who are your main musical influences as a band, do you think?
Queen, Led Zeppelin, Tame Impala and maybe The Smiths
Tell us about new single, ‘Focus’.
The lyrics existed before the music if I remember right. Our drummer Sam had written them about a ‘friends with benefits’ kind of thing he’d had that got a bit full on. We then started jamming around with this chord pattern, and the rest was history! I met John Harbison from RYP Recordings at a Fox Chapel gig in Camden and ended up recording ‘Focus’ at their studio, and releasing it with them. They’ve been ace and have invited us to perform on their stage at The Great Escape.
It’s great that you get to play Brighton’s The Great Escape Festival on May 19th.
We can’t wait; it was one of the things we set out to achieve around this time last year. I went to the festival in 2017 for the first time and was spellbound by such as acts as Flamingods, Husky Loops and Bad Sounds. Seeing our name up on the line up is a massive step for us, we’ve got RYP Recordings to thank for including us on their stage alongside some great artists that they’ve worked with recently.
Bassist Matt recently suffered serious ill-health. How is his recovery going?
My brother’s courage and determination in the face of his brain tumour has been nothing short of heroic. Considering we nearly lost him to a brain haemorrhage in February on the day shot the video for ‘Focus’, the progress he has made since then has been amazing. He’s been really active: going to fitness classes, doing yoga, bowling, walking and eating well. He’s just about to start radiotherapy to try and reduce the tumour, so we’re all praying this will make a difference on top of what he’s already doing. He’s my biggest inspiration – we’re endlessly proud. We have an incredibly talented bassist called Esmeralda Edwards filling in who has been truly amazing in learning our songs at such short notice. She’ll playing with us at some of our biggest shows yet, so no pressure!
Best and worst thing about being in a sibling band situation?
Best thing, we get to be like Oasis. But better. Worst thing, Matt’s heard all the sh*te recordings I was making when I was 10. There’s always a slight risk he make set them loose on the world. Joking aside, I love playing in a band with my brother.
What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Paul White Rejuvenate. Great producer from South London for those unfamiliar. Heard ‘Spare Gold’ on 6 Music and haven’t stopped listening to him since.
What is your burning desire for the band?
To keep things progressing and bring out some more psych pop disco classics for humanity to enjoy.
What plans do you have for the rest of 2018?
To welcome Matt back in the band and to enjoy life without cancer getting in the way.