We throw an abundance of quick-fire questions to Brighton art-rockers The Phantom Runners.
From growing support at Radio 1, an ASOS style-focused cover, and a #1 session as voted by viewers of renowned Balcony TV, this is an important year for Brighton’s Phantom Runners who are determined to continue their lasting impact on all who hear their music. From the origins of guerrilla festival shows and house party gigs, they’re still driven by a transcendent form of dream pop as illustrated by new single ‘Chasing The Feeling’ which moves into the realms of shamanistic storytelling.
We caught up with the boys to find out more about playing the live circuit and their unlikely friendship with Fun Lovin’ Criminals frontman Huey Morgan.
Would you consider it to be fate, that you all came together to form the band?
We all came to Brighton separately from different parts of the country, we’ve got an eclectic mix of Welsh, Brummie, London and Essex. Adam (Guitar & Vocals) and Arron (Bass) met through a mutual friend, and started making music about a year ago, and the lineup was finalised at the start of the year when we stumbled across our bongo brothers Sam and Josh, who have the same passion, sense of adventure, and willingness to stay up for days on end in the pursuit of great music as us.
Were there any previous projects before Phantom Runners?
Everyone has played in bands before, but Phantom Runners is our baby!
Is there ever any in-house scuffles when it comes to compromising on the overall sound or direction of the music?
We all disagree on stuff from time to time, especially when we’re nit-picking a new song. It’s a good thing we do too, because that’s how we challenge each other’s ideas and make the song as good as we can. We’re like brothers anyway, so we never fall out.
Who are your influences? What really inspire you during the writing and recording process?
Stone Roses, The Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Nirvana, The Pixies, The Smiths, old soul and Motown… We could write 100 pages. If it has great melody and/or great groove then we’re sold.
There are so many underrated bands come out of Brighton. Are you worried that you might be labelled as ‘another Brighton band’ and refrain from breaking your comfort zone?
Not really, we’re trying to do our own thing without paying too much attention to others. We figure that if we keep writing tunes that we’re really into then hopefully other people will get into them too. We also did a UK tour in March, we don’t want to neglect other parts of the country!
Tell us more about the new set-up track Chasing The Feeling?
Like most of our songs it happened kinda by accident, we were playing around with some old ideas when our friend Titus Taylor came and put a rap on it. It shouldn’t work but it felt good to us so we couldn’t deny it! We also made a short film with the song, directed by the super talented Cliff T, and produced by the awesome Bee Adamic.
How did the collaboration with Huey Morgan happen? Has he been offering any valuable advice?
It came out of the blue that one! Our good friend Jamie Danan hooked Huey up with a demo, and before we knew it we were in Dean St. Studios with Huey manning the desk! The thing with Huey is that he really motivated us and gave us the confidence to get the best out of ourselves and be who we are, with some gems of advice thrown in for good measure. It was really fun and exciting to work with him, the guy’s a dude!
What can we expect from the forthcoming EP?
We’ve got 4 tracks that we’re really proud of, we really hope you like them. Expect to have them stuck in your head for days.
You have a tonne of live dates over the next few weeks, what’s been the best and worst gigs you’ve played?
One of our first ever gigs up in London was probably the worst, the promoter for the night obviously just booked a room and made a poster, because there was fuck all else there, they didn’t even bother showing up! I couldn’t say what our best gig was… The best is yet to come!
Any festivals this summer? Where else can we catch you live?
You’ll definitely be seeing us a lot this summer, think Bestival, Secret Garden Party, Glastonbury and many more to be confirmed! We also love doing guerrilla gigs when you least expect it, so keep your ears to the ground, we’ve got a busy summer!We’re also playing Birmingham as part of Wireless and Brighton’s Great Escape this May.
‘Chasing The Feeling’ is released on April 23rd. Follow The Phantom Runners here
Photo: Jean Luc Brouard
Words: Shane Hawkins