Welcome to “Six Questions With…,” a series of interviews with emerging artists, musicians, and bands focusing on the music scene and how they live within it. It started as a quick, fun project, but has quickly gained serious interest, so we’re making this a permanent feature on the site. Over time, the questions may change, but the sentiment will stay intact. This is a way for independent artists to be discovered by new fans on a global scale.
Within in each post, you will find all of their social media links, and also either a link to their music, or the ability to stream at least one of their tracks or videos, depending on the availability.
We hope you enjoy this series, and if you know anyone that might be interested in being part of it, please have them reach out to us for more information.
Next in the hot seat is Jacksonville-based metalcore band Phantoms. We have not had the privilege of featuring Phantoms here on the pages of Indie Minded, so we are thrilled to bring you this short interview. If you’re not familiar with them, sit back and enjoy! This is what is great about this series – the discovery of new music.
For those who may not be familiar, please tell us about your music: the type of music you play, where you are from, and how you got started?
We touch on a wide variety of genres, but we classify it simply as post-metalcore. We are originally based out of Baltimore, Maryland, but we have recently relocated to Jacksonville, Florida. Our start stemmed in high school. Our old guitarist and I both had two separate bands. I played bass at the time and his band needed a bassist and my band needed a guitarist. Eventually, those bands dissolved and he and I decided to start a new band together. Quincy had been my good friend for years and we both liked the same kind of music and I wanted him in this new band, so I taught him how to play guitar, which he eventually moved on to play bass for us from that. We met Pat G. because his band needed a fill in vocalist and asked me to do it. We were going through some member changes and I asked him if he wanted to play drums for us. A few years later, we had posted an audition for a guitarist spot we needed to fill. From a mutual friend, Pat M. was suggested to me. He had been to a few shows and parties with us in the past. We tried him out and we all clicked instantly. Through various member changes, how it so often goes, we’ve been working with this line up and making big strides in our growth.
As an artist, how do you define success?
I think it’s about reaching and even surpassing your personal goals. If your goal is money, success is defined by that. If it’s being famous, that’s your definition of success. If you want to make a difference in at least one person’s life, that is your definition of success. Whatever your definition of success is, to me, becomes a failure if you stop once you’ve reached that success. It should be a never ending grind to find more success and reasons to be successful.
What do you find to be your greatest struggle when it comes to the music business?
Two things stick out in my mind. The first is that the industry moves like molasses. There are a lot of moving parts and people involved with every decision or happening of the band. So, expectedly, it definitely can be difficult to get some things done. Second, is the unpredictability of the industry. There’s no formula to “making it.” You can grind and grind for years and do all of the right things, and still make never make it. Yet, sometimes, a band can just start and they may get something going right away. It can get frustrating, but it’s also part of the chase of making it. So it kind of comes with the territory.
If you could only play ONE of your songs for the rest of your career, which one would it be?
I would probably have to say, “Demons, These Demons.” That song has a little bit of everything that we are about and like to incorporate into our music. It’s a really fun song to perform and right when it kicks in we can’t help but rock the fuck out right off the bat.
What do you think is the most realistic goal you can achieve as an artist/band? What do you hope to achieve?
Our short term realistic goal would be hopping on Warped Tour. We’ve had the pleasure of playing a few select dates over the years and it would be so cool for us to hop on the whole tour. A longer term goal would eventually to be one of the heavy hitters in the industry like Bring Me The Horizon or The Devil Wears Prada. I think we have the capability, vision and drive to reach the heights we want to hit.
Outside of music, what do you like to do that you feel contributes to the creativity that you tap into for your music?
I draw from many different sources that inspires some of the creativity of our music. We are all gamers, so I know for sure I’ve drawn some elements from various games that I play. In fact the title of our music recent single, “There Were Once Birds That Sang,” I came up with after beating the Mass Effect Trilogy. But it could really come from anything from movies to everyday happenings. I have written a song before just from laying down in a cemetery, late at night, just watching the stars. It’s such a peaceful setting and can really get the creative juices flowing.