Exposure -The Phantom Band

  • The List
  • 13 November 2008
Exposure -The Phantom Band

Tomorrow’s music today.

The latest in a long line of great discoveries by Chemikal Underground Records, Glasgow sextet The Phantom Band mash a coarse mix of influences – Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Can and the theme to Crocodile Dundee among them – into a fine experimental kraut-folk pulp. Their debut album ‘Checkmate Savage’ is due in January and is destined to be hailed as one of the label’s best releases. Guitarist Duncan Marquiss talks.

Mogwai, Arab Strap, Aereogramme, De Rosa - you’ve joined a rich lineage at Chemikal?
Yeah, it’s nice. It’s a label we all bought records from when we were younger. I just hope we don’t put them in debt or anything.

Describe your sound for the uninitiated.
We all like lots of different music, so there’s six people pulling in lots of different directions. It’s basically rock, but it’s got the imprints of a lot of folk stuff. We like kraut rock and a lot of film soundtracks. The music comes from us improvising together in the studio.

You played under a variety of different names including Wooden Trees and Robert Redford before settling on your current moniker. Why so?
We couldn’t agree on anything, so we changed the name every gig, which was good, because if you played a bad gig it didn’t matter. We played one gig in this pub that had a noise limiter, so as soon as we went over a certain volume the whole power cut. It was the only gig Wooden Trees ever played, and we only got one chord out of it.

Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh, Sat 15 Nov; ‘Checkmate Savage’ is out Mon 26 Jan on Chemikal Underground.

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