Well first and foremost can we bow to the unfortunate power of technology? I had a complete meltdown of my computer a couple of weeks ago which rendered me useless to write anything for the Lowdown, much less publish the story on these fine gents, Phantom Party before their release show. Apologies were accepted and the computer was restored so now we are back in business! Speaking of business, Phantom party has been busy doing just that! Their music release show was quickly followed by a small tour which from the looks of it was pretty successful, and now they are in the New Times version of March Madness to determine the “Phoenix Phinal Phour” to play a show at Rebel Lounge. I think they have an advantage due to the whole “Ph” thing, don’t you think so too? Let’s catch up with Joshua, Matt, and Austin of Phantom Party!
ABOUT THE BAND
How did Phantom Party come together as a band?
Joshua: It started out as a side project. I jammed with Matt and eventually after trying out a drummer or two Austin joined the crew.
Matt: Joshua hit me up after years of me pestering him to let me play in his previous band
Austin: Josh and I played in a band before but we parted ways for a bit. I originally joined Phantom Party while the guys tried to find a new drummer but I ended up staying in the band permanently.
Give me up to 3 influences on your instrument or voice
Joshua: Dick Dale, Brian Setzer, and Rory Gallagher
Matthew: Chris #2, Dan Andriano, and Steve Harris
Austin: I’m not sure, I never really had influences but I do like how hard Dave Grohl hits the drums. I like Ryan Pope of The Get Up Kids, Ira Elliot of Nada Surf is up there too.
Tell me something about the band that no one knows, until now..
Austin: Back in 2015 before the second time Phantom Party got together, I pissed in this Circle K Polar Pop cup before everyone came over. When we were about to start recording our first EP, Josh was super thirsty. I said “Hey man, you can have some of my drink” and gestured to the cup. He drank it and I watched the liquid slip up the straw and into his mouth. He then dropped his guitar and puked when he realized it was piss. I guess you could say he was literally PISSED! The wild times of Phantom Party….
Matthew: Austin almost died choking on a giant chicken wing in the parking lot of Rebel Lounge.
What is the worst or most embarrassing on stage occurrence for the band or one of you personally?
Matthew: There exists, somewhere on the internet, a picture of Josh getting so stoked while playing that he accidentally runs into a wall and still tries to keep rocking.
Austin: When we first started playing out, I used to jump through my drum kit. I don’t know why but it looked really sick and I even have a scar or two from it. So it was our second show ever at the Trunk Space’s old location. We finished what I thought was our last song and I jumped through my drum set and then Matt reminded me that we actually had one more song to go. So I had to put everything back up and pretend I didn’t just make myself look like an idiot. Two years after it happened I still think that is the most embarrassing incident.
Joshua: We got our set cut short once because we started playing a Cure cover. Covers were not allowed at the venue we were playing..
Pretend you never met and you can each start a band with musician, who is it?
Joshua: I would be down to make folk music with Brian Fallon, or make some sweet Indie Pop with Los Campesinos!
Austin: GAAAAH. I gotta go with Rob Thomas. JUST KIDDING. Maybe Matthew Caws of Nada Surf. I added him on Facebook and we talked on messenger once so if I suddenly ditch these guys you’ll know why!
Matthew: Tom Waits, Kerry King, and Dave Grohl
Each of you share your favorite song of all time
Austin: It’s cliche but either “Smells Like Teen Spirit” or “Stay Away” by Nirvana
Joshua: Favorite of all time is “God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys
Matthew: “When I’m Gone” by Phil Ochs
Now which song do you WISH you had written?
Joshua: I wish I wrote “Howlin For You” by The Black Keys. It’s such a simple song, but it is fucking good. It’s sexy and just oozes cool.
Matthew: “Start Walking” by Off With Their Heads
Austin: “1937 State Park” by Car Seat Headrest. I think favorite of all time, last time I thought it was “Trailer Trash” by Modest Mouse
How about your favorite song by a local band?
Matthew: “Nightmares” by Paper Foxes
Austin: “Silk Flowers” by Troubled Minds
Joshua: “Good Zone” by Diners
Where is your favorite place to play live, and why?
Joshua: Right now I’m digging 51 West. It feels like home and rad people pass through
Matthew: The craziest shows we have been a part of have been house shows. The energy is always great, insane stuff always happens, the people always go super hard which makes us play harder.
Austin: I’m between 51 West and Josh’s house. His house has this intamicy that is tough to beat with any venue, but we don’t play many shows there anymore. 51 West does feel like home and the people that run sound there are super cool. We’ve played there many times.
Best way to hear Phantom Party, recorded works or Live?
Joshua: Live, we go hard
Matthew: I would say live at a venue because we are a little different live than on the record. People who hear the recordings never expect how energetic, loud, and wild we are live.
Austin: I don’t care how you hear us, just enjoy us. Please. Please.
Name 3 Local Bands that our readers need to see or hear.
Austin: Troubled Minds, Sunlaand, and Good Grief
Joshua: Diners, Cheap Hotels, The Sink or Swim
Matthew: Nanami Ozone, Paper Foxes, and Troubled Minds
Give me ONE word to describe the local music scene
What, if anything, would you change about our local scene?
Matthew: Make all ages venues more easily accessible
Joshua: I can dig it..
Austin: I don’t think I would change anything. This is such a great community to be associated with.
Ok, now you can shamlessly promote. What is coming up for Phantom Party
Editors note: Due to the glitch, we missed several of these. But Phantom Party had a great show for their first full-length album release on March 4th, playing the entire album. They also filmed a live video that night and anyone that RSVP’d on Facebook got the song for free with lyrics. They also just returned from a tour as we mentioned earlier, playing in Colorado from March 9th to March 12th.
Coming up, we are playing with Zero Degrees North at The Rebel Lounge on March 25th. We are also hitting up Flagstaff on April 8th at The Hive. That will be our first Flagstaff show ever. After that, you never know! Check our all the social sites and phntmprty.com for details (Links provided at the end of article)
Final Thoughts, Anything goes
Matthew: Thanks for including us, we are happy to be a part of this
Austin: Thanks for doing this!
Thanks again for being patient as I fought through data and computer recovery to get the Local Lowdown back on track, and special thanks to Phantom Party for sitting down to answer questions! I know I learned a bunch about the guys, and I learned to NEVER tell Austin I am thirsty. Please scroll down for links to where you can find Phantom Party, plus some music and video treats for your ears.