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The Phantom Band

The Phantom Band

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After they blasted away many a hangover with their decibel-heavy curtain-raiser on the Radio One / NME Stage at T in the Park on Sunday, we sneaked a backstage word with The Phantom Band guitarists Duncan Marquiss [DM] and Greg Sinclair [GS]...

Enjoy your set guys?

DM:
Aye it was fun.

You were on five minutes earlier than planned?

DM:
I think we started a fraction earlier just so we could fit in another song. Just for ourselves more than anyone else.

A Glamour by ThePhantomBand

Was it a challenge to be on so early in the day?

DM:
I guess it is but at the same time maybe that makes it a bit easy as well because people are also coming in at that time.

Was that the biggest stage you've played on?

GS:
We've played probably similar sized stages at other festivals, like Green Man a couple of years ago and Trans Musical.

DM: Aye but we're not used to that!

The Phantom BandIt was a decent crowd who turned up...

GS:
It was more than I was expecting.

Is this your first time at T?

DM:
Second.

What stage were you on last time?

DM:
T Break, the same year that Checkmate Savage came out I think.

Did that help your progress as a band?

DM:
I've no idea. People say to you 'oh this is an important show', but it's not something that you're particularly aware of yourself, until you get back and Stewart [Henderson] from the label [Chemikal Underground] says we've sold more records, and X, Y and Z has happened.

GS: And there were a lot of people there who wouldn't have seen us before.

You had three guitarists on stage and it's quite a meaty sound. Is that what you're aiming for in the live show?

GS:
I think that live there's an element that doesn't come across on record. It's maybe volume, but I guess we like playing it that way live, and putting some gumption into it.

What are your plans for rest of day?

DM:
Bronto Skylift, and FOUND as well.

GS: I really want to see Beady Eye. I think I'll manage about ten minutes. I don't think the music is quite as good as Liam thinks it is.

And what are your plans for the summer?

DM:
Yeah, other festivals like Latitude, Belladrum, Summer Sundae, Brecon Beacons.

Everybody Knows It's True by ThePhantomBand

What's your favourite festival so far?

DM:
I did enjoy Green Man.

GS: I drank a bit too much and got lost for about three hours there. I left the festival site and I was walking around and around and around and I had to ask the security guards to walk me back, which took about another half hour. But it is a nice atmosphere.

Will you be getting lost here?

GS:
I couldn't possibly get lost here.

DM: But you forget how vast it is. I'm lost already. They've changed it all around, just to keep us on our toes.

Is it too early to reveal any plans for your next release?

GS:
We're starting to write again now so hopefully we'll put out something next year I guess.

DM: We have a new studio which we're trying to get set up. It's gonna take a bit of time to think about what we're doing, muck about a bit. When you're touring you don't get to play much, and I think we still really enjoy the mucking about, it's one of the best parts of being in the band.

How do you find the support from Chemikal?

DM:
You couldn't ask for more. They're the Florence Nightingale of independent music.

GS: On one hand it's quite a small operation, but then for us I think that's ideal because we're able to phone them if we need to speak to someone, and I'm sure for FOUND it's the same. You actually have a relationship with them and they're pretty helpful. That trust is important, it shows we're not pissing in the wind, and they value what we're doing.

DM: I think because Stewart was in The Delgados as well, I think he appreciates the pressures and the difficulties that are involved, and he has that enthusiasm that keeps you motivated.

Do you feel part of a new wave of Scottish bands then?

DM:
Chemikal have got a real reputation for that period with Arab Strap, Mogwai and The Delgados. That established them but it's good that they didn't rest on their laurels.

• The Phantom Band play Belladrum festival on August 5. Their second album, The Wants, is out now on Chemikal Underground. More info: www.phantomband.co.uk

Posted by Nick Mitchell