Interview: Phoria

Wer sich öfter auf Hype Machine und einschlägigen Indie-Blogs herumtreibt, dürfte vor einiger Zeit auf die Band Phoria aus Brighton gestoßen sein.
Diesen Freitag bringt die Band beim kleinen Indie-Label „Humming Records“ ihre neue EP mit dem Titel „Display“ raus, dazu haben wir alle wichtigen Infos für euch. Wem die fünfköpfige Gruppe trotz ihres kleinen Hypes noch gänzlich unbekannt ist, darf sich dazu in den nächsten Zeilen auf einiges gefasst machen: Wir haben Phoria interviewt und versprechen nicht zu viel, wenn wir sagen: Herausgekommen ist vielleicht eines der witzigsten lesbaren Interviews.

Passend zum Release ihrer EP haben Phoria ein Video zum Song „Atomic“ veröffentlicht, bei dem Jim Howells Regie führte und die Animationen erstellt hat. Fast hypnotisierend legen sich hier die Bilder unter den Sound von Phoria, der teilweise an James Blake erinnert, sich dann aber schnell in eine ganz eigene Richtung bewegt. Diese eigene Richtung beweisen Seryn Burden, Tim Douglas, Jeb Hardwick, Trewin Howard und Ed Sanderson auf ihrer EP: Mit oft ruhigen Beats und einer reduzierten Grundstimmung erzielen sie große Effekte. Dem bedient sich zum Beispiel auch der Song „Emanate“, der zunächst vor sich hinzuplätschern scheint, dann aber ein emotionales Ende findet, das seines Gleichen sucht. Auch „Undone“ oder „Efforttobreathe“ wissen mit einem ausgewogenen Verhältnis von Spannung und Reduzierung zu überzeugen. Besonders die gekonnt eingesetzten Synthesizer und die Stimme von Trewin Howard runden eine großartige EP ab und lassen dazu aber immer wieder Raum für neue Entdeckungen.
Die „Display“ EP gibt es ab sofort auch im Stream bei Soundcloud, den wir unten für euch haben.

Phoria waren gerade wieder im Studio, als wir ihnen einige Fragen gestellt haben. Tim Douglas (Bass, Synths) hat das Ganze dann widererwartend in eine etwas andere Richtung gebracht, aber lest selbst:

Hi guys, thanks so much for answering our questions! First off, how long have you been playing together as a band? How has it started?

Hi! Thanks for giving us questions to answer! It helps, you know? It’s like therapy.

Phoria have been going for about four years, but that’s only half the story.

Trewin, Ed and Jeb met at primary school, where they played in orchestras and learnt classical technique/performance. Damn lucky people. All cellos and violins and classical guitar played in Salisbury Cathedral.

I met them at Southampton University, where the sky is grey and baseball caps hover around eternally. Jeb, Ed and I used to jam into the early hours, indoors, where it was safe. Everyone should feel lucky that they weren’t there, as we mainly bonded over 80s rock and bad progressive music.

We went our separate ways after University but…what can I say? We were brought back together by the mysteries of the Universe. i.e. I drove to Brighton and joined the band they’d started. At 10am they suggested I come visit them. I went to work with a packed bag and did the four hour drive from Torquay by 9pm. That was the first time I met Trewin. We drank beer and went to the beach and went back and listened to the prospective Phoria tunes. Everyone knew that Trewin had something special. The music was good, too.

Seryn just turned up one day. It’s amazing what can happen when you put ‚Drummer wanted‘ in an internet ad. All these drummers turn up. He was young, malleable, and had the right attitude. When I drove him home from his first audition I got hold of the guys and told them that Seryn had started talking to me about Scientology while he was in the car (he hadn’t). We could all sense that Seryn was the right guy for the job, so I knew that playing a joke like that would cause the maximum amount of pain. I like doing things like that.

Good lord I’m tired. We’ve just spent a few days in the studio and it’s all I can think about. Never mind how it started – where we’re going is much more exciting, right now. Let me make a coffee and I’ll get back to with some more exciting answers.

This Friday (July 4th) you’ll release your „Display EP“ in Germany, what can we expect from it?
Ahhh, that’s better. Right, Display? It’s gonna be good. You can expect it to affect your breathing. I’ll be honest, I lied about having received the coffee already. I just made it look that way to have fun with the interview. I actually asked my girlfriend to do it and she’s making it for me now. Let’s just say that if Display wasn’t so exciting then the people I love wouldn’t do all the things that they do for me. That’s about as honest a personal recommendation as you can give, isn’t it?

Recently your Track „Emanate“ climbed up Hypem Charts and gained more than 200.000 clicks on Youtube. How do you feel about this?
It’s amazing! (I’ve just had a cafetière and a Dark Side of the Moon mug gently placed on the desk next to where I’m writing this. The room smells sweet.) It really is amazing.

Numbers are difficult, because behind each number is a person, and there’s a disconnect between the happiness you feel towards each individual who listens and the way that you can only classify them as ’no. 3,742 of 201,345′. It does, from a career point of view, though, instill a little confidence that you might be doing the right things to impress the people who can unlock the right doors for you. Our publicity to date has been relatively modest, too – so it makes you think that maybe the songs are good enough to continue standing above any PR hype that would drive these numbers otherwise.

That’s just the necessities of Capitalist production talking, though. The numbers bring a wry smile to our faces, but we try not to let them sit on top of us. There are more important things than numbers. Unless you adhere to branch of Physics dependent upon Platonic essentialism.

Your Song „Emanate“ is ending very emotional. What’s the most important step when you write songs?
(I’m pouring the coffee now.) That’s what Trewin and Ed do so well. When I try and write on my own (when most people try and write on their own, in fact) it’s too easy to miss the emotional signposts and end up writing a legitimately expressive but emotionally bereft five minutes of noise that’s good for nothing but as a substitute forthe sound of cars driving by.

Those guys are so good at finding the chord or the melody that turns your ear upside down and tugs arrestibly on your left ventricle. The most important step for me in that respect is those boys‘ attention to detail. They don’t rush.

Damn those talented little people. It ain’t magic – it’s patience and confidence and vision. And magic.

The „Display EP“ is your second EP, are you planning to record an album? What can we expect?
We are looking at what we’re doing next, yes. There’s room for so much innovation that we’re just going to sit backfirst and see what collection of songs we can put out that will make sense to everyone. The ‚Album‘ ain’t dead, but it would be nice to do something weird and wonderful, too. Craft our own hallucinogenic drug that makes you perceive the entire album as we see fit, or something.

Both musically and lyrically, what would you say has had the biggest influence on your music?
Well, especially with lyrics, that’s Trewin’s area and something very personal. It’s not for us to say what’sinfluenced us, necessarily – what’s more important is that someone takes something from the music. This is something that I still struggle with; whether the effect of music is more important than the feelings and influence of the individual who makes it. You and I could argue about whether a melody I have written conjours up feelings ofeither love or fear (or, as would be appropriate in my life, both at the same time) and it doesn’t mean that I’m correct just because I know the inspiration behind it. If I paint it green and call it red, it doesn’t mean that your calling it green should be changed by what I say about the colours I used. The question I struggle with is whether in that situation my opinion has any value at all.

The caffeine’s kicking in.

What are you listening to at the moment?
Right now I’m listening to Dinah Washington, sitting on a wooden chair with my feet propped on the arm of the sofa in my tiny flat. A gasp goes around the Phoria practice room every time the name Jon Hopkins is mentioned. Seryn’s really up to date on new music – he and Jeb have eternal conversations about what’s new and what’s ‚hot‘. I was at a party the other day and someone asked me if I’ve ‚found any new music, lately?‘ My answer was ‚Well, I’ve just got into Fats Waller.

And lastly, do you plan to come on tour to Germany?
We’ll be there. We should be doing a few European dates. I’m sure I’ll be fine when we get there, but make sure there’s a coffee waiting for me, yeah? It doesn’t half speed things up.

Die „Display“ EP gibt im Stream:

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