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PHANTOM RUNNERS: IF WE ARE TRUE TO OURSELVES IT WILL HOPEFULLY RESONATE WITH OTHER PEOPLE - INTERVIEW BY JAKE AL-HILALI

The Brighton based foursome, Phantom Runners have recently been stirring up a fair bit of attention in what is a fairly saturated market, which by any means is a fair feat. Their dreamy slightly 90’s pop sound has a sort of care free, almost lazy-ness to it, but still manages to sound tight. Their latest release It Takes Me Away soundboards much of what I hope is to come from the band, and so I decided to take the opportunity to pick their brains in order to see exactly what they were all about.

JAKE: So guys, were did it all start?

PHANTOM RUNNERS: The band living together in bedsit, and began song writing tunes, all dunking and diving, living hand to mouth, we had a shared vision. We were all full time musicians and did not just dip in and out, managed to eventually scrabble together our resources and within a month we had our first gig booked in the Great Escape.

JAKE: What was your first breakthrough gig like?

PHANTOM RUNNERS: Well it was over before we knew it, the venue was packed, and we were left on a high from popping our gig cherry. Like your first time with most things, it’s over far too quickly.

JAKE: Where did you all come from?

PHANTOM RUNNERS: From all over really, but all sort of descended on Brighton and met by accident, and decided to make it our hometown. It’s like a festival town. Where you kind of just wash up and end up bumping into like minded people.

JAKE: You can hear quite a few different generations portrayed in your music, Who have been your influences?

PHANTOM RUNNERS: The usuals really, The Cure, Stone Roses, the kind of classic early 90’s British sound, mainly British bands. Although not exclusively British though. All sorts really from motown to the Beatles. Also certain poets have lent themselves to our style, such as Arthur Rimbaud and Dickens. We quite like to include sort of quite abstract lyrics and storytelling within our songs.

JAKE: Also, big news, you are releasing your debut single, what has taken to get there? And how would you describe the sound?

PHANTOM RUNNERS: It tuck three attempts and a lot of nit picking and tinkering. We were lucky enough to be heard on Jen Long’s Radio One session, who proved to be quite fan and we have also had some play time on radio Shropshire.  With that coverage next thing we managed to be signed to Stray Cat records, do a couple of promo gigs and got a release date, which was quite surreal, things happened a lot quicker than we expected. To be honest we feel like we have hit the ground running and don’t plan on slowing down. As for our sound, well there are Chiming guitars over languorous vocals, we have tried to create a kind of notion of dreamy escapism. We try to mimic sort of care free feeling you have as a teenager messing about your mates and stuff. The kind of naïve arrogance of youth that goes with it, something many try and cling to, which is why I hope many people our age can relate to our music.

JAKE: Any clichés you have tried to steer away from?

PHANTOM RUNNERS: Kind of like typical indie rock sound we try and avoid. But we don’t actively try and avoid certain sounds as much, more just stay true to the intent of the band, and instead of harping on, we are just trying to capture the feeling of the song. Whether it’s lust or a need for escapism, whatever we are feeling at the time. If we are true to ourselves it will hopefully resonate with other people.

JAKE: So the Future, what’s in store?

PHANTOM RUNNERS: Well the single’s out the 23rd of September, and getting into the studio with Huey Morgan of Fun Loving Criminals in October to record our EP.  Also we are preparing a UK tour next year, so hopefully 2014 will be a big year, so keep your ears pealed!

Interview by Jake Al-hilali
Photo by Jean-Luc Broucard