Interviews: Phantom Heir

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the Post-Metal artist Phantom Heir from the USA. Check out the interview and follow the artist on his WEBSITE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you plan it or come out just like that?

It took a few incarnations to get to the name Phantom Heir. I knew I wanted something that would honestly reflect the ominous and bleak nature of the music I was writing at the time, but I also wanted it to be memorable and intriguing beyond that period. Conceptual narratives have always underpinned my musical approach, so I wanted there to be a story embedded in the name that prompted questions without giving away too many answers. A lot of the names I originally came up with felt too on the nose, derivative, or even juvenile (Knife Crime was a contender for a while), so I ultimately wound up drawing from past trauma and experiences to give it a bit more emotional weight. The idea of a phantom heir is that humans often operate under the assumption that we deserve many things in this life — a loving family, a happy romance, a steady job, wealth, success, fame, glory, and so on and so forth. But what happens when one is born without those things, or when any or all of those are stripped away? What is it like to inherit nothing? It’s sort of like phantom limb syndrome — the dull ache of feeling a lost limb — but with one’s entire existence instead. It felt like a sort of constant mantra to adhere to — remember this can always fade away. I guess for me it serves as a poignant reminder to always be present and do the best with what you have, because sometimes that may not be much at all.

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

I grew up listening to lots of bands like Isis, Neurosis, Red Sparowes, Sunn O))), Earth, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and so on. For me, these types of artists and their song structures and motifs — such as big chords, doomy riffs, long passages of ambient soundscapes, endless drones, and so forth — created a world that, if only for a moment, existed beyond reality. The more I listened to artists like these and beyond, the more inspired I became to conjure my own worlds using those same conventions or techniques in music.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

Ha, well, I like to think I knew myself before I started this project. But who can say, really?

4. Each band member's favorite band?

It’s just me; I write, record, produce, and arrange everything. I go through different moods with which artist or band I’m obsessed with at any given moment, but I always wind up coming back to Deftones. They don’t have a single bad song!

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

I’m mostly inspired by whatever is going on in my life then, so it depends. I have an insatiable sense of curiosity and hunger for knowledge, so I’m always looking to other artists or mediums for inspiration, even if it isn’t a conscious effort. But usually what ends up informing the narrative or composition of a song is driven by a variety of emotions and experiences. I don’t always know where it’s leading to when I start writing, but it’s always where it needs to be in the end.

6. Where was your last gig?

Never had one! I’m still very much an emerging artist, so this is something I’d like to explore in the very near future.

7. Where would you like to act?

Wherever I’m welcome!

8. Whom would you like to feature with?

There’s an endless list of bands and producers I admire and would love to collaborate with — The Haxan Cloak, Kurt Ballou, Will Putney, Buster Odeholm, The Body, Chelsea Wolfe, Swans, just to name a few — but I’m honestly just happy to work with anyone who shares a truth with me and my approach, or can lend a compelling perspective that takes the work somewhere unknown. I’m also very interested in working with others who aren’t in the same genre or style. I don’t ever want to be fixed to one formula or sound.

9. Whom not?

Hard to say at this juncture. I’ll try most things at least once!

10. Have any of you ever suffered from stage fright? Any tips for beginners on how to beat that?

I guess we’ll find out once I perform a few times!

11. What bands have inspired you the most?

I mentioned a few already, but I would also add Russian Circles, Deafheaven, Converge, Cult of Luna, and Vildhjarta. There are literally too many to list, but these artists are consistently who I come back to and admire for their tenacity, work ethic, and capacity for growth — all without compromising on their integrity or sound.

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for?

Someone once suggested I added “Norse vocals or some shit” to my songs. I suppose I’ll take that under advisement.

13. What do you think of your fans?

I’m still establishing an audience, so it’s difficult to say at this point. So far people have been pretty supportive though, which I’m really grateful for!

14. What do you think of our site?

It’s great! Always glad to see more spaces where emerging artists can have their voices heard. I’ve already discovered a lot of new bands from here!

15. Something to add?

I appreciate all the support I’ve been receiving thus far! Thanks for the interview.

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