Newcastle indie/punk band, The Phosphenes, head to Newcastle’s 02 Academy 2 on Thursday 21st September. Chloe Waterhouse caught up with the band to find out how they’re preparing for their biggest gig to-date.
Being a fresh face on the local scene, how did you come to form as a band?
We originally started when our singer/rhythm guitarist, Matty Oliver, met our lead guitarist, George Cocks, last year both with intentions of starting a band. Matty put an ad up about looking to form a band and our bassist, Bradley John Barnes got in touch with Matty about potentially joining. Bradley had been in contact with our drummer, Cameron Snow already and suggested Cameron as a potential drummer for the band. We originally had other musicians in with us, but it was narrowed down to the 4 of us and here we are now.
Having listened to your original track, ‘How It Goes’, I felt an aura of laid-back 90s Brit-pop. Who do you cite as your predominant influences?
I’d say we’re a bit like if Bob Dylan met The Libertines, and we’re also influenced by Joy Division and The Stone Roses, but we all enjoy different bands such as The Who, Oasis, The Cure, The Jam etc.
I eagerly await your O2 Academy gig this month. As your most expansive gig to-date, what can we expect from your live set?
Our live set will show all of our diverse influences merging together to perform a mixed show of nostalgia and the present, whilst not being too serious. It will be fun and active as well – we like to keep things moving.
You’re headlining this gig, with support from Shawshank, Mac the Gunner and Mayfare. What’s your relationship with the other bands?
Basically, we headlined Think Tank? in Newcastle in July and Shawshank were one of the bands on before us. We all thoroughly enjoyed their set as they played similar genres to us so, when it came to choosing supports; we knew they would be ideal for this gig. They recommended Mac the Gunner and Mayfare to us and we really enjoyed their sound, so that resulted in us asking them to play the gig too. All three are fantastic bands, and will all play a top-class set, so be sure to get down and check them out as well.
Are you in the process of writing new material? If so, could you describe to our readers the lyrical content and sound you’ve gone for?
We’re always coming up with new ideas and we have a few more upcoming songs, but we’re always looking for an energising sound that will get people moving. The lyrics always possess a meaning or story behind them so that the lyrics are as fun to listen to as the melody.
What are your future aspirations as a band, having been extremely active around the North East circuit in recent months?
Our future aspirations as a band are to extend our fan-base a lot more and put out some more tunes that people will hopefully enjoy. We want to spread our name around more and hope to also get some more gigs booked that are as big as the upcoming O2 Academy gig. Thanks to all the support, we’ve been able to get higher on the platform and play such a gig so please come down and check us out.
The Phosphenes will be performing at the 02 Academy 2, Newcastle on Thursday 21st September. Tickets, priced at £5.00, are available from ticketmaster.co.uk.