Friday, January 26, 2018

Phantoms vs Fire [Interview # 201]

1) You have a sound which is mostly electronic but has these Oriental tones in it and at times I would also call it vaporwave and 8bit.    How do you generally describe your music to people?

It's funny that you mention that because I've always had a hard time categorizing music, including my own. So I usually describe my stuff as a mix of electronica and orchestral with some vaporwave and ambient. I love the mixture of acoustic/organic and electronic/synthetic instruments.

2) - Your music has a sound which is relaxing, yet also rather intense.   How did that come about, seeing as those are different spectrums?

I believe two things explain these variations in my songs. I've always had this weird habit of writing story outlines. They are not full books or poems, just story outlines. And I also dream of composing soundtracks for movies, TV, video games, etc. It's something that I'd love to do. So, most of the time I compose thinking of transitions of imaginary scenes from some of my story outlines. I visualize a movement from quiet scenes to tense, sad, epic scenes etc. Something like that.

3) Who are some of your biggest musical influences?

Max Richter, Radiohead, Gustavo Santaolalla, Trent Reznor, Daft Punk's Tron Legacy Soundtrack (yeah, I love that). Ennio Morricone also comes to mind. 

4) I like to think music tells me a story as I listen to the various sounds and as I read after listening to "Swim", you had a rather specific idea in mind for the story which the songs would tell.   Do you feel that often times an instrumental piece of music can form a better narrative than one with lyrics?

I think instrumental music gives you more freedom to imagine a story yourself (or not worry about any story, if that's the case). Sometimes lyrics tell you a detailed story, other times they give you a vague idea so you can complete the story in your head or you can associate it with something that happened in your life. I think non-instrumental music is good for both describing stories and conveying emotions, whilst instrumental music is great for conveying emotions. In my case, the story came first and helped me to write the music. However, I prefer to convey emotions (and hopefully I'm doing that right) and let the listener imagine whatever they want.

5) There is a version of "Swim" called "Swim (Deeper)" which contains two added songs- "Breathing" and "Underwater".   What was the decision like to leave those songs off of the album originally and then go back and put them on ultimately?

I thought that "Breathing" and "Underwater" fit the theme and style of the album, but I had already released "Swim" when I wrote these two songs, and some people had already bought the full album. So I thought it would be unfair to them if I simply took down the first version and then uploaded the new one. It'd be like saying "hey, thanks for buying the album. You won't have these two songs though. Maybe buy again?". Luckily, the only people who had bought the complete album did it through Bandcamp, so I sent them the two new songs.

6) Would you ever consider releasing your music on cassette?

Definitely! In fact, Burning Witches Records ( is going to release 'Swim' on cassette later this year.

7) You have a song called "VHS Hypnosis" and since artists have created works with VHS tapes in the last few years, would you ever consider an album of sorts that would be on VHS and have accompanying visuals? 

Man, that would be awesome! I think music lovers listen to music in any format available and enjoy the sound textures that each format offers. So yeah, I'd love to have the opportunity to do that.

8) What is it like being from Italy?  What is the music scene like there?

Well, I'm from Brazil actually, but have been living in Italy since last year. In Italy, life seems to move more slowly and I like that. I'm not sure I'd be able to faithfully describe the Italian music scene, but there's A LOT of hip-hop and rap on the radio right now. And there's this guy called Francesco Motta whose album "La Fine dei Vent’Anni" I like a lot. 

9) Phantoms are like ghosts, so fire couldn't burn them.   But a phantom couldn't really haunt a fire, so in the idea of Phantoms vs. Fire, who wins?

Good question. Ghosts win because if you throw yourself into the fire you'll eventually become a ghost. Then, at some point, the fire will go out and ghosts can't light a fire. In the end, there would be no more fire. Obviously, you could say "but I don't intend to throw myself into the fire". Sure, but you'll die someday. So, more ghosts and less fire. Fire will never win.
Anyway, when I thought of the name I thought of phantoms being like thoughts and memories whilst fire represents actions. A constant struggle between your thoughts and your actions. Something like that.

10) Final thoughts, shout outs, etc... ??

First of all, thank you very much for the opportunity!
I'd also like to thank Ilya from He's awesome. And Shauna McLarnon for being great at what she does.

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