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Phosphene Interview
Written by Robin Stryker   
Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Phosphene Interview
January 11, 2014 (via Skype)

 

The hard rock band, Phosphene, came together less than a year ago, but all of its members were deeply rooted in the Chicago music scene long before the band’s formation. And man, they are not wasting any time in making their mark! Straight out of the gate, Phosphene has a handful of singles, the full-length album Any Last Words (released on January 5, 2014), an official music video, several radio appearances, festival dates, a televised acoustic performance, and an upcoming U.S. tour.


Phosphene


Sonic Cathedral’s Robin Stryker sat down with vocalist Jeni Leigh and drummer Andrew Cantore for a long Skype about all things Phosphene. Dive in for a closer look at Any Last Words, seeing stars, the fine line between glamor and going too far, and much more!

Sonic Cathedral:  Sonic Cathedral is very happy to talk with Jeni and Andrew tonight. Welcome, guys!

Jeni and Andrew:  <in unison> Hi!

Sonic Cathedral:  Phosphene is a young band, but all of its members were in other bands. You have described Phosphene as a refuge from some of your previous experiences. For each of you, what lesson or lessons from your previous bands have you brought to Phosphene?

Jeni:  I love that you used the word “refuge”. That would be the best word to describe how we feel about the new band, Phosphene. There are a lot of lessons I have learned from my previous bands. I think that in any project you put your heart into there is a give and take, and even when it ends, there are many things that stay with you. I would have to say that the most important thing I’ve learned from my experience in different bands is that you really have to know your band mates VERY WELL, and you HAVE to be on the same page for most things especially music and business related things. That is definitely more important than just focusing on musicianship.

I mean, the music is obviously always important. You can teach other musicians your style and work on that, but personalities aren’t always able to be worked on between two people. Then you add a third and then a fourth and maybe even a fifth, and by that point, if the personalities clash, your band is not likely to be heading in a good direction because you cannot change people. I think that’s one of the biggest mistakes bands make in general, which led to most of their downfalls. They get so excited when they find a good player at an audition, but players can be switched and traded. That is why it’s important to get on a personal level, build a bond, have unquestionable trust, and form a family instead of just a band. THAT is what makes everyone irreplaceable and therefore valuable. It is really difficult to deal with criticism from the outside world when you’re putting yourself out there and exposing your art and your vulnerabilities, but when your own band is criticizing each other, it makes matters that much worse.

Sonic Cathedral:  Eeeeeee!

Jeni:  Yeah. So it’s definitely something to take note of, especially for anybody starting a band, make sure you do it with people you KNOW, preferably friends. That is something that is great about Phosphene. We were friends first; we were friends in the music scene together before we became a band. We all played … well, Joey and Andrew played together in a band, while I was in my band, and we did a couple of shows together. We all actually got to really know each other through being in the Chicago music scene together and playing out at the same time. Then, we decided to leave our bands, and said: “We’re all serious musicians; we all care so much about our craft. We are all unhappy with the work ethic of our current bands. Why don’t we do a project together?” And we did; we got together and created Phosphene.

As you said, it is and has always been our refuge. The worst feeling, as a musician, is putting your emotion, your passion, your money, your time and your effort into a project, then watch it fall apart right before your eyes, and there is nothing you can do to save it. No one wants to start from square one. It is sooooo much work to start all over again. Between building a name for yourself, creating a fan base and everything that goes into making a band, it’s quite a loooooong process. I mean, it took Phosphene all of 2013 to really establish ourselves first, before we went out and decided to tell everybody who we are.

Andrew:  Jeni pretty much said it. We just had another interview, where they kind of asked the same thing. I don’t want to say that we are brand new, but we are really babies in the industry as the band Phosphene. That is one thing that a lot of bands that go places or that I have watched in various interviews have said, is that they have been a band since high school, or they have been friends since high school. They have known each other; they know how to push each other; or they just work well together. That is really what it is about. You don’t necessarily need an All-Star Team. Instead, you need a friendship because it’s got to be built on something. I guarantee that, if you took the best drummer, the best singer, the best guitarist and the best bassist, you’re not going to have the best BAND. You are just going to have a band with a bunch of really good musicians who want to do their own thing. So it’s just a matter of everybody coming together and having something else other than just “the band”. You don’t want to just have the band. You want to have the love for the music and the love for each other.

Jeni:  I agree! I will never forget this one time when we were just starting Phosphene, like just starting to write our first couple songs and we started talking about “what makes a band more than ‘just another band’; what is the difference between bands who make it and bands who quit?” and Joey said to me: “Why are you so sure about us, what makes us different than anybody else, than ALL of the other bands out there trying to do the same thing that we are trying to do?” And I remember thinking “well, that is a great point, what IS the difference?” And I felt then, as I do now, that it boils down to the partnership WITHIN the band, more than the caliber of musicians they are.

It’s the resilience and the hard work that make a band succeed. What breaks bands apart is, when the chips are down and all you have to rely on is trust and blind faith, and your own band members turn their backs on you by giving in to the negativity. So yeah, your band might have amazing musicians and I think everyone in our band is a great musician too … but there are sooooo many great musicians all over the world, so why aren’t they famous? To me, the answer to that is having a FELLOWSHIP and having PASSION.

Phosphene

 

Sonic Cathedral:  You guys are going to be asked this question in the next 50 interviews. But for those who are not familiar with the word “Phosphene”, what does it mean?

Jeni:  Phosphene is when you rub your eyes, and see stars -- that phenomenon of colors and stars that you see when you’re rubbing your eyes… that’s Phosphene. <laughs>

Sonic Cathedral:  I had to ask because I figured people might be scratching their heads over your name.

Jeni:  Yeah, we get that a lot. <to Andrew> What do we get? I think it’s also a poison or gas or something.

Sonic Cathedral:  Ah, phosphorus?

Jeni:  <laughs> Oh that too! People think our name means the same thing as phosphate as well and think we are just saying the word wrong. I like when people ask that actually because it’s also a hard name kind of to pronounce. (We hear it pronounced like “foss-fane” or “foss-fine” sometimes.) That’s why, a lot of times you’ll see on our Facebook or on anything that we sign off on say “don’t forget to rub your eyes.” It is to bring in the message of what our name means. Even our band website is www.rubyoureyes.com.

Sonic Cathedral:  The original idea for Phosphene was to only release singles; however, back in November 2013, you decided to release a full-length album. What was the thinking behind that?

Andrew:  It came down to, I think, we just kind of got together, and were like: “We have a decent amount of fans, especially for a band just starting out and our singles are doing pretty well. So, if the singles are doing this good, why not give them (the fans) a whole package, and see how it goes?” Once the idea started rolling, the themes for the album came up, and the title for the album came up. And then it seemed like the right way to go. Especially once we had our music video release party, everyone who came to the merch table asked: “Where are your CDs?” Then we were like: “Okay, it’s time for an album.”

Jeni:  Yea, when we decided to start doing the singles thing, it was actually a recommendation. One of the management companies that we were talking to said: “You know, the new thing is not CDs anymore … those are almost at the wayside. With digital distribution being such a big thing and with iTunes, you should just stick with singles.” We all check in on our own favorite bands, now and then to see what they are doing. The best way to learn sometimes is by example and a lot of them were doing the same thing (posting singles), but they were posting singles off of their “upcoming” albums.

Finally, we decided that we that we had enough singles for an album anyway, so why not put them together. The good thing about doing it the way we did, is that it gave each song its own time with our fans -- its own time for people to really absorb it, because not every song on Any Last Words is this in-your-face song. Some of them are a little bit different, and we did that on purpose. I feel like, when you throw an album out all at once, it becomes a little overwhelming for the fans to take in everything. So by doing it this way, we at least let them listen to everything we wrote in small doses, so they could really get a feel, a good grasp on what each individual song had to offer. And then it was like “well now that you’ve heard us, here is our whole CD!” That is kind of what we wanted to go with, and for the most part, I think it worked in our favor.

Sonic Cathedral:  The timing must have been really tight, though. Phosphene finished recording in early December 2013, and scheduled the CD release party for a month later at the House of Blues in Chicago. Did you have any close calls?

Jeni:  ABSOLUTELY. We have been to the studio (Eclipse Studios in Normal, Illinois) now four times … well in 2013, we went four times. Each time, we recorded three to five singles, so it’s been a process. But while we were on our way for the final session in December, we got the call for House of Blues, and timing got tight. When we got to the studio for our last recording session, I was like: “Heyyyy Erik (our sound engineer), so um not only do we have to record these final songs, produce them, and edit them, but we have to have them and the last songs we recorded mixed 100% because we have to have our CD debut show at House of Blues in less than a month. Just so you know!” <laughs>

He was cool about it though. Erik is absolutely amazing and always gets things done (and done right), so I wasn’t so worried about the music being mixed, as I was more worried about having everything else done in time so we would have CDs for our CD release show! <laughs> We had to make sure Erik had the music done, and then had to deal with the graphic designers and make sure that they were on the same page. Then there’s a whole different place that you actually get the distribution from and another place that puts the CDs together. They all had to be on time, almost synchronized. So it was a lot of back and forth.

And actually, we had a minor setback because the CD company didn’t send us all the CDs that they were supposed to send. Somehow, something happened with UPS [the shipping company]. Of course, right? There is ALWAYS something when you’re on a time crunch that slows you down. That is always what happens, especially since it has been snowing over here in Chicago like crazy. We were supposed to get all our CDs, but we ended up getting ONE package of CDs for our show, which was a headache. <rueful laugh> It was quite an experience, I’ll say that.

Andrew:  Yea the majority of the CDs we received after the CD release party. That was fun in itself, trying to explain that one to all of the fans. <laughs>

Sonic Cathedral:  But Phosphene gets another bite at the apple, right? Didn’t you have a blizzard the night of the CD release, and plan on having a second free show for people who couldn’t attend?

Jeni:  Yeah, we felt terrible about it. In our presale tickets alone, we had 400 people. There were still a decent number of our fans at the show, but you could tell that it definitely wasn’t the 400 plus who bought tickets. It was kind of sad because we met up with a lot of the people to personally give the tickets to them, and they were all so excited. Then the storm happened and most were trapped at home. I mean it was a BAD storm. Our luck, right? So we decided that we are definitely going to do another show that might even wind up at being back at House of Blues. But if not, we will for sure do it at another venue. Either way, the show will go on, and those who bought tickets will get to come FREE of any cover fees!

It has just been kind of tight with time for booking that show lately because we are playing with a couple of different national acts in February, then we start our tour at the end of February where we’ll go from Pennsylvania to Tennessee to Texas and some other states in between. We are going to be all over the place in March. Unfortunately, the show won’t be until April or May, but it’s going to be in the works; that’s for sure. We told people to keep their tickets, because like I said it will be free for everybody who has a ticket from our House of Blues show. We will probably end up pitching in for the people who showed up at the show and weathered the storm as well. They should also be rewarded, and not have to pay to get in because it was a pretty bad storm to get through.

Phosphene 

 

Sonic Cathedral:  What was your coolest take-away from the CD release show?

Andrew:  We kind of got the REAL bugs out of the system. Everybody goes into practice like: “We’ve got to work on this; we’ve got to work on that.” At the show, we play with backing tracks, and everything is run off an iPad. It makes the music thicker, and just makes for a better show.

Jeni:  Yea the backing tracks we use live have all of the extra synth and piano and harmonies that are on our tracks in our CD, so we actually can have that same quality sound live on stage. But because it’s all run through an iPad, and as we learned from our release show, there are technical difficulties that can arise…

Andrew:  You know, we were kind of rushed in to start playing on time, and that screwed us up in the beginning a little bit. It is just little things. We have to take our time, and start when everybody is ready.

Jeni:  We are speaking on more of what we learned from the show which is cool, I guess. <laughs> Basically, we found out that we have to just prepare for the worst. As a live performer you really need to think and act on your toes. You can practice as hard and as much as you want, but I agree with Andrew, no matter how much you practice -- and we practice A LOT -- when you go on that stage, it’s a whole new world, a whole new playing field and you can’t control everything. You really just can’t, and you can’t be upset when something is out of your control and not working the way you want it to. You have to adjust immediately. You have to be that chameleon that is like “alright, well that’s a curveball, but I’ve got this”, and just go with it.

That goes all the way back to your first question about what we learned from our previous bands. That kind of goes hand-in-hand with what we learned from the show: you need to be able to trust your bandmates because, when that stuff happens (especially live), you only have each other to rely on. You have no one else to rely on. If you’re in a type of band where it’s every man for himself, that situation live can get real scary really, really fast. I mean, the show wasn’t a total disaster, or anything like that. We have an intro that we walk on to, and it started playing before they even opened the curtain, so everything was kind of stressed.

Besides that, the cool take-away of the show was meeting the other bands. It is cool to make that connection and have that support and camaraderie, so that you can play with each other again or at least have other friends in the business. So that was pretty neat. Besides the bands, it was SO cool to see how many of our loyal fans that showed up in such bad weather. I mean, that was such a cool thing to see that there are people who care enough about our band that they went through a terrible, terrible snowstorm to show up at the House of Blues (which is hard to park at in general) just to support us. That is really inspiring.

Sonic Cathedral:  Getting to Any Last Words, it seems like when you read the song titles, they tell a little story. Was that intentional, or just my fevered imagination?

Jeni:  No, it was very intentional. You are one of the first to say that, so I admire you noticing that. <laughs> It tells a little bit of a story, and it goes with our whole theme of Any Last Words about overcoming the odds after getting stuck in a bad position. Even the art kind of portrays being in a situation where you’re trapped, but being able to turn it around to your benefit. That’s why we kept everything to three words -- like Any Last Words. All the song titles are specifically three words. That was intentional.

Andrew:  I think we made it through our first six or seven songs, and kind of realized: “Hey, we kind of got a little thing going here. They are only three word titles.” That is when it all started developing ideas about an album, and we thought maybe we could play off this three-word thing. That is just how it came together. It took us a few singles to get through first before the album idea came.

Jeni:  I believe this album represents all of us as individuals as well. We all came from odds that weren’t great. When we started Phosphene, we were struggling, trying to figure out what to do because we all just got out of bands that we had put our hearts into. We felt like we were at that point of “do you even start this all over?” It is just so disheartening when bands break apart, and it’s hard to get yourself motivated again and beat the odds. Our album is saying save yourself and “You can do it, if you just believe in it.” <laughs> So yeah, there is a theme.

Sonic Cathedral:  Tell us about the cover art. There is a woman tied to a chair with a bit of blood leaking from the corner of her mouth. There is a shadow-monster behind her, and I can’t figure out whether the monster is the shadow of her attacker or if maybe there is also a monster behind her …

Jeni:  The coolest part of art is hearing other people’s interpretations. So it’s cool to hear how you analyzed it. And in fact your interpretation still fits our meaning! Our original interpretation (or what we sent to the graphic designer) is that the woman in the chair represents us, represents the listener, and represents the person feeling trapped by whatever might be holding them down either emotionally or physically. That is why the “villain” in front of her is shadowed out to indicate that it could be anything … The shadow behind her (in our original interpretation) is actually her alter-ego.

Sonic Cathedral:  Ooooo, Jekyll and Hyde.

Jeni:  Yeah, EXACTLY. Just like the song on the album! It is her alter-ego rising up and fighting for her to survive. That is why she almost has that cynical grin on her face where she is kind of smirking with a “ Yeah I’m beaten up a bit and you might have the upper hand, but this isn’t over” look. There is more to her than just the helpless, beaten up girl sitting in the chair. The shadow behind her showing the villain “you’re not going to defeat me!” That is why the villain kind of has his hands up like “whoa, I didn’t know you had this in you.”

Sonic Cathedral:  What is the writing process like for Phosphene?

Andrew:  We all write together. We have seen different types of bands where maybe it’s just the drummer or the guitarist or just the singer and the guitarist that do most of the writing, especially with technology nowadays where everybody is just emailing their bandmates their ideas. But even from the beginning, we wrote together. We either start with a guitar riff or bass riff or something, and we all start piecing it together at practice. Everyone’s part alters how the song goes. Well, I think “Let You Go” on the CD was the easiest one. It was one of those songs that pretty much wrote itself. I think we changed maybe one piece during the writing process. But other than that, everything came together right away, and we thought the song was good. It really is a living organism that we write together, and see how it comes out.

Jeni:  We definitely work as a committee. We have set practices for writing, unless somebody comes up with something that they want to share right away, and then we dedicate that practice to writing. We literally sit down and hash out our songs. “What do you have? Does everybody like it? What should we add to it?” Whether it is a vocal melody, a drum riff, a guitar riff, or a bass riff, whoever starts to hear something that they like, they add in, and then someone else starts to add in. It eventually creates itself. Once we get a basis of how the song is going, we start to structure it, and then at the end, we finesse it. That is basically how it works.

Phosphene 

 

Sonic Cathedral:  The track “Let You Go” not only seemed to write itself, but is also your first official music video. What made that particular song stand out as the one for which you wanted to create a video?

Jeni:  Personally, I think when we went to that specific recording session at the studio, “Let You Go” wasn’t anyone’s favorite song. I mean, we liked the song, but we all chose other songs as favorites, so “Let You Go” was toward the bottom of the list. And then, as we practiced it and came out of the studio with it fully produced and listened to the CD of all the songs, “Let You Go” started to really attach to us. For me, listening to it fully produced on the CD, especially right at the beginning of that song -- “one foot out the door” -- in the intro, it immediately put an image in my head. I turned to the guys like: “Do you see this? Do you feel this?” Because it already has that visual aspect, we thought: “That must be our video, then. Why don’t we start with that?”

Sonic Cathedral:  Phosphene made the choice to use actors to portray the storyline of the video. What was your thinking behind that?

Andrew:  I think we really wanted to separate the music and the acting, and we took in a group discussion: “What music videos do we like, and why do we like them?” And it’s the list we went off of. Most of them have outside actors doing what the lyrics are saying, and the band doing what the band does (playing the music).

Jeni:  A lot of people can relate more when a band doesn’t over-personalize the song. It is our style, our music, and our lyrics, so it’s already kind of OURS. When you use someone else who has nothing to do with the band, it is up to them to make it their own at that point, and then suddenly the meaning is shared, and it’s not just ours anymore. It is the actors’ and it’s yours as the listener or viewer. It also allows people to get a grasp on who we are, and our personalities get to shine in how we preform together.

It is important to let people see our passion when we’re jamming out to our music; it’s so important for them to see that. To see what the music truly means to us. That is why we have the parts where we are rocking out, because that’s what we do -- we play with our hearts. We wanted to get that image across, as far as the band is concerned, and separate that from our acting skills. At the same time, where we love to play this music and want you guys to see that, we also want you to know that there is meaning behind these songs, and that’s where the actors came in and took over. I mean who better to portray the story than an actual actor? <laughs>

Sonic Cathedral:  I applaud your decision! I mean no disrespect, <cough cough> but not all musicians are fabulous actors.

Jeni:  Exactly!

Sonic Cathedral:  You talk about your music as having themes of loss, heartbreak, betrayal and loneliness, but also having the grace note of hope and healing. For each of you, which track or tracks were the most poignant when you performed them at Phosphene’s release show?

Jeni:  Mine would definitely be “On My Own”. When we play that song live, I just feel emotional. Of course, I am a little bit differently attached to the music because I’m the vocalist, so the lyrics came from a part of me. But that song, specifically the chorus, really just gets my energy flowing. The other song that I would say gets me going live is “Hold Me Down”. When we perform that song, everyone has so much energy that it is hard not just to hear us but to FEEL us when we play it.

Andrew:  Just like how Jeni said that she is more lyrically based, I’m the drummer, so I think it’s just more of what rock-out song I can enjoy and play more solos. I mean, I’ve learned to enjoy each song and make myself create parts that I like and that I can make fun, not just to play, but to make it look like I’m having fun. “Jekyll and Hyde” was one of the first slower songs that I’ve enjoyed playing because of what we did to the song. We tried to make it a Jekyll and Hyde kind of theme even in the music, where it’s just a couple of bars of …

Jeni:  A shady sound…

Andrew:  Yeah, from a nice clean sound to a heavier change-up to just go with a kind of Jekyll and Hyde theme.

Jeni:  <to Andrew> And you have your solos, as well.

Andrew:  Yeah.

Jeni:  We haven’t actually put that song out yet. You probably heard it though, Robin, but at the end of that, there is a really cool drum line that he does there, that is different than any other song.

Andrew:  It is something that our engineer, producer, and I came up with. We were discussing it, and I was like: “Erik, do you hear what I’m hearing? What if we did a whole nice underlying kind of drumline thing?” We kind of worked with it, and placed it at the end. It was a really enjoyable slow song. If you just sit back and relax, it’s one of those songs you have to listen to a few times before it hits you. Even to perform it is actually a lot of fun!

And then, I’m kind of different. We just posted live footage of “It’s My Time”, which is the last song that we just released. It is a really good song to perform. Everything in it … the guitars in it, the lyrics in it … we were just talking about it today, that we had a little technical difficulty with the intro to our first song during our set at House of Blues. “It’s My Time” is our second song in our set, and we watched the video recordings of the House of Blues show. After we watched the intro get screwed and throw off the first song, we were all worried to see the rest of the show, but that is how fast we snapped out of it.

“It’s My Time” was second, and we came back and we beat the technical difficulty in the second song. When we’ve done that in our practices, it just felt like quicksand, especially when things get messed up in the first song. Then the second song usually gets worse, and the next song is even worse than that. But you know, at the CD release show, we snapped back. By the second song, we were right back on track. It is a song we performed real well, and that was a really good feeling! So, between “Jekyll and Hyde” and “It’s My Time”, those are probably my two favorites.

Sonic Cathedral:  Jeni, you are ridiculously attractive, and you have a music video on YouTube, which likely will make you troll fodder at some point. As a woman in metal, how do you strike a balance between the band’s image (which is important, and having an attractive vocalist is obviously a good thing) and the potential downside of being judged on looks, rather than ability?

Jeni:  Well, first of all, thank you! What a compliment. Secondly, it is definitely a struggle to try and separate myself from the women performers who promote being scandalous to the women performers who keep it professional. I don’t consider myself a woman who likes to flaunt her goods and get raunchy; it’s just not my thing. I’m not a prude by any means, but I personally don’t feel the need to conduct myself in that manner to get attention. You know what I’m saying? The thing is, in this day and age, SEX SELLS is majority of what is seen. I mean, with Hannah Montana gone wild and the rocker chicks who perform topless, and even females in the industry whom I really love, have given into sex appeal over their true talent and most of them are really talented women.

Yes, Phosphene is female-fronted; yes, I’m obviously a female singer. I think there definitely is something to say about glamor and beauty in rock-and-roll. I also think that being sexy in a suggestive way beats being sexy because you “show and tell”. So, the struggle comes to the simple question: Do I have to belittle myself to being a sex symbol in order to get our music some attention? Because I know plenty of women who have made a lasting impression in the industry without all the fluff and gimmicks. Beauty is great, but it doesn’t last forever. But music, good music, will play on long after the beauty fades.

We are a “female-fronted” band that is more focused on the MUSIC. I think there is no better compliment to me from a fan, instead of “you’re pretty” is hearing “that song you wrote means so much to me” or “I can totally relate to your lyrics”. Those kinds of compliments are so more powerful to me! At some point, while females have made a push in the music industry especially metal and hard rock, someone built this false expectation of: “Well, you’re a female. You should be more sexual.” Of course, I want to always look pretty and represent the band in a beautiful way, but without it being pushed passed the lines of scandalous.

 

Phosphene 

 

Sonic Cathedral:  As a young band, would you be able to resist if Revolver came to you and said: “Hey Jeni, we’d love to have you in the next edition of the Hottest Chicks in Hard Rock. Put on these leather pants, and let’s pull that zipper down a good bit so we can see your cleavage”? The magazine would be sold all over the place, and it would be great exposure for Phosphene.

Jeni:  <sighs> That is what I mean; that is the struggle. What you described wouldn’t be that bad to me. I don’t mind … what is that called? … You know when you give an illusion of something being sexual … “suggestive”, that’s the word … versus wearing no clothes, no bra, with a strategically placed guitar. Like I said before I’m not a prude and I think that women are beautiful creatures. I guess I prefer something where you’re going to make a sexual intention, without actually being super, super provocative… as you said and I said, “sex sells”, and I get it … to an extent you have to be able to be ready to give into that, but how far do you HAVE to go? It is almost a shame to me. You don’t see the guy bands or every male-fronted band wearing their tighty-whiteys on the cover of Rolling Stone. <all laugh>

Sonic Cathedral:  <still laughing> That would be HORRIBLE.

Jeni:  Right, I know?! But it’s such a double-standard. Because I’m a female, in order to get more attention, I need to be more half-naked. You don’t have to do that as a male rock singer. You just have to rock. So I guess it’s just a struggle you have to be ready for, being a female in hard rock. There is for sure a fine line though, at least for me, and I’m still trying to find that balance. Most of the time I watch these women change their image to a raunchier version and their stardom skyrockets, and I think to myself: “Oh great, do I have to be THAT woman? Can’t I just be a woman who rocks and rolls with you?” So again, it’s a struggle to balance music and image, and not letting one overpower the other -- and more importantly, not letting image overpower the music.

Sonic Cathedral:  Looking six months down the road, what is coming up for Phosphene?

Jeni:  Hmmm, six months … where would that put us at … so by then, we will hopefully be announcing a couple of other tours. We are going to look into Warped Tour this year, and see about even just playing the Chicago venue, if that’s possible. Besides that, there are some other tours that we have been submitted to. So we’re kind of waiting for more information. They don’t usually get back until March or April with that, so by then, we should hopefully be on tour. We are definitely going to have more shows. We will definitely be playing with more national acts, and getting our name out there with other bands that we respect.

We will also have another music video in the works by then. That will probably be right around the time that we’ll start looking into filming and coming up with the idea and pick which song. It will for sure be a song off of Any Last Words, so it’ll be a song that people know. Then, in the meantime, we’ll be writing, so by December, there will be an EP or another smaller album for sure. Besides all of that, we may have some surprises as far as the fellowship of the band. There is stuff happening in media with us, and some exciting news coming up! We have a lot of stuff working its way in the Phosphene cooking pot, waiting to be finished. By then, hopefully, everything will be ready and shared with all of you.

Sonic Cathedral:  We have all too quickly reached the end of our time. Addressing your fans and people who may not yet know Phosphene’s music, what would you like to tell them?

Jeni:  I would like to tell those who haven’t heard us yet: “Give us a chance; give us a shot! Listen to our music, and get to know us as a band.” We are very nice people, I can assure you that. We really do want to get to know you and your interests as well, and that’s why we are so interactive on our Facebook, Twitter, ReverbNation and website (www.rubyoureyes.com). So stop by check us out and please let us know what you think!

We can only hope that you will enjoy our songs as much as we enjoy writing them! You can expect something a little bit different than the norm with us. We all come from very different musical influences … VERY different musical influences, and since we all are inspired by very separate bands, we each bring a unique element into our music. So I hope that we can relate to people who like all different genres. If you listen to rap, you might like the meaning of our lyrics. If you listen to country, some of our songs kind of have a little twang to them that you might like. If you listen to rock then you won’t be disappointed! We definitely want to relate to you guys, and we hope to see you at a show, for sure! <laughs> To our fans, just know that we love each and every one of you deeply! We know that the successes we have made in this short time would have been impossible without all of your support! You guys and gals are and always will be the wind in our sails!

Andrew:  I just want to say thank you to everybody who has supported us from the beginning <laughs> … from the seven month since we started. It has been a real pleasure to see the interactions, especially on Facebook. What I’ve noticed on our Facebook, especially lately: When you go on and see the posts, and everyone is interacting and sharing, it’s just awesome! To all the fans we have, I just want to say THANK YOU for doing what you’re doing and for being a fan.

Sonic Cathedral:  Thank you so much for talking with Sonic Cathedral tonight, Jeni and Andrew!

Jeni:  Thank you so much Robin, and thank you Sonic Cathedral. We really appreciate you having us on tonight.

Phosphene 

Phosphene official
Phosphene on Facebook
Phosphene on ReverbNation

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