Steel Phantoms; (from left to right) Adam Fisher, Yos Munro, Aaron Harris
There’s a new band in Brooklyn, which comes to no surprise to any of us… At this point music and Brooklyn are pretty much synonymous, not mention, dare I say, redundant. With an overabundance of talent on the scene, one (read: me) could make oneself dizzy– so what ingredients scream “we’re awesome, pay attention to us”?
Ladies & gents, I bring you Steel Phantoms (known for about 5 minutes as the Brass Cups)– two parts Islands, namely drummer Aaron Harris and the sound engineer from their last tour Adam Fisher (this time on bass), and vocalist Yos Munro channeling a young Jonathan Richman. If you made your way out to Art & Rock 2, you were probably one of the many super impressed peeps in the crowd, not only for the energy these guys evoke, but for a musical trick I’ve never seen (pulled off well at least, if at all)– Aaron, on drums, and on lead vocals for about half of the performance… while drumming!
Steel Phantoms is a band to keep an eye on. Since they’ve only played a handful of what we hope will be tons of shows, we were sure to catch up with the guys earlier this week to see what they’re all about. So, befriend the boys on their brand new Myspace page (just about the only thing the almost dead social networking website is good for nowadays)! They’ll be playing at Ace of Clubs on October 21st as part of CMJ– our list of must see shows will be out later this week 😉
Now, click on through after the jump to get to know you’re new favorite band in their first FREEwilly exclusive interview…
How did you boys meet? When did you first know there was music to be made?
Yos Munro: Aaron and I went to high school together in Pittsburgh and have been playing in bands together since then. We both went to college together in Montreal until he dropped out and started playing with Islands. I graduated last year and we both moved here and started this band.
Two of you guys are connected to one of our favorite Canadian musical ensembles, Islands. How are Steel Phantoms a departure from that sound and is there any cross over influence going on?
Aaron Harris: In Islands, I was the drummer, and while it was a great experience, I didn’t have much creative input because the songs were brought to me fully realized, and I would add a drum part. With Steel Phantoms, Yos and I both write songs and a lot of the arranging takes place in rehearsal. The songs are pretty meticulously arranged but it is still definitely pop music.
From Brass Cups to Steel Phantoms… Why? How are the names significant?
YM: Brass Cups was okay but it had no connection to our sound or history; The name Steel Phantoms heralds from mine and Aaron’s past–it being derived from the name of a famous roller coaster that used to be in Pittsburgh.
Which musician &/or band are you guys channeling when on stage?
AH: We’ve only played a handful of shows, but I think our setup is pretty unique; two lead singers with very different vocal qualities, one of whom is the drummer. Our sound has changed so much in a just a few months that it’s hard to name specific influences. They are different every day.
Other than the inescapable topic of romance in music, what else are the songs about? Do you all write lyrics, or do you guys have a Steel Phantoms specific routine?
YM: We tend to write about what we know, which is living in New York and trying to build a life and the steps and missteps we encounter along the way. I know that sounds like the end of a Sex and the City episode but people can relate to it? We also write about things like science and telescopes and drugs and Jewish guilt.
As a new band, who are some others you’d be super psyched to play with?
AH: We hope to do more with The Nasties, and we like Your Nature and The Wild Yaks a lot.
Plans for an EP?
YM: We have a four-song EP that is in the process of being mastered. For now we’re focused on writing and performing.