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Studiophile: January 2014

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Phosphene records LP at Eclipse Studios

Chicago-based heavy alt-rockers Phosphene took a step-by-step approach to recording their new album Any Last Words at ECLIPSE STUDIOS in Normal, IL, deciding that being an online singles band wasn’t enough, taking the plunge to make a long-player after recording their first look tracks. IE caught up with lead vocalist Jeni Imparato to give us the backstory: “Recording started for the album in mid-2013 as the band played with the idea of consistently releasing singles instead of a full length album. As time went on, we continued to write music and in November, we reconsidered (the singles approach) and decided to release a full length album. After three separate sessions in the studio (3 months apart), our last, week long trek in the studio was in early December when we recorded our final addition of songs to the album.

Imparato and Phosphene (Andrew, Drums; Joey, Guitar; Michael, Bass), assembled as refugees from their former projects, which gave them a little more life experience and wisdom putting together the record. “Coming from other bands, we had an idea of what things failed in the past and what ideas might have a chance at surviving. Just like everything else in life, we learn from our mistakes as well as the mistakes of others. Same goes for the life of a band. The downside to music is what may have done well in the past, may not do well in the present.

So like we said, we ‘think’ we know what sort of routes to take this time. Luckily, we all knew each other while we were in different bands so we went into this project (Phosphene) with set expectations of what direction this band planned to take, the commitment level needed, the financial backing that would be put into it and of course the cohesiveness of everyone’s role in bettering the band. Truly, our past bands are the reason we are so focused and driven as a unit. Gauging from the amount of things we have accomplished in just 7 months and the growth of our awesome supporters, we feel that we have set the bar to a high enough standard that pushes us to excel past limitations that stand in the way of our goals. We have all played the ‘game’ so to speak in our last projects, so now that we all learned the rules and hardships in our past bands, we focused Phosphene on our ‘players’. The biggest lesson you learn from being in a bands is if everyone in your band doesn’t have a common respect for each other, mutual goals/interests, and good communication/mediating skills then it will very rarely blossom. All of us in Phosphene are very much a family and that, I believe, is what sets this band apart from all of our former projects.”

Working with a defined studio budget, Imparato and the band had the majority of their material ready before they let the “tape” roll. “For the most part, all of the songs were written prior to visiting the studio. Maybe an ending to a song or a certain piece of the song was rearranged or altered while in studio due to the creativeness and knowledge from our producer/engineer Erik Nelson. We have always tried to make going to the studio fun (and not feared), especially knowing that we will be engaged in numerous 10 to 14 hour days. We try to go into the studio as well prepared as we can, so we still have time to enjoy the finer things of trekking to a studio for a week – like band bonding time, laughs, eating nothing but fast-food, and enjoying the accommodations of the hotel. We do however, have our hidden gem of a hotel with an indoor pool. We are all from Chicago so going to Bloomington/Normal Illinois is a pretty long drive and we like to think of it as a work vacation not just work.”

And how did producer/engineer Nelson help them make the record they wanted? “We’re very proud of the work Erik has put into our music. He is very well rounded in his knowledge of all instruments and he is also very accredited in the music industry. He helped all of us push out of our ‘comfortable ways’ of writing and taught us to explore new styles. We branched out a lot in all of our songs to really give a good variety of ourselves to our fans. Each song on our album has a little added ingredient to give it something the song before/after it didn’t have.”
Phosphene is celebrating the release of Any Last Words at House Of Blues on January 5th. “Many of the songs from the album will be played in our set, one will even have a surprising twist to it. The band has spent most of 2013 working very hard to get everything prepared and ready to come out with a bang in the new year. We are very anxious to finally debut everything we have worked so hard for, everything we represent, and everything we aspire to be in 2014 starting with our show January 5th. We really hope to see everyone there to support us as we make next year ‘our time to shine’!

Phosphene appears January 5th at House Of Blues, Chicago

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