Unless you're 'privileged' to be produced by Timbaland, it takes more than just good songs to progress in the music industry. This feature offers a short interview with the winner of 'Cloudcorner' - a feature that shortlists our favourite songs submitted via Soundcloud. ‘Lessons from Cloudcorner’ offers to do just as it says: offering unique advice and insight from an unsigned band. Aside from being the phenomena of a phone ringing in your pocket, Phantom Vibration is a dream pop band from Saint Paul, Minnesota. As if producing such a unique and alluring sound wasn't enough, they also come across as one the nicest bands I've had the pleasure to cyber-meet. Photobucket Tell us a little about yourselves and your influences? First of all, thank you for featuring us. We formed in may of our final year of high school although we really started writing that summer. It was really out of a desire to continue making music together. We had been together in bands before this one. During the former half of the school year, we talked to Gunnar about being our drummer. I hope I’m not presumptuous in saying that our influences arecomfortably eclectic. However, Henry is a little more blues and 60s/70s rock influenced. Television and, more broadly, post-rock were big influences on this EP. I was going through a dream and chamber phase when working on these songs. Gunnar has been into UK producers like Pariah and Jamie xx, although his influence will become more apparent on forthcoming releases. Other bands that had a major influence include Lord Huron, Beach House, Amiina, Fleet Foxes and Nico. However, those influences aren’t uniform on the second and third EPs. What's the best and worst part of being in a band? We all work on solo stuff as well but being in a band can really broadens the scope of the music. It’s is really fun to see how our influences meld to form something which is more broad than if it were just one of us. It’s also cool to know people through their self-expression. It’s something personal that most people aren’t going to give up so easily. We all are in different areas of the country. With the Internet, the delay in communication has diminished, but we still have that disconnect when dealing with mixing. It is pretty gruelling. Henry will mix a track and send it to Gunnar and me and then we will give him feedback. Then usually a week later, we will get a new mix. (Our song “Glowphite” went through about 10 versions) It’s a process we will probably continue to use this summer, but we will be in the same room and will be able to confer on ideas. It’s a good, democratic system, but due to our distance, it takes a hell of a lot longer than it otherwise would. 184223_157949027592143_157736600946719_286408_2639916_n What advice would you offer a band starting out? I guess with my limited knowledge, I would say that you shouldn’t rush putting out your initial tracks. Before that point, you have to freedom of being unknown and a lack of pressure to put out new material, which could potentially mean choosing efficiency over really fleshing everything out. We are still learning this, but there is a hierarchy to the music industry. You have to work with that. Knowing how to write a good email can determine whether or not your music will be heard. Getting blogs, regardless of the size is really the first step in gaining coverage. With independent music, online publications have become the dominant force in musical promotion; sites such as hypemachine are becoming increasingly important for bands wanting to gain new exposure. How do you feel the current music climate can either hinder or help up and coming bands? In many ways, the Internet and the mp3 have forced the lack of structural integrity in the major label system to light. That system is hopefully being replaced. Music is increasingly available thanks to the Internet, which has lead, in a big way, to an increased output of new music. It has strengthened independent music, which is great. Blogs and other online publications have allowed bands to get coverage for which they would have previously had to wait until they were more established. However, this availability has led to a shortened attention span. Even in independent music, the single reigns supreme. Increasingly few people listen to albums as albums which is unfortunate. A new or revisited sound gets really popular really quickly. Then a few years after that, the scene becomes supersaturated and it dies off to be replaced the “next sound“. Recording costs and quality (of digital recording) have decrease and increased respectively. We were able to record by ourselves and for free, but weren’t by default making low fidelity recordings. Where would you like to see Phantom Vibration in a year? We are planning on putting out the second and third concept EPs midway through the summer and are hoping to put out an album before we go back to school. In a year, SXSW will have just ended and we can only hope that we will have played there. It seems fitting that we are telling a UK-based site that we haven’t gained much US coverage or Twin Cities coverage to boot. We hope to bolster that. We are eternally grateful to sites like the 405 for giving us a chance abroad. Of course, having a greater number of people enjoying our music would be nice too.
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You can check the band out at http://phantomvibration.bandcamp.com/ Send us your sounds