When I first wrote about Fantasmes both the music and their story intrigued me. It seemed like the two masterminds behind the band were kindred spirits destined to play amazing music in the company of each other. So when they published an excited status on Facebook because a Danish blog had written a post about them, I spotted a chance to get the boys to do an exclusive (oh yes!) Q&A here on Lappland. So here it is:
1. Fantasmes isn’t (yet) that famous in Denmark. I’ll give you the chance to present yourselves the future Danish fans: How would you describe Fantasmes to the people of the cold North?
As a refreshing brew of 60’s psychedelia, Caribbean warmth and desert haze.
2. I did some research on you guys when I first wrote about you. I found out that you met in high school but then after graduation you had a couple of years that were on-and-off music-wise. What got the two of you back together after a couple of years apart?
Firstly, we understand each other. But before knowing that we really understand each other’s artistic sensibilities we had to go through a process of becoming friends after years of only seeing each other randomly. Darío was invited to join because of our mutual friend, the lovely Mariola Rosario, who suggested him as the best guitarist in the scene. After years of playing together we naturally came to a consensus, an almost unspoken trust in regards to where we can take Fantasmes.
3. The overall psychedelic-touch of your music isn’t that difficult to hear but still there are many different references to both something older and something newer. What do you guys feel inspired of?
There is an undying love to the 60s and their most innovative moments, whose biggest influence is allowing us to experience as “psychedelic” things that might not necessarily fit that description. This allows us to tie into different eras, cultures, and means of musical production. We want our music to suggest that plane of altered consciousness, that unquantifiable otherness. The whole listening experience is a process of being engulfed and carried away from your regular surrounding. We find this quality in the works of artists ranging from The Beatles, The Velvet Underground , Blind Willie Johnson to Spacemen 3 or even an anthropological recording from an African hunter-gatherer tribe.
4. When you work on creating your music how is the work divided between the two of you?
It’s always different. One of us brings forth an idea, which then is complemented by the other’s perspective on it. We work ‘til both of us are fully satisfied with the work in progress. We help each other fleshing out ideas, lyrics, arrangements, sound design, almost everything. The biggest advantage of working together is having a trustworthy critic working by your side.
5. Tell the Lappland-readers and me a bit about Redness Moon; your latest EP released a couple of months ago.
Redness Moon is our first full length effort and it offers a glimpse of what Fantasmes is and will be. To us, Redness Moon was a different approach on composing and recording. It’s a record in which we tried everything that came to mind with the equipment we had. It also required from us to transcend and even embrace our limitations, as musicians, composers and artists. It’s an album to listen to, full of small details that create the whole experience. It’s a world to give in to and enjoy letting go. It’s our take on what psychedelia, beyond genres and popular discourse, is.
6. You’re at a Fantasmes concert – describe what you see on stage, and what you hear.
You will see six Puerto Ricans guys, sweating, laughing & smiling , deeply connected to each other and complementing each other. You’ll see mounds of minor percussion, scuffed boots, awesome guitars & cheap keyboards. You’ll hear the rattlesnake hiss of a maraca, the rippled scratching of a güiro, cavernous bongos, pulsating tectonic elastic bass, ringing overtones of droning drums and the circular jangle of amplified guitars over arching vocals.
7. When can Europe (most importantly Denmark) expect to get to experience Fantasmes live?
As soon as Denmark and Europe wants to see us! We would love that, when the invitation comes we’ll be there. Could be tomorrow if you want us. We are on the look out for a booking agent to take us there.
8. You are standing in front of a wishing well – what do you wish for the future of Fantasmes?
Communal happiness and satisfaction.
9. Does the wish come true?
Really do hope so, it’s up to us.
Listen to and see the not yet official video for ‘Play It Wrong’. A walk has never been so cool…