Red Bull Sound Select Interviews: Isaac Rother & The Phantoms

Posted by Billy Gil, February 12, 2014 10:02am | Post a Comment

Opening the Red Bull Sound Select show presented by Amoeba Feb. 27 at The Echoplex will be Isaac Rother & The Phantoms. The band plays a wicked rock 'n' roll inspired by classic blues, classic horror films and novelty monster songs—think "Monster Mash" and "Purple People Eater." Rother plays the star on his album The Unspeakable Horror of..., playing The Phantom, who leads his band through a howling set of Bo Diddley-style blues riffs, surf-rock touches and growling vocals.

The band plays with FIDLAR, the newly announced Cheatahs and Cherry Glazerr at the show. It's $3 with RSVP and $12 without. Doors are at 8 p.m. Check back here this week for interviews with FIDLAR and Cherry Glazerr!

We caught up with Isaac Rother as he moved his project from Olympia, Wash. to right here in Los Angeles with a new lineup.

Most L.A. people are new to your band. What should we expect from an Isaac Rother & the Phantoms show? Or do you prefer people to leave expectations at the door?

Rother: Expect the majestic spell of rock 'n' roll to be cast over thine body. Expect to be transported to a higher plane of existence where one can truly be free to experience the everlasting moment that is now. I want everyone who sees The Phantoms to be uplifted and inspired by the music because that’s what music does for me. Expect to be entertained and expect to have a good time. 

Who’s in the new lineup and what do they do?

Rother: We’ve got the sultan of the six string Matthew Zuck on lead guitar. The baroness of the bass Mikki Itzigsohn on the electric bass guitar. The prime minster of percussion Simon Packman on the drums. Yours truly, Isaac Rother, will be singing and playing a little guitar. We also have various singers with us called the Phantomettes.

I read you didn’t touch a computer to record The Unspeakable Horror of… That’s great! Can you talk about how you recorded the album?

Rother: The album was recorded using an Apmex mm1100 two-inch tape machine and the finest in vintage analog equipment. This is important because this is essentailly the same technology that was used to record every great record you can think of. When you record to tape you have your microphones converting sound into electricity, running through an electronic circuit and then fluctuating magnetic waves on a tape machine to capture the sound. It creates an authentic sound thats beautiful to listen to.  When you have your microphones going to a computer, the computer is taking digital samples of what the mic is picking up. You loose the authenticity and the truth when you do this.

Do you think blues and rock ‘n’ roll resonates now because of how digitalized most music sounds? You can’t even go to a show without everyone taking instagrams and bootlegging and all of that stuff.

Rother: I think blues and rock n’ roll resonates now for the same reason it always has. It’s real and its fun.

With all the supernatural things happening in the music, have you had any supernatural experiences yourself?

Rother: Everyday when I wake up it’s a supernatural experience. 

You sound like someone who’s done your homework listening to classic blues and R&B. Who’s someone who hasn’t quite gotten their due that people should go out and listen to right now?

Rother: The Mighty Hannibal, who just passed away last week, is someone people should listen to. He was great. He did everything from rock 'n' roll to R&B to soul to funk.

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