Erika Rae

Interview: Brandon Thomas of Phantom Communiqué

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Los Angeles rock band, Phantom Communiqué, prepares for the release of their first full length album, The Wolf And The Sheep, in just a few months. I sat down with the creator and vocalist of Phantom Communiqué, Brandon Thomas, and talked about the upcoming album, future tours and the creation of Phantom Communiqué.

SoCalMusicToday.com: What has the band been up to recently?

Brandon: Most current event is American Voodoo Records and EMI hooking up and releasing the record in February so that’s kind of the major thing that we’re all building up for right now. We’re looking for the right tours and what tours make sense for us before and after the record comes out but uh yeah everything is kind of based around that right now.

SCMT: The album, The Wolf And The Sheep, is coming out in February how would you describe the album overall?

Brandon: I would say it’s a really energetic and melodic way to come across heavy. We’re really heavy but it’s really melodic and it’s rock for the most part but there are lots of big nasty crushy riffs in there that the dudes can get into. It’s just good strong hard heavy rock really when it comes down to it.

SCMT: Who are your influences then?

Brandon: My influences as a kid were bands like Faith No More then I started getting into the heavier stuff like Metallica and Megadeth and all of that crap. Then I got into a whole lot of Depeche Mode and The Cure and stuff like that too but I always came back to the heavy stuff for me. But I would say Faith No More is probably my favorite band from childhood that’s still one of those first bands.

SCMT: Well when you are writing new music do you take inspiration from every day stuff or do you go back to the bands that influenced you?

Brandon: Well the influences come through musically but not necessarily in the writing. I’m just like every other average fool; I write about what I know and so far my experiences have allowed me to write some pretty interesting things. But I feel like I haven’t hit my best shit yet because my life just keeps getting more and more interesting so the more interesting my life gets the better the music gets. That’s how I roll with it; I write about what I know and I try not to get to crazy political or crazy religious. You know what I mean? I don’t like to complicate it too much. If you give people too much to chew on and things start to go awry.

SCMT: Yeah I totally know what you mean. You just recently played a show at the Key Club in Los Angeles with Steel Panther how was that?

Brandon: It was awesome! It was actually the last show at the Key Club. Something happen with the Key Club and I guess they decided to shut down and we ended up playing the last one on the strip right there. I’ve been in Los Angeles for almost eight years now and one of the first things I did was go to the Viper Room. It was just one of those things that you have to do and I just thought it would be f@$!ing great to play this show. We have the same lawyer as Steel Panther and our lawyer hooked up. I had a great time doing it, it was amazing.

SCMT: How did Phantom Communiqué start.

Brandon: I was in a band called Bleed the Dream and we were on Warcon and that was rad and we did the warped tour. Then things went sour between the boys and myself and I moved back to Baltimore and put a couple of friends of mine in a room together and we just started writing some stuff. I decided there that I didn’t want to do anything that wasn’t heavy anymore, unless it’s like a side project or something like that. I wanted to go back to my roots with the metal and the heavy shit. So I started it because I wanted to do things my way for once. I didn’t want to be in someone else’s band. I wanted to be in my band.

SCMT: Where did the name Phantom Communiqué come from?.

Brandon: The name comes from me being a complete and utter junky for like WWII sayings and phrases and I’m pretty much addicted to that time period anyway. But WWII I really gravitate too and I don’t know why maybe, it’s because they make really awesome movies about it. Phantom Communiqué is a term used for transmission that was heard and transmitted but wasn’t recorded and you can’t prove it was there. You’d have to go by word of mouth to prove it was there which was interesting to me. I like the word phantom and it just worked. I didn’t want to sit and slave over a band name anymore so I just went with it. Its come back to bite me in the butt a couple of times because its hard for people to say, they’ve said it so many different ways so most people just end up calling us Phantom which is fine with me.

SCMT: So do you have any upcoming news you want to get out there?

Brandon: Just the record coming out. But until that record comes out the only news I have is that we are coming. It’s like as soon as we get a tour up and all the crap the MySpace and all those sites will be updated. I mean for right now the music is available on the radio stations so if people call in enough then maybe just maybe we can make it in this nasty fucking industry that we call home right now. I guess that’s just like the last message. Look the f@ck out cause we’re coming!

For more information visit Phantom Communiqué on www.myspace.com/phantomcommunique

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