Phoria, a five-piece band based in Brighton, is in our spotlight of favourite artists of the year. Their music has captivated attention of established radio producers of BBC and their tracks have had numerous plays in just a few days after the release of their latest EP, Display, which set the band in a state of underground stardom. We had a chat with Tim Douglas where we were beguiled by his exceptional use of linguistics and his alluring ways to turn even a “spaghetti on toast” sound like a delectably irresistible proposal…
I was surprised when I found out you are a 5-piece band. Now that’s what I call a super band! How did you guys meet and when did you decide to start making music together?
Trewin, Jeb and Ed have been friends since primary school. That’s when they met and they would say that’s when Phoria started, really. They were each learning classical instruments and played in youth orchestras and the like.
I met Jeb and Ed at University. Ed did music, which made me very jealous, and Jeb was doing some social science course or other which did not. It did indicate to me that here were two people aiming at the very core of creative slackerdom, however, so I hung out with them a lot and played loads of guitar and listened to loads of music and…we all expanded our minds.
I moved home to the South West and got a call one day saying I should come and visit Jeb and Ed, and Trewin, as they’d just moved to Brighton and started a band. I did visit. I did join the band. They had a house and me and my girlfriend stayed on the floor of their lounge for about eight weeks. It was like going back to Uni, except we were older and thought we knew more about the world. Seryn joined in late (a habit he’s never really grown out of) after we parted ways with our original drummer. He’s alright, we suppose.
If you had to describe your music in one word what would it be?
Answering this would take away the double-bluff-triple meaning of the previous answer and take an answer with a hovering sense, perhaps evocative of some kind of ‘humour’, into a realm of definites which would necessarily occlude such unnecessarily hostile obfuscation. We all agree on this because it’s linguistically and logically correct.
If I were to describe your music in one word I would probably choose “emotional”. What does inspire you to write such emotional electronic, yet current music? Now current is another word…
Current! I don’t know if we’re current. We think about things like that, obviously, and the only way our relevance occurs to us is in the fact that we are currently alive and making music. It’s that kind of thinking, too, that drives us to make the music we do.
We have something we want to express, and we’d better hurry up and do it because we’ll be balls of flesh for a much shorter period than we will be nothing at all. There’s something “emotional” in that…
I’m torn between Emanate and Effortobreathe and I can’t decide which one I love the most, which one would you pick?
I’d start with Emanate as we’re having dinner, to peak your interest in my taste. ‘Hmm. This is very current and emotional!’, you’d think to yourself over our spaghetti on toast. Then, as the shadows grow longer over the city and I’ve plied you with enough cheap wine, I’d make sure Effortobreathe came on, so you’d see that behind my dashing facade was a heart of brittle gossamer, fearful and knowledgeable of life’s sweeping, pointless pain. Then I’d put some P-Diddy on or something and we’d take a bath.
Now that sounds interesting… Are there any stories behind your songs?
It’s what’s going to happen after you’ve read this interview, and realise you want to come round for dinner.
You’ve got to try harder than spaghetti on toast for that…
Now, your latest EP “Display” has received great support from audience, critics and the well-known BBC producer, Lauren Laverne. How does that make you feel?
The Lauren Laverne thing was great. When you put something like Display out there, you’re not sure how its going to be received; all you know is that you put your heart and soul into it for months on end and now, while actually releasing it is exciting, you’re essentially asking people to judge you. To have such support not only from people like her, but so many others too – it just makes it real. It’s the kind of thing you hope will happen in a best case scenario, and when it does…it’s…you know…good.
What’s coming next? Any more tour dates in London or any surprising collaborations?
We’re looking forward to getting out on the road. We’ve been little South-East hermits for a couple of years, cultivating things here. It’s time to get back out and see some more of this country. Motorways and the back entrances to pubs and clubs is where it’s at.
I know you are working on your début album. Is it coming before the end of 2014 or should we wait for it until next year?
We’re not sure, yet. There have been a few things bandied around about this and we’re certainly working on our next project and looking at dates for release. Nothing’s set in stone as of yet, though. There’s something to be said for just working on what you love and putting it out when it feels right, whatever the lead-up time is. We have a little luxury with that at the moment. You can look out for something, whatever it might be, before the year is out. That’s all I’m saying.
We are all about new artists. Which weekid new artist would you recommend us to listen to?
2nd August, Farm Festival, Burton