Phases are one of music’s most exciting new acts. Having just released their debut album For Life and preparing to hit the road across the US this fall, fans are going to start lining up to see these newcomers. Their infectious first single “I’m In Love With My Life” is creating viral buzz with its unique accompanying video. I got to chat with the band’s Michael Runion about the band’s new music, their previous project JJAMZ and what their next “phase” will be.
Phases are preparing to hit the road, making their way across the US in November. Listen! It’s Vetrano is giving one lucky reader the chance to see the foursome when they stop at Nashville’s Cannery Ballroom on November 13th for FREE. Joining LIGHTS and The Mowgli’s on the date, this is a must-see show! In order to win, you must be following @CMVetrano and @PhasesMusic on Twitter and tweet the following text (each tweet counts as 1 entry, so tweet as many times as you’d like):
The winner will be selected and notified via Twitter on November 10th. Read my full interview with Phases’ Michael Runion below and check out their website for more information and dates on their upcoming US tour.
Interview with Michael Runion of Phases
Chris Vetrano: Your new single “I’m In Love With My Life” is one of the freshest new tracks out today. Where did the inspiration for the song come from?
Michael Runion: After Alex built the beat, we each took a crack writing over it, but nothing came to pass. The ideas were cool, but nothing stuck with us. So we put the song on the back burner. Then, one day while working on another track in Alex’s living room (the track that would eventually become spark), Jason yelled something from the kitchen that Alex misheard as “I’m in love with life”. Turns out he was actually talking about some olives, but that was all the inspiration Alex needed. He sang “I’m in love with my life'” into garage band, eventually placing it over the beat that we had been struggling with for months. We crafted the rest of the song in the studio, and now it’s the lead single from our record. Weird how things work out sometimes.
Chris: The song’s accompanying video is so unique and clever. Who came up with the concept and what was the process for shooting the video? [Watch it HERE]
Michael: Ethan Tobman, the director, had that concept ready to go after he spent a couple days with the track. He had such a developed vision – he knew where every back flip, car crash, and explosion would take place. It was incredible to behold. And as you might have guessed, we performed every stunt in reverse, which was quite a challenge. Surreal. Every moment on set was imbued with a real dreamy quality.
Chris: The band had a transformation on this record, since the first album was released under the name JJAMZ. What led to the change?
Michael: JJAMZ found itself at a musical and spiritual impasse – we were not in a good place as a unit. The only way we we’re going to survive and thrive would be to shed our skin and emerge as a completely new enterprise. That’s how Phases was born.
Chris: How did the sound change from the first record to the current one?
Michael: The transformation in sound is due to the sonic experimentation that took place in Alex’s laboratory/ living room. We were all excited to escape the trappings of “indie rock”, and we wanted to work with sounds that excited and inspired us. And we wanted to make music that was fun – music you can dance to. That had always eluded us in our previous projects.
Chris: Your album For Life just came out. What’s your favorite track on the album and why?
Michael: That’s like asking which child is your favorite. We like all of them for different reasons, but I think one child we favor is “Silhouette.” We love the tone it sets at the opening of the record, and it represents everything we wanted to do with this album – make thoughtful music that moves your ass.
Chris: You’re playing Cannery Ballroom in Nashville on November 13, which you played at a few years ago with Neon Trees. Have you spent a lot of time in Music City? If so, what’s your favorite thing/ place to visit in or about Nashville?
Michael: The Ryman is pretty special. We’ve seen some pretty special shows. Always a pleasure to see a musical performance there.
Chris: Your single is called “I’m In Love With My Life.” So tell me, what about your life are you most in love with?
Michael: That our debut album FOR LIFE is out available for the world to listen. We put so much into it’s creation, and we’re so happy to share that hard work with you.
Chris: The name Phases is inspired by an 80’s dance club in The Valley by the same name. Is your music also inspired by the 80’s, and what’s one song most inspired by that era?
Michael: “Betty Blue” feels like it would fit right in to a DJ set at Phases.
Chris: What are you most looking forward to on this current tour?
Michael: Sharing the stage with awesome bands and drinking wild water at various springs across the country.
Chris: After this tour and single, what’s the next phase for Phases?
Michael: More touring, writing, adventure seeking. Devoting our efforts to making new fans and holding on to the old ones.