The Possession of Britney Spears – Introducing: Phantom High

Phantom High has amassed several singles and an EP since their inception in 2017, putting a glam core twist on Lady Gaga, Bryan Adams, and Childish Gambino tracks as well as shaping their own originals. Coined as “ironic pop back from hell”, Phantom High will entice those looking for something very different from the traditional rock aesthetic. Those who can look past the mask can expect a cathartic release, anthemic melodies, heavy guitars, and abysmal soundscapes, under honest unfiltered lyrics.

The lyrics and inspiration behind “Black Divine” resonate in a special way as vocalist Peril Erinyes explains: “Taken from ancient Egyptian culture, ‘Sacred or Divine Feminine’, which referred to aspects and/or traits of artistry. Mine was dark, hence the addition of ‘black’. It’s essentially the title I’d given the ‘closet’ I was in, the music and dreams of becoming my true self, were what kept me from ending my life, despite how poor, how alone, and how sick or abused I was, there was always my ‘Black Divine’ to close my eyes and fall into its promise, like a symbiotic possession.” 

Phantom High is purely an experience, a real-life exorcism every time they go on stage. A flurry of passion, musicianship, and over-the-top antics await anyone who dares to witness the spectacle. The vocalist, Peril Erinyes helps us learn more about the band.

Beginnings:

Seven and I were in several bands prior to this one, we work very well together so we always kind of stick together. We were in school for electronics engineering, and on spring break in 2016, we were binge-watching animes. I had been working on some demos, and we were just kind of floating ideas and concepts. The first series we watched was called Knights Of Sidonia (the English version that Netflix re-released that is). In it, there are characters who were the ruling class immortals, and they all wore these stoic masks, and I thought they looked so wicked, I decided to pursue something theatrical and dark. And this was the beginning.

Behind the name:

So we were on our break as I mentioned above, and the second series we watched was called Black Butler. One of the main characters is named Ciel Phantomhive, when I heard (or I should say misheard) this name as “Phantomhigh” I thought “dammit, that is a sick name, why didn’t I think of that?” I was super stoked to learn later in the episode, it was in fact “Phantomhive”, and I was liking the sound of “Phantom High” as in a high school for creeps, kind of what our music scene is. (laughs)

“The Possession of E̶m̶i̶l̶y̶ ̶R̶o̶s̶e̶ Britney Spears” 

Describe your music in five words!

Inspiration:

I am inspired by abstract things, like shows, legends, art, and fashion, as much as I am by other bands, I like “vibes”. There are of course a ton of bands and musical artists out there I am inspired by as well. Sonically of course Korn, Deftones, Faith No More, and Alice In Chains were some big ones growing up, I think seeing Motionless In White’s “America” and “Reincarnate” were 2 big moments where I saw a band bringing some theatrics back into heavy music.

Inspiration behind “The Conjured” EP:

So the EP, and everything we’ve released to date with the exception of Black Divine and The Exorcist, are all pretty old, I wrote those pre-Phantom High or at least right around conception. Our newer stuff is more evolved and a little more diverse. We have probably 80-100 tracks stockpiled, I can’t stop writing and recording. I would love to do a full-length album, I’m just not certain of how those are consumed anymore, it seems to be the current paradigm of consumption is singles and EPs, and I don’t know if it’s the way to go at this point. I like the idea of maybe doing multiple EP’s punctuated with a single here and there, to keep us current with content and having fresh stuff. At least as we are now, being a newer band.

Teamwork:

We tweak and alter things after the demo is done, and get everybody into the recordings. I write songs at the moment and record them to the point of completion and production. Then I take them to the band and they tell me “cool” or to “jump off a cliff”. (laughs) I’m kidding about the last part. We work very well together, everyone is very proficient, we had some wobbly moments earlier on, but everyone is slaying it now!

COVID-19:

It was tricky for sure, and I think it has devalued music a bit, at least where emerging unsigned acts are concerned. We got a lot of buzz from our live shows, and also a lot of content for social media as far as photographers and bloggers coming to our shows. When that all went away, we had to triple our efforts for social media content.

Online concert:

Well, if I am honest, we are still trying to figure out how to restore the balance as far as” value” that is consistent with a live experience. Lots of bands and musicians flooded the internet with live streams and virtual shows in 2020. Unless it was a big-budget event, most of them were just kind of undynamic. We are looking to figure out something that provides an experience, hopefully, we are close to a solution, we are dying to play again, but not to the point of self-indulgence, it will have to be something our listeners will find value in.

Fun facts:

Well, I started out in music as a guitarist, and after deciding to do the mask and pursue the aesthetic we chose, I decided I would stand in as the vocalist until we found the right singer. I was androgynous/non-binary, and I was able to sing well enough to write demos. I would “act” as the front person, and be sort of a muse as we chiseled away what the band would be. I spent 2 years rehearsing, singing, honing the sound and style, learning to move and posture myself to captivate and present the character. Somewhere along the line, I “became” the front person because we couldn’t find a prospect to match the intensity.
There is a funnier story to tell, but I will leave that for the next interview we do when I can execute it on stage and share the pictures in context. (laughs)

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"I associate heavy metal with fantasy because of the tremendous power that the music delivers." - Christopher Lee

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