Longtime best friends Kyle Kaplan and Vinnie Pergola have been working in the entertainment industry for quite some time.
Making appearances on shows such as “Hannah Montana” and “That’s So Raven” became side jobs for these Los Angeles-based artists, but music remained a constant hobby. Now the duo makes electronic music under stage name “Phantoms” — a name that captures the nightlife scene the pair channels in their music.
Before establishing Phantoms, Kaplan and Pergola would jam out to classic rock bands such as Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd and even established a short-lived garage band of their own. It wasn’t until 2007 that the two discovered electronic music and began to produce their own music.
Phantoms’ music has a very specific aesthetic to it. The name, music and stage performance all revolve around the nighttime and its dark vibes. This is true of the band’s previous EP as well as their first, self-titled LP. The same vibes are heard when comparing their new and old music, but the group shows signs of growth.
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“The sound has matured,” Kaplan said. “And production-wise over the years you start to learn more and naturally sound a little better.”
It’s Phantoms’ experience over the years that has allowed them to create this new record, which according to the duo, has something for everyone. When putting the record together, the two noticed the music held a theme — the relationships one makes in the nightlife world, with the songs telling a story of a night out in a big city.
The group’s live performances capture this feeling as well. The set flows perfectly from song to song in a way that allows the atmosphere to transition from moment to moment, according to Phantoms. The high-energy performance is meant to give people — you guessed it — a crazy nightlife experience.
Phantoms hopes to increase their fan base and get people listening to their new music so they can eventually headline a tour. The band recently played the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles, a venue where both Kaplan and Pergola watched shows at growing up. Playing hometown venues, in addition to the recent release of their first full-length album, is a dream come true for Phantoms.
“It’s been really cool, we’re super proud of it,” said Kaplan about the record. “We pretty much put our whole heart and soul into this. It’s nerve-wracking and it’s exciting.”
The band has taken risks with the new album by defying stereotypical electronic music — they’ve added much more than just a beat drop. With a well-planned integration of lyrics and sounds, the songs tell a story.
The songs tell a story of the wild experiences of two friends from the city who want to share the nightlife thrills they grew up on. Eventually, Phantoms plans to play festivals and their new dream venue, the Bowery Ballroom in New York.
But until then, they’ll be playing more intimate shows at venues such as the Majestic in Madison on April 6, when they open for Big Wild.