SUNDAY CLASSIC GTC: Here are 5 albums that influenced PHOURIST & the PHOTONS
by Phourist and the Photons
We’re Phourist & the Photons from Louisville, Kentucky and here are some albums that influenced each of us, plus one we all agree on. Maybe you’ll hear some of these influences in our new album “We’re All Born Screaming.”
Deerhoof- Apple O’ LP
Scott: I grew up a drummer. From the second I could open the cabinet and take out all the mixing bowls and reach a wooden spoon, it was all I wanted to do. Like all aspiring percussionist, the early years consisted of Rush and Led Zeppelin. While those (and Metallica, more than I’d like to admit) have influenced me greatly, a stark shift in the way I approach creating music happened when I discovered Deerhoof. All of their works are amalgamations of rhythmically and tonally intricate music and songs. Seeing a video of them playing Panda, Panda, Panda (from Apple O’) changed the way I play drums forever. The tenacity and virtuosity that Greg Saunier exudes behind a kit, is unparalleled. The way he in particular approaches time and rhythm knocked something loose in me. As a whole, this album provides some of the best two-part guitar harmonies, surprisingly danceable music, and drums that’ll kick you in the head while cradling the melody. Listen to track 6, Flower, if you don’t believe me.
Ween – The Mollusk
Andrew: Discovering this band and this album was a kind of revelation for me. Somehow, two weirdos from Pennsylvania created an album that condensed everything I love about music into 44 minutes. You want to make a concept album about sea creatures? Go for it. You want to put an everything from prog rock to sea shanties on said album? There’s nothing stopping you. “The Mollusk” reaffirmed for me that music isn’t about pigeonholing yourself to a set of aesthetic and thematic limitations. In fact, it’s about the opposite. This is a weird album that still holds up in these weird times.
MUTEMATH – Self Titled
Justin: MUTEMATH’s first album took elements from the bands that I had embraced and packaged those elements into a whole new landscape of sounds, moods, and themes. The hard-hitting, hip hop, sampled like drum beats, coupled with EDM style bass melodies, glimmering arrangements of guitar drenched in reverb and echo pedals, a synth that adds layers that are tasteful and well thought out and beautiful piano arrangements brought together the ideal mix of sounds that I admired. The lyrics are fresh ideas that leave the listener reflecting, while easily being able to find ways to relate, which leaves the album feeling more like an old friend than a new acquaintance. I remember turning the lights off and listening to the album in total darkness, it was like having a spaced-out acid trip without the acid. I haven’t looked at music the same since.
Dead Can Dance – A Passage In Time
Nick: This record (albeit technically a retrospective) was the only Dead Can Dance record I owned back in middle school, and it showed me that music is basically magic. That band quantum teleported me to some strange and amazing places. I’m pretty sure I was actually chillin’ on the ancient red shore of a planet somewhere in the Andromeda Galaxy when I heard “The Host Of Seraphim” for the first time. Thinking about it now, that album was a big catalyst for me wanting to try and make music too. It also made me realize how much I love reverb (SO MUCH), atmosphere and ambient lush sounds. There would be many more formative records in the years to come but this is the first I can remember.
Radiohead – OK Computer
Everyone: If you’ve ever heard our music you could have probably seen this coming. It’s not shocking that we love Radiohead. This album in particular – a contender for greatest album of all time- blends a lot of our favorite elements together sonically, rhythmically and melodically. The unusual directions that the chords modulate to and the fearlessly beautiful nature of the melodies and sonic pallet were a huge influence on our writing.
Phourist & the Photons
Mixed and Mastered by Jeremy Ficklin, Arcology Media
Recorded by Adam Copelin at TNT Studios
Nick Phourist Hill – vocals, piano, guitar, songwriting
Justin Perez – bass, other
Andrew Critchelow – guitar
Scott Boice – drums, percussion
Band photo by Ben Lane
“For me, songs are like a musical exorcism, they come out screaming and I interpret them later on,” – Nick Phourist