Album release parties can be a snoozer. We get it: You made an album. But the fine gentlemen of Boca's Phantomime are doing their best to smash that potential boredom into tiny little pieces with one explosive formula.
Their The Heist EP release party is for the people. Because it is the people who made it all possible through a successful Kickstarter campaign. Now add to that loyal crowd some burlesque dancers, sideshow acts, and three other awesome local bands. Shake well, and voila! Mayhem at Green Room -- the good kind of mayhem. Before all the crazy goes down on August 31, we chatted with guitarist Kevin Stewart about why, at shows, he says nothing can go in anyone's mouth that hasn't been in his mouth first and how much he loves their fans.
New Times: What bands do you like having your sound compared to?
Kevin Stewart: When we first began our little Phantomiming routine back in 2009, we initially received comparisons with Panic! at the Disco and System of a Down combined, which was questionable for us. But then we realized, that's probably the best crossing of bands to describe us that can be conceived. But our newer music, and vamped up stage performance, has gotten us comparisons to Foxy Shazam, the Venetia Fair, At the Drive-In, and in one extreme case, the Dillinger Escape Plan. We have absolutely no problem with this. As long as it makes you and your friends want to see what we do!
What made you decide to take your latest record, The Heist, to the people on Kickstarter?
Our friends in the Venetia Fair had funded their most recent album with a very successful Kickstarter campaign. So that, and the insistence of our producer, prompted us to take to Kickstarter to ask our fans for their support in funding the pressing of the album, the printing of shirts, stickers, CDs, artwork and all that jazz. We were not expecting the support we got from it, and for any of you that see this, thank you so much for your generosity and support, and we will make your donation more than worth it for you!
What other Kickstarters have you contributed too -- anything cool?
Andrés and I both contributed to our friends in the Venetia Fair's Kickstarter. We also both contributed to our producer/former college professor's endeavor to make an album featuring the vast musical variety of Nepal. Both of those projects were awesome.
How does it feel to have the general population behind the creation of this album?
As artists of any sort could tell you, it's tough getting people to care about your art to the point that they support it monetarily. We just had the good fortune of meeting several really cool people (that I cannot say enough nice things about) who really enjoy what we do. That is a blessing in itself.
What will make your release party different than all the others?
This was the big question in all of our heads, because this is what would separate our album release party from just another regular local concert. It stems from us finally figuring out a good name to call our music, which we proudly dubbed, "burlesque rock." That title fits well with EPs name, The Heist. We had this vision of a mix of noir and sideshow acts, like at a really shady cabaret lounge. Since we couldn't actually find a cabaret lounge, we decided to settle on one of South Florida's greatest local venues, the Green Room.
But to truly make the show unique, we needed it to be like a themed party. In addition to having some of our best friends and their awesome bands play, we needed sideshow performers that would give the show something unique. That's when I began talking to the Cupcake Burlesque company, and I am excited they were all in. Additionally, I have friends who are savvy with fire play/dancing/swallowing/whatever that will also be in attendance. Unfortunately, I didn't find any jugglers or willing magicians. But regardless, this EP has seen so much effort and dedication from all persons involved, so we owed it to ourselves, and to our Kickstarter supporters, to make this release show something special.
Also playing at your release party will be World's Strongest Man, the Pathetique and Raggy Monster. How else do you do your part in supporting the local music scene?
We've played many, many shows in many, many places around Florida and met innumerable amounts of awesome guys and gals who also happen to be very talented at the whole music thing. We're avid fans of the bands we are playing with, and have seen them countless times outside of this upcoming show.
When it comes down to it, we're all just music fans who love seeing live music, and just happen to compose and perform our own as well. So we love going to concerts of all sorts around here, whether they're at the BB&T Center, Culture Room, or Limitless Studios in Boynton Beach.
What about the Green Room made it the perfect destination for this event?
Green Room has always seemed like an "off in a good way" kind of place. It was a place that was very supportive of the arts. I always saw a lot of unique bands performing there over the past couple years. Bands that played bluegrass, alternative, indie rock, etc., they were all at Green Room. Not to mention that they have art showcases every now and then, and as of recently, they've been having a lot of themed costume parties. So in hindsight, Green Room should have been the only choice we came up with to host our event.
Can we expect a music video anytime soon?
So happy you asked! For this EP, we want to do it right. Part of the remaining Kickstarter funds went into hiring a video crew for the burlesque show. That will be used to make a mash-up of the evening, and synchronized with our song "Masquerade." We are also delving into a DIY approach to making a video, and are in the process of filming for our song "Invisible Hand." Hopefully, you'll see two videos out of us very soon!
Why should someone who has never heard of Phantomime come out to this show?
1. If you don't know Phantomime, shame on you. You should. We are awesome.
2. You get to see hot ladies doing burlesque stuff.
3. You can see three other great bands absolutely blow your mind, and buy our new album. Or a shirt. Or a shot for me.
4. You have an excuse to dress like a sideshow attraction and get drunk.
Do I really have to go on?
Anything else you want to get the word out about?
Snakes. You can hug them, but they can't hug you. Also, nothing can go in anyone's mouth that hasn't been in my mouth first. That is a rule at our shows.
In all seriousness, we have the best friends, fans, support in all of music history. We would not be where we are without the help and love from our friends, families, college music professors, and the Hoot/Wisdom Recordings record label that we've been working with for The Heist. Big things to come. That's for true!
The Phantomime CD Release Party with World's Strongest Man, the Pathetique, Raggy Monster, and Cupcake Burlesque. 8 p.m. Saturday, August 31, at Green Room,109 SW Second Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Visit the event Facebook page.
Phantomime will also be opening for Less Than Jake August 29, at FAU's Annual Bonfire.