Phantogram are living their teen phantasy

ENT_Phantogram_1204

Most people are lucky if they still keep in touch with their childhood best friend, much less still hang out with them. Sarah Barthel and Josh Carter (who have been friends since attending middle school in a tiny, bucolic upstate New York town) not only still hang — they work together, making dreamy, fuzzed out electro-pop as Phantogram.

They’ve channeled the easy chemistry born of their longtime friendship into their new self-titled EP, which is alternately infectious and haunting, and ofttimes both. “Being friends for so long, there’s some kind of magical power behind that,” says Carter.

These days, their bedroom project has turned into a full band, for which they handpicked the new members. “The drummer, Chris Carhart, was a friend of Sarah’s. I was a little apprehensive, because we tried out 15 different drummers and she was like ‘what about my buddy Chris?’ And I said, ‘I don’t know, he probably sucks because he’s your friend,’” Carter says. [Barthel laughs]

They were understandably apprehensive about inviting new personalities into their fold, but that quickly faded. “It’s actually awesome. When we first hired a drummer to tour with us it was kind of weird because we were used to touring and playing shows as a duo,” says Carter. “So that was a minor adjustment. But now we have four people on stage altogether and the dynamic is kickass.”

The pair’s teen influences range from Beastie Boys and Public Enemy (his) to Sisqó and NSYNC (hers). “I don’t know how that flew under the radar with my mom. The first Beastie Boys record, my mom was like what the heck!,” Carter says. “Beck was the first concert I went to, and I really like him a lot. I was lucky enough to have a really cool older brother, this hip guy that’s into all this indie music. So I got exposed to My Bloody Valentine at a young age, and Sonic Youth, when everyone else my age only knew FM radio.”

“I was always so jealous of all the cool music he was exposed to in his house and from his family,” Barthel jumps in. “His parents would listen to The Beatles and Pink Floyd and lots of jazz. My first concert was New Kids On The Block. And it was f—ing awesome! Donny fell through the stage. We all thought it was supposed to happen, but I guess he didn’t mean to fall through the stage. He was my favorite New Kid, so I was really upset.”

Carter ribs her inaudibly and she laughs at herself. These lifelong friends must really live it up on the road, right?

“Usually we just get super pumped on Redbull and play hackysack, dance around in our JNCOs,” Carter deadpans.

[Editor's note: We’re pretty sure they do not wear JNCO jeans while on tour, or ever. But if they do, that’s awesome.]

 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Jasper Johns aide admits stealing, selling artwork for…

By Joseph AxNEW YORK (Reuters) - A former assistant to renowned American contemporary artist Jasper Johns pleaded guilty on Wednesday to selling nearly two dozen…

National

Sister of accused Boston Marathon bombers arrested for…

The sister of the accused Boston Marathon bombers was arrested in New York City for threatening a woman over the phone, saying she could "put a bomb on you," police…

Local

Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…

National

Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…

Gossip

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie got married

The couple tied the knot in Chateau Miraval, France.

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

Season 11’s top four dancers gave their final performances before America’s Favorite Dancers are announced next week.

Going Out

Labor Day in NYC: Make the last weekend…

Soon, it’ll be time for wool accessories and knee-high boots. Even the Pumpkin Spice Latte has already arrived — but we still have one last…

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

MUSIC The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees…

NFL

Fantasy football: What to take away from preseason

The third set of exhibition games, which went down last weekend, is the dress rehearsal week.

NFL

Mario Manningham on the bubble as Giants play…

Former Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham hopes his second go-around with Big Blue doesn’t end with Saturday’s final cut day.

NFL

Source: Stephen Hill 'faces a battle' to make…

A team source says Stephen Hill, who has battled injuries and poor performances during his first two years, is no lock to make the Jets’ final roster.

Sports

Serena Williams leaving legacy of talented American women…

It seems only a matter of when, not if, Serena Williams will win her 18th career grand slam championship.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…