Based in Seattle, Phalgeron, is an interesting band with a sense of humor that sets them apart from most bands you’ll come across. Be that as it may, their music is great adrenaline pumping black metal with well-written lyrics. That’s really all I can say without giving away too much about them, so, without further ado, here is their interview and, as always, enjoy the read.
One thing that sets you apart straight off the bat is your sense of humor which shines in your amazing band biography. Who was responsible for that?
[laughter] Well, I wrote the bio, but it was Tyler's idea to write it all epic like that. Honestly there is no one person responsible. All three of us are goof balls to some degree.
Working off of that, how does that sense of humor play a role in your live shows? Do you tend to want to have more fun with it rather than trying to be brutal/intimidating/evil/whatever-adjective-you-want-to-use?
We have fun playing and we want people to have fun while watching us. It's a lot easier to make someone laugh and enjoy themselves than it is to act super fucking serious on stage and have the crowd walk away just as happy. And besides, if people laugh in between songs, I've found that it generally gets them more into the show and then when we start playing people respond way better, in comparison to being "Look at how badass we are! We are so brutal! Don't you wish we were as satanic as us?" Also, watching a band that makes you laugh, then plays something really brutal, is always a nice dichotomy.
Seems a bit obvious why you chose Phalgeron when you found the Finnish band with Phlegethon as their name. What originally attracted you to Phlegethon as a name? Anything deeper than just that fact that it's a river of fire in Hades thus making it a badass name to have? How does that play into the concept of the band lyrically and thematically?
[laughter] Well, Tyler's girlfriend found Phlegethon in an H.P. Lovecraft story and we had no idea what it meant, we just thought it rolled off the tongue well. We didn't learn what it meant till a week later as well as learning about the other Phlegethon. Umm, it never really played into anything, except for one line in "Feeding the Phlegethon" (which was originally entitled Lords of Nifelheim); so yeah, it was just a badass name haha. Actually, the name Phalgeron plays into the band's concepts way more. After we decided to change the name, we went back to what worked before, looking through H.P. Lovecraft stories. There I found "Phaleron" which was a Greek stronghold in the Pellopenisian wars. I decided to add a G to make it Phalgeron, then i googled it and I got three Hits all from the same web site. It's a golden moon orbiting a planet in an ort cloud outside of an asteroid belt in advanced Dungeons and Dragons, which plays in with the space and time aspects of our band way more.
You guys started in LA and then moved to Washington. Given that fact, I would imagine that you guys have quite a good grasp of the Westcoast and Eastcoast scenes. Are there any noticable differences to you? Which region do you tend to favor?
Well, the first thing I have to say to that is Seattle is not on the East Coast neither is Los Angeles [laughter]. We really have no idea what the East Coast metal scene is like. Our drummer Ian is from the Mid West and he says there is a lot of brutal death metal out there. The easiest difference between Seattle and Los Angeles however is that Seattle is Black Metal (for the most part) and Los Angeles is Thrash Metal (also for the most part). Both cities have great bands in them, the only thing is Seattle's metal scene feels more like a community where the Los Angeles metal scene feels more like an industry.
Are there any lesser known local legends that you have had the chance to open for? Regardless, since you've opened for big names like Napalm Death and Cemetery, is there a particular show or meeting that is the most memorable to you as a band? How about on an individual level?
My favorite show HANDS DOWN would have to be Hail Santa 2010, that was the most fun I've ever had playing live. A close second would have to be when we opened for Finntroll and Ensiferum simply because, Folk Metal crowds rule.
Got any hobbies other than tearing venues apart that influence your music? If not, then on a serious note, what's your overall outlook on music as band and as individuals?
Does drinking count as a hobby? [laughter] just kidding. My opinion on music is if someone says they don't really listen to music then they probably don't have a soul. Music is as old as Fire, The Wheel, and Art, it is engrained in our psyche and is one of the many things that makes us human.
I read on your blog that you guys were on tour this month (October 2011). Was that your first tour? How was the experience to you? Ups outweigh the downs?
This was in fact our Second tour, the first being in March and April in early 2011 with our brothers in Evangelist. We had a lot more fun on this tour I feel cause we (as in Tyler) booked it all on our own and since it was just us this time we could go at our own pace from town to town. The ups DEFINITELY outweigh the downs.
Why remain a three piece? How about...some KEYBOARDS! But seriously, ever think about adding other members?
We actually started out as a 4 piece for about 5 practices, then the other guitar player quit. When we moved to Seattle we played with a rhythm guitar player for about 5 months or so, but he just didn't work out. We've thought of adding a keyboard player before, but finding one in Seattle that slays is damn near impossible. But, in my opinion, staying a three piece makes everything easier. Less schedules to deal with and people to worry about. Also, a three piece can fit all it's gear and merch into a Mini-Van. HUGE plus when touring.
Thank you for taking time out to answer some questions! As a closing statement, would you please describe for our readers the utlimate fantasy gig that you guys would love to play right down to stage costumes and gear.
..... why do we keep getting asked this question? I don't know, on mars while riding dinosaurs and playing to the entire race of Omicron Persii-8.