Please list all of your band members and their roles in the band.
Alex De Renzis- Drums, Armando Soler - Vocals, Chip Walbert - guitar, Philip Santa-Maria - bass, Peter Santa-Maria - guitar
For starters, what bands were you guys a part of prior to Phantom Drive? How long has the band been around?
We have only been around for a short while, maybe 6 months. But we have a lot of collective experience. We have been in bands like, Hunters of the Alps, Rescue Kid, Destro, Twice the Sun, All Helll Breaks Loose, And Then There Was You.
What’s the origin of that name and have you changed the band’s name before?
The name Phantom Drive was originally created to satisfy my desire to use the word “phantom” and then the word drive created a metaphor I really liked when juxtaposed. I hadn’t played music in over a decade and so the desire or drive to return to it seemed to have reappeared out of nowhere after a split with an ex-girlfriend. The name also reminds me of an abandoned road somewhere, not inhabited by any person or cars and no telling where it goes.
Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs and do you think these topics will change over time?
The songs are written collectively, the music ideas usually start as guitar riffs that we jam on together. Then I’ll work on vocal melodies with Armando, our singer. He will write a melody and we try and find a specific theme lyrically. So far they have all been about breakups and fresh starts when it comes to love and relationships. I definitely hope we don’t continue to only write about relationships. That might indicate one or more of us is having some trouble in paradise.
What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
I think we are heavily influenced by bands like Quicksand, Failure, Helmet, Filter, and Weezer in terms of the music. Vocally, Armando sounds like Armando, I can’t pin it down, I just know I’m a huge fan and would listen to any band he sang for.
Was there a particular band/artist or concert that inspired you to start a band?
This time around no, this time I decided to start it to exercise some demons and rediscover a sense of community with people who I respect creatively. As a kid I listened to bands like Green Day, Live, Tool, Deftones, Stone Temple Pilots, Rage Against The Machine and 311. Those bands made me want to play in a band.
If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why?
I’d like be to tour with Faith No More. I feel like every night would be an education from those brilliant guys. They also have a massive library of songs and I’ve never seen them live! Currently, I’d love to tour with Thrice, I really love the way they’ve been sounding on the last few records. I also feel they’re audience might dig us.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Yes! We are about to release some new music in the next few months and it will be available on all streaming services as well as the iTunes Store and our website. In the meantime go listen to our first self titled EP anywhere you listen to music. Thank so much and hope to meet you all soon!