Pop Shop Podcast: Phantogram Loves Hanging With Big Boi, Not So Much With EDM Festival Crowds

Jessica Xie


This summer, expect "You Don't Get Me High Anymore" to be rocking plenty of festival stages. In the meantime, spend some time getting to know Phantogram, the much-copied, seldom-matched duo that has been melding indie rock with booming hip-hop production for the past decade.

Welcome to the latest episode of the Pop Shop Podcast’s Headliner Interview, Billboard's weekly long-form talk with a compelling, inspirational voice in the world of music, hosted by staff writer Chris Payne. Phantogram’s Josh Carter and Sarah Barthel stopped by Billboard’s New York office last week to fill us in on what’s been a whirlwind few months for the trend-setting duo. Back in October, its aptly named third album Three debuted at No. 9 on the Billboard 200, earning 25,000 units, and marking the most successful sales week in its history.

“There’s a difference between ‘commercial’ and ‘success,’” assures Barthel; the duo’s seen its popularity increase rapidly since its 2010 debut Eyelid Movies, but they’ve held steadfast to their roots, specifically the upstate New York collective Sub-Bombin, which released their two EPs. That predominantly hip-hop scene led them to mix beats and indie rock -- then a novelty, now an oft-copied trope on the festival circuit. Is it any wonder they hit it off with Big Boi?

Check out the podcast above to hear Phantogram discuss its friendship with the Atlanta icon, their collaboration as Big Grams and what it was like catching a Outkast reunion show from backstage. Other topics include the crowds at what Carter calls “sh-tty EDM fests,” why they’d love to work with Billy Corgan and their recent collaboration with Tom Morello and Marcus Mumford. 

Click here to subscribe/rate the Pop Shop Podcast on iTunes. The Headliner Interview runs every Thursday; previous episodes include Vampire Weekend’s Chris Tomson, Dawn Richard and Jimmy Eat World.


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