Live Set Pushes Phantom Planet Forward
Phantom Planet's Alex Greenwald says the recent Internet-only release "Bootleg '04," featuring live material from its 2004 self-titled Epic album, captured an important moment in the band's evolution.Phantom Planet's Alex Greenwald says the recent Internet-only release "Bootleg '04," featuring live material from its 2004 self-titled Epic album, captured an important moment in the band's evolution.
"We played this session for [Santa Monica, Calif. Station] KCRW that we did in our friend's studio and it came out better than we thought it would after we heard it back," Greenwald tells Billboard.com. "We thought it would be cool just to release it. It had no overdubs or anything on it. It's a pretty good indication of exactly where we were right off of our tour in October and November [of 2003]. It's faster. It's wild and crazy. And we were a pretty goddamn good band after that tour."
The 14-track release, which was the debut tour for new drummer Jeff Conrad (who replaced actor Jason Schwartzman), is available exclusively at PhantomPlanetBootlegs.com.
Somewhat of a departure from the sunny-day rock sounds found on its 2002 release "The Guest," which included "The O.C." theme song "California," the quartet's latest disc has been characterized as a rawer, more garage-sounding, affair.
"I think maybe it's unfairly titled 'garage'," says Greenwald. "The only thing we did was simplify. All of our other records, I think we tried to cover up what we lacked in musicianship with bells and whistles and keyboards and smoke and mirrors. The only thing is that this record doesn't really have that on there. And even the drums are louder in the mix, which is something I've always wanted."
Currently on its last touring leg in support of the disc, the members of Phantom Planet are looking forward to their next album. There are 20 song ideas already sketched out, including six or seven fully developed tracks. Titles include "Cheat Death," "Judas Cradle" and "The Orange Couch Song."
While a mid-2005 release date is being eyed, Greenwald admits, "I have no idea [when it will be released]. I just want to make sure we make a good record and that is all I am thinking about right now. It just depends on when we can crank this sucker out."