In the spirit of the upcoming Treasure Island Music Festival October 16-17, The Bay Bridged had a chat with Phantogram. The New York-based band is scheduled to play on Saturday, along with a number of other dance-friendly electro acts.

Stay tuned for more interviews from this year’s artists leading up to the festival. The first interview of this series featured Will Sprott of the Mumlers.

TBB: How would you describe your sound in six words or less?

Beat-heavy dream drone pop.

TBB: Where did the band name come from?

We wanted our band name to convey the idea of a message from another world, ghosts, parallel universe, or subconscious. Josh suggested Phantogram, and we looked up what a phantogram was and we found it to be a good fit.

TBB: Can you tell me about the song writing process?

The songwriting process is different every time. Sometimes we get together and bring ideas to the table that we worked on separately, and see what meshes well. Sometimes Josh writes a song on guitar or piano, or Sarah writes an idea on piano or guitar. Lyrics are sometimes written on the spot, or we go back to our journals and see if any old ideas are fitting for a particular vibe. Josh writes most of the lyrics and most of the beats. We use samplers, tapes, records, drums, percussion, guitar, synthesizers, and other toys to create our sound.

TBB: What are some of your influences?

We listen to so many different kinds of music. We enjoy everything from old soul, french pop from the 60’s, to post-rock. Some artists that we are into are OH NO, Talking Heads, Why?, Flying Lotus, Guided By Voices, Mogwai, Francios Hardy, Flaming Lips, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Jay Dilla, Slowdive, etc…

TBB: Do you guys like to play large music festivals?

It’s a lot of fun! It’s great to share the stage and meet other bands that we admire. The only downside to playing festivals is that it can get a little bit stressful with setting up and having less time to soundcheck. So far, we’ve had a blast playing festivals.

TBB: Any crazy stories from your spring/summer tours?

We got in a crazy car accident driving from LA to San Francisco, after touring with the XX. We got completely t-boned on the highway by an oncoming vehicle. Our vehicle got totaled. We could’ve died. The cops and EMTs said that we were lucky to be alive and we walked away without a scratch.

TBB: Can you tell me about being creative on the road? I noticed on your tour blog that you push yourselves to write beats while touring. Can you tell me more about that?

We had a friendly challenge to see who could make the coolest beats on the road. The goal was to make at least one beat a day. Doing stuff like that on the road is a good way to keep our brains in shape. Touring can get a little monotonous if you don’t stay creative. We also like to bring a little guitar on the road for when inspiration strikes. Sometimes it’s hard though, because you spend so much time traveling, and setting up, soundchecking, performing, packing, going to the hotel – by the end of the day, you can feel a bit spent.

TBB: What’s next for Phantogram? Are you working on any new projects?

We have loads of ideas for our next album. When we get home from tour, we plan on doing lots of writing and recording. It will be nice to have a break to focus on new material.