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Phantoms Talk New Video, Album and Hanging With Hudgens

phantoms music choice
© 2018 Universal Music Group / The Orchard

Phantoms brought back High School Musical… kind of.

The California duo’s new video for “Lay With Me”, their new Vanessa Hudgens featuring single, gets the actress back into her old HSM duds. The clip pokes fun at the teen-actor past of everyone involved, including Phantoms.

“We might have given her some PTSD, having her get back into the role,” laughs Phantoms’ Vinnie Pergola as he and bandmate/bff Kyle Kaplan called Music Choice while hanging poolside in Miami.

Kaplan and Pergola spent their teens in Los Angeles auditioning for and scoring some roles on various Disney-adjacent shows and struck up a quick friendship during those days that has only blossomed over time. Now the dudes are inseparable and get to tour the globe together blasting their own jams. The duo told Music Choice all about how they still put up with each other, the fun new video, a new album, and so much more.

Also, make sure you hit up the Music Choice Instagram for some awesome Phantoms content as well as keeping an eye out for the “Lay With Me” video on the MC channels.

Music Choice: When did you guys meet? Was it a Teen Nick casting call or something?

Kevin Kaplan: Vinnie and I met at this terrible teen actor awards thing that happens in LA where kids can like, pay to get an award. We didn’t pay but we were both dating girls, we were all like 15, who did pay. We just both looked at each other like, “this is bullshit,” and we’ve been tight ever since.

MC: At that time when you’re 15 are you still thinking, like, we’re going to be big-time actors.

KK: We were both auditioning. There was a small community of actor kids in LA back then. We grew up around the Disney kids and that’s why we wanted to kind of poke fun at our past with the new video and with Vanessa. That was the idea back then. You get a Disney show then you keep working and get past that.

MC: What, if anything, do you guys bring from those acting days to your work as a duo today?

Vinnie Pergola: I think from us starting as actors, we always write from character-driven places. On stage we really go big, that’s just in our blood. We’re on stage so we both feel we have to put on a performance instead of just standing behind equipment and looking miserable.

MC: Have you both always felt that way? We’re not going to just sit behind a laptop up there.

KK: That’s always been the idea. We’ve always had variations on the show, some work and some don’t. Our first thing was a misstep where we always wore suits on stage.

VP: It was a dumb bit, but we tried it!

MC: Is there ever a concern about taking that too far and just becoming caricatures and people don’t care about the music?

VP: A gimmick works fine for some people. Marshmello has great branding and he’s massive. I think it’s important to find a voice. People will see from our videos we are goofy guys and we don’t take ourselves seriously. But, we do take the music seriously. When people connect with our personalities and the music, that’s when we get crazy super fans. They are so loyal and awesome.

MC: How crazy and super are we talking?

VP: We had kind of a stalker who brought us a gift. It was a cake and then this gift box that was just full of green grapes. We also used to have people go nuts when we were starting out playing small rooms. They’d bring in totem poles and stuff. It looked like a festival in those tiny places. That’s when we knew something was happening.

MC: When did you realize music was what you wanted to do and left the acting behind?

VP: We had a dumb kind of classic rock band thing going that was awful. I had an important audition the same night as a Justice show we were both going to. I ended up canceling the audition and going to the show, front row. That show changed everything for us. Seeing electronic music that’s just not trance or whatever.

KK: It was that quick.

MC: How did the song with Vanessa come about? Did you guys know each other from back in the acting days?

VP: We kind of grew up together. We were in an acting class together for a bit. Then we ran into her at JFK airport and she knew our music! We talked about doing something together and next thing you know we’re in the studio.

MC: Your videos and online presence are a lot of fun, do you guys have a lot of say in that content that’s being created?

KK: We always try and have it come from us. All of our videos before this one were all from us. This one was directed by The Dads and we knew they’d get it. We brought the High School Musical idea to Vanessa and she loved it. It started as a crazy idea of making fun of our pasts and then all of a sudden we’re dressed like Zac Efron in a blazing hot auditorium.

VP: It was about 98 degrees in that auditorium. I was sweating so much.

MC: She was all on board to make fun of her teen acting past like this?

VP: Oh yeah. We all have that background so it would have been different if we didn’t and we’re just like making fun of her. It’s not even like bashing on those movies or TV shows, it’s acknowledging the past and how we’ve moved on to bigger things. It was so fun but I think Vanessa may have PTSD from slipping back into the role.

MC: Judging from social media you guys seem to be together at all times. Do you ever get tired of hanging out with each other?

KK: Nope.

VP: We’ve had two fights our entire friendship and they were both at like 15 or 16. We know each other’s triggers and what buttons not to push. We just have one rule and that is we will never live together.

KK: We’re best friends and we get to travel together and do all this insanity. I feel bad for a lot of artists that are doing it solo.

MC: It’s not just all poolside cocktails in Miami, you’re still working a bit there? A new album?

KK: Yep, we’re making good progress. With this new record, we’re experimenting with a lot more pop sounds but keeping our same original sound as well. We’re all dealing with a lot of chaos in the world so with this album we’re putting out there how we’re feeling with that too. Kind of how people in their late 20s are dealing with it all.

MC: Will there be any big pop collaborations on the album?

VP: A lot of stuff is being completed and we’re going to have some nice surprises that we can’t talk about yet. There will be some people on there we can’t believe we’re getting to work with.

Phantoms Talk New Video, Album and Hanging With Hudgens

phantoms music choice
© 2018 Universal Music Group / The Orchard

Phantoms brought back High School Musical… kind of.

The California duo’s new video for “Lay With Me”, their new Vanessa Hudgens featuring single, gets the actress back into her old HSM duds. The clip pokes fun at the teen-actor past of everyone involved, including Phantoms.

“We might have given her some PTSD, having her get back into the role,” laughs Phantoms’ Vinnie Pergola as he and bandmate/bff Kyle Kaplan called Music Choice while hanging poolside in Miami.

Kaplan and Pergola spent their teens in Los Angeles auditioning for and scoring some roles on various Disney-adjacent shows and struck up a quick friendship during those days that has only blossomed over time. Now the dudes are inseparable and get to tour the globe together blasting their own jams. The duo told Music Choice all about how they still put up with each other, the fun new video, a new album, and so much more.

Also, make sure you hit up the Music Choice Instagram for some awesome Phantoms content as well as keeping an eye out for the “Lay With Me” video on the MC channels.

Music Choice: When did you guys meet? Was it a Teen Nick casting call or something?

Kevin Kaplan: Vinnie and I met at this terrible teen actor awards thing that happens in LA where kids can like, pay to get an award. We didn’t pay but we were both dating girls, we were all like 15, who did pay. We just both looked at each other like, “this is bullshit,” and we’ve been tight ever since.

MC: At that time when you’re 15 are you still thinking, like, we’re going to be big-time actors.

KK: We were both auditioning. There was a small community of actor kids in LA back then. We grew up around the Disney kids and that’s why we wanted to kind of poke fun at our past with the new video and with Vanessa. That was the idea back then. You get a Disney show then you keep working and get past that.

MC: What, if anything, do you guys bring from those acting days to your work as a duo today?

Vinnie Pergola: I think from us starting as actors, we always write from character-driven places. On stage we really go big, that’s just in our blood. We’re on stage so we both feel we have to put on a performance instead of just standing behind equipment and looking miserable.

MC: Have you both always felt that way? We’re not going to just sit behind a laptop up there.

KK: That’s always been the idea. We’ve always had variations on the show, some work and some don’t. Our first thing was a misstep where we always wore suits on stage.

VP: It was a dumb bit, but we tried it!

MC: Is there ever a concern about taking that too far and just becoming caricatures and people don’t care about the music?

VP: A gimmick works fine for some people. Marshmello has great branding and he’s massive. I think it’s important to find a voice. People will see from our videos we are goofy guys and we don’t take ourselves seriously. But, we do take the music seriously. When people connect with our personalities and the music, that’s when we get crazy super fans. They are so loyal and awesome.

MC: How crazy and super are we talking?

VP: We had kind of a stalker who brought us a gift. It was a cake and then this gift box that was just full of green grapes. We also used to have people go nuts when we were starting out playing small rooms. They’d bring in totem poles and stuff. It looked like a festival in those tiny places. That’s when we knew something was happening.

MC: When did you realize music was what you wanted to do and left the acting behind?

VP: We had a dumb kind of classic rock band thing going that was awful. I had an important audition the same night as a Justice show we were both going to. I ended up canceling the audition and going to the show, front row. That show changed everything for us. Seeing electronic music that’s just not trance or whatever.

KK: It was that quick.

MC: How did the song with Vanessa come about? Did you guys know each other from back in the acting days?

VP: We kind of grew up together. We were in an acting class together for a bit. Then we ran into her at JFK airport and she knew our music! We talked about doing something together and next thing you know we’re in the studio.

MC: Your videos and online presence are a lot of fun, do you guys have a lot of say in that content that’s being created?

KK: We always try and have it come from us. All of our videos before this one were all from us. This one was directed by The Dads and we knew they’d get it. We brought the High School Musical idea to Vanessa and she loved it. It started as a crazy idea of making fun of our pasts and then all of a sudden we’re dressed like Zac Efron in a blazing hot auditorium.

VP: It was about 98 degrees in that auditorium. I was sweating so much.

MC: She was all on board to make fun of her teen acting past like this?

VP: Oh yeah. We all have that background so it would have been different if we didn’t and we’re just like making fun of her. It’s not even like bashing on those movies or TV shows, it’s acknowledging the past and how we’ve moved on to bigger things. It was so fun but I think Vanessa may have PTSD from slipping back into the role.

MC: Judging from social media you guys seem to be together at all times. Do you ever get tired of hanging out with each other?

KK: Nope.

VP: We’ve had two fights our entire friendship and they were both at like 15 or 16. We know each other’s triggers and what buttons not to push. We just have one rule and that is we will never live together.

KK: We’re best friends and we get to travel together and do all this insanity. I feel bad for a lot of artists that are doing it solo.

MC: It’s not just all poolside cocktails in Miami, you’re still working a bit there? A new album?

KK: Yep, we’re making good progress. With this new record, we’re experimenting with a lot more pop sounds but keeping our same original sound as well. We’re all dealing with a lot of chaos in the world so with this album we’re putting out there how we’re feeling with that too. Kind of how people in their late 20s are dealing with it all.

MC: Will there be any big pop collaborations on the album?

VP: A lot of stuff is being completed and we’re going to have some nice surprises that we can’t talk about yet. There will be some people on there we can’t believe we’re getting to work with.

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