Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Phil Cohen Q&A

Your name:
Phil Cohen.

Where are you from?
I'm from Westford, Vermont but I live in Brooklyn, NY. 

Who else is in your band?
My drummer/producer is Matthew Vitti from Mother Brother Studios and I have a couple other people that I play with off and on.

How would you describe yourselves and your music?
I describe my music as indie folk if you wanna get it down to a couple words, and I'm big on lyrics but I don't like the sound of singer-songwriter. The album I put out has a strong country/blue grass feel in a lot of it, but that wasn't really the intent with the songs when I wrote them, which is totally cool with me.

Who are your main influences musically?
I'm an insatiable Bob Dylan fan and then the river runs wide after that. I was really into Bright Eyes in high school and the 90's radio stuff (Green Day, Offspring, Nirvana, RHCP). Then I found Alkaline Trio, which I hold near and dear to me still to this day. The first two Against Me albums are amazing. I can listen to Buddy Holly songs all day no problem. I love the way John Prine and Mississippi John Hurt play guitar. 

What do you hope to achieve in music?
I hope to make a decent living touring and playing/writing music. I've gotten so much out of it already that I wouldn't be sad if the big break never came, although I would welcome it with open arms if it did. I like the cultural and intellectual exchange of playing songs for a intimate group of people who are actually interested. Gives me a chance to show a little more about myself than I'm usually willing to reveal.

What has been the highlight of your career so far, and why?
I got to open for Grace Potter and the Nocturnals a few years back which was great because we were both drop outs of St. Lawrence University and we got to play a show back on the old turf. They were nice enough to drop the opening band to let me play the show, which might have been because they didn't have to pay me as much, but I could be wrong. Either way, it was amazing. I don't think I've ever been so scared to do anything else in my life than get on that stage.

And what’s the moment you want to forget?
I'm not a big fan of forgetting anything. I'd like to shake some feeling from some exchanges I've had with people along the way, but nothing stands out as terrible yet. The music world has been pretty kind to me thus far, though I haven't tested its deeper waters yet.

If you had to pick just one of your songs to represent your music, what would it be and why?
I would pick Coming Down with Roses because it's a time piece from when I first moved to New York and it gives me a pretty good idea of how far I've come in the almost six years I've been here. That song sounds like a little worried 20-year-old no matter what way you cut it, but there's a pretty good chunk of myself still in there that I like reflecting on. It's the best journal song. Like I said, I don't like forgetting things, and that one packs a pretty big punch for such a short song.

Where can we listen to it?


Where can we find out more about your music?

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