Kamil Ikram, Kevin Malantic and Ryan McCracken of
Phantom Limb |
Phantom Limb is a young Melodic Black/Death Metal band based out of Boston,
MA. They have just released their debut album "Veins of Unholy Capacity"
which is a fine display of catchy song writing with nice melodic edges that
fringe a core centered around ripping rhythms that mesmerize as well as
brutalize. Phantom Limb has managed to play some great shows around New
England and can always be found banging their heads at other local metal shows.
I expect these dudes to go places, they have a lot going for them and there
are still tons of people out there that they'll impress with their sound. Be sure to check
out the mp3s on their page too! http://www.phantomlimb.org/
Our magazine is called defy unlearn because we strive
to defy labels and want people to "unlearn" what they
have been taught. What does "defy unlearn" mean to
Kamil: To me, it means do what you want to do, be who
you want to be, like what you want to like.
Kevin: Yeah, can I have the chicken? Wait, I thought you
were going to order us food. Defy Unlearn? Disembowelment to
boy bands, obviously. Girl bands are good, like Raising Kubrick.
They're all girls.
How did Phantom Limb all come together?
Kamil: Ryan answered an ad I placed in the Metal
Update email service back in 2001. I was a senior in
high school and Ryan was finishing up in college at
the time. We had a bassist for a while but that didn't
Ryan: We've been through a few possibilities for
guitarists and bassists over time. We found Kevin, our
new bassist (a tad drunk), at O'Brien's Pub after the
Sam Hain show last year. He's a nut!
Kevin: Well, crap, I guess I'm working out then. Sweet. Yeah,
I guess I'm a nut as Ryan says, more so I got a whole sack of
'em; nuts, that is.
Do you have any previous musical experience?
Kamil: I've been playing guitar for almost 9 years.
I was a guitarist in a band for 6 months in high school.
Phantom Limb is the first band I have played drums in. That's all of my musical experience.
Ryan: I've been in two bands that worked for more than
a month (I won't mention the others): Military Wife
and Inner Shadows. Military Wife was a fully
functioning band with 4 members. I did vocals and
occasionally wrote a riff or two. Inner Shadows was
two people and a drum machine. I was guitar and vocals
and the other guy did guitar. Both of those bands did
record but never produced anything official. In total
I've been playing about 10.5 years (so sad - lol). I'm
trying to learn drums... very... slowly...
Kevin: Damn, I've been playing bass since 7th grade, so
I guess that would put it at 15 years. Jesus, am I that
old already? Irregardless, I still suck-- I can barely keep
up with these guys. I've been in several bands, the most notable
being the Concubines. We gigged in NYC for a bit, but I quit
that band. They smelled like cheese.
What are some of your favorite albums of all time?
Kamil: I hope I don't get my metal points taken away
for saying this, but both Slipknot albums and most
likely the new one too! I don't give a fuck if you
don't like them, there... I get my metal points back.
Also, Opeth (Blackwater Park), In Flames (Colony), Dimmu
Borgir (PEM), At the Gates (Slaughter of the Soul) and
lots more but I'll stop.
Ryan: Megadeth's Rust in Peace (Friedman/Mustaine =
GODS), At the Gates' Slaughter of the Soul, Kalmah's
They Will Return, Entombed's Clandestine, Carcass'
Kevin: I got a lot: Death Human, Atheist Unquestionable Presence,
Rust in Peace, King Crimson B'Boom, In Flames Clayman, Altars
of Madness, Deicide Deicide and Legion, Wrathchild America's
3-D and Forced Entry's As Above, So Below. The kid
from Cryptic Warning can play some of their riffs. That kid
Where are you guys all from?
Kamil: My hometown is Burlington, MA
Ryan: I'm a Navy brat. Family's basically from MA.
Kevin: I'm a suburban bitch. I'm from Northvale, NJ, 15
minutes away from NYC.
What's your favorite At the Gates album?
Kamil: Don't like them.
Ryan: Who are they?
Kevin: Glitter. You know, the one they made the movie for.
What makes Phantom Limb different than every other
band out there?
Ryan: Um. Not sure. If there is an answer, it could be
the variety of influences between different members of
Kevin: We can pull the race card wherever we go. Bitch.
Do you have a favorite song to play?
Kamil: My favorite is Definitive or Black Iris Rising
Ryan: I can tell you Feast is my least favorite to
Kevin: HAHAHA, that's my favorite one. I just like to watch
Where do you draw your lyrical inspiration from?
Ryan: No place in particular I guess. I just try to
make it interesting. My usual strategy is to try making
things really metaphorical. With some of the songs
there's probably no way to recognize what they're
about. Sometimes I try to come up with a high-level
concept like privacy/surveillance and warp it into a
song. As long as fellow lyric readers get a kick out
of it, I'm happy. If I had to pick an influence,
Carcass would be one. I'm a geek. I thought their big
words were cool so there's some of that in the lyrics.
They also have some interesting content (believe it or
not) in songs like Death Certificate. Statistical
obituary, your only legacy, your final resting place!
What motivates you to play?
Ryan: It's a challenge. As far as shows go, need to
get over my fear of being on stage. Fingers are
Kevin: To play? Fast chicks and hot cars. Definitely.
When you write a song, how does the process come
Ryan: So far it varies. We've done entire songs at
practice. Sometimes we have random riffs lying around
and we play them and say "what do you think of this?".
There have been a couple of times when whole songs
were written independently; then we just teach the
whole song to each other and maybe mix it up here and
there. Now we're dealing with 3 people again and it's
been a while (1+ years!) since we've written anything
so hopefully things will go smoothly. Actually,
writing is a real pain in the ass. Everybody has to
agree to do something, then you have to get used to
playing it, work the bugs out, write lyrics. Poop.
Do you guys work or go to school?
Kamil: I'm just finishing up my sophomore year at
Mass Art. Studying graphic design.
Ryan: I was working at Sun Microsystems but now I'm
looking for a new job. Not sure if I want to stick
with engineering or not.
Kevin: I'm currently doing
customer service for Millipore Corporation. They make
stuff that saves lives.
What's it been like working with Not Common Records?
Kamil: It's been great. Joe's the reason Veins of
Unholy Capacity even came out. If he never asked us to
join his label we would have been too lazy to record
it on our own.
Ryan: Joe's a cool guy. Total wise ass, but hey,
what'd you expect from Irish fucker? Muahahaha...
Kevin: NC is cool. Joe is real supportive of us lazy bitches.
Any deep reflective thoughts about the scene in New
Ryan: Nothing deep. More booze, please! Boston's
becoming a good scene. I think it's doing well and
growing. There are a lot of really cool people and
bands around. Support local metal!!
Kevin: Fuckin' right.
Is there any particular show you've played that was
Kamil: I'd say the August 12th show at the Middle East
last summer because of the turn out and we got our
first moshpit going for a little bit. Also, our CD
Release Show performance-wise I think we were the
Ryan: CD release show was good. WUNH was good too. I
guess I base good shows mostly on how well I think I
played. It also depends on who you're playing with. CD
release was good for that reason too. The show we
played at the Choppin' Block on March 20th was just a
flat out good time - even though my playing sucked
Kevin: Definitely WUNH and the 'Block. Those were some good
times. No mashing!
Tell us about your new album Veins of Unholy
Kevin: I think itís pretty. I keep it in my pants for good luck.
Itís these guys you gotta talk to, I'm not on it.
Kamil: It's awesome! Buy it!
Ryan: I'm pretty psyched about it. This is the first
time I've had an actual shrink-wrapped CD with a
booklet and stuff from a band I've been in. It's all,
like, glossy n' shit. We recorded it last year
(September?) in Kamil's bedroom/basement. Recording
sucks but I'm basically happy with the results so the
suffering was worth it.
What does the future hold for Phantom Limb?
Kamil: The only things I'll hope for in the future are
Ryan: Mmmm. Chicks. Haha. I also hope that we write
lots of new stuff and continue to do shows.
Kevin: Yeah, monster songs. And chicks. And fast cars. And blood.
Yeah. More blood.
Interview by: Josh