The world of PHobic PHuture isn’t as frightening as it sounds. Upon first hearing the name of the band, you automatically assume that you are going to met with a macabre tour de force. But after hearing songs like “Permanent Midnight”, “Redefining Motion” and “For Your Consideration”, you begin to sense that there is a deeper meaning to their body of work.
Consisting of Ethan Iobsht and Stevie T (Steve Turzo), Phobic Phuture is an electronic duo who embody an amalgam of melancholy and musical precision. Originally from Philadelphia but now residing in the Sunshine State of California, we made a call to leading band member Stevie T to discuss the dynamic of PHobic PHuture and he was more than happy to oblige.
On the name PHobic PHuture:
“It mainly comes from my personality… I consider my personality to be an umbrella in the sunshine… you know? [chuckles] It’s just a way of describing my personality. I’m not really a phobic person per se but I definitely have my ‘internalisms’.”
To think that we were expecting an explanation that involved knife fights and Satanism. Although the explanation for PHobic PHuture’s name origin seems personal and intimate, the nature of their music is an epiphany that everyone can relate to.
We describe your music as cheerful bouts of depression, how would you describe your music?
“Well… that’s a pretty good definition to be honest with you. [chuckles slightly] It’s moments of clarity. It’s like when it’s rain… the rain clears all the shit from the sky… after the rain, you can stand on a mountain top and see for miles, all the way to the ocean.
[My music] is that moment of clarity after the storm passes.”
Like every artist, Turzo is intimately involved with his craft. It is a form of therapy that he blatantly recognizes as a talent. Applying that talent to likes of PHobic PHuture, he transmutes crappy days into a wonderful songs. But even the most talented artist have a well of inspiration, we asked Turzo about his well.
Any major influences that work their way into your music?
“I’d have to say Depeche Mode, man. And I’m sure that people can hear it… I mean, Violator. Violator changed my life. To me, that band, pound for pound — that whole album epecially — it’s a hit one after the other. It’s an amazing record.
Tears for Fears… I’m into a lot of 80’s stuff.”
Turns out PHobic PHuture’s has even gotten in his latest project Farwell Futureboy. For those of you who are hardcore Back to the Future fans, the title is actually taken from the movie.
Turzo’s love affair with music started at the tender age of four years old. Armed with a 4 track recorder, he honed his skills as a child and soon found himself producing by the age of 13. A sucker for starting from the ground up, Turzo even builds his own studios.
As we said before, Turzo is a Philly boy. And when we asked about California sugarcoating his Philly sound, he easily denied the claim; stating that his sound has very much stayed intacted whilst out in LaLa Land.
Our phone chat with Turzo was coming to end but we couldn’t part without hearing one of his famous rowdy stories. When we asked to tell one of them, Turzo laughed. He was apprehensive but eventually came around:
“[Laughs] Okay… I’ll just go with the tip of the iceberg here. There have been a few experiences — especially touring with the band — about 7 or 8 years ago I had a little run in with the band [bleep]. It was all me being, uh, a little bit inebriated… then we had to make a public apology… I don’t know how far with these stories I should go… It’s almost incriminating. [laughs]”
Satisfied with the story that he was willing to give us, we opted to let him off the hook. We can only hope that we get to hear the rest of it in a PHobic PHuture.
Written by Akeem K. Duncan.↓
Akeem is our founder. A writer, poet, curator and profuse sweater, he is responsible for the curatorial direction and overall voice of Quiet Lunch. The Bronx native has read at venues such as the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, KGB Bar, Lovecraft and SHAG–with works published in Palabra Luminosas and LiVE MAG13. He has also curated solo and group exhibitions at numerous galleries in Chelsea, Harlem, Bushwick and Lower Manhattan.