Interview: Marina La Torraca (Phantom Elite)

Phantom Elite are back and promise to be bigger than ever. This time they were signed to Frontiers Music for a multi album deal. We were delighted to chat with Marina La Torraca, the powerhouse fronting Phantom Elite.

Teen Art Out: Hi, Marina. Great to hear from you again.First of all, congrats on being signed to Frontiers Music. This is exciting! How long have you been working on this?

Marina La Torraca: Great to be here again! 🙂 Having a label support has been on our minds since Wasteland and the opportunity with Frontiers came up a few months ago, during the writing process of our new album.

Teen Art Out: For those not as familiar with the music industry, what does it mean today to be on a record label’s roster? More specifically, what does it mean for Phantom Elite?

Marina: Although the music industry is changing, it still means a lot! A label (in combination with a booking and management team) can offer a lot of support, be it financial, or in terms of work force/expertise and network. An artist nowadays has the possibility of distributing and advertising their music independently, but unless one is in a very privileged financial and networking situation, it will definitely be harder to expand one’s fan base.

What it means for Phantom Elite right now is exactly that we’ll get to increase the amount of people working together to bring the band further. And with that, ultimately the chance of reaching more people with our music is always wonderful.

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Teen Art Out: You’ve briefly mentioned that you’ve been working on a second album. We know you cannot give away that much, but we still have to ask about it. What would you say has been the main creative force or idea driving this album?

Marina: Well! I would say this album is an ode to persistence, hard work, fighting and triumphing over the big and small struggles life may bring. Lyrically and musically it is very heavy, personal (quite dark at times!), and will certainly put listeners through a roller coaster of emotions.

Teen Art Out: What attracts you to music or performances by others? There is definitely so much good music and so many great shows, but only so much time (and money).

Marina: You are right! Haha. But I’d say I’m personally very attracted to technical quality of a performer or an act, in combination (and this is the most important thing for me) with interpretation. An artist has to make me FEEL things in his/her music and performance, he/she should show me who he/she is, otherwise I’m out. I guess in short: I love artists who know their shit, who know who they are, and go all in.

Teen Art Out: Is the artistic life lonely by definition or is that a myth? What do you do to counteract it?

Marina: Hmmmm, good question! I think it can be quite lonely in the sense of, you have different work schedules then “most people” in society, and you go out to dinner with a couple of friends who work at a bank and you find yourself having nothing to do with their routines and topics. So you tend to bond more with people in the same bubble, so you end up in a bubble, haha. But it’s okay. I actually always seek a little bit of alone time on tour, for example. I’m quite a big introvert and being around people all the time wears me out. So I’d say I have to counteract the social part of being an artist with a lot of meditation, Netflix and lonely walks, haha.

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Teen Art Out: If there was any skill you could learn instantly, what would you like to learn?

Marina: Oh man, I’d love to improvise crazy vocal riffs and runs, haha. But I’m working on that, maybe some time soon.

Teen Art Out: Would you rather take a trip to outer space or bottom of the ocean?

Marina: Definitely outer space. Bottom of the ocean creeps me out.

Teen Art Out: As the winter holidays are approaching, do you have any special traditions surrounding them you’d be willing to share with us?

Marina: I’m not a very keen on tradition and don’t come from a very tradition oriented family. I just love to spend some quality time with the people I love who are very close to me, that’s it. Oh, and guilty pleasure: I also tend to watch “Home Alone” sometimes.

Teen Art Out: Last time we talked, you mentioned that happiness is “fighting the good fight”. What does that mean to you now?

Marina: Oh, I still agree with that, haha. That to me means being and acting in alignment with your values, always watching if you’re choosing to do something for the right reason or not. And I believe these daily experiences and choices bring one true joy, not only temporary ecstasy.

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Interview by Simona Mihalca

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