We heard Jake Germany, AKA Phangs, an artist we have followed since the beginning and we’ve always been fans of, had a release coming out so we reached out to find out what’s going on!!!
Cage Riot: Thanks for taking the time to talk to us, we are excited about your new release “Make This Better ft Kellin Quinn”. How did you make the connection with Kellin Quinn (of Sleeping with Sirens for those of you who didn’t already know) and what events transpired to bring you two together?
Phangs: I was actually in a hotel in Chicago and randomly got a follow and DM from him saying he liked my music, which was so tight. I’ve listened to his music for a long time and even seen him perform a couple times. After chatting back and forth a little, I mentioned that we should do a song together and he was super down
Cage Riot: That’s definitely a rock and roll love story! We need an app for musicians hooking up lol! We’ll call it Band-Up.com.
Cage Riot: What was it like working with Kellin Quinn? I noticed Nick Anderson from the Wrecks and Justin Amundrud are also credited, how did they get involved?
Phangs: after Kellin and I made the connection, a few months later, my manager (who's friends with nick) got a demo that nick worked on and sent it to me. the song was such a good track and i immediately could see myself on it. i got with one of my go-to producers in nashville, justin, to flesh out the song and once we had a sharable demo, i sent it to Kellin to get his thoughts. he wanted to jump on the song, so he cut his verse and the rest is history!
Cage Riot: Sweet, the collabs artists are doing in the current climate of music is going to be legendary in 5 years. We see what Kellin is doing too and we think the blend of KQ and Phangs is awesome and we want more.
Cage Riot: That artwork for the single is cool! Who made that? Why did you want to go the 'old-school VHS' route?
Phangs: haha i did! the song had a retro kind of feel, and my music always hits the nostalgia button, so the vhs vibe was totally on brand.
Cage Riot: The fact that you made the box look worn out gave me chills. Only someone who lived through VHS knows the sensation that comes off those boxes. A worn out box is just like a worn out hole in denim, it literally reminds of all the history and memories the packaging holds after every use.
Cage Riot: Make This Better' is great from start to finish, but what’s your favorite part?
Phangs: i would say the part that all the music dies down and i yell 'lick your lips baby, tell me why you hate my guts' as the music crashes back in is v tight! i feel like that part will create such a great live moment with fans singing it back to me during my performance, i wanted to create a moment with the song that will unite the pham when im on tour.
Cage Riot: So sometimes the answer to a question is already in the details. Basically I’m thinking you are obviously becoming a sought after industry performer and creator because soooooooo many artists want to work with you (one “o” for everyone mentioned in this article).
The list is long.
This newest release of course “Make This Better ft Kellin Quinn”
“Product of the 90’s” with Phoebe Ryan.
A Hurt Like That” with Relient K and Matthew Thiessen.
“Digital Age” with LFO.
“I’m Gonna Die with My Tattoos” with James Droll.
“Underwater” with morgxn.
“Brown Eyes”, featuring Phangs. (I don't know why I think this is funny, I am laughing as I type this. Yes everyone, even Phangs wants to be featured on a Phangs song!)
Cage Riot: This EP “I Love Everything” is a fantastic group of recordings. We can only imagine this was a lot of managers, people providing support, arranging of schedules, and just overall tasks involved with something of this magnitude. Was it something you felt was hard to coordinate with so many artists and have so many open projects come to conclusion, so you could release something like this?
Phangs: Honestly it was so insane to make all of those songs. The actual creation of them was amazing and organic and perfect, but the backend coordination was wild. haha. My manager, Dylan, deserves the world for getting all of those songs across the finish line.
Cage Riot: What’s up with the track “Digital Age”, I love the Dawson’s Creek theme song chorus, how did that happen?
Phangs: I mean, specifically Digital Age with LFO was all together hilarious to me. I wrote the song with my friend Justin Amundrud and was like, “man it would rule if we could just have that Dawson’s Creek theme song as the chorus” and we just threw it in and asked for permission. The sample cleared and then one might I was out and heard Summer Girls by LFO for the first time in so long and remembered how much I loved that song, so right then I shot a random late night dm to LFO on instagram saying I wanna do a song and they were down haha
Cage Riot: We’ve been told there’s an album in the works. Do you think it’s coming anytime soon?
Phangs: Yeah, definitely. It’s done. Summer!
Cage Riot: There are some cool brand partnerships and some ones that I’m sure the artists are like “meh, If I had to be honest it pays the bills but it’s not really my favorite product”. This is NOT the case with you and Vans and EVERYBODY knows it. You have a brand partnership with Vans for 2 different custom shoes, and we’re not just talking right and left feet lol. Honestly, the only other cooler shoe partner was Michael Jordan and Nike. Who doesn’t love Vans??? NOW TELL US HOW DID YOU GET THIS?!?!?!?!
Phangs: Vans has been so great to me! We have a Phangs Customs shoe for the EP and then we just got the second one, as we gear up for the full length. I just love creating products and worlds for people, so I’m so thankful to the people at Vans and my manager for allowing me to be creative outside of just songs.
Cage Riot: Ok, so I wear shoes, but I don’t play guitar, and I’m STILL a bit jealous of this next one. You are sponsored by Gibson with a custom guitar and merch line with Kramer Guitars?!?! I’m starting to think you either need another career in politics or being a salesman, because you get the sweetest deals! So go on now (use Irish brogue) tell us all about your luck of the Irish and how you landed this one ..(jk we know it's all hard work).
Phangs: Yeah, also insane! Gibson has been so so so supportive of me and I couldn’t be more thankful. My ep release show was actually held inside their new Gibson Garage location in Nashville too. They’re the best people. They genuinely care about their artists
Cage Riot: BIG THANKS to Vans, Gibson, and Kramer Guitars for giving indie artists such amazing support!!!!!!!!
Cage Riot: Can we expect to see you on any festival lineups in the summer?
Phangs: Yes! I’m playing both Wonderstruck and Wonderbus festivals this summer! And so many friends are on those too, so that’ll be tight to have a big family reunion!
Cage Riot: Last year's EP release show was sold out (twice). What’s the feeling now that shows are finally back? Did you ever feel like giving up or maybe life would not allow the music industry to ever really return?
Phangs: Man. Yeah. Haha I still feel it all the time, to be honest. But I have to remember that music is a service industry and it’s not all about me. I’m here and I get the opportunity to give away music to people that want it. That’s the coolest thing, at the end of the day.
Cage Riot: With a past tour history that includes Relient K, Tessa Violet, Lovelytheband, NIGHTLY, Mystery Skulls, joan, The Band Camino, as well as headline tours and festival shows, all this collaboration and song creation we are all wondering…. But also feeling a bit bad to ask…do you have any plans to hit the road soon?
Phangs: Haha definitely! After the summer festivals, I’ll be out playing across the country in August. brb on that though.
“Make This Better” Phangs, Kellin Quinn
The chill opening immediately captures your “pop a beer” mode (or enter your legal method of getting buzzed here lol).
“Lick your Lips, baby tell me why you hate my guts”, makes me think how when we were 15-17 and we were finally learning to stop pissing off our regular sex partner (I thought of 99 ways to say that and all sounded cheesy) - come on let’s be honest nobody was thinking of getting married then, it wasn’t serious. It’s like a Dr. Phil but sexier (somehow I ruined that with my reference, Dr. Phil kills all the sexy in any room lol) - I agree with Phangs, the crowd WILL be chanting it!
Check it out on all major platforms today!
Cage Riot: Big Thanks To Phang’s manager Dylan Newman for pulling strings to make this happen!
Listen & Follow -Phangs- on Spotify.
Watch & Subscribe - Phangs - on YouTube
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