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Chicago, Illinois, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Chicago, Illinois, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Rock Pop




"Underground Pulse"

This female fronted Chicago rock band blew us away at Aftershock Live Music Venue in Merriam KS March 20, 2014. We had been following the band for quite sometime and when the popped into Kansas City we knew we couldn't miss out on this show. Just barely over a year old this band has made major moves in the music industry performing at such events like: SXSW, Millennium Music Conference (MMC) in Pennsylvania and Revolvers Hottest Chicks In Hard Rock Tour.

We got the chance to hang out with the band before and after their set and in less than a few minutes you could tell that this group of badasses are also some of the most down to earth and friendly people we've ever seen on a tour.

This being their first performance in Kansas City area the bar was by no means "packed", lead singer Jeni (seen right) apparently didn't notice this as she gave a stage performance worth the attention of hundreds. Her interaction with her follow band mates and the crowd gave the entire set and energy that never let down.

This little lady has the lungs of an angel with a bite, adorn with a sexy outfit a Shure 55 and a custom microphone stand with the words "wind beneath my wings" etched on the bottom this girl literally has everything going on.

Dan and Michael (seen left) Andrew and Joey rocked out and kept the stage looking...well very attractive haha.

What can we say this is a good looking group of guys, girls you'd better check to make sure they don't have someone waiting at home before you swoop in for the kill :P

Aside from being sexy on stage these boys can shred on their chosen weapons. Joey (seen right) was especially fun to watch. You can tell this guy is focused on stage.

Overall this is a band we definitely recommend checking out, and look forward to seeing in Kansas City again in the very near future. You can check out an acoustic version of "Break The Silence" we captured LIVE from Aftershock below. You can buy their album "Any Last Words" on iTunes, Amazon, and other markets. The band is currently on tour so be sure to go their webiste and find a date near you! - Jericka Millsap


The band Phosphene drove 12 hours from Chicago to Harrisburg. They’ve been playing together for about a year and they’re all friends, but drummer Andrew Cantore said it can sometimes complicate things.

“It’s harder because it’s a relationship with five people instead of just one. So in a relationship if you’re with somebody and they don’t want to do something you compromise. Now you have to compromise with five people” said Cantore.

Phosphene is one of roughly 300 bands that are playing in Harrisburg this weekend as part of the Millennium Music Conference. They’re looking forward to learning from fellow bands and music executives.

“Besides the shows you have to worry about advertising. Where do you want to advertise? Are you going to advertise on Google? On Myspace? On Facebook? This is a great opportunity to actually figure out how to do it yourself. How to market yourself, how to book better shows” said lead singer Jeni Leigh.

This weekend will be an opportunity for them to get advice, get answers and get noticed. If you would like to see what other bands are performing at the 18th annual Millennium Music Conference click here.

Read more: - Eames Yates

"Music Inform"

Sometimes things fall apart. So better things can come together. Is the mindset of Chicago’s hottest female-fronted hard rock band “Phosphene”. Vocalist Jeni (of Persistence Of Memory), Drummer Andrew (of Beautiful Nightmare), Guitarist Joey (of The Tragic Loss Of Veronica Lake), and Bassist Michael (of The Last Petal) quickly fell together after parting ways with their bands with the determination to bring back the sound of alluring, heartbreaking, headbanging, and energy resonating Rock N’ Roll music.

Influenced by the many legends of 80’s and 90’s hard rock, “Phosphene” strives to bring back the essence of old time Rock and Roll. The band tackles the emotional issues of loss, heartbreak, betrayal, and loneliness leaving the listener with the strength and ability to heal and find hope.

Working as a highly driven quartet, the band is finally ready to share their music with the world starting with their first single “Break the silence” off their highly anticipated CD “Any Last Words” which will be released in late January 2014.

The band is ready to take the Chicago music scene to the next level as musicians, songwriters, artists, performers, and friends. The band posted on their site “We put our blood, sweat, and tears into this project and spent many sleepless nights perfecting and analyzing our music so it would not only reach the hearts but shake the souls of all our listeners.” and that’s exactly the emotional ride they are taking their fans on.

Buy new music from Phosphene on iTunes!

Follow Phosphene on Facebook!

Follow Phosphene on Twitter!

Follow Phosphene on Reverb Nation!

Visit Phosphene’s Official Music Website!

Watch Phosphene’s official music video for ‘Let You Go’ below! -


“Feminindie,” Wordkrapht’s effort to shine a light on talented women in the independent music scene, the spotlight is now aimed at Chicago, illuminating its hard rock five piece Phosphene. They are fronted by Jeni Leigh on vocals, who is joined by her bandmates Dan Bikar (guitar), Joey (guitar), Michael Salazar (bass), and Andrew (drums,). The band came together last year after each member found their previous musical efforts dissolving; they hit the ground running by playing as many shows in and around Chicago as they could. They have done their best to keep the pace up ever since, which included recording their debut album Any Last Words. It is a hard rock album with hints of metal that that shows tight instrumental composure with the band chugging and grinding away to create the base that allows Ms. Leigh’s powerful voice to soar over the music.

The album opens with “Hold Me Down,” racing from the speakers right from the start, drums pounding and guitars riffing in unison before giving way to Ms. Leigh as she wails about heartache, and moving on from broken relationships. “Jekyll and Hyde” opens with a quick, but infectious drum and bass groove which gives way to the vocals and simple but haunting guitar that plays around underneath them. Lyrically, “Jekyll and Hyde” seems to be a telling of the classic tale, and thereby the lyrics are a reflection of internal struggles that we each go through on our own. “Don’t Give Up” is one of the continuously heavy tracks on the album, that explodes from the starts and never lets down as Ms. Leigh lets loose singing a message of positivity and keeping one’s head up in tough times, and elevates the music throughout the song. “Let You Go,” closes the album out, and gives the listeners one last chance to rock out with the band and to soar with the vocals as they reach new heights.

Any Last Words is a solid debut album from a band not even two years old. It shows an effort to create a heavy, hard rock album full of chugging guitar riffs, blistering solos, and spiraling vocals with lyrics that may offer listeners a chance at self-reflection. In comparative terms as an album it’s more Evanescence than Garbage, with uplifting lyrics that speak to never giving up. The album is a promising start for a young band, and offers glimpses of their potential to grow as they continue writing songs and making music together.

As an artist being highlighted in Wordkrapht’s Feminindie Contest, I got was able to conduct an e-mail interview with Jeni Leigh, and here is what she had to say:

To start, could you give the readers a quick introduction to who Jeni Leigh is, and how did she get involved in the music scene?

Jeni Leigh is the lead singer for the Chicago based band PHOSPHENE. She has been singing and dancing in recitals since the young age of 4. When Jeni turned 9 years old her mother put her into private vocal lessons with professional vocal teacher Diane Wudtke . Diane taught Jeni music theory and many other fundamentals of music that are still very much a part of Jeni’s musical career. When Jeni started high school she joined the choir where she met her next mentor, choir instructor Tim Mcglynn . Tim taught Jeni how to sing in different styles of music. From Carmina Berona to “Who Loves You” by Frankie Valli / Four Seasons to “ Can See For Miles” By The Who. Tim encouraged Jeni’s voice and helped her embrace her passion for singing. After high school Jeni decided to take her music career to the next level by playing in a band. She played in several different bands until she deicide it was time to start her own. Jeni linked up with 4 musicians she met along the way and together they created the band PHOSPHENE which has proven to be a band that has the talent, passion, and will power to succeed in the music industry.

Being a female in the music industry, have you had any experiences with extra hurdles being placed in your way that you noticed were not thrown in the ways of your male counterparts? If so, what was your reaction, and what did you do to help deal with it?

Absolutely, there are plenty of hurdles in the industry but I definitely feel that there is an extended amount of hurdles for female fronted bands. The main hurdle for females has and always will be image. Sex sells we all know it but it would seem that for men in the industry “selling sex “ isn’t as major as being a great musician or writing a hit song. With females there is a big push on being the next scandal. More skin means more ratings means better shows means more fans. It’s a tiresome equation and there are many woman especially in these times willing to “bear it all” to get noticed. That leaves the handful of us, dare I say, “tasteful” female singers who want our music to be what grabs the attention and hearts of our listeners verses the wow effect of a pair of naked breasts. Don’t get me wrong I want to feel sexy on stage but in a more beautiful or alluring way verses being provocative or trashy. At the end of the day beauty fades but good music will always live on for generations later and having that legacy is much more gratifying than getting famous for your body, I mean not to be blunt but there is another industry for that haha.

I deal with it by doing what feels right to me. In the entertainment industry you have to give into the “sex sells” monster to some extent and who knows what future managers or labels will push on you but the bottom line is knowing what you will and will not do and knowing what direction you want to take your band’s image. When I look at some of the beautiful women in the industry that inspire me I know that many people fell in love with their music and words before they enjoyed their beauty. I know this because, beauty aside , their music is powerful and frankly I would rather run with that crowd because they are also the females that are still selling out stages many years later I’m not so sure the same will hold true with this new wave of “bear it all” women.

Your band bio states that everyone came together after other projects dissipated, how did the members of Phosphene find each other at that point, and how soon into playing together came the “ah- ha, we might just have something here moment?”

I was singing in a band previous band with our guitarist Dan and our drummer Andrew and Guitarist Joey were playing in a previous band together at the same time. In fact, our bands had shared stages a few times which happened to be how we ended up meeting each other in the first place. Two years later I left my band and not too long after that, I reached out to Andrew and told him about this project I wanted to start in hopes that he could recommend some musicians. To my luck Andrew was looking to leave his band and after hearing about the project he called up Joey for a 3 way conference call. The three of us talked about the project and it seemed the longer we talked about it the more exciting everything became. So about a week later they both left their previous band and joined me as a trio. Two months maybe a little less went by and Joeys’s brother, our bassist Michael, came home after graduating from college. We happened to be auditioning bassists at the time so Joey invited him to our practice as a “Jam Session”. Little did Michael know he was really being auditioned and after the session was over we said welcome to the band practice begins tomorrow. Sure enough he was on board with the music and wanted to be a part of the project as well. We remained a 4 piece for some time during which I remained in contact with my previous band’s lead guitarist Dan. We had talked about adding another guitarist for a while, we even auditioned a few and so we decided to reach out to Dan. Dan came out to hear our music and meet the band and a little later he became the final piece to Phosphene. The rest as they say is history!

I would say this project was a work in progress until we hit the studio with the first 3 songs of our album “Any Last Words”. THAT was our Ah- HA moment, when we were finally able to hear our songs outside of the garage and in the perfect sound of the recording studio. The moment our sound engineer Erik Nelson played back our tracks we all just smiled at each other because were awakened by that “ we can really do this “ feeling you get when everything comes together.

Is it a collaborative songwriting process for the group, or is there one main songwriter? Does the band tend to come to you with music, or do you come to them with the lyrics first?

It most definitely is a collaborative process for us. Usually how it works is someone will bring an individual idea to the table and, if it sticks with all of us, then we each throw in our own part with our instrument. As we each keep adding to the initial idea, the song’s direction will start to mold until finally the song gets completely structured out. It’s almost like sitting around the campfire telling story’s when we write, we all sit there facing each other and tell the musical story we hear until we all find one story that we like and can develop together. If we get stumped on a writing a song then we will go back to rehearsing our set in order to take our mind off of it, then revisit the song later or next practice so everyone can digest it.

To answer your question about lyrics, it’s really all about how the song strikes me. For example, when the guys are ruffing through something I develop a rhythm in my head and depending on how that rhythm makes me feel, I will begin to write what lyrics or story the mood of the song is translating to me. I don’t believe in writing lyrics before hearing a song. To me the music translates its own message and why would I want to hinder that natural feeling by having the guys manufacture a song for just my story. I prefer to make a story together with the band so the song really does have a piece of each of our souls in it that is sharing the same message. There are so many experiences people go through in life and one of the best parts of music is the nostalgia you get when you hear a specific song that relates to that specific moment in your life when you were listening to it. I like to think that same way when we are writing. So I listen to what the guys are playing but really listen deeply and let the music take me to a place that felt the way I feel listening to the melody and the words will just bleed out on the paper. A lot of times my bandmates will joke when they watch me write because once I have the feeling I keep writing until the song is finished. Of course I’ll make edits later and maybe change some verbiage, but the story being told stays the same.

Once I have hashed out the song lyrics I will sit with my notes and see if I can strengthen the emotion by taking feelings I have written down similar to the feeling I am placing in the song. I always keep a notepad on me everywhere I go and I will write myself notes if I come across a phrase or quote that strikes an emotion in me or if I’m going through some emotional experience I’ll write how it made me feel so that I can almost capture those true emotions and re edit them in my lyrics later. Although I write these notes down prior to writing lyrics, I only add them after I have already listened to the song and determined my mood or theme of it.

For our upcoming EP, which I will get to later, we plan on using the same technique only this time we are going to demo it over and over until we think it is strong enough to bring to a credited producer who will more than likely have us edit it again until it is as best as it can be.

On the band’s Reverbnation page it says you are self-managed, and unsigned to any record label. That’s about as independent as it gets in the music industry today, or at any time really, what do you find to be advantages and disadvantages of living the true D.I.Y. ideal?

The biggest advantage of D.I.Y bands like us is that you don’t have to worry about another hand taking their “cut” out of what you create or money you make. Without anyone stepping in there is no red tape to deal with, no one telling you that they will help you only if they use “their people” for things. “Their people” obviously being their friends or partners which again will just put money back in their pocket and not putting it towards what it should go to. . . making and writing more music! The way we look at it when approaching managers or labels is what are they doing for the bands on their roaster? If they are doing just the bare minimum promoting them or doing things we are already doing ourselves, for example the band is playing shows at places we have played at or worse places we wouldn’t want to play at , then why even bother signing the contract with them since we are already doing it on our own. Some bands jump on the first industry professional that shows some interest in their music not even realizing that once you sign that contract they get a “cut” of whatever little money you make. Being an up and coming band in the industry you learn that every dollar counts because everything you do even writing music costs money and nothing/no one should get in the middle of that. After all we are musicians which means we are in the business of writing music and that’s always bottom line.

The biggest disadvantage of being D.I.Y is that sometimes you come to a road where you don’t know if you should go left, or if you should go right (figuratively speaking) so sometimes it helps tremendously having someone else that’s been around the industry and knows people in higher positions that would know and help you down the best path. But then again, managers and higher ups also make wrong decisions as well. Another major disadvantage would be the contractual advancement management companies or labels will give you on a record. It is very hard work financing a band on your own and that initial amount needed to kick start your band is a very hard number to save for. Every time you think you just need X dollar amount suddenly more expenses come into play and now you are back to scraping money together again. If you get a big advancement right of the bat it can open multiple doors, expensive doors that may help further you as a musician and reach new heights as a band. I mean that is ultimately every musician’s dream; to get money to make music.

D.I.Y. is a great way to learn what you need to do by forcing you to learn it in order to survive as a band. It helps you see what the music industry is really like behind closed doors and the hardships behind this cut throat battle to be the best. You learn so much about what it takes to be a big player in the industry but most of all you grow so much as a musician by learning if you have what it takes because going through it on your own really tests your will power. There are plenty of moments and even people in this industry that will try to break you especially when you are on your doing it yourself so you really learn how bad you want to succeed, how hungry you are to be heard. You will also have a greater appreciation for the bands you look up to knowing the work that was put in to be where they are today. What we have learned is, DO IT YOURSELF AS LONG AS YOU CAN! All the hard work pays off, but you HAVE TO WORK for it and you have to develop a DEEP HUNGER for what you want. Mommy and daddy can’t hold your hand forever.

As an independent artist, what do you find is the best way to get your music heard? Do you find the social media outlets to be effective, or do you find it’s best to get out there and play to make a connection with fans?

Honestly everything helps and comes into play when marketing your music. Giving out our albums, pushing songs on social media, AND traveling the US playing shows are all crucial parts of getting your music heard. However, there is honestly nothing better than actually getting in front of people and playing your music for them. No fan will be better than the fans you get at live shows because you can connect with them on a personal level that you can’t get online. We find that a lot of the time when we get done playing shows someone will ask, “hey, I have your cd, but that song right before the last one you played tonight. . . what’s it called and is it on the “Any Last Words” cd I have? Because you guys really rocked that song out on the stage tonight ” Our answer is always yes, we are finding a lot of fans like the way we perform and sometimes a song on cd does not always portray the feelings of the song as well as our live performance of it does. Not only just preforming live, but we also hang out with our fans after the live shows and talk with them one on one. We want to create a bond so next time we play in their area we can recognize them. That is what we aim for, knowing WHO our fans are and at the very least knowing them on first name basis not just making them feel like “ another fan” but rather a friend of the band. Social media is a great way to communicate with your fans after shows and continue to talk and connect with them. It’s a great way to relay messages about band events, huge announcements , and show details to make sure everyone knows what is going on with the band at all times so they can be a part of the experience.

Social media is also a great way to advertise your music and shows worldwide. Although I said nothing is better than a fan made at a live show, traveling costs a lot of money and the bigger or further away the shows are the bigger the cost is. So instead of being limited by your pocket book, social media helps you get people to know who you are and share your music all over the world until you hopefully get to the point where you can be in their area where they can come out to support you. It is all one big equation with too many variables but it all boils down to doing whatever you can do to get people to hear, see, and listen your music. Also on a side note, we have noticed an uptake in our free mobile app that we offer to fans. It has everything from our music, to pictures, show dates and much more. Everyone usually has their phone on them everywhere they go these days so why not give them the opportunity to check in with your band everywhere they go as well!

Aside from the two shows scheduled in June and July, does the band have any other plans for the summer?

We have a ton of shows, benefits, festivals, and events coming up. We are anxiously awaiting to play Van’s Warped Tour, possibly this summer, but then after all of that it’s back to the drawing board for Phosphene. What I mean is it will be time to write new music and focus on just that so we can make sure the “sophomore album“ aka next CD we release early next year will come out even better than this first album we put out. We are also in talks with some of those costly big name producers that we are anxiously waiting to work with on this next project! It really has our wheels and motors running! We promise this next EP will blow you all away as we turn everything up a notch and bring Phosphene to the next level!

Where do you see this young group going from here?

We plan to go and be everywhere, on your tv, on your ipod, in your ears, and in your hearts. Our goals for this band are huge we won’t settle for less and we most definitely won’t stop even when we reach the heights of our dreams because we will transform and reach for even bigger goals. Short term we are looking to release a new EP in Jan/Feb of next year with an amazing producer which we will announce in a few months. From there we plan to tour again but this time coast to coast so all of our fans in the east and west coast can finally be a part of the Phosphene live experience. Besides doing our own tour we might also do another major tour which we will announce later once everything is finalized. We will be joining some major festival next year as well. So basically we plan to do all of the things we have accomplished this year in the following year but MUCH more amplified. As I said before, we are ready to bring Phosphene to the next level in 2015 that way in the years to follow we can be touring overseas with some of our favorite bands. - Alex Johnson

"Chi-Town Rocks"

ChiTownRocks is proud to present PHOSPHENE as BAND OF THE MONTH for December. This band was such an easy pick based on the activity we saw on Social Media sites. With Reverb Nation featuring them, 103.9 the Fox playing them on the radio and the current videos out..It was no question that this was a band we wanted to meet.

Fly and I headed to their studio in Vic’s Drums and got to get to know them a little bit better. I have to say, I am very impressed with this band. The talent as well as the will, determination and dedication is surely what will take this local Chicago band to the top. We wish you all the success in the world Phosphene! ~Sheri Archambeau/ChiTownRocks. - Fly & Sheri Archambeau

"Illinois Entertainer December"

Phosphene featured on page 3 - John Vernon

"Illinois Entertainer January"

Phosphene featured on Page 3 - John Vernon

"Illinois Entertainer March"

Phosphene Featured on Page 15 - John Vernon


Where can anyone reading this find your music so that they can enjoy it?

We truly do hope this article, at the very least, sparks all of the reader’s interest to check out our music! The whole ANY LAST WORDS album is available on ITUINES, CD BABY, SPOTIFY, AMAZON, and on our band website at - Jeremey Gilley


Aside from that, do you have any hilarious stories from shows? crazy drunk fans?

Um we have definitely had some interesting shows. Honestly most of the funny or even obnoxious things that happen never come from our fans. I mean our fans have fun don’t get me wrong, they will jump on stage and sing and dance with us. No one is out of line though, we truly have a great connection with our fans that seems to be a mix between a mutual understanding of life’s trials and love for rock n’ roll. - Jeremey Gilley


You have an album out called ANY LAST WORDS, what made you decide on the title?

The title of our album ANY LAST WORDS is really a common theme woven within every song on the CD. We decided that this CD is really a rebirth for all of us as aspiring musicians and we wanted the title to portray that. ANY LAST WORDS is about being put in that life or death situation and in our case the life or death of following your dream. I think everyone in our band has been passionate about making music for a very long time and we have all played in several bands prior to PHOSPHENE that lead to dead ends in our musical careers. When we all left our previous bands and came together to create PHOSPHENE it was really a crossroad for us. There comes a point when dreaming isn’t enough because you want that dream to manifest. You don’t want to just dream anymore, you want to evolve that dream into something tangible…into your reality. So after you try so many times and keep hitting walls you start to question if it’s worth it to keep fighting. PHOSPHENE in many ways is our Phoenix from the ashes of the many burns we all faced in our past musical and life experiences. We collectively took an oath to take all that passion and purpose and potential we had each been harnessing and unleash it together to create this force we know to be PHOSPHENE. It is one voice between us and our fans that is letting the world know that we are going to fight for our music to be heard. “Any Last Words” is a common phrase that is usually used in movies when someone’s life is on the line symbolically that’s the point where we stand with our music. Our “last words” are carved in the lyrics and melodies of every song on our album. If you listen to our message than you will quickly learn that this band isn’t an end for us… it is just the beginning…... - Jeremey Gilley

"Let You Go Music Review"

"Soon as the track started I fell in love with the guitars. I’m very picky with female vocals over rock, but this band has got it! I’m already a fan! The band is rocking, I love how bass in the verse is doing it’s own thing. Guitar makes this song really great. This band is going to go far and I’ll definitely check this band out after this review. There guys rock!” - Anonymous

"Let You Go Music Review"

"Very fresh and fast paced sound. A nice voice from the radio. This song would be very suited for radio play. The instrumentation is very well constructed and organized which creates an appealing sound to the ear. The guitar instrument are very well played and the composition of the lyric content, very well done. Overall, this is a very good pop rock song and would do very well if played on main stream radio. I quite enjoyed listening to this song and may purchase it if I ever get the opportunity. - Anonymous

"Let You Go Music Review"

“The drummer does a nice job of building up the momentum of this song, and the guitar melody is pretty sweet. The young lady belting out the lyrics sounds good and the song is mastered very well. The chorus delivers a nice punch and this rhythm is nice for shaking a tail feather. I gave this song a 9 because it’s the type of track that breaks a band out of the underground into the limelight. Don’t be surprised to see this band opening for major acts very soon. The guitar rift on the end is so complex and the entire track is very well put together.” - Anonymous

"Rock In Chicago"

"Phosphene is very aware of the public perception of the band, they’re not out to capitalize on solely good looks. The band takes the higher ground with keeping it professional" - Erik Oldman

"Rock In Chicago"

"The name of the band it self is rather clever, talking about the origins of it, Jeni adds “One day while looking up interesting words (for a band name) “Phosphene" came up with the definition " when you rub your eyes and see stars". The moment we saw the meaning it just clicked with all of us. It’s fun because people still react to the name, at first with confusion and when they learn the meaning it brings up some sort of childhood memory that they share with us.” It draws memories out of people and we as a band would like to do the same with our music.” - Erik Oldman

"Let You Go Music Review"

“This reminded me of Halloween music, I thought Michael Myers was on his way. But the song itself was really nice. I could see this being a hit. I enjoy the woman’s voice. It flows well throughout the song. The words are nice and the beat is good too. I like the way the song lines up with the passion of the artist’s voice. I could see this being a hit.” - Anonymous

"Let You Go Music Review"

“There was a great intro to this song. It was very fast paced and upbeat, It made me want to get up and start dancing to the beat of the song. The beat is consistently great through the song. There is a perfect mix of drums, bass, and guitar. The singer’s voice is also very good. And the lyrics are great too! There is a lot of potential for this song and I believe it could become a hit on the radio. I know that I would listen to it if it were on the radio today.” - Anonymous

"Heavy Metal 107: Dame-Nation V: The Journey Towards a New Beginning"

Phosphene were the next band up at the Rock Club Stage. They draw inspiration from a wide variety of metal, ranging from thrash to hair-metal to alternative rock. Their sound and vibe was also easy to get into and good for singing along. If Phosphene could be counted on for one thing it was their ability to deliver a catchy melody. Often their songs would build from a soft, melodic, clean-guitar progression to heavy power chords. They're a perfect fit for mainstream heavy rock, and gave us a couple power ballads too. One highlight from their set was a good rendition of Journey's classic 'Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)'. This was a song that everybody was sure to know and it got the crowd involved a little more. One of their original songs I would point out as a personal favorite is 'Break the Silence'. Jeni Imparato's performance was captivating. She put much emotion into her vocal delivery. At moments she seemed to be channeling Pat Benatar or Sharon den Adel (of Within Temptation). - Happy Head Banger

"Rock In Chicago"

"Phosphene is very aware of the public perception of the band, they’re not out to capitalize on solely good looks. The band takes the higher ground with keeping it professional" - Erik Oldman

"Rock In Chicago"

"Initial readings from Phosphene’s first live shows around Chicago this summer have drawn comparisons of Jeni’s vocal stylings to Pink and Alanis Morissette, musically the band draws similarities to Evanescence, Flyleaf, Lacuna Coil, and Halestorm, but with a much more stripped-down and direct sound. Phosphene’s singles “Break the Silence” “Lock Me Away” and “Don’t Give Up” have showcased a band that while still young, has put a lot of intentionality into the development of the direction of their sound." - Erik Oldman

"Rock In Chicago"

“I like this song a lot. I like the band, the voice, the lyrics. They’re all good. It’s a fresh sound. It’s kind of Pop/Rock meets Country in a strange way. I really like it. I would like to hear more from this band. I could def. picture them on the radio. The chorus is awesome, I feel like it could relate to a wide audience.” - Erik Oldman

"Rock In Chicago"

Phosphene pulls its collective influences from the grandiose stadium rock, and hair metal of Journey (Jeni admits that one of her favorite tunes is “Separate Ways”) and Bon Jovi to newer artists such as A Skylit Drive, 30 Seconds to Mars and Avenged Sevenfold. Jeni reflects on the band’s style. “We really wanted to bring back some of the elements that made all those great artists leave a legacy so great that their songs still get air time today….We wanted big choruses, with strong hooks, meaningful lyrics, and driving guitar riffs/ drum beats and we feel we have finally achieved that sound and are ready to share it with the world.” - Erik Oldman

"Indie Band of the Week - Phosphene"

Chicago foursome Phosphene have come a long way for a band barely two years old. Thanks to their enormous drive and passion for what they do, lead singer Jeni Leigh, drummer Andrew, guitarist Dan Bikar and bassist Michael Salazar have amassed a cult following and have done what other musicians only dream about: headline the Chicago House of Blues. Besides being one of Illinois’ go-to rock bands, Phosphene has been in heavy rotation on local radio, and have also featured on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights. Jeni took the time to walk us through how Phosphene came together and what a typical Phosphene day is like.

You guys seem to have quite a hectic schedule. You’ve basically been on the road since February and have been featured in a number of festivals. Is it true that y’all are the hardest working band in Chicago?

Absolutely, I know there are other hardworking bands in Chicago and I’m not undermining them in anyway when I say I believe our band is definitely among the most persistent, tenacious, and resilient of the group. All of us have a strong work ethic and have put so much time and money into our project. Phosphene is truly the heart and soul of every member in our band. We take Phosphene seriously and put 100% of ourselves into it because everyone’s dreams and future career is on the line, why wouldn’t you give it everything you’ve got?

Phosphene is referred to as the “Phosphene Machine” because all of us eat, sleep and dream Phosphene. Everyday we go to our day jobs to help fund the band and when we come home we are working on new music, updating our social media, booking shows and festivals, rehearsing and researching the industry to stay on point. If you really want something you will give everything you have to achieve it and every one of our members live by that every day.

We came into this project to be more than just another rock band. We want to make a difference. We want to give our fans comfort in our lyrics, tenacity in our melodies, and inspiration in our performances. Our purpose is more than just creating music. Our real purpose is to illuminate the hearts and minds of our fans, to create light when there is no light seen. That is why we are named Phosphene and why we have chosen to dedicate our lives… everything we are and everything we have…to be heard

1381220372_PhospheneWhat’s a typical Phosphene day like?

Basically a typical day is: wake up, go work out, update social media/answer emails and interviews, go to work, come home change, go to rehearsal, write new music, shower, eat, sleep, repeat. On days we are in the studio, life is much more simple: wake up, have breakfast, record for 12-14 hours, eat, sleep, repeat.

Kind of boring I know but when you are a “do it yourself” band you have to dedicate all your time to do the things huge label heads may have 6-10 people doing for you. This band does not give us much of a personal life or social life for that matter outside of our shows. That is a sacrifice we all had to make and is part of the trials of being in a band. We miss out on family parties, weddings, birthdays, and holidays because we are either at a show, on tour, or in the studio. Close friends and relatives understand that we have to work at this everyday, a full time job on top of our full time jobs, in order to ensure success. However there are also those with the mind frame that the music industry is not a “ Real” job or is a highly unlikely profession. We take the doubters with a grain of salt.

To us, this band is no different than any start up business and you have to lose a lot to gain a little and then eventually that little becomes a lot. At the end of the day, our fan’s testimonials on our music and performances remind us that our hard work is paying off because our music means something more to them than just a song. Whether that figure is one person or 100,000 , it is worth it!

And the hard work has paid off. You’ve come quite a long way for a band that’s been around for little more than two years.

Less than two years actually! (laughs) And yes it has definitely paid off! Because of everything we have accomplished in this past year, we are even more motivated and dedicated to Phosphene than ever before.

In just about a year and a half we played six of the best festivals in Illinois including Vans Warped Tour. We have made four Television appearances on Fox News, ABC News, The Mancow Show, and ESPN Friday Night Fights. We have had in studio interviews at radio stations and our music is being played on a bunch of stations all over the world. We have played with over 20 well-known national acts and have traveled the U.S. to play shows for our fans nationwide including our showcase at SXSW. We have rocked some of the most accredited venues in the U.S. and met so many influential industry professionals.

We did all of this and more, but i’m not saying all this to brag. My point is that we were able to accomplish so much on our own with just our willpower and a strong belief in our music to fuel us. So when we start to let the music industry’s biggest killer, DOUBT, creep in our minds we think of how far we have come and what we are capable of. Our next step is to see where our limitations are and… if we can… break them!
Phosphene – Let You Go

When you’re not in the studio or onstage, where can the members of Phosphene be found? Any other interests beside music?

I wish I had a cool answer for this, but as i said before we all really have no life outside of our band lives. We are all nerds though and read comic books, play games, and watch our favorite TV shows in what little spare time we get. Michael is big on Reddit, Dan is huge on sports especially DA BEARS, I (Jeni) am big on reading whether it’s a self-help book, a romantic novel, or a timeless classic, and Andrew is usually reading the latest DC/Marvel universe comics. We all also spend a lot of spare time checking on the music industry professionals that inspire us and try to learn a thing or two.

Other than that, if our schedule allows, one might be able to catch us at a concert supporting our friends in the industry.

From your profile it’s clear that each one of you was involved with other bands before fate brought y’all together under the Phosphene umbrella. When did the falling apart and coming together happen? How did it happen for each of you?

It happened when we all least expected it to. Dan and I (Jeni) were in a band that played a few shows with a band that Joey and Andrew were in. None of us expected to be in a band together. In fact, if you would have told us that then, I doubt any of us would believe you because it would have seemed very random.

As it turns out there was a very specific reason for our meeting. I met Dan on Craigslist when I was searching for a new band to join. He reached out to me and boom we were in a band. Andrew and Joey were both searching a musician classified site and just so happened to join the same band where they first met. Being that the music industry in Chicago is pretty tight knit, like a small town where everyone knows or has heard of each other, our bands met and decided to play a few shows together.

Months later I (Jeni) left my band. I reached out to Andrew of whom I kept in contact with. He had also left his band and was currently in a new project with Joey. I spoke with them both in a lengthy conversation of goals and ambition. We all felt that we were in search of the same thing and not to long after our talk the two of them left their band and joined me to start a project of our own. At that time Dan was starting a new project with the members of our old band so we remained a three-piece.

Not too long after writing our first couple of songs, Joey’s brother Michael graduated college and was moving back home. Joey told us how good of a bass player Michael was so we invited him to “ jam” with us which was really a secret audition. His talent and personality just clicked and we were officially a 4 piece. After we wrote some music and started to build our name we decided it was time to add a guitarist and of course Dan was first on the list. We reached out to him and it just so happened that he was leaving his band. He joined and we never looked back.

Click on the album to purchase from Amazon

The CD release show for your debut LP Any Last Words at the House of Blues in Chicago at the beginning of the year seems to have been quite dramatic even before you stepped on stage. Tell us about that.

Oh yes, I have spoken of all the great things we have accomplished but there were definitely many hardships we have had to face and still face. Our very first show was planned to be a huge success. There were over 1000 pre sold tickets at one of Chicago’s best venues, House Of Blues. Suddenly our CD distributors packages of 1000 CD’s went missing the day before our CD Release. Only one box was recovered in time for the show so we had 250 CD’s which was terrible.

Then on the day of the show, there was one of the worst snow storms of 2014 so many people were snowed in their house and couldn’t travel even if they wanted too. We still made the trip and after a lot of deliberating with the venue on if we should cancel and do a makeup date, we decided we couldn’t do that to the people who did weather the storm to see us. So we still played our hearts out and had a blast. The venue workers were very kind and helpful and our fans enjoyed themselves as did we! We also put on 2 FREE makeup shows later in the year for people who bought tickets but couldn’t make it. So in the end we overcame our very first of the many obstacles we had to face this past year.

You sing a lot about relationships, are these all from personal experience?

Absolutely! I hate to admit it but I have had my heart broken MANY times. Relationships are my comfort zone to write about because of how emotionally invested I am with those I love. Raw emotion does not have to be fabricated if you lived the experience because you know EXACTLY what it feels like. So coming up with the words to describe that feeling is like ripping open a scar and bleeding the words on the paper. Everything I write lyrically comes from a personal place. If it is not from my own life, it is from stories/lives of people close to me. When it is time to lay down lyrics for a song I like to dig deep down past the surface and into the stronger emotions buried within me. I want people to not only relate to what i am singing about but i also want them to feel the underlying theme of empowerment. I want them to know that i not only understand what they feel but I survived it and they can too. Or if it is a happy song, then I want to celebrate with the listener.

Lyrics are a very personal experience for me and I hope that everyone who listens to Phosphene gets to enjoy the ride, the ups and downs of life’s emotional roller coaster, together.

phosphene2Who does the songwriting for the group or does everyone chip in?

Everyone. We work as one unit, basically a committee. When someone comes up with an individual idea they record it and send it to the others to add or take away from it. Then we meet for a writing session and start to work the idea molding it into a song. That song then goes to the studio where we get a great scratch track that we all take home to listen and come up with more changes or additions. Then we go back to the studio to record the final track and add the changes and additions we all came up with, which then bring about more ideas. We keep adding and subtracting until finally with the magical final touches of our producer/sound engineer, a new Phosphene song is born.

There’s a sort of cultured aggression to Phosphene’s style. Some have likened you Paramore. Who would you say are your influences?

Well firstly we appreciate that comment because power and aggression in our music is definitely important to us . Also we are flattered that fans bring up Paramore since they are an awesome band who is very hardworking.

All the members of Phosphene are influenced by different artists. Michael has a lot of punk and funk influences with bands like Blink 182 and MXPX, Dan has a lot of metal influence with bands like August Burns Red and Killswitch Engage, Andrew has classic influences as well as some rap influences including Little Wayne and Huey Lewis, and I (Jeni) have a lot of influences from Broadway, pop, and alternative rock like 30 Seconds To Mars, HIM, and many musicals especially those done by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Although our tastes vary, we can all, for the most part, find things or specific songs we like in each others preferred genre and I think that is something that makes our band special. We challenge each other and help each other grow by showing each other different styles and ways to hear music.

Your new album should be out early 2015, what are your future plans for the band beyond that?

Tons! Our album of course comes first and above all else. Our graphic designer is currently working on our album art designs and we are in and out of the studio for the next three months writing and finishing our sophomore LP. On top of that we have been working with our endorsers upgrading and casing our gear to prepare for the new year and touring! We are also working with EC Stage Art and others on stage design. On top of all that we are booking our spring/summer tour jammed packed with shows and festivals around the U.S. which are looking to start as soon as April 2015 right after our CD release. So much as happening behind the scenes so things may seem slow on the home front but that is just to make sure we are 100% ready for Phosphene’s BIG comeback in 2015. New look, New music, New merchandise, Phosphene is turning everything up for the new year and we cannot wait to share it with all of you!

Thanks for taking the time! - Phil Kimm


Phosphene (2015)

Any Last Words (2014)



Phosphene is endorsed by Sennheiser/Neumann, Truth Custom Drums, Voodoo
Amps, Humes & Berg, E.C. Stage Art, Clayton Custom Guitar Picks, JH
Audio, Maxon Pedals/Godlyke Distributing, and Scorpion Stix.

Phosphene has an ongoing partnership with TAMA, Evans, D'Addario, Guitar Center, Crown Case Co. and Rebel Custom Mic Stands


You may have seen them on Vans Warped Tour, Rockfest, or at SXSW or tearing up stages across the country at many of the hottest clubs nationwide. Or maybe you saw them on FOX NEWS, ABC 7 NEWS CHICAGO, The Mancow Show, or even watched Phosphene’s singer, Jeni, sing the National Anthem on ESPN “Friday Night Fights” hosted by Mike Tyson.

Phosphene could have caught your eye in the many press appearances they have made from coverage inside some of the best Rock N’ Roll magazines including Alternative Press and Revolver magazine. Not to mention their singer being picked as Revolver magazine’s “Hottest Chick In Hard Rock”. Their music may have grabbed your attention over the airwaves on accredited radio stations like 103.9 THE FOX, 107.5 THE ROCK, 92.9 THE X, 95 WIIL ROCK, 105.5 THE KAT, and 97.3 THE ROCK.

Their second album, released in March 2015, has won media attention from all over the world. Still, there is more to this passionate rock band than just killer performances and polished music! Phosphene’s inspirational messages and connection to their fans are noteworthy qualities that keep creating buzz in the music industry. It is no wonder why they are leading the Illinois market with a support team of over 120,000 fans that grows daily.

Band Members