Phone Home is comprised of brothers John Vallarelli (Drums), Michael Vallarelli (Synth and Piano) and Jeff Santoro (Guitar). Together they create progressive, sometimes dark and at other times poppy, driving instrumental music. Although the Vallarelli brothers were in separate bands growing up, it took them about twenty years to land in roughly the same place musically and personally to form Phone Home. They self released their third EP entitled WAYS in December of 2013 and plan on releasing a full length later this year.
1. Name: Michael Vallarelli
Where are you writing this. At my apartment Brooklyn Heights
2. Home is where your story begins, please tell us a little about yours.
I live in a cozy one-bedroom with my fiancee. It’s perfect because all we do is listen to records, read, watch Netflix, eat good food and drink wine etc etc etc. A lot of serious hanging out and relaxing. It’s a sanctuary of coziness really.
3. How did Phone Home come to be?
At the time, I was really into that LCD Soundsystem record This Is Happening, a lot of Brian Eno and Talking Heads. I called my brother and just told him I was gonna buy a synthesizer. The plan was that he and I could create weird soundscapes that would hopefully evoke the mid-twenties fuelled anxiety I was feeling.
4. Describe your musical style.
I like to call it instrumental pop in the sense that we try to create distinct and memorable melodies. I really don’t like the “post-rock” label as much but we get dubbed that a lot. We try to create a balance of songs that have a light and dark juxtaposition. It’s also atmospheric and spacey so some people have called it “space-rock”. It’s tough because the minute you tell someone there isn’t vocals, everything gets thrown out the window.
5. What inspires your compositions?
My brother and I write music that is truly inspired by our bond and our love of music and what it does to people. There is a little bit of a rejection of mortality in there somewhere as well. Life is incredibly strange and exciting and we try to create music that reflects that, without words.
6. Do you have a favorite thus far and is there a story behind it?
My favorite song thus far is probably this new song we are currently working on which doesn’t have a title. It literally sounds like space r&b. Not sure if that is a genre but it is now.
7. What is the glue that holds you together as musicians?
A need to keep creating and brotherhood.
8. When you are not making music what are you doing?
I currently have a 9-5 job at a dental lab in Manhattan where I help doctors with their problems. I also spend a lot of time with my fiancee exploring life.
9. In Phone Home which brother is the realist and which is the dreamer?
We are both dreamers because our mom always told us to never be otherwise.