Phantom Blue -

Phantom Blue Biography

Melodic Power - USA


Phantom Blue discography

Phantom Blue biography

Phantom Blue was formed in 1987 in Hollywood, California by best friends Michelle Meldrum, Nicole Couch and Linda McDonald. The band recorded a demo in 1988 that won them a contract with Shrapnel Records. The band released their self-titled debut album in the summer of 1989, attracting transatlantic interest, and it included a minor hit single "Why Call it Love?". However, the band resented the glam metal image given by their record company, which did not equate with their actual heavier sound, and also being made to shoot the video for "Why Call it Love?" at a male penitentiary. Much momentum was lost in finding new management and a record deal, finally made with Geffen Records, and their follow-up studio album Built to Perform did not emerge until 1993. During that time, Couch had left the band and was replaced by guitarist Karen Kreutzer.

A reasonably successful European tour to promote Built to Perform followed in 1994. Unfortunately, Unfortunately, due to the emergence of alternative rock and grunge and some destabilizing lineup changes, Geffen Records dropped Phantom Blue dropped Phantom Blue following the release of Built to Perform, Meldrum and bassist Kim Nielsen parted ways with the band. Kreutzer also left months after breaking her leg in a skiing accident, which forced the band to cancel majority of their 1994 U.S. tour. The band independently released their third album Prime Cuts & Glazed Donuts in 1995, which also featured a comic book on the band that was packaged with the CD. The band's live album Caught Live ! was released in 1997. By the end of the decade, vocalist Gigi Hangach had left, leaving drummer McDonald the only surviving founding member of the band. Nevertheless the band soldiered on, releasing the EP Full Blown in 1998 before calling it quits.

Both Phantom Blue's Shrapnel debut and Geffen release, Built to Perform are regarded by fans and critics alike to be the most techinically accomplished albums ever to be recorded by an all-female band.

Drummer Linda McDonald and guitarist Sara Marsh (who was part of the 2001 lineup) went on to play in two tribute bands. The first being The Iron Maidens (billed as "The world's only female tribute to Iron Maiden"), who have released a self-titled tribute album in the USA and Japan, the CD/DVD release Route 666 and the EP The Root of All Evil in Japan on Powerslave Records. The second being The Little Dolls ("All female all Ozzy all the time, covering all eras of Ozzy"). In addition, McDonald is involved in the cover bands Valley Dolls, Unholy Pink (also with Marsh), Half-Cocked and Hot Box.

Guitarist Josephine Soegijanty (from the 1997-2001 lineups) co-founded The Iron Maidens in 2001 with McDonald and Marsh, but left in 2005 - just months after the band released their debut album. Today, she goes by the name Jojo Draven and composes music for movies produced and directed by her husband Danny Draven.

Bassist Dyna Shirasaki and guitarist Tina Wood (from the 1997 lineup) are currently with the all-female AC/DC tribute band ThundHerStruck, with Shirasaki on lead vocals.  

Lead vocalist Lucienne Thomas (from the 1998 lineup) became the lead vocalist of the Heart tribute band Dreamboat Annie after leaving Phantom Blue.

Bassist Rana Ross (from the 1994 lineup) went on to tour with Vixen in 1997 before she and former bandmate Karen Kreutzer formed the band Sinboy. Sadly, she died of liver failure on May 3, 2003.

Guitarist Karen Kreutzer (from the 1993-1997 lineups) retired after moving to West River, MD. She is currently married with one daughter and is working as a data analyst for a content solutions company.

Bassist Kim Nielsen (who now goes by her married name Kim Nielsen-Parsons) has become a successful session musician, tour production and artist management assistant, working with many top bands in the music industry. Her most notable work outside of Phantom Blue is in Asia's 2004 album Silent Nation.

Lead vocalist Gigi Hangach currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada and is a fierce supporter of animal rights. Critics claimed her performance at the 2009 Phantom Blue reunion show was captivating and she is regarded to be one of the most underrated hard rock/metal vocalists in music history.

Guitarist Nicole Couch currently lives in with her husband and two children and is in the process of recording an album due to be released next year.

Original Bassist Debra Armstrong currently lives in Sioux City, Iowa with her husband. She left the music industry soon after being replaced by Kim Nielsen in 1988, and went on to pursue a career in 3D modeling and engineering, working for clients such as Disney Imagineering, DARPA and others.

Guitarist Michelle Meldrum went on to form an international band called Meldrum. The band have toured with Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society, Motörhead, Sepultura, Nashville Pussy and Danzig. They have released a live DVD, Loaded Live, and two albums, Loaded Mental Cannon and Blowin' Up The Machine, the latter featuring her former Phantom Blue band mate, drummer Linda McDonald. Sadly, on May 21, 2008, Meldrum died as a result of a cerebral hemorrhage. She is survived by her husband John Norum (of Europe) and their son Jake.

On May 26, 2009, Linda McDonald, Gigi Hangach and Kim Nielsen-Parsons reunited as Phantom Blue for the Michelle Meldrum Memorial Concert at the Whisky a Go Go in Hollywood, CA. Meldrum's position was filled by Tina Wood (from the 1997 lineup), while Sara Marsh and Courtney Cox of The Iron Maidens filled in for Nicole Couch.