By Ryan McConnell
This week I caught up with one of Australia’s finest emerging talents, PLANET ahead of the release of their latest EP “Maybe Someday” which is out this Friday (April 17). Read what drummer, Harry had to say below..
First off, how have you all been coping during lockdown, and what has been keeping you going?
We’ve been doing OK, all things considered. There’s been definite setbacks, but we’ve all got our health so we’re thankful for that. The biggest blow was having to postpone our upcoming tour. We’re just about to drop a new EP and we were super keen to have a chance to play the new songs for audiences both at home and over in the UK. Thankfully, we’ve been able to reschedule for later in the year thanks to the hard work of our management and booking team. It’s a mad scramble at the moment for everyone in the industry and we’re very hopeful that we’ll be able to get these songs to the stage very soon. On top of that, all the lads except for myself have lost their day jobs. I only survived because I work in an off license. Thankfully the Australian Government considers booze to be essential at this point in time – as long as you’re drinking at home of course. In terms of what’s keeping us going, I know that Matty and Tom have been taking this time to work on new songs. Matty’s also been figuring out how to perfect the live stream, so you’ll hopefully be able to catch a virtual rendition of some of our tunes soon. As I said, we’ve rescheduled the tour for later in the year, so there’s been loads going on behind the scenes to make that happen.
So you are a four-piece from Sydney, tell us a little more about your style, how the band got together and the inspiration behind the name PLANET..
Matty, Tom and I all went to school together and have been playing in bands since then. Jimmy, our bass player, we met a bit later on and that’s when this project took its current shape. For the name we just wanted something punchy and memorable. We wanted it to be one word only, and we didn’t want to be “the” anythings. PLANET just sounded good to us. We were surprised it wasn’t already taken to be honest. Musically speaking, we’re all influenced by different things and listen to a lot of different music. The first thing that most people pick out is the Brit Pop label. That’s definitely an influence, but we’ve never set out to make songs that sound like that specifically. I’d say when you look at the core of the bands we’re influenced by they’re all guitar based bands that champion good pop melodies. Bands like Jesus and Mary Chain, Pavement, Pulp, The Verve, The Go-Betweens, Dinosaur Jr…
The new EP “Maybe Someday” is officially out this coming Friday, I imagine it is frustrating not getting out to play it live on tour for now – are you still excited to be releasing it, and what can new listeners of the band expect?
We’re definitely excited to be releasing it. We’ve been sitting on these songs for a while now. To have them out in the world, even if we can’t play them live, will be a bit of a relief for all of us I think. We just want people to be able to hear these songs that we’ve been so excited about for so long. There’s a decent range on this EP, in my opinion. There’s the poppier tracks like our most recent single “Imaginary” but then also tracks like “Maybe Someday” that are definitely more in line with that tradition of guitar-centric rock. Something for everyone and their Mum.
You recently supported Liam Gallagher on his Australian tour, how did it feel to be invited to play and how was he as a person?
It was huge to be invited on that tour. We’re always super grateful to get opportunities like that. I can’t tell you what he’s like honestly. I only stood next to him for about a minute and there was a bouncer between us. The bouncer was nice though… soft hands.
The band is growing in popularity here in the UK has it been a bit of a surreal experience and have there been any gigs or moments that have stood out in particular during your tours here?
Yeah, we’re always blown away with the amount of love we get over there. Playing at Barrowlands was pretty special, even if it was just as a support. Of our own shows it’s hard to pick a favourite for me. We’re always amazed with the level of energy you get from crowds, particularly in the North. Talking to people after shows is always a trip. It’s crazy to be halfway around the world and speak to someone who likes the music we’re making… We’re also all huge fans of a good Tesco Meal Deal, you just can’t get that kind of value back home. Great for touring on a budget.
We ourselves are based in Scotland where music fans usually get a name for being quite lively. How have you found the crowds and people to be on your times spent here?
There’s too much water between Australia and Scotland. We’ve always said that. The crowds are always amazing. Such a great energy and everyone is there to have a good time. In places like Sydney and London I find that crowds can be quite reserved at first. They’re not willing to show as much enthusiasm straight away. Scottish crowds have always seemed far more willing to get in straight away and jump around. When you’re on stage you feed off that kind of energy.
The Australian music scene seems to be in a very good position right now with waves of great talent from the likes of Tame Impala to DMA’S and more, what do you think has been the secret to their success and is there any acts that standout for yourselves?
I don’t know if there’s a secret. I think it’s just that the world is more connected than ever before. You can put something up and it’s just as easy for someone to listen in Sydney as it is anywhere else in the world. What does tend to happen, I think, is that you get a few great bands coming out of a place like Australia who make it big and then all of sudden people start paying attention. There’s always been great music here, but I think because people are listening to more Australian bands they’re more likely to discover other great Aussie bands. There’s so much great music currently, even just from Sydney bands, like Johnny Hunter, The Buoys, The Melodrones, CLEWS, 100… just to name a few.
Beyond the release of your new EP, are there any plans for an album in the near future?
We’re sitting on a lot of unreleased material and there’s definitely plans for an album soon. I think everything has been disrupted by this pandemic, so it’s hard to say exactly when it’ll be done. As long as people keep listening to our songs, we’ll keep making them.
Be sure to grab your tickets for the bands rescheduled UK/AUS tour and buy some merch below..