RENDEZVOUS: A Quick Catch Up With PLANET
"I love Britpop music... I personally think we take more from bands like REM, Crowded House or even Kurt Vile and The War On Drugs. I also believe there is a big folk element to us. It's human nature to compare A to B, so no one should be bothered with people doing so."
Photography: Tim Baker
Sydney four-piece PLANET create soaring pop-rock that'll stick with you for days. It's a big hit of melodic noise that has them set up for an even bigger 2018. This week they released their brilliant debut EP 'Waking Eight' and set off on tour in the UK supporting DMA's. There's a lot happening, and it only takes one listen of their latest release to understand why. We had a mini catch up with lead singer Matty Took to chat about the recording process, touring and how they've managed to deliver such a magical debut.
Please press play before you read on - the mood needs to be just right.
Your new EP is great, it’s super crisp. Can you tell us a little bit about the creative process? Who writes the songs?
Our usual creative/recording process starts off with me banging out a demo in my bedroom with a programmed beat from Ableton. Tom and I record the guitars roughly through an amp or DI, chuck a rough bass-line on and then record a gibberish vocal melody on top. For the EP we took these demo’s (some finished, others not) up to the central coast. We jammed them out all together in a rehearsal studio for a week and came back with nine good completed tunes. Then we narrowed them down to five.
Whilst it’s crisp, there’s a real rawness/DIY feel on there too. I read that your earlier songs were recorded in more of a bedroom set up, was the new EP too?
100%. With this EP, we re-recorded the songs to more appropriate tempos, then went into Parliament Studios with Lachlan Mitchell to record drums super phat. Those drums and the actual mixing were the only elements for the EP that ventured outside of my home studio in Redfern.
What’s one of the weirdest instruments or recording techniques you used on the new EP?
Not weird, but unusual for us - using a variety of pads in the recording of 'Waking Eight' that turned out real cool. I think this will be more apparent for our next set of releases.
Lyrically, you have a very effortless storytelling ability, and the songs are quite personal at times too. Do you find writing songs to be quite therapeutic?
Yeah, I do in a way. My lyrics usually seem to come out subconsciously through the recording of the gibberish lyrics and melodies. Some phrases just seem to come out naturally. It’s then a process of taking those few key phrases and building off them, instead of being pre-written in the ‘storytelling’ sense.
All of your tracks are very guitar driven, what’s the trick to writing such consistently catchy guitar music?
I love big guitars and pop melodies. I whistle or sing the catchiest thing that comes to my head and then play it on guitar. I then jam this riff over whatever chord progression sounds cool.
A lot of people mention the term Britpop when trying to define you by genre. Is that something you’re happy to be defined by? I imagine your influences would also come from well beyond that genre too?
I don’t mind at all! I love ‘Britpop’ music. I personally think we take more from bands like REM, Crowded House or even Kurt Vile and The War On Drugs. I also believe there is a big folk element to us. It's human nature to compare A to B, so no one should be bothered with people doing so.
That said, your sound will definitely resonate well in the North of England, and the wider UK. What are you most looking forward to playing those shows? Are you particularly excited to play Manchester?
I’m keen just to play a lot of shows, in a short period time with my best mates and in cracking venues.
Things have the potential to get pretty noisy. What do you want people to feel when they walk away from a PLANET show?
For the lyrics to connect and for them to be singing the riff of a song for the rest of the month.
Finally, you obviously have an ear for music, how do you go on the dance floor?
I tend to leave it up for other people. I go alright buh…
Catch all their moves IRL at the below shows. Tickets here.
Saturday 16th June, Yah Yah's, Melbourne
Thursday 21st June, Uni Bar, Wollongong
Friday 22nd June, The Lansdowne, Sydney
Saturday 23rd June, The Northern, Byron Bay
Sunday 24th June, Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle
Friday 29th June, Park House, Mona Vale
Saturday 30th June, Bloodhound Bar, Fortitude Valley