“Strange Planet, you were a perfect end to the night; fun, up-beat, and most importantly; TIGHT! Your sound is rehearsed, your music and lyrics are catchy, and we look forward to seeing your next few performances. ”
— Indie Music Reviewer
Atlanta’s Strange Planet just returned from their first ever tour, which took the power trio’s Jupiter-sized sound, infectious tune-craft and affability to ten cities in as many days.
The band – vocalist and guitarist Kenny Brown, drummer Troy Wolf and bassist Josey Reinhardt – have been together in their current lineup for about a year, but Brown and Wolf have played together for over a decade in various bands. Originally from Greenville, South Carolina, the guitarist and drummer risked a move to Atlanta in 2004 looking for more musical opportunities.
“The move helped us because there are so many more bands and more competition,” says Brown. Since relocating they’ve shared the stage with Atlanta bands like The Bastard Suns, Jungol and Verge of Bliss, honing their chops and musical vision.
The trio sounds both monolithic and accessible, melding bruising rhythms to dramatic, sweeping vocal melodies. “It’s hard to fill in the gaps, but we do it well,” Wolf states. “We get a wall of sound from a three piece.”
To Brown, melody is king. “When you’re a kid and you hear a song,” he says, “you identify with it immediately because of the emotion and the way the melody sounds. That’s what I focus on most.”
Reinhardt, who had played previously in indie-prog band Nerd Parade, joined Strange Planet in late 2012. “We played a show with them in 2011,” he says. “When Nerd Parade dissolved I emailed Kenny. We all get along good and Kenny and I are pretty much the same person in a different body, which is nice.” “We hit it off quick,” adds Wolf.
They’re also one of the nicest bands around. “We’re just a rock and roll band,” Brown says. “We don’t act like big shots.” That easygoing friendliness was the key to their first tour’s success. Wolf, who does most of the band’s booking, set up shows in towns where they already had friends. “Most of the tour, we had friends to crash with,” he says.
The trek wasn’t without some surprises, most of which were positive. “We got to have a personal tour of George Gruhn’s guitar collection in Nashville,” Reinhardt says. “We saw his personal guitars, his snake collection.” It was all thanks to a friend, guitarist Dave Johnson from Nashville indie-pop/rock quartet Scale Model. “We got the red carpet treatment there.”
“The Midwest in general has some of the nicest people,” Wolf enthuses. “They’re willing to give you food, spend a little extra ‘cause you’re a touring band. Chicago has some of the nicest people we’ve ever met.”
Up next for Strange Planet is a Halloween show at BeAtlanta House October 26 and more touring in the new year. “Next calendar year we want to hit the east coast all the way up to New York City and back,” continues Wolf.
--- Interview by James Wesley Nichols / Wordkrapht Indie Music Reviewer