Matter of Planets April 2018 Interview

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Matter Of Planets is an instrumental progressive rock/metal band from Ohio that has finished a follow up to their technical, intricate and smashing debut album “Ballad Of Baberaham”.  I recently had a conversation with the drummer Joel about the band amongst other things. Their new album “Somewhere Out Among The Stars Is Home” drops Friday, don’t miss it fools. Stay updated!

 

TMR: What’s the meaning behind your band name?

I originally came up with the band name when I was in Michigan many years ago visiting my Dad right after a terrible motorcycle crash. I was looking for something positive in a name, in a meaning. Light, cosmic, universal, but solid and grounding. Matter of Planets almost literally means “As a matter of fact, we are all made of Stardust” Thanks Carl Sagan!
TMR: Any information on your new album “Somewhere Out Among The Stars Is Home”  you want to share?

The last album was us figuring out how to be this band and how we were going to take our previous material and adapt it to our new form (we had a vocalist once upon a time but don’t tell anyone). The new album is definitely us very much at home with who we are now. What we are now. There’s less traditional song structures, more timing changes and multi-movement songs. Varying song length. More focus on the narrative and sonic exploration. It’s also the first time we’ve been in the studio with Roger on bass.

TMR: What are your personal favorite albums of all time and any newer releases as well?
My personal favorite albums are:
TOOL – Aenima

The Blood Brothers – …Burn, Piano Island, Burn

Converge – Jane Doe

Aesop Rock – Labor Days

Fugazi – 13 Songs

The Party of Helicopters – Space, and how sweet it was

Bad Religion – Process of Belief

BTBAM – Parallax II: Future Sequence

The Hot Snakes – Suicide Invoice

Godspeed, You! Black Emperor – Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas

Beastie Boys – Ill Communication
NAS – Illmatic
N.E.R.D – Fly or Die
Deftones – White Pony
Radiohead – O.K. Computer

I don’t know. There are so many. I come from a jazz background where my love for Big Band runs deep. I think that the early 2000’s should be known as the Golden Era of Underground Hip-Hop (Rhymesayers, Def Jux, Living Legends). Wu-Tang FOREVER!

Husbandry from Brooklyn put out the best release of 2017 with their E.P. Bad Weeds never Die. I hope that works for you.

TMR: How did you all get started as musicians?

I started playing and jamming with folks in my late teens. Didn’t get into a serious band until 2004. Joe has been in punk bands forever, pretty sure we all got started as kids in school or in our teens.

TMR: How was the recording and writing process different than your first full length “Ballad Of Baberaham”?

It was a very similar process. Different studio, bass player, and songs but other than that it was close. Well….kinda. Andy Sartain was still in the control booth but Oranjudio provided a very different environment than Electraplay had. Bigger room, different toys, a grand piano (that shows up on the record more than once). But, like last time, we were very well rehearsed, knew what we were doing before we got there, and only spent a few days recording. The songs were honed over 2 years at least so when we get in there, we bang it out.

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TMR: Chicago or New York City style Pizza?

Pat’s Cheese steaks.

TMR: What band would you guys love to play a show with currently?

And So I Watch You From Afar would be amazing! I’d take Baroness, Torche, Lizzard Wizzard, Rosetta, or Russian Circles are also choice picks.

TMR: What led Matter Of Planets to being instrumental rather than just another metal/prog band? Your band’s sound is like no other.

Gosh..It’s all the different influences. I love love prog and metal but sometimes they just aren’t any fun. We really want to have fun. It has to keep us interested as a whole, we play what we want to hear I think. That’s probably why it comes off so ADD and crazy. But at the end of the set, when I feel like I’ve run a marathon, it feels pretty damn good.

TMR: Intimate shows are the best….the only show I saw of yours was here in Buffalo at a house show. I love those types of shows, or small ones in general where you can talk to the band afterwards and have an actual interaction rather than feeling so far away. I’m not crazy for stadium shows and sold out shows.

Intimate shows are the best. I want to connect with the band/artist. I want to feel what they feel and vice versa. But there is something to be said about the vibe of a large venue too.

TMR: What are your opinions on music theory? Some artists love it and hate it.

Music theory to me is like many other things, a tool. It’s something to have in your arsenal that enhances your playing and songwriting. Do I find it tiresome when a band is overly technical? Yes. Do I think that musicians can become mired in theory at expense of the music? Yes. But on the other hand, when people want to shit on extraordinarily talented and technically gifted musicians, it makes me crazy!! That has to come from a place of jealousy and it’s sad. Just cause it’s not your think does not make it bad.

TMR: What tour or festival would your band love to play on one day?We are such a festival band.

All of them. Austin City Limits, SXSW, Pitchfork, Bunbury, Maryland Deathfest or Doomfest, big, small, national, local, whatever. I’m working on one for Columbus. I don’t know if I’d ever really want to do a big tour like Mayhem or Slaughter though. I just want to tour and play killer shows, make new friends, meet new people, see places, experience life. It’s a good time. Sometimes we are lucky enough to be able to tour with our friends and that’s a treat.

TMR: What are some of your favorite pieces of gear recording or instrument wise past and present? 

When we recorded the last album I played on a 14″x6.5″ DW Collector’s Series snare drum. I went and bought immediately after. Blake plays this awesome Yamaha SG. We play with the same stuff on tour that we record with and we’ve all spent some serious money and time over the years putting together rigs that we really like and help us craft the sounds we want.

TMR: Any endeavors you guys have outside of Matter of Planets please link here whether its music related or not.

Thanks man!

https://matterofplanets.bandcamp.com

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