Background information, overseas collaborations, album covers, the new album, favourite CD's…It's all in here.
The Planets, having recently released their new album 'The Epic' on Dyna-Mic-Records spared some time to chat about their last album 'The Opening', the making of this new gem and what excites them on the scene. Read on to hear what these down to earth geeza's have to say!
First off, what have you been up to since dropping 'The Opening' and getting ready for this new release 'The Epic'?
We've been busy promoting the album, doing shows and radio around the country. Promotion is 80% of the music business!
Could you give us a little background on The Planets and Dyna-Mic-Records? When did it all start happening?
We met Phil from Dyna Mic when he was editor of Undercover magazine a couple years back. He interviewed us and we've been in touch ever since. He shares the same taste in hip hop as us so working together wasn't a problem. Musically we were given freedom to do what we liked which is always the best way! Phil's got real respect for our creativity but you know he put his two cents in at times which was cool. He arranged some of the producers and also got the great Junior Reid to guest with us.
Looking back at 'The Opening' is there anything you would have done differently or are you totally content with it?
The opening was a real learning experience for us and of course there are things we would have liked to have done differently. We've developed as artists and people since then but overall its a banging album. Real classic hip hop. I'd like people to think of it as one of those albums that you might not get the meaning of at first but over time will grow on you. All the great albums work this way. Musically its up there with any of the best UK releases but what we lack in is real promotional power. Being a total independent we just couldn't afford to give the album the promotion it deserved. For example, we did a great video (which is on the cd version) but not everyone got a chance to see it.
There's a lot of link ups with states side artists. How have those come about?
Real hard work and a lot of determination. we haven't done anything no one else couldn't have done. A lot of those artists, we contacted when they were just starting to make a buzz and just saw the potential in them. To anyone who wants to work with an American act, its real simple: Make sure your music is hot and send them your stuff. They do want to work with us, you just have to present a viable opportunity.
Have you been or are you planning on working with any UK acts? Who are you feeling on the UK scene at the moment?
There's quite a few UK artists we'd like to work with. We're actually working on a UK only release so look out for that. It's gonna feature the most talented, not the most hyped.
How was working with Junior Reed? Must have been a pretty awesome moment in your careers….
Junior Reid is real humble. It's difficult to know how its gonna be working with someone for the first time but it was a real pleasure. Now we're not the type to get star struck but I don't think junior could tell! He's a straight pro, he did his thing in the booth but would listen to what we had to say. Ego is a killer and real pros don't have any.
How much time has gone into creating this new album? Have you any particular favourite tracks?
It's actually a mini album of 8 tracks and took about 4 months to fully complete. If I had to pick a favourite it would be between Moving Along and Trees, but you know everyone says they like a particular track so there's something for everyone there.
Your press release talks confidently about the new video. How involved where you on that side of things?
The video is really the brainchild of Phil and the team at Dyna Mic. We gave them a sort of guideline to what we DIDN'T want and they've come up with a banging video. Animator Pat Smith is serious. It's gonna get a lot of play simply because its so different and you cant go wrong with a nice catchy tune to sing along to!
Who made that nice sleeve art? Are the hands around the globe representative of your intentions?
The cover was done by Pete Pera. The whole globe thing is a bit of a Planets trademark. It was there on our first release. In the wake of 9/11, the concept behind the epic was to focus on world issues. Real things that affected real people. Basically we've got to look after this world and everyones soul here. It's our duty.
Any live dates to mark on the calendar as of yet?
We're focused on recording more material at the moment so live gigs have taken a back seat. but keep checking the website for details www.redseaentertainment.com and any promoters that want to book us need to start speaking our language! That's the problem with the UK scene, everyone wants handouts!
What's been getting a lot of air play in your yards lately and are you looking forward to any releases in particular?
As far as hip hop, not much. The new Pete Rock is hot as hell as some of the Ghostface mix CD's floating around. There's only certain UK artists I have time for and Ty and Terra Firma are doing it big right now. Non hip hop- If you haven't heard Floetry's album then your seriously missing out, every tracks banging. They are very serious. I'm looking forward to Tommy Evans new LP which is sounding hot and features myself (Ayman Raze) on a joint called New Years Revolutionary which is produced by the multi-talented, multi-faceted Bone Idols.
Anything else you wanna say?
Look out for a 12" on Above The Clouds Records from us entitled Existence. A great summer tune with a deep 8 minute remix from Drew. People, you don't want to sleep on this. Also my man Nomad is putting the finishing touches to not one but two long players, one of which features Dominant G of Pyschic Phenom. Myself, I'm making beats by the dozen and just perfecting my craft. Finally, remember, life is more important than hip hop. Don't let other things pass you by because of your narrow-minded-ness. Enjoy music in all its forms and hopefully it will have a positive effect on you.