Interviews: Planet Hunter

On this new occasion, we have had the opportunity to interview the  Rock band Planet Hunter from New Zealand. Check out the interview and follow the band on their FACEBOOK PAGE.

1. Where did you get the idea for the band name, you planned it or came out just like that?

It’s a funny story. Cormac has a little stage outside the back of his house. He set it originally to practice Wayang (Indonesian puppet art) which he’s completely obsessed with. He often hosts coffee and Wayang nights for the neighbourhood and gets a few randos to jump on his – admittedly crude – gamelan to accompany the puppets. Will, Jed and Dave all live in the same street as Cormac and one evening our names were drawn out of a hat to perform on the gamelan together for a space-themed installation with some really weird puppets. Cormac was doing fair amount of shrieking while we bashed the gongs, and the climax had this kind of anti-hero puppet transitioning from lowly Batik salesman to transcendent space explorer. He was called the planet hunter. Afterwards, we all chatted about how well we all played together and decided to jam together on some rock tunes. ‘Planet Hunter’ seemed like a great name for the band. 

2. Why did you want to play this genre?

We didn’t plan on this at all. But Will brought a new Orange Dark Terror amp and it was just chock full of riffs. As soon as he plugged his twin-neck Les Paul into that Orange amp the riffs just started vomiting out. All we could do was stand back while Will tried to get them under control. That thing is relentless though – there’s still a shitload of riffs inside it.

3. Did you know each other before the band was formed?

Wellington is a tiny city, so we all know each other. Cormac’s pretty famous from his puppet shows. People know Jed because he was in a bunch of shampoo commercials in the early 2000s! Dave’s mum married Will’s dad – quite a scandal in Wellington.

4. Each band member favourite band? 

Dave: Pigeon Lake Singers

Jed: Crimson Dawn

Cormac: Anggun

Will: Queens of the Stone Age

5. Who or what inspires you to write songs?

Most of our inspiration comes from the bands we like. Usually Will will wrangle a few riffs from the Orange which sets us on a path. Songs often raise questions though: how long should this tune be? Will anybody fact check this stuff? Does it seem original? Is it too stupid? Are we getting too far up our own arses?

6. Where was your last gig?

One of the few places in Wellington that accepts unknown heavy acts is Valhalla. We played there last Saturday.

7. Where would you like to perform?

I mean, Carnegie Hall, right?   

8. Whom would you like to perform with?

Faith No More. Queens of the Stone Age. Pigeon Lake Singers. Mangle and Gruff. James Brown if he was alive. Mars Volta if they were still alive (RIP).

9. Whom not?

Any of the big Viking metal bands. Too scary.

10. Any of you has ever suffered from stage fright? Any tip for beginners on how to beat that?

Everyone suffers from stage fright. Don’t beat it - join it. Embrace the butterflies. As we say in New Zealand, “You gotta eat grandma before you can fish for apples,” which basically means “feel the fear and do it anyway.”

11. What bands have inspired you the most? 

Inspiration is a wonderful thing. It can come from many avenues. It’s kind of like a pyramid in that the bottom is so much longer – when measured using distance – than the top, assuming you’re measuring horizontally (which we are). That’s what it comes down to for us. Rather than list bands who inspire us, we like to think of a pyramid of inspiration. The chalk at bottom of the canyon, if you like. It can range wide if you’re at the base, but you want to be extremely careful with seeking inspiration at the top. There isn’t much room up there. It can be pointy.

12. What's the weirdest thing a fan has ever asked you for? 

Crackers, maybe?

13. What do you think of your fans? 

They keep us up at night.

14. What do you think of our site?

There certainly are a lot of bands on there!

15. Something to add?

It’s always very emotional answering these questions. Thanks so much for taking a genuine interest in us.

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