VOODOO PLANET: NOT GONE, BUT BEAUTIFUL.
OUT of DeSoto, Missouri, USA, VOODOO PLANET have been making music since 2010.
Masterful purveyors of the classic ‘story within a song’ genre, the band’s influences range from The Beatles to Waits, and all points in between, making them in equal measure difficult to pigeonhole, but easy to admire.
“Our motto has always been ‘anything goes’ with our originals, so we’ve done spoken word, shoegaze, garage, punk, country, surf, and more,” said John Gilbert, (guitar/vocals). “Eclecticism is the goal, but some touchpoints have been pointed out that surface in the originals.”
The album ‘Ripsnorters’ was released three years ago, but the band have been far from idle since, releasing singles ‘Bewitched,’ and ‘Edison’s Medicine’ already this year.
There’s plenty penned online surrounding their recent songs, but it’s listening to ‘War On,’ and ‘The Ship’ that you begin to discover the band’s excellence in crafting traditional American, ‘song with a story,’ classics.
“We’re all part of a tradition and we take that very seriously,” adds Gilbert. “We started writing original songs and eventually transitioned to an all-original band. I guess that is the phase we are in now. Still writing and working at improving both songs and recordings.
“However, ’War On,’ is one of mine, but not from personal experience. It takes the battlefield metaphor into domesticity. Some of the fiercest fighting at the hands of former loved ones, a Pyrrhic victory that prolongs the hurt.
“But ‘The Ship’ is Pat Myers (drums and bass), and I think he saw an article about a retired US warship that was pretty much discarded, left to decay. Not dissimilar to how some veterans and people of a certain age are treated. Once your usefulness diminishes, cast them on the heap.
“Originally ‘The Ship’ was a piano ballad and was terrific, but for some reason I suggested the more upbeat current version. I had in mind The Smiths’ ‘Bigmouth Strikes Again,’ – big Johnny Marr fan here – and it felt like a nice contrast to the mournful lyrics.
“Anyway, Pat also came up with the keyboard part on ‘War On,’ it kind of has a Russian/Eastern European vibe, and I felt like it completed the song.”
And with plenty of work in the pipeline, the band’s longevity appears to have taken some of them by surprise.
“We hoped to be a surf band with no vocals,” adds Myers. “The next logical step was to start singing. We went through a couple lineup changes earlier and eventually adopted a huge setlist of cover songs – four hours’ worth! Stuff like Blondie, George Jones, The Hollies, Joe Jackson, Johnny Cash, Love, the Monkees, Rancid, Squeeze, Violent Femmes, and more.
“We named the band Voodoo Planet after an old sci-fi novel by Andre Norton, but I had no idea we’d be around for over a decade!”
VOODOO PLANET online: