P L a N E T S
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P L a N E T S

Alhambra, California, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Alhambra, California, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Rock Psychedelic





It's that haunted time of year, which means it's the perfect month for L.A. band PLaNETS to take over Mondays at the Satellite. At heart — surely a brooding, wounded heart — PLaNETS make glammy, theatrical rock, which comes off like The Cramps fed through the same machines that made Iggy's The Idiot and Bowie's Low, a creepy-crawly soundtrack for a big stage at the end of the world. Live, they're a different animal or, more accurately, several kinds of animals … or zombies, or robots, depending on who's dressing up as what. Call it music by and for people who might be ready to wear costumes all year round but who really bring out the big guns (and fangs and batwings) in October. - LA Weekly (print version, Music Picks)

"In October L.A.’s Music Residencies Go (Almost) Nightly"

Part band, part art performance troupe, the PLaNETS live show features shadow puppets, extensive lighting effects, and choreography. For the residency, the band is hosting costume theme nights for the audience. First week: “horror classics” like The Shining and The Exorcist. Think: The soundtrack to a horror film set in the badlands - Los Angeles Magazine


The P L a N E T S live experience is one that encourages repeat viewings. Stand in the front row and you may miss some in-crowd interpretive dance and interaction. Hide in the back and you may escape literal entanglement or the menacing gestures of a character clad in what looks like animal pelts. Also, due to the revolving cast of contributors, the spectacle will change each time.

We caught the first night of their special Halloween residency at The Satellite, where they will be playing every Monday night of October for free. Here are their greatest tricks and treats.

[follow link for the rest, including the 8 moments with pics] - Lyynks Music

"LA Weekly"

Live, the 20 or so members make darkly compelling psych rock reminiscent of 'Red Right Hand'-era Nick Cave. - LA Weekly


Folks, this next band is one that I can safely say is the most unique band I have ever featured, in fact, they are likely the most unique band in Los Angeles. This is a band that TRULY puts on a show, the music is solid, there are props, lighting effects, fog machines, puppet shows and dancers, all of which play a part in immersing you in a story like no other. Badass Band 82 is P L a N E T S.
I heard of P L a N E T S via Zachary Zmed of The Janks (Who occasionally plays bass with them) and a while back The Janks and P L a N E T S were on a bill together at The Troubadour. I figured this was the perfect setting to check ‘em out in. I went in not knowing what to expect, and with an open mind. I was not disappointed. Straight off the street I was handed a witch finger by a shrouded figure, which definitely had me intrigued. After not too long, I noticed not only was the band setting up instruments, but some screens were going up and the fog machine was blasting. Then a figure named Father Time took the stage, cracked some awesome jokes, as one would expect from a being billions of years old, and gave a mysterious introduction to what we were about to experience with P L a N E T S in The Darkwoods. It was then that some musicians with black face paint took to the stage, the screens lit up and the first riff was played. For the rest of the show P L a N E T S took the audience on a journey through the Darkwoods through song, shadow puppets, shrouded witch-like dancers, a shower of ripped pages from propaganda books, and the ever present Robot (Yes, you read that correctly). Honestly, this is the most basic description of their show, this is a band you have to EXPERIENCE. No words will describe the show and do it justice.
The tunes themselves are off the album ‘The Darkwoods’, a themed album (the tunes set the tone for the dancers/puppets “telling” you the story). This doesn’t necessarily mean they have to be listened to in order, but you just need to know that it is a part of something bigger. Personal favorites of mine include, “Scared Coyote” a tune filled with mysterious echoes, and mellow building rhythms, that allow Adam’s vocals to really draw you in. This song builds to lengthy, rad guitar riffs and heavier rhythms that are reminiscent of something tribal. Another would be ‘Zombie’ a super heavy tune, mostly instrumental, with some echo-ey, choral type deep vocals, which help to set the crazy, mysteriousness of the Darkwoods. Finally, there’s ‘Miracle Tip’ a dark tune, with slow simple rhythms which build to an instrumental break that will have you just about lose it after the repeating of the lyrics, “On the Miracle Tip, On the Miracle Tip I found you, on the Miracle Tip, on the Miracle Tip you died. On The Miracle Tip, God I hope you’re still alive.” All of their songs are tunes that are so perfectly crafted to be the vehicle of their story that when you hear them, and experience them with the live show, you can’t help but dive into the Darkwoods with them and lose yourself.
Again, this is truly a live band, so you have to experience all aspects of P L a N E T S at once to really appreciate the talent that goes into crafting such an impressive and dare I say, nearly religious experience. Come see this ghostly, rock opera for yourself.
A couple months back, I caught up with many of the musicians, dancers, FX crew, Robot and even Father Time himself, and had a chat, check out what these amazing folks had to say below.

[follow link for interview] - Badass Bands Blog


Love to dress up for Halloween and have a fondness for the dark, spooky side of life? Have an inner drama geek? If so, then P L a N E T S is your band. The group and their albums can be likened to a recurring sci-fi horror television series, and their record “The Dark Woods” (and upcoming “The Dark City”) is akin to seasons or story arcs of the P L a N E T S narrative. Equally unusual are their live shows, which feature costumed characters, robots, shadow puppetry and more for a primal, often frightening and always thrilling experience. Check out our gallery of their recent performance at Citystock 9. Now, you can be part of the action!

Every Monday in October, P L a N E T S are haunting The Satellite in Los Angeles for a special Halloween residency. Each performance will feature different horror film themes and spectacles to keep that All Hallow’s Eve vibe going fresh throughout the month. Just prefer to watch? The shows are all free. Otherwise, here’s the band’s participation philosophy in the words of P L a N E T S themselves:

“We just opened the door and said ‘Anybody that wants to be part of anything on any given night can be if they want to help.’ It’s like an open door policy with the band. Be there if you want to be there. Let us know and then we’ll make the biggest show possible.” - Lyynks Music

"Welcome To Where Nothing Exists And Everything Is Real"

Another band has been brave enough to allow themselves to be exposed to the Indie Dunes question and answer session (aka interview), and we liked their response so much we were tempted to make this post only that – the questions and answers - the P L a N E T S speaking for themselves without our meddling.

The band was formed many moons ago by Adam S the Filmmaker and Adam C the Guitarist, their love for music and theater evolved into a ‘one-of-a-kind-creative-collective’ and where once there were two now there are twenty – friends joined them adding their talents of dance, puppetry, visual arts and additional instruments to the mix.

The P L a N E T S draw their inspiration from a specific place – their debut album – Dark Woods, will transport you into the world of coyotes, wolves and all things mystical one would expect to find in the dark woods – scary story n all.

I was watching one of their shows on Youtube – the audience walking into the venue blissfully unaware that the performance had already begun before the band took to the stage – that they were surrounded by dancers posing as statues, who would come to life with the music, moving among them.

This is where geography works against me – I wish I was close enough to attend one of their shows and be part of the audience playing a part in the experience, but sadly, deserts, oceans, lonely roads, time zones, high voltage lines, war zones, savannas and all things geological keep me half a planet (no pun intended) away.

And, without further ado – the P L a N E T S speak:

ID: Planets. it’s a great name for conjuring up austral images....the stories you are telling though are very grounded on earth in the dirt and nature. Why Planets??

Adam Stilwell: Right now, we're 'of' this earth. It's the PLaNET we know best. This album, our first, is based on dreams and memories experienced in the forests of this earth. But, the times they are a changin', so on the next one we'll cover all of our space travel and alien abductions.

Adam Cotton: You know, we thought this through and coming out of the gates with spacey music with a band name like P L a N E T S is kinda like wearing a denim jacket with blue jeans, not that there's anything wrong with that (if you're Brad Pitt).

ID: You have quite a large pool of talent in Planets, enough to form a reasonable sized Solar System. Who would be Uranus in your band so to speak? Supplementary question....Why do they wear a lot of rings?

Stilwell: If this is an ass joke than it's definitely Father Time. Yes, he is a man, he is in our band and he is the ass of our band. The ass, the mouth...pretty much the same. We just let him spew. Check him out on Facebook. He's under "Phather Time", he says some schmuck stole his real name in order to sell more Pepsi products.

Cotton: Rings? Simple, even PLaNETS need to accessorize, you gotta do SOMETHING if all you're doing is just sitting there spinning in circles for billions of years right??

ID: Planets have had an interesting evolution, after the Big Bang between your parents, its just got bigger and seems like its continuing to expand. Who / what is your target audience?

Stilwell: Humans, primarily. We're not sure who else listens to music on this PLaNET, but we are sure that The Skulls enjoy it. We also have TheRobot in the band, so we run everything by him just to make sure that it all translates. There are a lot more robots out there than you think, ya know...and Aliens.

Cotton: Needless to say zombies too, they get fired up with all this blood and brains business.

ID: Do you have lots of Klingons (groupies) or Who has the most Klingons (Groupies), is that because they have a hairy butt

Stilwell: Definitely TheRobot. When we do the album with TheSasquatch, he'll definitely have competition...considering the hairy butt factor.

Cotton: Key word in that being "competition", you'd be amazed at what's really possible in the swiftly developing field of robot body hair over here.

ID: The Dark Woods in a marvellous concept. Are you evolving a new concept for the next release, or will this theme continue to grow?

Stilwell: We're taking you to space on the next one. It's called 'The Last Starfighter' and it will involve similar characters and themes. Our entire body of work, when you look at it as a whole will look like one big television series, like 'Lost' or 'Twin Peaks'. There will be one giant narrative and arc that makes up the P L a N E T S world, but each individual album will be its own show/story/arc. Look at it this way, each song is a puzzle piece, each album is a puzzle and each puzzle fits together to create the picture. I hate puzzles...so we write songs.

Cotton: Wow well we're not all anti-puzzle around here for the record, I like puzzles, those M.C. Escher ones are kinda tricky though. Actually the P L a N E T S world kinda works like an M.C. Escher puzzle, it's mysterious, intriguing and even when you have all the piec - Indie Dunes

"Take a musical journey through 'The Dark Woods' with P L a N E T S, if you dare"

The garage band rowdiness of Iggy Pop or The Ramones with the theatricality of early Genesis, when Peter Gabriel fronted the band costumed as Magog or The Slipperman. - Examiner

"The Janks and P L a N E T S @ Art After Hours"

P L a N E T S comprehensive and astounding number of artistic mediums created a show to enthrall all the senses.  From 'Thriller'-esque dancers crawling up on the stage to dramatic werewolf theatrics, they put on the show of the night. - KSPC Blog


Haunting psychedelic sounds - RokRiot

"P L a N E T S, Grand Angel, and The Backslider rock Pasadena"

Tuesday night at the Old Towne Pub in Pasadena, a small but very appreciative crowd started celebrating Halloween early. The Alhambra "spook-rock" band P L a N E T S headlined a wild night that also featured the hip-hop group Grand Angel and The Backslider, a solo blues artist.

P L a N E T S combines the garage band rowdiness of Iggy Pop or The Ramones with the theatricality of early Genesis (think early Genesis, when Peter Gabriel fronted the band costumed as Magog or the Slipperman). Only P L a N E T S does it with several dancers, a robot, visual effects, and makeup - not exactly your typical pub band gig.

View slideshow: Halloween show at the Old Towne Pub

P L a N E T S, Grand Angel, and The Backslider performed at a Halloween show at the Old Towne Pub in Pasadena, California Tuesday night.
Photo credit: Alan Pyeatt
P L a N E T S played two sets, and the first one leaned heavily on material from their album, The Dark Woods. Among other songs, the set list included "Blood Red Sun," "Bloodbrains," and "Miracle Tip." For a three-piece band with no bass player, they are able to create some amazingly dense sonic textures. The mood was completed by a troupe of costumed dancers, sometimes writhing slowly across the floor and sometimes flailing away with wild abandon. And the audience responded enthusiastically, many of them flailing away themselves.

Their second set began with a string of cover tunes, including a very strong version of Donovan's "Season of the Witch," Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll," and the Beatles' "Helter Skelter," which featured a guest artist sitting in on bass guitar.

Then, they unleashed the robot.

Suffice it to say that the crowd ate up both the music and the theatrics. Even on a week night, almost everyone stayed for the end of the second set.

The Backslider started the night off with a rousing set of slide guitar, performed on a brass dobro and a vintage hollow-body acoustic guitar. He accompanied himself with a snare drum and a bass drum, both played with foot pedals. His set was almost all uptempo, mixing in original songs with blues classics like "St. John the Revelator" and the Claude Ely song, "There Ain't No Grave." The Backslider further showed his upbringing as a preacher's son with a satirical number called "Bible Thump."

Grand Angel (alias Grand Noble and Archangel), pumped up the energy even more during the second set, which featured El Tumi and Doctor Derek. Grand Angel complimented P L a N E T S very well, mixing hard-hitting rap with their own brand of theatricality (and insanity).

The Old Towne Pub is tucked away at the end of an alley on the south side of Holly Street between Raymond and Fair Oaks. But even though it's hard to find, it was well worth it for those who came out for a great Halloween show on Tuesday night. - Examiner.com

"It’s Heeere: P L a N E T S Releases First Album, The Dark Woods"

There were a lot of highly anticipated album releases slated for this month — MellowHype’s Numbers, Kendrick Lamar’s good kid m.a.a.d city and Bat for Lashes’ The Haunted Man, to name a few — so it’s understandable that everything else wouldn’t be front and center. But if you’re looking for your discovery-band fix to break the monotony of this season’s sound, check out L.A.-based haunt rockers P L a N E T S. Their debut album, titled The Dark Woods, was released this past week. “So we’re going to pop a cork and open up a time whole up in this bitch. We’re going to roll through our minds, through the black whole and get shit out through our hearts. Welcome. Where nothing is real and everything exists. This is The Dark Woods.” These words were said during a performance at Casey’s Irish Pub earlier this year. And it kinda sums them up nicely: artistic, a little fucked up and therapeutic all at the same time. To call this indie band a, well, band, is a disservice. The special thing about them is the blending of song, art and dance (see video below to get the idea).

If you’re in L.A. this weekend, P L a N E T S will be performing their last residency set at Casey’s (special double set). They’ll also be throwing a Halloween Bash at Old Town Pub in Pasadena. And if you can’t check them out live, give their album a listen. All details available here. - SPIF

"213 Nightlife"

One of the best bands in Los Angeles - 213 Nightlife

"On the Cutting Edge of Underground Theatre"

Imagine walking into your favorite local bar expecting an average evening of musical entertainment, but you notice the crowd is a little more diverse than usual. Looking around, extravagant outfits and outlandish make-up immerse you in a full-on theatrical experience. A witch doctor might slip a potion into your beer, a ghost hunter may approach you and regale you with fantastic tales, you may be requested to take part in a sacrificial drink or even be lured on the stage. Soon the music and dance will start and you’ll be fully absorbed in the world specifically crafted for those in attendance that night.

The local theatrical troupe, Planets, is on the cutting edge of underground theatre in Los Angeles. They have amassed a loyal following for their after hours shows, with inspired fans contributing to the funky, playful experience by dressing akin to the performers with costumes and body paint. The troupe consists of actors, musicians, dancers, puppeteers and their own set and costume designers. The experience of a Planets performance is a singularly unique night of entertainment, summed up as attending a rock ‘n roll opera you’re invited to join.

The troupe Planets formed out of a desire to present music in an unparalleled, inter-dimensional experience and grew into an all-encompassing theatrical performance. They rely on the use and adaptation of diverse forms of theatre, such as Kabuki theatre, improvisational dance, clowning and puppetry. The group performs in a wide variety of venues, from traditional theatres to speak easies, local bars and festivals. One night you could catch them at an illegal after hours club and the next day they are performing children’s theatre. The concept of set design is always based on mobility as the group transforms the venue of the night into a set exclusively crafted to match the ambiance of the locale.

The core of the troupe consists of the songwriters and musicians Adam Cotton and Adam Stilwell, dancer and choreographer Natasha Needles, singer and guitarist Jessica Katz, and dancers Melanie Keller and Bryce Whiting. The troupe has a consistently revolving base of twenty-five performers who contribute specialized talents and routines to the groups ever evolving set of performances.

In this new slice of post-modern theatre, where the fourth wall is continually crashing down, a rock ‘n roll concert emerges at the heart of the show. The songs stand alone as performances in their own right and are the backbone of the production. The musicians have the styling of a garage band with the soul of classic rock. Albums from Planets are available for purchase; their latest The Dark Woods is available on iTunes. As for the future of Planets, they are planning a west coast tour, a short film is in the works and you can check out their upcoming online performance.
- Arte


The Dark Woods (October 2012)



The band underneath your bed, P L a N E T S, are a tricksy bunch. From their 4D performances smashed full of choreo-punk demon dancers, ghostly beasts and shadowy puppetry, to their haunted trip of a debut album--this band born in the woods and raised in Alhambra, CA smolders and burns.

Vibrating along with modern day musical auteurs such as Fever Ray and echoing ambitious rock acts like The Who, while drawing inspiration from the twisty television dramas Twin Peaks and The Twilight Zone, P L a N E T S will tangle you up in some sort of war dance in the woods where nothing is sacred except sweat, blood and the pursuit of darkness.

"At heart — surely a brooding, wounded heart — PLaNETS make glammy, theatrical rock, which comes off like The Cramps fed through the same machines that made Iggy's The Idiot and Bowie's Low, a creepy-crawly soundtrack for a big stage at the end of the world." -LA WEEKLY

"Think: The soundtrack to a horror film set in the badlands." -LOS ANGELES MAGAZINE

“Combines the garage band rowdiness of Iggy Pop or The Ramones with the theatricality of early Genesis, when Peter Gabriel fronted the band costumed as Magog or The Slipperman.”

NOTE: We don't have 10 "Backup vocalists"! Haha--here is what our band members actually do:

Adam Stilwell - vocals, song/narrative-writer (Montana)

Adam Cotton - guitar, songwriter, sound design (Texas)

Dean Estrella – drums (Rhode Island)

Zachary Zmed – bass (California)

Natasha Snow Needles - choreography, dancer, puppeteer, art department (Peru)

Nathaniel Peterson - actor, ukulele, art department, lead roadie (Montana)

Bryce Whiting - art department, puppeteer, percussion, dancer (Washington)

Melanie Keller - dancer, puppeteer, art department (Washington)

Brick Patrick – actor (Montana)

Nick Daue - lighting, stage hand, roadie (Montana)

Alain Thai – actor, puppeteer, art department, stage hand (California)

Wade Wilson – actor, roadie (California)

Band Members