When one thinks of Stevens Point, Wisconsin, the most obvious feature that springs to mind is probably the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, right? Well, the boys from Planet of 9 are hoping to change all that. Through the power and intensity that emits from their electrifying stage show, Planet of 9 brings an unique flavor of music to the local Central Wisconsin music scene.
Planet of 9 consists of four young hard-working individuals, each with goals and dreams for the band and the music they play: J Rasmussen (lead vocals, guitars, arrangements and production); Cory Sosnovske (guitar, backing vocals); Matt “Legend” Herwald (bass, backing vocals), and Bryan Beadle (drums, percussion, and backing vocals).
Planet of 9 has been pumping high-quality modern rock into the ears and hearts of music lovers of all ages. They traverse a broad musical spectrum ranging from melodic ballads to high energy crowd pleasers. Since their conception in early 2003, they have been playing to packed venues all across Wisconsin. With rave reviews and the incredible success of their music, Planet of 9 offers one of the most diverse set lists every heard in the local music scene, one which constantly evolves with new material and keeps audiences coming back for more.
I have had the pleasure of attending several Planet of 9 concerts including their most recent show at the New Rock Shop in West Allis I was able to get them all together for an interview.
LSM: How and when did Planet of 9 get its start?
PO9: The band officially formed about a year ago after going through a couple other band members and several chance meetings. Once the existing members of Planet of 9 were assembled, we felt that the right mix was formed. After that things started to happen for us.
LSM: When is your debut CD album due to be released?
PO9: Our debut self-titled album is due out sometime in August 2004. You can get more details and official release dates on our website (www.planetof9.com) as it gets closer.
LSM: What are the details surrounding your appearance at Summerfest 2004?
PO9: First of all, we were given the honor of playing at Summerfest this year after we won a battle of the bands contest in Plover [WI]. Our dream and challenge right now is to bring the music and inspiration of Planet of 9 to everyone we can, and we figure that Summerfest is a great start to achieving that. [The band performed on Friday July 2nd at 3:30 on the Leinenkugel’s stage — ed.]. We are very excited about it and hope it will be some good exposure for us and a great time for the audience.
LSM: Where do you see the band going in the next couple of years?
PO9: We all have our own individual ideas of where we want to see the band go in the coming years. These ideas include going on tour, changing our style to more progressive, yet still retaining the melodic edge that we currently possess, and believe it or not, [to] the moon (Cory)! We know they aren’t all feasible, but we can dream right? (smiles)
LSM: Who writes most of your music? Where does the inspiration for writing come from?
PO9: It depends with each project, but so far the majority of work has come from Jason, with a hint of Cory and Matt. Add a touch of the whole band for a song or two, and you can see that we utilize ideas from the whole band at sometime or another.
LSM: How can new fans find your music, get tickets to upcoming shows, or contact you?
PO9: Actually it’s not too hard to get the information you’re looking for. Everything can be found on our website.
LSM: What general genre(s) do you feel Planet of 9 fits into?
PO9: We mainly classify our music as being lounge metal, psychedelic hop rock, and power grooves, but sometimes it can be hard to specifically classify our tunes.
LSM: What is the story behind the name “Planet of 9”?
PO9: The name reflects where our music comes from and how it sounds. After experimenting with a combination of nine different styles or genres of music, the atmosphere that the music created was described as feeling somewhat spacey and “out there”.
LSM: What would your ultimate dream gig be?
PO9: We all have our ultimate dream gigs. J’s would be opening for the Deftones and Incubus, playing for 5,000+ people; Cory wants to play Woodstock 2010 on the moon; Matt would pray that people just show up; and Brian wants to play a stadium alongside Mudvayne with more people than the eye can see. Having an array like this gives each of us our own goals in order to stay motivated.
LSM: When you’re not on stage, what are your pastimes, or rather, what do your every day lives consist of?
PO9: Everyday life is pretty normal like everyone else. We have full-time jobs, we have family, friends and girlfriends, we get drunk, and we work on new material and music. Life for us isn’t too different. Not yet anyway.
LSM: Which of the bands that you’ve played with do you enjoy playing with the most?
PO9: It’s hard to narrow it down because we’ve shared the stage with so many great bands from the area, but if we had to pick just a couple, they would have to be Lithic from Milwaukee, Silik from Stevens Point, Shattered Red from Milwaukee, Agent Zero from Rockford, Illinois, and Level from Stevens Point. They are all great bands and you should check them out!
LSM: What famous musicians or bands inspire you?
PO9: Everyone has their inspiring bands, and for the four of us it’s no different. Our inspirations combined include Incubus, Alice in Chains, Pink Floyd, Deftones, Nonpoint, Godsmack, Sevendust, Mudvayne, and Dream Theater.
LSM: Do you have any other advice for bands just starting out?
PO9: Work hard. Work as hard as you can and as hard as you have to. Keep at it no matter what, and put your heart and soul into it. If it means going against what everyone else is doing and being unique, then go for it. Play what you want and do your own thing. Creativity and uniqueness can be huge factors in standing out from the crowd.
LSM: Do you have any other gigs or information you would like to mention?
PO9: Again, you can find all our upcoming shows and news on our website but there are two shows we want to point out. First of all, Friday July 30th at the Klinic in Madison. We will be sharing the stage with Driver 13 of Madison.
The second show is one that we are hosting. It is called Rock the Lodge and will be Saturday August 28th at the Wausau Elks Lodge in Wausau. The show starts at 2:00 p.m. and goes until the last band is done playing. There will be a total of ten great bands from all over Wisconsin. It would be great to see some new faces there.