Planes rode hard for about a decade but they got rode out a couple of years ago. Now that they’ve had some time to recuperate, they’re coming back around for Fest 9. They’re one of those bands that lays it all on the line on their albums and on stage (or floor, or basement). Their live shows are studies in intense, sweaty, all-out rock and roll in the most sincere way possible. Planes are in your face but giving you a high five at the same time. This time around original guitarist Matt Bellinger is back; which means there will be three guitars on stage. What more could you ask for? Should be fun…
It’s been over two years since you guys played your official last show (with the exception of the surprise set at last year’s Fest). What made you guys decide to do a full-on reunion now?
Last Fest was a very impromptu affair; me, Chuck, and Neil hadn't planned on it really being a reunion, as it couldn't truly be without Mongo present. I essentially roped Git Some into playing a couple Planes tunes to pad the Hawks & Doves set. That being said, it felt good to share the stage again, so all it really took was Var asking us nicely to play Fest in honor of No Idea turning 25. We could never say no to the boss.
And why at the Fest?
Where else? It's perfect.
Matt Bellinger’s going to be back on guitar for the Fest show too, so three guitars on stage? It sounds like things could get crazy...
Let's get weird. It's gonna be a hell of a time. Three guitars frees me up to make a bigger ass of myself than ever before!
What goes through your mind when you think about getting back on stage with those guys and playing those songs?
So much. I'll try my hardest to not sound trite. You have to understand that for us and those closest to us, Planes was much more than a band. We were a family, and in a lot of respects all any of us ever had was each other and our stories/songs. When we stopped playing we lost that outlet, our catharsis, and our unique camaraderie. So it will be nice to feel that again, however brief it may be. On a side note, the songs make more sense to us now than they did when we wrote them.
As of right now, can we expect anything other than the show at the Fest from Planes?
One step at a time. We will see - it's doubtful, it's all moon and tides from here on out.
How did the impromptu reunion come about last year?
Hawks and Doves didn't have enough songs ready to fill a set, (we only practiced twice, due to distance) and Git Some ended up on the same floor as me in town, so I asked really nicely if they would be kind enough to help my ass out of the sling. So we gave Andrew an iPod with a couple tunes to learn, then he practiced for about an hour before the show and killed it. Them Git Some boys are animals.
When you guys play live it’s just a huge blast of energy from start to finish, to say the least. What does it feel like five minutes after the set’s over?
If everything falls into place it feels like sweaty, feral, grimy, perfect sex.
When Planes started out in the late ‘90s what would you have thought if somebody told you that the same band would be playing some crazy festival in Florida in 2010?
Although it bit us in the ass on occasion, Planes really never looked ahead, we just lived in the moment in the truest sense. That being said, in the late ‘90s I was more worried about making it to 30.
You spent a good amount of time in Gainesville in the past couple of years; what do you look forward to most when you think about coming back down here?
I brought her up North with me. Ha. I do miss my friends though and look forward to breaking bread with them once again.
You guys are definitely a favorite at the Fest. How does the experience at Fest compare to other music festivals Planes has been a part of over the years?
In my experience, it feels more like a gathering of tribes than a Fest, per se. Pound for pound it's really the only Fest worth playing.
What’s going on with Hawks and Doves these days?
The LP is ready to be released any day now. I'm currently working out a band to tour it, Georgie is wrapped up with HWM and AM!, and Darbs is busy running No Idea Wholesale and playing the thunder broom with Ship Thieves. I'm starting to demo/write LP #2 with hopes that at the very least I can get those cats back in the studio with me.
Can we expect you to pick up an acoustic late one night during Fest weekend?
Stranger things have happened.
What’s your favorite memory of the Fest?
That answer could definitely get me in trouble. But there are numerous.
So Chad Darby said I might want to ask you about the correlation between your shirt buttons and your level of sobriety…
Ha, I suppose the old pearl buttons would be a good litmus in regards to which way my night is headed. Anything less than 3 buttons snapped and all bets are off.
He said you’re a big vinyl guy too. I read that there’s this new company that will press your cremated ashes into a vinyl record when you die. What would be your “death record”?
That's perfect. I suppose the last thing I record. Or maybe make a 7" of “Penitence” from the Mercy LP. I'm sure I can talk Var into it, I already asked him to write my eulogy.
Any other thoughts you want to leave us with?
Take care of each other.