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In This Together: An Exclusive Interview With STUCK ON PLANET EARTH

By Larry Petro, News Monkey
Tuesday, August 2, 2016 @ 2:32 PM

"You can’t just get up and take a rocket ship to outer space. As humans we are “Stuck on Planet Earth”."

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Interview By The Hermanator

Houston had been rained on for what seemed months. Flooding was everywhere and the previous week, shows around the city had to be cancelled because of the rains. Those that did go on suffered by low turnouts as no one wanted to get stranded in any downpour. So it would have been understandable if the Canadian band STUCK ON PLANET EARTH had decided to just turn around, skip Houston and just travel on to New Mexico. But these Canadians drove through incredible downpours to make the gig at The Hellcat Café. This is where I caught up to them to find out more about the band. The band is Adam Bianchi on guitar and vocals, Al Capo on bass and vocals, and Andrew Testa on drums.

KNAC.COM: I have to ask, how did you come up with the name? When I first heard it I thought you guys would be a Punk or new metalcore band.

CAPO: Yeah I guess the name does seem a little misleading. One night we were just sitting around drinking beers and talking philosophy about our existence on this planet. I’m not sure who started to do an evaluation of our condition but we decided that indeed we are all stuck on this planet. You can’t just get up and take a rocket ship to outer space. As humans we are “Stuck on Planet Earth”. We passed that around and said, you know that is not a bad name for a band. So it stuck.

KNAC.COM: I listened to some videos and I have to say I was impressed. The quality of the music is fantastic and you have some great concepts to accompany the videos. But what surprised me was just the amount of likes you managed to acquire on the songs. Very impressive! Is there someone helping behind the music?

CAPO: We really never paid attention to the numbers on the videos. We just write the music and then have some help to get the videos together. If we have a large following it might be due to Sirius XM Radio, who managed to play the music internationally. We are an independent band. Certainly we have paid for Google ads and Facebook ads. That and combine it with our doing almost 9 years of touring and I can say we have made an impression. Fortunately enough, by people watching the videos we would get requests from fans to say, hey you guys need to come to my town and do a show. By listening to the fans that listened on Sirius FM Radio we were able to set up our initial tours.

KNAC.COM: So is this your first U.S. tour?

BIANCHI: No, we have actually toured the States about 6 times now. Each time we take the tour a little further west. This is our first time in Houston and our first time going all the way to California. We were in Texas before. We did 6 dates at SXSW in Austin back in March all in two days, but we did that and went back without making any other stops. This tour we have found ourselves seeing more of the Southeast part of the United States. And what we found interesting is to hear people in these parts of the country that come out and sing our songs. I mean we would never have thought it possible when we first started out.

KNAC.COM: So tell us a little bit about the music. How would you best describe the style? Critics seem to always want to put a “label” on what they hear. That way they can categorize your music. Can you best describe any particular label that best fits your style?

CAPO: That is hard to say. We have taken elements of different styles and kind of adapted it to what we write. To say any “label” does not work. You can hear the alternative sound, some rhythm and blues, some grunge. So maybe if you want to call us something just say it is alternative rock. That’s what we do.

KNAC.COM: So how did you guys meet?

TESTA: Well Adam and Al were playing in bands around Toronto. Basically we were in High School bands and we would meet each other doing shows around town. So out of High School we began doing all the all ages shows, so we werebasically the same age and running around in the same scene. Then we found our various members quitting the bands to go off to college. So since we already knew each other we kind of just hooked up and took it from there.

KNAC.COM: So let’s talk about the record. How did that form and how did you guys decide on the songs?

CAPO: That was actually a body of work that we had developed over the course of the years. We had put out about 4 EP’s and we basically put together what we considered the best songs that were on them, songs that we as a band also liked to play. We just needed to put it together and it was actually released in Japan. So we had all these singles out that were getting played on Sirius Radio and college radio through Canada. Then we had this label Doughnuts Pop Records got a hold of us and they wanted to put out a collection of our singles we had out. So they basically chose what they liked best and put it together on this album. So it’s just a self titled CD with what could be considered a “best of” from the collection of our EP’s.

KNAC.COM: So what do you guys think of vinyl?

BIANCHI: We love it. We actually had our music on vinyl for the last year. On this tour we actually sold out of all our 7” records. We are talking with a company now out of Toronto to maybe make some LP’s. So maybe within the next 6 months we will have vinyl again. We actually get people that will hit our merch tables and ask for vinyl and cassettes, anything with our music on it. We actually trade for vinyl. We are just a big fan of vinyl albums. So we have been hitting up a lot of vinyl shops on the tour. We see the allure of it. Old school is new. Anything that ismaterial people want. You know it is a piece of history very sexy.

The clouds began to clear and the sun actually shone for the first time in days. We went inside the Hellcat Café and watched the end of the Penguins and San Jose Sharks Stanley Cup final game. When the band finally took the stage the energy of the band was intense as it ripped through the first song of the album. "Pain” is a song that could be about any person’s every day struggles in life. The intensity made you almost feel the pain that surged through the lyrics. They followed that up next with the second song off the CD, “We’d Kill The World”, a song about losing love and the feelings we have when all is lost. I’m sure we all could relate at some time with this. Al and Andrew traded vocals on the songs ad blended well in their harmonies. People at the venue enjoyed a band that was not the typical blues and cover music they had been used to. But when the band played “Can’t Stand Losing You” by THE POLICE, it seemed the people really got into the high energy that these Canadians were strutting out. As the music was playing you could hear the RADIOHEAD influence. They suddenly reminded me of bands like MODERAT, FEWS or YEASAYER. Bands you could almost say are spawns -from the influence of the 90’s. These young Canadians put in a lot of energy into 12 song set and when it was done people were indeed very appreciative of what they had just witnessed. The band came down to Houston on a day after the city had been seen suffering from monsoon like rains. So it was indeed a welcomebreak to enjoy a night of music and get a release from the frustrations of the week. That after all is the power of music. It helps people let go.

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