People In Planes
Craig Broad 22/06/2009
Since the release of the Welsh rockers latest offering, Beyond The Horizon, People In Planes have been furiously touring the US. I caught up with them on the back of a successful Download festival slot to discuss the new album, the difference between playing the US and the UK and uhhh sheep.
Hello, firstly I would like to ask how you are and how you are gearing up for your forthcoming UK tour?
We're great! We've been touring in America for about two months doing some support slots with our friends the Toadies from Texas, some headline shows in the Mid-west and Northeast, and a few festivals. The single 'Last Man Standing' has been going down well over there so we've had a pretty busy promo schedule. We're about a week into the UK tour now and we've already done Download and an Xfm session so we're pretty pumped!
Do you have a preference between playing in Britain and playing in America?
It's definitely nice to travel. America is pretty wild. It's as rewarding and fascinating, as it is unforgiving and frightening. Sometimes it seems like a familiar hand-me-down product of Western Europe, and at others a completely alien jungle. The truth is it's the biggest mutli-cultural melting pot on the planet. How could it not be a completely fucked up contradictory madhouse? Probably why we go down well there! Bright Shiny Morning by James Frey is one of the best books I've read and it perfectly encapsulates the concept of the 'American Dream' in Los Angeles and how it's a never ending contradiction within a contradiction and a man-made self-propagating fallacy, but how it's in a way the most important and essential cultural oases in modern times. To answer your question, I think touring in America and Canada gives a far more intriguing and complete sense of being 'on the road' for us because we happen to have been born and bred in Wales, and touring Britain is just like going to twenty different Cardiffs one after another.
What has the reaction been towards the 'Beyond The Horizon' songs in a live setting?
Great. It's weird when your first album stuff suddenly becomes 'old' and you're just slotting them into the set for good measure. That's pretty much the feeling with the 'Beyond The Horizon' stuff too now though. Even though it doesn't come out here until July 6th it's been out for over a year in the US. After this tour we're looking forward to putting some proper new stuff in the set! But yeah the 'Beyond' stuff is the main backbone of the set and it's hard to really choose a favourite. It took us a while to get the song 'Beyond The Horizon' sounding good enough live because it's such a monster but that's a staple in the set now so it kind of feels like a new song. I suppose Pretty Buildings is the best song all round though.
What was the difference between recording the latest album and As Far As The Eye Can See?
Huge. As Far As The Eye Can See wasn't really our first record. We'd done one before that for EMI when we were called Tetra Splendour so we'd had a fair bit of recording experience before this latest record, and all of it was done in Wales with the same equipment and surroundings. So to go to record in America for the first time was very refreshing. We did a few sessions over there to find our feet and try working with some different producers. The songs we did with Eleven were brilliant and the rest turned out to be mainly pre-production for coming back to record most of the finished thing with Dan Austin. That was different as well though because we experimented with recording most of it on a lap top though a really nice stereo channel path. That's the future for us. Get the backing track done, and then go be self-indulgent in your bedroom! Pleasure yourself...
Has coming from Wales influenced your song writing in anyway?
Not really. Although most of our songs are about rogering sheep with prize winning leeks.
What was the mindset like in the lead up to recording 'Beyond The Horizon', what did you want to achieve with the recording and did you feel you accomplished it?
We wanted to make an orgasmic and eclectic masterpiece that transcends time and space and makes you drive to Aberdeen in your pyjamas. Worked for me. And Sylvester Stalone, our most famous fan.
What was the idea/reasoning behind releasing a DVD with the album showing the band playing every song upon 'Beyond The Horizon'?
That was supposed to be a special deal when you bought it in certain stores in America but it ended up being on all of them. We did it for this TV show in Canada but it was weird because it wasn't a gig because there were TV cameras zooming around on cranes and the crowd were all penned in behind a rope. But still, it looks pretty amazing with all those HD cameras.
What are the plans for People In Planes beyond this tour and have you started writing material for a new album?
Going to record some new stuff and probably get an online EP out this year.
People in Planes latest album 'Beyond The Horizon' is available to buy now through Wind-Up Records. You can catch them on tour in the UK between 19th June and 11th July.