“Wild Planet” Talks Spring Tour, New Music, and More!
We recently had the chance to chat with the band “Wild Planet” about how they got their start as a band, their upcoming spring tour, and more! Be sure to check out their tour dates at the bottom of the interview!
- How did you form as a band?
- I got ahold of an EP Madison put out in our first year of college. The raw beauty of her voice blew me away. At the time I was looking for like minded musicians and in a weird way her music found me. When her and I sat down to write for the first time we decided to start what would become Wild Planet. – Dartanyan Melendez
- Me (Justin) and D have known each other for years and was in a band in high school together. Once we both came to Florida State we knew it was time to start something and D told me about this girl Maddie that has an incredible voice and we had to jam together. We did and then made a group of us 3 called David and The Phoenix. Yes no one in the bands name is David but it was inspired by a children’s book that my mom loved. However as we grew and got Dan in the band the next year (because he was Dartanyan’s resident in the dorm they lived in) our sound started to change and we wanted something more closely fitting to us as a group, and Wild Planet became our new name. (Justin Fogel)
- I met one of Dee’s (Dartanyan’s) roomies cause we were all placed in a bass ensemble together for school. Dee had broken his finger the week before we started orchestra so I didn’t meet him for a week or two. But his roomie, Riley and I were both into popular music and I ended up giving him a copy of my EP, which I guess is how he heard my music haha. Ended up jamming with Justin like Dee said and becoming David and the Phoenix…a way more folky version of what we are now. Once Dan joined the band we had this cool new indie rock sound. (Madison)
- I lived on campus as a freshman and I was lucky enough to have the chillest RA in history, Dartanyan Melendez. He was definitely a quiet guy, but not afraid open his door and sing/play guitar for the whole floor to hear. I think one day I just came inside to bang along on some pots and pans or something, and from there we became good friends. I’d always been fascinated by his musical interests, so I was excited when he invited me to play with two friends of his, Madison and Justin. They were already a group at the time (David & The Phoenix), but once I joined, things got a little wilder! (Dan)
- What inspired the name?
- René Laloux’s film, La Planete Sauvage. Back in high school I saw the film and it stuck with me.
- What does each member do in the group?
Dan plays the drums, sings, and actually is an incredible pianist (which no one really knows). Madison is a lead vocalist, plays rhythm guitar and bass. Dartanyan pretty much does everything, but for the sake of the interview he primarily plays guitar, bass and lead vocals. Justin plays lead guitar. As for things we do within the group ourselves, Maddie is the tour show booker, friendly advocator and the person in the band with the most contagious laugh. Dartanyan is the head and heart behind our band, with so much drive to make it, he the bond that really keeps us working and loving what we do. Also he’s super artsy, does majority of the design related things in our band and is a tremendous writer just like Madison. Dan has a music mind and will never cease to amaze us with his talents and knack for writing some of the most intricate and weird parts in our songs, but ones that everyone loves. He’s also a gym guy, we hold that against him, but that’s just because he’s too beautiful not to. Myself (Justin) add some weird stuff to our band I guess, but in maybe a cool way. Making loud noises and keeping the positive family flow behind our band is my goal, and too keep everyone together and focused, although I’m probably the most A.D.D. out of all of us. But besides that, I’m involved with a lot of the business behind the band, mostly regarding merch and budgets (sounds boring because it is). But I still have a good time. Lastly as for writing, we all put in some of our own tastes into every song. From the beginning of writing a song to the end, it could sound totally different than where we began. We’re all so open to ideas and weird things, that’s why we truly connect. Whenever we’re in the studio we can see it in each others eyes if its a good song or not, what chord to switch to, to let the beat breathe, or to light in on fire with huge jams. The more we play together the more connected at the ears and hands we are. We have many more songs in the making, really because we come up with too many ideas and never finish them, so stay on the edge of your seat because new music is definitely coming soon. (Justin Fogel)
- What can you tell us about your upcoming tour? What cities are you traveling to?
We’re going to be going on around a 8 day tour going to 7 cities in the southeast. We’re stopping through Ft. Lauderdale, FL, Orlando, FL, Tallahassee, FL, Savannah, GA, Athens, GA, Charleston, SC, Clemson, SC. We might make some small stops along the way in other cities just to see what’s around but those are the cities we are playing at. The tour itself is called “Subtle Spectres” based from our debut EP Subtle Spectres. We’re playing that album but we’re also going to throw in some sprinkles of new songs, so be ready to hear some of our favorite songs actually. Should be a fun time.
- Do you have a favorite memory from a previous tour you’ve been on?
This is actually our first tour so we’re more excited than you could imagine. Me and Dan are already working out logistics of how we’re going to hit each city and try to pull people to the shows. If you see us at local college campuses around town playing mini performances, know that a Wild Planet show is coming soon near you. See us next time when we knock on your door singing Wild Planet spring caroles haha. (Justin Fogel)
Like Justin said, we’re new to touring but we’ve played our fair share of shows all around Tallahassee and elsewhere. Perhaps my favorite memory with WP would be our EP release show at The Wilbury, a new popular spot in Tally. The bar was the most packed it’s ever been and it was so much fun playing for all our friends. Looking out into a crowd of familiar and unfamiliar, smiling faces is such a nerve wracking and wildly exciting feeling. (Dan)
- What is your favorite part about performing?
- The energy from the crowd and feeling, breathing and sweating in the same place as so many other people. The love for music and appreciation for it goes way deeper than the surface value of every individual, and you can see in people’s eyes when they actually enjoy what you’re putting out. Sharing that space and energy with people is something so special and we all love it more than you can imagine. And us being the family that we are, on-stage, we feed off of each others energy and it makes for such a good show. Looking out at 3 people or 100 in the audience, knowing that we’re making a difference in their lives is all that counts to us. (Justin)
- Yeah like Justin said I definitely think there’s this really cool feeling that comes with sharing the songs and the performance with everyone listening. It creates this weird connection to the audience where you feel like you just shared a piece of yourself. (Madison)
- Jumping off what Madi said, sharing is definitely my favorite part of performing. A lot of heart and soul goes into writing music, it takes time and effort from all of us to bring together a final product we deem ready to perform. Playing our music for an audience always feels like the final piece to the puzzle, a micro dose of validation in a way. A positive reaction to a new song is comparable to seeing your good grade or piece of art hung up on the family fridge. (Dan)
- Do you have a stand out moment from a previous show?
Every one of Dan’s drum fills are a stand out moment in our show. Just watch out for those. He’s a jazz drummer and a damn good one. Not a douchey one either. Jokes aside though whenever we play as long as there is one drunken middle-aged person vibing to our stuff, we know its a good show. (Justin)
Stand out moment of every show is the look Justin gives me over his shoulder after a drum fill. The desire to impress each other keeps our live shows interesting. (Dan)
I’d say when I see people start singing the lyrics to our songs. That always blows my mind. Also when Justin or Dee has a killer solo and everyone starts going crazy. (Madison)
- Why should fans buy tickets? What’s different about your show?
Because we played music in the Tallahassee underground scene, we’ve played with a lot of punk bands and high-energy groups because that’s the style of music that’s around here. So we ended up picking up some weird show tactics and high octane style of play when we perform, so if you want to know more, visit us at the next Wild Planet show near you. We all also have long hair, so we use that to our advantage.
- What do you like to do when you’re not making music?
Justin: i actually love sports. Super big into basketball and bro activities. Kind of a weird mix but it works out for the best. Also love love love chinese food, just like absolutely love it. Give me some of that stuff and my day is made. I eat a lot so, yea, that’s an activity when I’m not playing music.
Dan: Honestly, I’ve become a bit of a gym rat in the past few years. I also like to spend endless hours shooting the shit with friends when I’m not fueling my crippling internet addiction.
Madison: I’m a sucker for a good show or book. Also currently am kind of obsessed with Pinterest so that could be part of it haha.
Dartanyan: I read and drink coffee. I like to push myself creatively in my free time.
- Do you have a favorite song of yours?
Honestly every song becomes our favorite song haha. If I had to pick right now though I would say Daze 4 Days a new track that is soon to be in your headphones. Basically some really cool shit happens and Dartanyan is absolutely incredible in that song, I love when he shines in a performance too so for those reasons, the dynamic wonders behind Daze 4 Days makes my heart happy. (Justin)
Right now I would definitely say Daze 4 Days. We played that song at a show a couple days ago and it feels so electric, especially when Dee’s solo breaks out. It’s just like woah. (Madison)
- What is one place you want to travel to in the future?
Definitely the UK, there’s always incredible music coming out of there so if we could get some shows in the UK, that would be it for me. (Justin)
Definitely show-wise Colorado. I saw The Head and The Heart and Grouplove play at Red Rocks last summer and it absolutely blew my mind. The acoustics were insane and I’ve never been in a venue where the vibe from the people, the place, and the band was almost magical. (Madison)
- Do you have any upcoming projects?
We have two upcoming singles that will probably be out by the end of April and are starting to write some new stuff for our next album.
- When and where can fans buy tickets?
Tickets normally are accessible through the facebook event pages, by rsvp’ing or contacting the venue if not us to get tickets for our Subtle Spectres Tour. However some of our shows aren’t ticketed so you can just come in the bar or venue and have a good time with us!
- What are your social media accounts?
Personal Message: Thanks to everyone that helped us in the process of getting to this tour in general. We couldn’t have done it without the people closest to us and for that we are so grateful.
Saturday, March 10th, Fort Lauderdale, FL @ Two &
Sunday, March 11th, Melbourne, FL @ Vinyl Request Records
Monday, March 12th, Orlando, FL @ Iron Cow
Tuesday March 13th, Savannah, GA @ El Rocko Lounge
Wednesday, March 14th, Charleston, SC @ Tin Roof
Thursday, March 15th, Clemson, SC @ WSBF Clemson Radio
Friday, March 16th, Athens, GA @ The Caledonia Lounge