Volume 94, Issue 45

Friday, November 17, 2000


Sexsmith not just a folkie

Red Planet ugly from here

Good old Planet Smashing fun

Good old Planet Smashing fun

By Dale Wyatt
Gazette Staff

Many seasons have passed since the Canadian ska sensation the Planet Smashers have graced London with their presence. Tonight, that changes.

Why the long pause between visits? Both as a band and individually, the Planet Smashers have managed to remain very busy. Singer Matt Collyer says he passes his time by doing a lot of work for the band's label.

"I started Stomp back in '95. The two local bands here [in Montreal], the Smashers and the Kingpins were trying to get stuff going and there was really no one doing ska bands. We sent our demos out to everybody but no one cared, so we started our own label," Collyer laughs. "It was and is a lot of work but we finally got some people here at the label to really do stuff and it runs pretty good."

Although he has no regrets, Collyer maintains the experience has changed for him. "Back when we started playing, it was just more fun. I was playing other types of music like garage and punk rock and those where fun but it was not like ska."

Collyer says he has always wished to be in a larger band by including more members. "I always wanted to be in a big band, but for some reason my band is only five people. But it's still fun." The reason the band has not expanded its roster basically comes down to tour accomodation. "Being small is one of the greatest reasons we have always been able to pull it off, is that it is easier to tour," Collyer explains.

Collyer found himself drawn to ska for many reasons, but the reaction of the crowd has always been the most important for him. "With ska you get the horns, which is a big presence. It's everything because it is not rock. I don't rock on stage – you don't bang your head. I do the ska!" he exclaims excitedly.

The Planet Smashers live performance is thus geared toward high energy and audience participation. They successfully accomplish this through a combination of fun lyrics and a refusal to hold anything back.

"For lyrics we all sort of agree to what the Planet Smashers are, so we all kind of stick to that idea. We are all on the same wave length and it works well. We have a lot of energy in our live performance like jumping up and down, saying stupid things and getting over all our inhibitions."

The band is evolving and with their heads set toward the future, Collyer explains the next Planet Smashers record will be different. "The last album had a lot of cynicism, with songs like "pierce me" which aims to make fun of every fad out there. The next album is going to be more politically conscious."

The Planet Smashers play Call The Office Monday night. Also on the bill are Samiam, Subb and Sinclaire. Tickets are $10.

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Copyright The Gazette 2000