Published Dec 15, 2007Planes Mistaken For Stars have been around for a while. Ten years, actually. In those ten years they've gone from a kind-of-emo post-hardcore band (check out "Copper and Stars" for proof of the band's Deep Elm-certified skillz) to a totally fuzzed-out heavy-as-shit rock-and-fucking-roll band. Sure, bands evolve, but never has the sound of a band coming into their own seemed as natural as with Planes, whose records have always been grounded by the viciously haggard vocals of Gared O'Donnell. The news of the band's dissolution was a pretty huge bummer for fans of good music. That it was to be preceded by a massive tour that would take the band to most of their favourite stomping grounds in North America (and, originally, Europe, before a family emergency forced the band to abandon their overseas dates) made things a little easier.
The band's Toronto stop came on the shittiest night possible. Cold rain turned to freezing rain, and only the die hards ventured down to Bathurst and Queen to see the band's final show in Ontario at the all-ages megaplex that is the Big Bop. But they got one hell of a show. Not simply focusing on material from Up in Them Guts and Mercy, their last two full-lengths, the band reached right on back to their self-titled debut and delivered a passionate, dynamic performance that should make anyone who missed it feel pretty shitty about themselves for at least a month.
The interview with Gared and Chuck (French, guitarist / vocalist) itself was one of those special moments you wish could be captured by a video camera or tape recorder, but, ultimately, can't be. The band was clearly feeling great about the show, and about being in a city where they have a lot of good friends, and with a few beers in them, were in a thoroughly contemplative mood by the time we got to talking at the end of the night. The resulting video does a half-decent job of capturing the nature of our conversation, which ran the gamut from lighthearted and stupid (some stuff about toilet seats) to seriously introspective. Perhaps it was the dichotomy of Planes' songs at work; both guttural in their sonic violence but intelligent and calculated in their lyrical and musical approach. They will be missed.