Planes Mistaken for Stars

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Planes Mistaken for Stars
Origin Peoria, Illinois, USA
Genres Punk rock, post-hardcore, emocore
Years active 1997–2008, 2012–present
Labels Abacus Recordings
Associated acts Bull of Heaven, Git Some, Red Cloud West
Members Gared O'Donnell
Chuck French
Neil Keener
Mike Ricketts
Past members Jamie Drier
Aaron Wise
Matt Bellinger

Planes Mistaken for Stars (also known as Planes or PMFS) is a post-hardcore band formed in Peoria, Illinois in 1997. They released music on Deep Elm Records, Dim Mak Records, No Idea Records and Abacus Recordings.



The band began as an aggressive, melodic post-hardcore band in 1997 but later abandoned the genre somewhat, albeit to an extent debated by both their fans and critics. Lead singer and guitarist Gared O'Donnell started the band with guitarist Matt Bellinger, bassist Aaron Wise, and drummer Mike Ricketts.[1] Shortly after the band self-released a self-titled mini-album, Wise was replaced by Jamie Drier.[1] At this time Deep Elm released a self-titled EP which was re-released in August 1999. They also released the 7" "Fucking Fight" on Steve Aoki's Dim Mak Records later that same year.

Intermediate years[edit]

In 1999, Planes took part in a mass migration to Denver, Colorado with more than thirteen friends. After the move, the band recorded their second release for Deep Elm, Knife In The Marathon.[1] In 2001, Planes moved over to Gainesville Florida's No Idea Records to release Fuck with Fire.[1] The next year they released a 7" titled Spearheading the Sin Movement and also made an appearance on Black On Black: A Tribute to Black Flag.

In 2003, Planes saw its second line up change. Jamie Drier left the band and was replaced by Chuck French. Chuck played his first show with Planes on November 2, 2003.

Later that year, Planes recorded Up in Them Guts with A. J. Mogis, whose most notable work is with Saddle Creek artists Bright Eyes and The Faint. Up in Them Guts was released in the summer of 2004 on No Idea Records. To promote the record, the band took on one of the lengthiest tour schedules of their career, covering the United States and Europe with a bands such as The Ataris, Cursive, Against Me!, Dillinger Escape Plan, Hot Water Music and High on Fire on six separate, and very diverse tours.[2] They also made festival appearances at Skate And Surf Fest, Strhess Fest, and Hellfest.

In 2005, Planes completed three additional headlining tours; one in the United Kingdom, and two in the United States.

In early 2006, Planes' original guitarist Matt Bellinger parted ways with the band to pursue other musical endeavors starting with Ghost Buffalo (2004-2009) and Il Cattivo (2009-Present).

Despite rumors of the band signing with metal label Relapse Records, they announced a deal with Abacus Recordings/EMI in the fall of 2005 as well as plans to release a new record in the summer of 2006.[2] Originally scheduled for 2006-06-06, the record had been pushed back in order to accommodate the schedule of the producer they chose to work with, Matt Bayles, who has worked with bands such as Mastodon and Isis. The final record, titled Mercy, was released on October 3, 2006.


In July 2007, Planes Mistaken for Stars announced that they had broken up. They performed their final concert on February 16, 2008 at the Marquis Theater in Denver. Chuck French and Neil Keener are together in a group called Git Some, Keener is also in a drone band called Bull of Heaven with composer Clayton Counts, Gared O'Donnell is in a project titled Hawks and Doves, Matt Bellinger was in a project called Ghost Buffalo who had two records out on Denver's Suburban Home Records and is currently in a rock band called Il Cattivo, and Mike Ricketts and Jamie Drier are playing together in a group called onYou in Chicago.[citation needed]


The band reunited in 2010, performing at the Fest 9 in Gainesville, Florida.[3] Planes Mistaken for Stars announced that they would be reuniting for a 2012 East Coast Summer Tour.[4]



  • Gared O'Donnell - guitar, vocals (1997 to 2007, 2010 to present)
  • Chuck French - guitar (2003 to 2007, 2010 to present)
  • Neil Keener - bass (2004 to 2007, 2010 to present)
  • Mike Ricketts - drums (1997 to 2007, 2010 to present)


  • Jamie Drier - bass (1998 to 2003)
  • Aaron Wise - bass (1997 to 1998)
  • Matt Bellinger - guitar, vocals (1997 to 2006)



  • Planes Mistaken for Stars mini-album (1998) self-released, reissued (1999) Deep Elm
  • Fuck with Fire (2001) No Idea
  • Up in Them Guts (2004) No Idea
  • Mercy (2006) Paranoid
  • We Ride to Fight! (The First Four Years) (CD/2xLP) (2007)

Singles, EPs[edit]

  • Split EP with Appleseed Cast and Race Car Riot (1999) Deep Elm
  • Fucking Fight (7" / CD Single) (1999) Dim Mak
  • Knife in the Marathon (EP) (2000) Deep Elm
  • Black on Black: A Tribute to Black Flag (2002) Initial
  • Spearheading the Sin Movement (7" / CD Single) (2002) No Idea


Their song title "Funeral for a Friend", itself shared with Elton John's "Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding", was adopted as the name of the Wales-based post-hardcore band Funeral for a Friend, whose lead singer Matthew Davies-Kreye cited Planes Mistaken for Stars as one of his favourite bands at that time.


  1. ^ a b c d Strong, Martin C. (2003) "Planes Mistaken for Stars", in The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, ISBN 1-84195-335-0
  2. ^ a b Ankeny, Jason "Planes Mistaken for Stars Biography", Allmusic, Macrovision Corporation
  3. ^ Nguyen, Tuyet (August 11, 2010). "Planes Mistaken For Stars reunites (but not in Colorado)". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved November 24, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Planes Mistaken for Stars schedule a reunion tour (dates)". Brooklyn Vegan. August 11, 2010. Retrieved May 17, 2012. 

External links[edit]