The Planet Smashers

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The Planet Smashers
Planet Smashers.jpg
The Planet Smashers in concert
Background information
Origin Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Genres Ska punk
Years active 1994–present
Labels Stomp
Website planetsmashers.net
Members Matt Collyer
J.O. Bègin
Neil "Lonestar" Johnson
Dave Cooper
Scott Russell
Past members Fred Brenton
Leon Kingstone
Tim Doyle
Kurt Ruchinsky
Ceco Munaretto
Travis Wilkinson
Andrew Skowronski
Andrew Lattoni

The Planet Smashers are a Canadian ska punk band from Montreal. Since their formation in 1994, they have been a staple of the Montreal music scene. During the third wave of ska, they quickly rose to national, and eventual international fame, with tours in the United States, Europe, and Japan. Founding member Matt Collyer helped establish Stomp Records in 1994, which featured many ska and ska punk bands, including Montreal's The Kingpins, The Flatliners, The Know How, and Bedouin Soundclash. Their music has been used in the Japanese flash series Catman, Canadian show Radio Free Roscoe, and MTV's Undergrads (shown on Teletoon in Canada). Lyrics by The Planet Smashers often deal with topics such as love, partying and good times, and sometimes use tongue-in-cheek innuendos.

History[edit]

Early Years[edit]

The name "The Planet Smashers" was first used in 1992 for a band including Matt Collyer, Ceco Munaretto and Dave Jones as well as a series of other members. These groups played punk and Manchester rock and did not complete any recordings. They did perform live shows and the songs "Coolest Guy" and "Vampire" come from this period.

First Lineup 1993–1996[edit]

The name solidified into the current format in 1993 when Matt and Ceco decided to introduce horns into the band and focus on ska. Travis Wilkinson (Trombone) was attracted to the band by a misleading poster that read "Its' your big break, goofball trombone player needed for ska band that's huge in Belgium with confirmed European tour." The other original members were Dave Cooper (Drums) and Andrew Skowronski (Tenor Saxophone). They practiced in the McGill University music department until kicked out and their first gig was at the now defunct "Station 10" on March 17, 1994.

The band played small Montreal venues like "Purple Haze" and "Jailhouse" and at ska festivals. All the band members contributed original material and sets would include a few ska/punk cover tunes. A first demo of 3 songs was recorded in Cooper's apartment but not released. Later the band recorded their first cassette in a weekend session, using studio time won by one of Collyer's defunct former bands "The Thrill Killers". The quality of this recording was not very high, but it helped get the band more gigs and visibility, including shows outside of Montreal. Popular destinations for the band included the Toucan in Kingston, The Pit in Ottawa and Sneaky Dees in Toronto. The band was an important part of the vibrant local ska scene that existed in Montreal in the mid-90s.

The self-titled CD was recorded in spring 1995. Because of a tight budget it was produced and recorded by the band in Dave's apartment on a 12 track tape recorder. This album includes favorites like "Pee in the Elevator" and "Janice". The band had its first cross country tour promoting its release in the summer of 1995.

In 1996 the band's summer tour extended into the United States. The band suffered mishaps like a broken saxophone, multiple van breakdowns and an issue at the border that prevented Travis from completing the tour. After a few more shows in Montreal the original lineup broke up, with Ceco, Andrew and Travis leaving the band.

Recent history 1997–Present[edit]

The Planet Smashers have continued, with Collyer and Cooper remaining as core members and a series of new members and sidemen. Cooper switched from drums to bass guitar when Tim Doyle joined the band. The band often plays "all-ages" shows and the playful lyrics and the high energy music has proven popular with teenage listeners. The band is one of the most popular ska bands in Canada and continues to tour and perform.

The band has hinted on June 30, 2010, while playing at the Jonquière en musique music festival, that the band was working a new album, aimed for a February 2011 release.

The Planet Smashers released Descent Into the Valley of the Planet Smashers on July 12, 2011.

They continue to play shows bi-monthly limited to the Quebec and Ontario area due to Matt's busy schedule with his children and family.

Their 8th studio album, titled 'Mixed Signals', is set to release April 8th via Stomp Records.

Current members[edit]

Discography[edit]

Videography[edit]

  • Tear It Up (2014)
  • Descent Into the Valley of the Planet Smashers (2011)
  • Bullets to the Ground (2005)
  • Raise Your Glass (2005)
  • J'aime Ta Femme (I Like Your Girl) (2003)
  • Explosive (2003)
  • Blind (2001)
  • Wish I Were American (2001)
  • Fabricated (2001)
  • Hey Hey (2001)
  • Surfing In Tofino (1999)
  • Super Orgy Porno Party (1999)
  • Too Much Attitude (1999)
  • Change (1998)
  • My Decision (1997)
  • Mission Aborted (1995)

External links[edit]