Los Plantronics

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Los Plantronics is a cinematic rock-and-roll group from Oslo, Norway, formed by Signor Havn (bandleader) and Greek guitarist Thanasis Therianos in 1994.

Today’s Los Plantronics are a nine piece orchestra dabbling into electric swamp-R&B, garage-soul-boogaloo, Sun studio gospel-billy, Stax (studio) instrumentals, Chess recordings, Byrds-psychedelia, Memphis horns, blaxploitation, space-surf guitars, biker-soundtracks, Hammond grooves, spaghetti-westerns, campfire guitars, New Orleans funk, Latin jazz & Mariachi brass!

Current members[edit]

  • Eivind Staxrud: guitar, vocals
  • Lars Erik Larsen: bass and fuzz-bass, vocals
  • Slim Slammer: stand-up kit, percussion, vocals
  • Signor HAVN: fuzz-tone guitar & Fedoras
  • Bendik Brænne: saxophone, baritone sax, flute
  • Kjetil Teigen: congas, percussion
  • Didrik Lund: B3 Hammond organ, Leslie, piano and electric piano

And featuring:

  • On trumpet: Eivind Solheim
  • and trombone: Hans Foyn Friis

Early history[edit]

Their first appearance was in May 1995 under the name The Plantronics at Tutan Kaman (now closed) in downtown Oslo, together with psychobilly band Red Planet Agents (later The Rejects) and Gluecifier. The evening’s promoter was Wildmind aka notorious record-dealer Pål-Erik Gulliksrud who also was performing that evening backed by various members of The Plantronics. Line-up at the time was Pio Pethon on drums, Jungle Jenny on bass, Thanasis Therianos on guitar/vocals and Signor Havn on a white Hagström Super Swede. Their set was a mix of MC5/Stooges related stuff blended with surf punk songs.

The band re-emerged in 1996 (where the official time-line starts) with a new line-up and a full instrumental set. They played an opening slot for psych-heads Bevis Frond at Exodus (a glamorous reggae-club in Oslo!), a show which was recorded by Radio Nova and supported El Vez (the Mexican Elvis) at a sold-out show at Sentrum Scene the very same year. Drums were now handled by Frode Skjold and Eldar Aarsten on bass respectively.

Home-demos were made in a dingy rehearsal place in a basement in Rathkesgate, Oslo. The song Los Diablos from this session was released on a German compilation called “Spaghetti Vol.1 – Duck You Sucker!” Later on One Million Dollar Records released their debut album The Latino Car-Club Soundtrack which was only available in vinyl format. Reinhard Hvidsten was now handling the bass and they added LOS to their name. Concerning their name it was based on the idea of having a name which ended with – ICS; like in Sonics, Cynics, Diabolics, Vibrasonic, Hypnotics etc. Plantronics it was! Later when LOS was added it was completed.

An instrumental EP Cinematic Gangsters (a hand grenade of a soundtrack) was also recorded with the same line-up. Early 1998 guitarist and co-founder Thanasis Therianos left for military services in Greece and Kai Roger Gjestemoen aka El Kairo joined. With a new guitarist on board they released both the EP Cinematic Gangsters and new CD album Mariachi Death Surf under their own label Mariachi Production (the band has always been deeply rooted in D.I.Y. aesthetics). The latter featured some vocal songs sung by Screaming Lord Skjold (re-entering vocal parts) and the album got splendid reviews. The same line-up recorded another album Columbian Necktie-Mexican Rumble (vinyl/CD) and 2001 they played By:Larm in Tromsø with guest drummer Bjørn Hagelund (of Beat Tornados) who handled both drums and Theremin at the same time.

2002 they got invited to play Gearfest in Stockholm and Oslo with other acts such as The Hives, The Hellacopters, The Nomads etc.etc. The drummer of Nomads (Jocke) played drums on a couple of songs while Frode Skjold was singing. This was Frode Skjolds last official gig with Los Plantronics, but he has since guested at numerous live occasions.

Generally the sound in the early years was spaghetti tunes, lo-fi garage punk, movie soundtracks, weird surf and instro trash played with a whole lot of amateurish energy completed with B-movie samples in and between songs, often described as spaghetti-surf-punk-a-billy.

Performance and recording notes[edit]

As their playing abilities and live reputation grew, they received more offers to tour. They have toured Norway, Sweden, Denmark, U.K., Germany, Belgia, Netherland and Greece and have criss-crossed Spain at several occasions. On their way they have shared the stage with The Hives, Jim Jones Revue, Dick Dale, The Sonics, The Sadies, Andre Williams, The Defectors, Hellacopters, Ebbot of TSOOL, The Nomads, The Fuzztones, Radio Birdmen, Los Coronas, Big John Bates, The Urban Voodoo Machine, The Maggots, Bambi Molesters, Gluecifier, legendary Kike Turmix etc.

Los Plantronics have released a number of recordings on their own label Mariachi Productions and in co-operation with various labels in Norway, Germany, U.S.A. and Mexico. They have established their own unique yearly “Day of the Dead” celebration and their music has been used in numerous short films, commercials and TV vignettes. After having a short stint with Wicked Cool (Little Steven’s label) they are now working with Kongtiki records and Jansen Plateproduksjon based in Oslo.

Band description and music styles[edit]

Their three last albums La Orchestra Diaboliqa (2003), Rancho Notorious (2007) and their new album Organic Voodoo Soup where all mixed (La Orchestra was also recorded there) by tape-virtuous Don Dons at Hangaroundsounds, making Don Dons largely responsible for the band's recording sound together with bandleader/co-producer Signor Havn.

Personnel (alphabetically)[edit]

Alexander Holm Larsen – congas: live and live recordings 2004
Anders Møller (also of Kåre and The Cavemen, Thee Midnight Creeps) – congas: studio recordings 2003
Bendik Brænne (also of No Torso) - horn arrangements, saxophone, baritone sax, flute: live and studio recordings 2006-onwards
Bjørn Hagelund (also of Beat Tornados) – Theremin/percussion: live at Metropol TV ca.2002, Theremin: studio recordings 2000 and stand-in drummer at two occasions 2001+2008
Burt Rocket (also of Torqueflite, Tremolo Wankers, solo) – farfisa: live 2010
Christian Magnusson – saxophone: live 2006
Didrik Lund (also of Crand Café) - B3 Hammond organ, Leslie, piano: 2010–onwards
Ebbot (also of The Soundtrack of Our Lives/Swe.) – vocals, guitar: guest appearance at Raunch club Oslo 2010
Eivind Solheim (also of No Torso) – trumpet: live and studio recordings 2007-onwards
Eivind Staxrud (also of Raga Rockers, Hawaii GoGo’s) – live and studio recordings, bass: 2003–2005, guitar, vocals: 2005-onward
Eldar Aarsten – bass, synthesizer: 1996-1997
Espen Christoffersen (also of Prime Time Orchestra) – trumpet: live 2010
Erik Eilertsen (also of Jazzin Babies) – trumpet: live and studio recordings 2003-2007
Erik Johannessen (also of Jaga Jazzist) – trombone: live 2009
Frode Skjold aka Screaming Lord Skjold (also of Peue De Peache, The Indikation, solo) – drums, vocals: 1996-2002 + guest appearances later years
Gary Voodoo (also of The Urban Voodoo Machine) – drums: guest appearance Raunch club 2010
Gisle Mathisen (also of Nikkeby Lufthavn) – guitar: guest appearance Blå Rock 2007
Gunnar Knutsen (also of Tumblewine Films) – various movie projects 2005-onwards
Hans Foyn Friis (also of No Torso) – trombone: live and studio recordings 2007-onwards
Ian Fr. Johannessen (also of Big Truck, Howling Pimp-o-Negros) – bass: live NYE 2007
Isaac Baruch (also of Black Cactus Stampede) – song writing, backing vocals: live 2002
Jacob Eri Myhre – trumpet: live 2009
Jocke Ericson (also of The Nomads/Swe.) – drums: guest appearance Gearfest Oslo 2002
Jon Petter Lindberg – trumpet: live 2010
Jungle Jenny (also of The Barbarellas) – bass: 1994-1995
Jørn Raknes (also of Beat Tornados) – lap-steel, post horn: studio recordings 2003
Kai Roger Gjestemoen aka El Kairo (later of Strigi Beat) – guitar, banjo, mouth harp: 1998-2005 + guest appearances later years
Kai Roger Havn (also of Beat Machine) – backing vocals: live 2002
Kike Turmix (also of Pleasure Fuckers/Esp.) – vocals: live Spania 2005
Kjell Pop (also of Onkel Tuka) – mandola, mandolin, lap-steel: studio recordings 2000
Kjetil Teigen (also of Shit City) - congas, percussion: live 2010–onwards
Kjetil Wang (also of Smalltown Ramblers) – trombone: live around 2006
Lars Erik Larsen (also of Shit City) - bass, fuzz-bass, vocals: live and studio recordings 2008-onwards
Los Explosivos, Mex. - vocals: guest appearance Barcelona 2009
Mads Monstad (also of Kobi) – percussion: studio recordings 2006
Marius Gjersø (also of Cinnamon Recource) – trumpet: live 2009
Martin Caspersen (also of The Phantoms) – Hammond organ, piano: studio 2006
Martin Myhre Olsen – saxophone: live 2010
Max Lammers (also of Torqueflite) – guest guitar: the 3rd guitarist live 2007+2008
Mona Helleland Varpe (also of Nikkeby Lufthavn) - Organ, percussion, Theremin, vocals: live and studio recordings 2005-2009
Morten Jackman (also of Helldorado) – drums: guest appearance Checkpoint Charlie 2001
Morten Pisani (also of Beat Tornados) – stand-in drummer 2004
Njål Ra (later of Overall Junction) – bass: 2005-2007
Njål Vigleik Jonassen – trumpet: studio recordings 1999
Odd Nielsen – trumpet: live and studio recordings around 1998-2002
Ole-Henrik Mohn - saxophone/baritone sax: live and studio 2003-2007
Paul-Ronney Angel (also of The Urban Voodoo Machine/u.k.) - harmonica: live Raunch club 2010
Peder Øiseth (aka Don Pedro) – horn arrangements, trumpet, percussion: live and studio recordings 2003-2008
Per Øydir (also of Kåre and The Cavemen, The Indikation, Peter Berry) – farfisa: studio and live 2000+2001
Pio Pethon (also of Astroburger) – drums: 1994-1995
Poxy – on borrowed trombone: Spanish tour 2005
Reinhard Hvidsten (also of The Far-Outs) – bass, harmonica: live and studio recordings 1997-2003 + guest appearances live and studio later years
Roar Fagerlie – trumpet, horn arrangements: live and studio appearances 2002-2007
Roar Nielsen (also of Cumshots) – percussion, Theremin, piano: studio recordings 2009
Rune Jostein Eide – trumpet: live 2007
Signor HAVN - fuzz-tone guitar & Fedoras: 1994-onwards
Sindre Blodstrupmoen – trumpet: live 2009+2010
Slim Slammer (also of Hawaii GoGo’s) - stand-up kit, percussion, vocals: live and studio 2002-onwards
Tabu S. Omari (also of Bazooka Boppers) – congas: studio recordings 2009
Ted (also of Howling Pimp-o-Negros) – organ, percussion: live 1998 + vocals at various occasions
Terje Langsrud – trumpet: studio recordings 2004
Thanasis Therianos (later of The Laundrettes, Torqueflite) – guitar, vocals: 1994-1998 and stand-in guitarist at various occasions later years
The Suspicious Four (Karl Erik Bø, Torbjørn Jacobsen, Fredrik Otterstad, Tom Erik Øgland) – backing vocals: studio recordings 2009
Thomas Gustavson – congas, percussion: live John Dee 2010
Thomas Roaas (also of The Mobsmen, The Indikation) – congas: studio recordings 1999
Thrond Asker (also of Squareheads) – vocals: guest appearance Halden 2001
Tormod Åsgard – trumpet: live about 2005
Vibeke Saugestad (also of The Yum Yum’s, Twistaroos, solo) – vocals: live 2010
Vidar Ersfjord aka Mickey Moog/Mickey Brass/Juan Lord (also of Velvet Belly) – organ, trombone: live and studio ca.2000-2003
Willy B (also of Willy B. Review) – song writing: 2003
Willy Åserud – trumpet: live 2006
Øivind Blomstrøm (also of El Cuero) – pedal-steel: studio recordings 2009


  • The Latino Car-Club Soundtrack, 1998
  • Cinematic Gangsters (a hand grenade of a soundtrack) EP, 1998
  • Mariachi Death Surf, 1999
  • Columbian Necktie-Mexican Rumble, 2001
  • La Orchestra Diaboliqa, 2003
  • Rancho Notorious!, 2007
  • Organic Voodoo Soup, 2011

External links[edit]

Los Plantronics official website http://www.losplantronics.com/
Los Plantronics at MySpace http://www.myspace.com/losplantronics
Los Plantronics face book site http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=79469493358&ref=ts
Los Plantronics YouTube site http://www.youtube.com/losplantronics
Tumblewine Films http://www.tumblewinefilms.com/
Hangaroundsounds http://www.hangaroundsounds.com/
Jansen Plateproduksjon http://jansenplateproduksjon.com/
Kongtiki records http://www.kongtiki.com/

Background information[edit]

Origin: Oslo, Norway
Genres: Mariachi Death Surf
Years active: (1994) 1996-date
Labels: One Million Dollars records (Germany), Mariachi Production, Big Dipper records, Kongtiki records, Jansen Plateproduksjon, (Norway), El Beasto records (Esp), Isotonic Records (Mex.)
Associated acts: Shit City, Torqueflite, No Torso, Grand Café, Kåre and The Cavemen, Nikkeby Lufthavn, Beat Tornados, Burt Rocket, The Urban Voodoo Machine
Website: www.losplantronics.com