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Meet Orlando/Miami band Plastic Planets

“Most of our lyrics tend to be somewhat introspective at this point but that could always change,” said Jeffrey Wright of Orlando/Miami band Plastic Planets during a recent email interview. “You get an idea for a lyric or a song that resonates with you and then you run with it, that’s all there is to it really. Maybe your lyrics are vague and mysterious, maybe you quote ‘Seinfeld,’ maybe you make up your own words and these things can all work. You just have to tweak it, or not, until you feel happy with it. The only way to learn these skills is to either have a God-given talent or to work hard at it for years and years and years until you begin to understand what it is you want to do in great detail.”

CD cover for Plastic Planets debut
CD cover for Plastic Planets debutCD cover

Plastic Planets is relatively new on the Orlando music scene, they have yet to play their first live show as this band, but they are far from newcomers. The band members, Jeffrey Alan Wright (Blue Man Group and Social Ghost) on drums, Eric Van Lugo (Social Ghost) on bass and vocals and Roy Mitchell-Cárdenas (MUTEMATH) on guitar have compiled several years of experience in their other music projects.

With two members living in Orlando and one member in Miami, it’s not easy to get together, but they work around that. “For the writing process, we send a lot of ideas back and forth online,” said Wright. “The same goes for a lot of our rehearsals. One person will record himself playing a song, send it on to the next guy who records his part over that, and then on to the third guy who records his part and sends it back to the first guy who can now play along with the other two. Rinse and repeat. As one song continues to go through that rotation you hear the playing get better and better, then we come together and do some ‘full production’ rehearsals.”

The band members cite a variety of musical influences. “Between the three of us, we have performed in rock bands, jazz bands, wedding bands, marching bands, etc.,” said Wright. “I bring this up, instead of listing our favorite bands, because we have all been forced to learn music that we didn’t necessarily ‘like,’ but studying all of these different songs and styles enables you to see what songwriting is all about. There is a common thread within what is popular, certain musical ideas have appeared time after time over hundreds of years, and a good song can exist in any state from classical to electronica. Forcing yourself to get outside of what you are used to is the easiest place to find inspiration.”

While the band members have well-known musicians they admire, they recognize that there are less-known musicians who are just as talented and dedicated. “We admire people like Paul McCartney, Sting, Billy Joel and countless other big famous rockstars who are masters of their craft, who have obviously devoted their lives to the art, and who have given us songs that will live forever. But we equally admire the musicians who we don’t even know, the ones who do it regardless of rewards. Some of the most gifted musicians in the world go unheard because of uncountable and uncontrollable circumstances. There is no doubt that great talent is all around you, always, and while achieving anything in this business is no doubt the result of hard work and relentlessness, you still can’t do it without luck.”

Plastic Planets has been a long time in the making, with the band members spending their time working on their songs before they decided to put out a CD and start performing live. Their self-titled debut CD was only recently released online. “We can’t tell you how to hear it, or how to interpret the music, but we hope that it moves you in some way,” said Wright. “We hope that you can hear the struggles we’ve gone through to make this recording. I’m not talking about the countless hours in the studio, or the slaving over lyrics, we love that stuff. I’m talking about car wrecks, bad relationships and the stress those hours in the studio can add to the rest of your life. If you can listen to our music and hear how much we care about what we’ve created, mission accomplished, because maybe then it can help with your struggles.”

Music fans can download the multi-faceted rock band’s self-titled debut CD on Soundcloud. There is a special combo package that includes a download of the CD and a ticket to their first show available there as well. Their video for their song “Me Go” is available on You Tube. The band also has a Facebook page and Twitter feed to follow.

The band’s first live show will be their CD release show at The Haven in Orlando on January 10. Also playing this 18+ show is Orlando band Empire Theory. The doors open at 9 p.m. and tickets are $8.