Blending together thrash and death metal with crushing grooves and devastating vocalization, PLANET EATER is the end results. Thus, what ended up becoming their first full-length debut efforts titled "Blackness From The Stars".From this album came the first single "The Boats" as well as the follow-up single "Cold Confines". The band's continuation of themselves is ever growing with further plans on making new music and wanting to travel and get signed as well. Bassist/backing vocalist Troy Bleich talks about the album, these singles, and where the band will likely end up next musically.
1. How did your band form?
Troy: Planet Eater formed in the winter months of 2014. We are all long time friends and have played in many bands with various line ups previously. After years of talking about forming a band, we finally all came together to jam out. We had no intention of success and decided to play the music that we loved and wanted to hear. We're a band that just wants to play music that is loud and heavy as fuck.
2. What accomplishments are you most and least proud of as a band?
Troy: I'm proud that we've self financed two albums, multiple videos and have created a unique merchandise line that has become the financial back bone of Planet Eater in basically three years. Luc Hart is also an amazing sound engineer that is responsible for the recording, engineering and production of both our albums so we are really lucky in that aspect. As for what I’m least proud of that's tough to say. I feel we've accomplished more than we ever set out to do and I get to share the stage with my best buds, who can ask for more??
3. How has being in a band impacted your life?
Troy: Being in bands has been my life for the last 20 years...haha... Everything thing I do has had playing in a band at the forefront. I've quit jobs, broke up with girlfriends, moved out of places all because playing music was more important to me than that safe and boring alternative. Being in touring bands has taught me a lot in regards to financial responsibility, about not taking a loss when you don't have to, about knowing your bottom line and budgeting accordingly.
All that being said being in a band when I was young gave me a sense of belonging, a sense of pride. Playing something I could excel at that wasn't being graded and assessed with a magnifying glass. It was me and it was mine, I was part of something bigger than me.
4. How do you describe your sound to people who ask you what your band sounds like?
Troy: We create a wall of heavy discordant sound. It’s atmospheric, unnerving and brutal.
5. Do you have any major goals for your band?
Troy: I would like to see us get signed and be able to play on some larger stages in different places. I've had the privilege of touring Europe many years ago with Into Eternity and I would love to bring Planet Eater there. I would like to play a killer show in Barcelona and have a day off on the beach, look over to the guys and say "Can you believe we're here??" ha-ha... That would be a trip, that's a major goal.
6. Who are some of your biggest influences music wise?
Troy: We're pretty old school all in all. I would say early Slayer, Pantera, Sepultura, Converge, Raised Fist, and Gojira, anything that's heavy and sounds cool as fuck.
7. How about when it comes to the song writing, what are your songs about and how is the song writing process laid out?
Troy: Planet Eater initially came out of the comic book universe and in writing in the realm of fantasy you have no limits. This aspect was more relevant in the first album but lyrically with "The Blackness From the Stars" there are more tracks about a broad range of all things brutal.
Musically we compromise quite a bit. An idea may be presented and it gets changed around until it fits. We are all very vocal about the creative process so it can get pretty frustrating at times but in the end it’s for the best!
8. Why did you want "The Boats" and "Cold Confines" to be made into singles off this album? Will we be seeing anymore songs be put into this treatment?
Troy: We felt that these songs represented the album and Planet Eater well. We were considering quite a few tracks and decided to go with those ones. I guess I’m happy that we had more than two songs to choose from! There definitely will be more tracks released off the album in the future.
9. What is the story behind "The Boats" and "Cold Confines"?
Troy: "Scaphism", also known as "The Boats", was an ancient Persian method of execution designed to inflict torturous death that is reported in historical sources. "The Boats" entailed trapping the victim inside two boats, feeding and covering him with milk and honey, and allowing him to fester and be devoured by vermin.
"Cold Confines" speaks to the self importance we see in ourselves. We call our ideas and thoughts ours but truly we're puppets regurgitating the ideas of others. We are consumed by the idea of our own demise and ignore the inevitable at all costs. We were never pure, we were never special, and we were put here to witness our own demise, happy shit like that.
10. Both singles come off your debut album "Blackness From The Stars", can you disclose what this title represents and the accompanying artwork?
Troy: We knew the album we be called "Blackness From The "Stars" the moment Donny wrote the lyrics for that track. The artwork was in response to the title and the songs as interpreted by Jason Thiry who designed the cover. We loved the idea and went with it.
11. How would you say that "Blackness From The Stars", compares, differs, and is equal to your debut EP?
Troy: BFTS is the evolution of the sound of Planet Eater. We were still finding our sound on the EP and "Blackness" is the continuation of that discovery. The next album will be a continuation of "Blackness". Every album is a snapshot of a moment in time. There is no better or worse in that regard, it is what it is.
12. What's your take on "Blackness From The Stars" as a whole?
Troy: I love the album and am extremely proud of it. Like I said earlier, we accomplished more than we ever hoped and dreamed and the fact that people seem to dig it as well is icing on the cake!
13. What would be the cinematic equivalent of "Blackness From The Stars"?
Troy: The NASA Cassini probe mission pics.
14. Is it important for you to paint visual pictures with the songs off this album?
Troy: Its entirely up to the listener. I love multiple layers in music and if it creates a visual response that's great. I can't say it was an intention however.
15. Do you feel any aspects of the album were overlooked?
Troy: Not really, maybe a little light on shredding bass solos but other than that I think we got everything. haha.
16. Describe your relationship with your fans in one word?
17. What’s in the future for Planet Eater?
Troy: Like I was saying it would be great to get on a label and do some traveling! A pro-shot video would be great as well. We'll see what happens!
18. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Troy: Thank you for your interest in Planet Eater! We appreciate the interview and hope to do this again one day! Cheers!