After touring through U.K. and Ireland in December, the Planet Smashers are back in Canada to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their own label, Stomp Records. They will be performing along with other Stomp managed bands in Toronto on Feb. 9 and Montreal on Feb. 10.
For those of you who do not know the Planet Smashers, they are a band of Montreal musicians who, since 1994, have rocked the Ska scene around the world. They have been on numerous tours across North America, Europe and Asia, they have released six energetic albums and their music has conquered legions of fans thanks to catchy pop melodies and fun lyrics.
Briefly, how the band come together back in the day?
Oh geez that was a long time ago. It was in 1994 I think. I was hanging out with Ceco, the band’s original bass player at a party, getting drunk. The Kinkers, another eventual ska band had decided to form a band at that same party and that encouraged us to do the same.
You all played music?
Nah we didn’t. Ceco didn’t know how to play bass and I didn’t know how to play guitar. I mean I could play maybe two chords.
Wow, well somebody had to know how to play an instrument of some sort . What about the drummer?
We met him at a Dunkin’ Donuts. He was sitting there holding only one drum stick so we asked him if he could play. He said: “Yeah, for sure.” In fact, at the time, he didn’t know how to play drums. Then, eventually, Dave’s grandmother died and left him $5,000. With that money he was able to buy a crappy 12 track recording board and that’s how it all started.
You’re coming back from the ‘Ska is Dead’ U.K. and Ireland Tour, how did that go?
It was amazing! It was our third tour in the U.K. The first and second tours were ok. On the previous tours, we played in smaller venues. I mean, there were maybe 150 people per show and the place was full.
Any crazy stories from the last tour?
We normally party a lot on tour but this one was out of control! All the bands were travelling in the same tour van, everyone was partying all the time and we had our own driver so there was no need for anybody to be the designated driver.
When touring, is there a band you enjoy playing with in particular?
Personally, I like the guys from Mustard Plug because we go back, so far back that we know them more as friends than any other groups. The other bands that we get along really well with are Big D and the Kids at the table and the Canadian band Sobb.
You often sing some of your songs in French. For example, the song “J’aime ta femme/I like your girlfriend” which is about a guy who has a crush on his buddy’s girlfriend was released both in French and English in 2003. How did you get that idea?
Our trombone player is francophone and the original idea was to make the song in French only.
I got the idea from a celebrity tabloid magazine I saw at the grocery store. The main article of the magazine was “J’aime ta femme”. So I said to myself, Wow, I’ve got to make a song about that! I first wrote the song in English and then the French version of the song was written by our trombone player.
Are you sure you didn’t write the song about one of your pals’ girlfriend?
Well, I have a lot of friends with hot girlfriends [laughs]. So after they saw the video, some of them came up to me and said, “hey! That’s not cool!
Your upcoming shows in Canada, what are they about?
It’s two shows, they’re both for the 10th anniversary of Stomp Records. Not only will the Smashers be performing but also other groups managed by Stomp Records: The Flatliners, the Johnstones and the Expos will be joining us in Toronto and in Montreal, it will be us plus The Flatliners and One night Band. The show in Montreal will be at the Petit Caf