Although this might seem vague, it is true by all means. Whether talking to them over the phone or listening to their music, Mad Planet is just an all around cool and unique band. The Los Angels duo consists of Cooper Gillespie, bassist and vocalist, and Greg Gordon, drummer, keyboardist and guitarist. They are not your ordinary musical tag team; their connection goes beyond music and into the world of true love. This love floats all around Mad Planet. The minute we heard a track off of their EP, Gliese 581g, Mad Planet captured our heart. It might be wise for more groups to date their band-mates.
It is taxing to pinpoint what we admire most about the duo, since our adoration for Mad Planet is so vast. So here goes our list of love. The vocals of Cooper Gillespie are delightfully haunting on all four tracks off of their EP. But out of “Sunset Blvd.,” “I Want You,” Blue Today” and “Set on Fire,” the winner by a landslide is “I Want You.” Gillespie is able to sing whimsically at times, and at other times, she sings in a demanding fashion by exuding sounds of power. Her control over her voice is complemented by the sharp instrumental sounds of Greg Gordon. The electronic rifts, catchy tempos and jarring instrumentals of “Sunset Blvd,” make the track extremely captivating for the listener. The beats never get old, since new electronic sounds surface as the track plays. Gordon’s ear for combining a variety of sounds with an array of instruments is simply impeccable.
As you can tell, our affection for Mad Planet runs deep. So you can only imagine how star-struck we were when we had the opportunity to interview the duo. And we are sure our conversation with the band will spread the Mad Planet love even further.
What was the meaning behind the tracks of your EP, Gliese 581g?
Cooper: Well a lot of the songs are just sort of talking about the forces of light and the forces of dark in each of us. I don’t really know who comes out the winner in the end. But hopefully we take everyone on an interesting journey anyway.
The title of your EP and all four tracks include aspects of nature? Is that just a coincidence?
Cooper: A coincidence. I never thought of that before. I guess we are really a team of nature and we didn’t even know it.
What kind of synthesizing do you use in your tracks? What is the electronic process like?
Cooper: I’ll let Greg take that cause he does most of that.
Greg: As I am writing the tracks, I think and listen to what I want to hear. Then I spend hours and hours searching for sounds till I find the right sounds. And I put them together and modify them a little sometimes with effects. And that’s it. I just build it and if it is working, it’s working. If it doesn’t then I move on to the next sound.
What do you think distinguishes your recent EP from your debut album, All Elephants?
Greg: I think what all bands should do is evolve and mature in their writing. I think that this EP took a big step in terms of songwriting, melodies and with the continuity in the music. I listen to songs like “Sunset Blvd.” and I am like, wow, that is a lot more sophisticated than on All Elephants. I don’t really deal with the lyrics that is Cooper.
Cooper: I agree with everything he says.
What inspires the lyrics of your tracks?
Cooper: All sorts of things. With the EP, there is a lot of personal relationship type of stuff, but “Sunset Blvd.” is all just inspired by that street. We thought it was so cool that it runs all the way from downtown L.A. to all these different neighborhoods. You can really see all of L.A. by just going down Sunset Blvd. So, that song was sort of an ode to our city.
Greg: Sunset Blvd. is really unique. If you really look at the different people along the street, from the rich to the hipsters to the people downtown to the homeless, it is just pretty unique and awesome.
Cooper: All the other songs like on All Elephants are all about inner personal relationships.
Greg: I think the “I Want You” song is about me.
That was actually going to be a question. We’ll get to that later. On another note, how do you categorize your music? What genre or genres do you fit into?
Greg: I listen to everything from old classic country to jazz to metal. When you see us live it is just the two of us, the music has rock and punk elements to it. But at the same time it also comes off as kind of like an indie electronica.
Cooper: Yeah, indie electronica. That sounds good.
Sounds like a good genre to me. What’s it like being a couple in the music industry?
Cooper: I don’t know. I like it. It is fun you get to do everything with your current roommate. We just have a good time with it.
Greg: When we are on stage and we get really into it with each other. And if we weren’t a couple we couldn’t really cross those boundaries. But we can cross those lines on stage. And it’s alright.
Who are your musical influences?
Greg: We listen to all radio and a lot of different things. I’ll pull from all kinds songs that I listen to like from new bands to old bands to Stevie Wonder to Michael Jackson. It really just comes from everything.
Cooper: We both like all different kinds of music.
Greg: Yeah, a good song is a good song and that influences me to write.
Cooper: I’ll always be a punk rocker. So, it is interesting that I make the kind of music that I make now. But I will always have the punk rocker beating inside of my chest.
What do you want to accomplish with your music in the long run?
Greg: I know for me, I just love touring. I love being on the road. I love traveling. Music is taking me around the world and that is all I want to do. I would be happy just playing five times a night at different clubs all over the world.
Cooper: Just getting to do music for a living. Playing music and the songs to all different people would be my goal.
By Lonnie Nemiroff