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Emerging from the rather unlikely locale of Montreal, Quebec, ska revivalists the Planet Smashers were formed in 1994 by singer/guitarist Matt Collyer, bassist Dave Cooper, saxophonist Leon Kingston, trombonist Kurt Ruzenisky, and drummer Tim Doyle. Debuting with a 1996 self-titled effort for their own STOMP imprint, later that year they also issued the EP Inflate to 45 RPM. Attack of the Planet Smashers appeared in 1998, followed by Life of the Party a year later. By this point the band's lineup had shifted to include Collyer, Cooper, saxophonist Neil "Lonestar" Johnson, trombonist Andrew Lattoni, and drummer Scott Russell. They'd also built a respectable following throughout North America, touring with bands like Mustard Plug, AFI, Samiam, and the Aquabats, among others, and STOMP was doing well as a ska- and punk-flavored indie. The Planet Smashers remained consistent over the years, dropping No Self Control in 2001, Fabricated in 2002, and Mighty in 2004. The DVD Ten appeared in 2004 as well, documenting the band's first ten years together with interviews, music videos, live footage, and more, while the band spent several weeks on the summer's Vans Warped Tour. Unstoppable was next issued in 2005.
The Planet Smashers are a Canadian ska punk band from Montreal. Since their formation in 1994, they have been a staple of the Montreal music scene. During the third wave of ska, they quickly rose to national, and eventual international fame, with tours in the United States, Europe, and Japan. Founding member Matt Collyer helped establish Stomp Records in 1994, which featured many ska and ska punk bands, including Montreal's The Kingpins, The Flatliners, The Know How, and Bedouin Soundclash. Their music has been used in the Japanese flash series Catman, Canadian show Radio Free Roscoe, and MTV's Undergrads (shown on Teletoon in Canada). Lyrics by The Planet Smashers often deal with topics such as love, partying and good times, and sometimes use tongue-in-cheek innuendos.
ContentsHistory1.1 Early Years1.2 First Lineup 1993–19961.3 Recent history 1997–Present
The name "The Planet Smashers" was first used in 1992 for a band including Matt Collyer, Ceco Munaretto and Dave Jones as well as a series of other members. These groups played punk and Manchester rock and did not complete any recordings. They did perform live shows and the songs "Coolest Guy" and "Vampire" come from this period.
First Lineup 1993–1996
The name solidified into the current format in 1993 when Matt and Ceco decided to introduce horns into the band and focus on ska. Travis Wilkinson (Trombone) was attracted to the band by a misleading poster that read "Its' your big break, goofball trombone player needed for ska band that's huge in Belgium with confirmed European tour." The other original members were Dave Cooper (Drums) and Andrew Skowronski (Tenor Saxophone). They practiced in the McGill University music department until kicked out and their first gig was at the now defunct "Station 10" on March 17, 1994.
The band played small Montreal venues like "Purple Haze" and "Jailhouse" and at ska festivals. All the band members contributed original material and sets would include a few ska/punk cover tunes. A first demo of 3 songs was recorded in Cooper's apartment but not released. Later the band recorded their first cassette in a weekend session, using studio time won by one of Collyer's defunct former bands "The Thrill Killers". The quality of this recording was not very high, but it helped get the band more gigs and visibility, including shows outside of Montreal. Popular destinations for the band included the Toucan in Kingston, The Pit in Ottawa and Sneaky Dees in Toronto. The band was an important part of the vibrant local ska scene that existed in Montreal in the mid-90s.
The self-titled CD was recorded in spring 1995. Because of a tight budget it was produced and recorded by the band in Dave's apartment on a 12 track tape recorder. This album includes favorites like "Pee in the Elevator" and "Janice". The band had its first cross country tour promoting its release in the summer of 1995.
In 1996 the band's summer tour extended into the United States. The band suffered mishaps like a broken saxophone, multiple van breakdowns and an issue at the border that prevented Travis from completing the tour. After a few more shows in Montreal the original lineup broke up, with Ceco, Andrew and Travis leaving the band.
Recent history 1997–Present
The Planet Smashers have continued, with Collyer and Cooper remaining as core members and a series of new members and sidemen. Cooper switched from drums to bass guitar when Tim Doyle joined the band. The band often plays "all-ages" shows and the playful lyrics and the high energy music has proven popular with teenage listeners. The band is one of the most popular ska bands in Canada and continues to tour and perform.
The band has hinted on June 30, 2010, while playing at the Jonquière en musique music festival, that the band was working a new album, aimed for a February 2011 release.
The Planet Smashers released Descent Into the Valley of the Planet Smashers on July 12, 2011.
They continue to play shows bi-monthly limited to the Quebec and Ontario area due to Matt's busy schedule with his children and family.