There are few things more sobering—and horrifying—than flipping through the pages of Alternative Press. The magazine, a bible for all things emo/punk/screamo/whatever, is about as influential on today's teens as MySpace, and contains just as many photos of bad screamo bands wearing girl jeans and guyliner (manscara?). Somewhere, in all the empty hype that magazines like AP help nurture, Planes Mistaken for Stars reside. The Denver (by way of suburban Illinois) band is burdened with the name of an emo band (they're not), they tour with screamo bands (they're not), and look like a metal band (not quite, but you're getting closer). As one of the most unapologetically raw—yet still listenable—bands in underground music, PMFS grow immensely with every release. Currently in Seattle and recording with producer Matt Bayles (Pearl Jam, Mastodon), singer/guitarist Gared O'Donnell takes the time to answer a few questions.
As a band with a new lineup and a new label, is this upcoming record going to have a different sound than your previous releases?
In a lot of respects this current recording process reminds me of how I felt recording our first record seven years ago. We have a new energy—being that the dynamics have shifted a bit—and we approached this record with a lot more knowledge and care than we have any other.
Last summer it was announced that the band signed to Relapse, only for you to sign with Abacus shortly afterward? What happened?
We talked to Relapse extensively, and for a minute it really seemed that all parties thought it would happen. But we just were not seeing eye to eye on a couple of crucial issues, so at the end of the day we walked away, although we're still good friends with a strong mutual respect for their label.
In the eight years of being in this band, your music has evolved drastically, but do you still feel that your band name, and your previous association with [notorious emo label] Deep Elm, leads people to believe that PMFS is just some emo band?
To be honest, we don't give a shit what genre people think we belong to. When all is said and done I'm just a singer in a rock 'n' roll band.
Planes Mistaken for Stars play on Sun May 14 at Sabala's