Almighty Planets – Interview – 2014

I managed to meet up with the two lead singers from Almighty Planets – Noah and Ally at the quirky Marwoods Café in the south Laines last week. The energy and finesse they exude on stage certainly came across in the interview. It was an absolute pleasure to meet them both as they’re both passionate about what they do and hilariously funny at the same time. Not only is their music and live performance electrifying, but the band’s friendship and deep affection for each other makes Almighty Planets a really unique and special collaboration.  
Who are Almighty Planets?
NOAH: Almighty Planets is eight musicians – sometimes nine depending on how many brass we have that day. We’re an eight-piece live hip hop and soul band. It started out as my project – which was under a different name and then we changed it. I’d been producing under that name since I was seventeen and then I moved here and got a band together and went through a bunch of different iterations of the band and then eventually it got to Almighty Planets last year – which is a big transition because I was writing and producing everything – except for the brass – I can’t play that – yet! [Laughs]. So I got some of the brass in, and got Ali to come in and do some hooks and then the band were like ‘we’ve been playing together for so long – we want to start writing’ and so we were like ok, well, lets give it a new name, get our shit together and start writing together.
So, is this a joint project between the two of you?

NOAH: Well I suppose it’s a collaborative project between all of us now – although lyrics are still my thing. There’s a new track we’re playing at the moment as an intro – I just need to finish off the second verse and then write some chorus’ to it. It was written by our drummer which is cool because he doesn’t produce that much and he does a few things and they’re fucking weird
ALI: Yeah, some of them are really 8-bit [Laughs] NOAH: and I’m like ‘Dom you’re so silent most of the time – and then you create this sort of crazy stuff!!’
ALI: And then he got Photoshop!
NOAH: [Laughs] Oh yeah!! That was honestly the best thing that could have happened.
ALI: If you go onto our Facebook page you can pinpoint the time to when he got Photoshop – to when he got bored with it. Because there’s a period of about a week when there are just pictures of us with dolphin bodies and riding on the back of sharks – poorly done – but absolutely brilliant!
NOAH: In the history of time it goes like; the invention of the wheel, the polio vaccine, and then Dom getting Photoshop. It’s really just leaps and bounds for humanity. [laughs]
Dom getting Photoshop
You’ve got a great video for ‘Oh The Days’ what’s the story behind it, did you make it yourself?
NOAH: We have some friends who have this production company called Galavant. The filming was really weird because it was the one day last year when it snowed – I’ve never been that cold! I was wearing these stupid shoes that just got absolutely cold and wet – and there was a trailer there whilst we were filming
ALI: – but it only had one heater [laughs] NOAH: which involved us all huddling round this one heater during filming. We ended up sneezing a lot over the following months. I think the next video we do will be in more sunnier climates! [Laughs]

How long have you been living in Brighton for?
NOAH: Me, Ali and Sam (our guitar player) grew up in the south of France together and then we moved to England to go to university and then moved to Brighton four years ago. Sam our bass player, Dom our drummer, Joe our keyboard player, Ben our trombone players – we all went to Uni together in Bath.

How many of you are involved in projects other than Almighty Planets?
NOAH: Almost all of us! Ali has his Platypi project which is really awesome.
ALI: It’s kind of like a LA Hip-Hop / Onra / Flying Lotus kind of stuff.
NOAH: and then Dom (drummer) and Sam (guitarist) play with a mate of ours called The James Riley Band – and Joe (Keyboard) plays drums in an electrofunk band called Toothless Mary which are pretty wild! Ben (trombone) plays with Lazy Habits and Ben (trumpet) plays with The Junk – oh and Odfrey our other trombone player plays with Carnival Collective. Which is all really cool. But Almighty Planets is our family, our love child. [laughs] ‘The Almighty Planets family band! We shall tour the mountains!’
ALI: [Laughs]

You must find it difficult being a 9 piece to get everyone together all in one place at one time?
NOAH: Well – we have rehearsals every Tuesday.. and then have ‘Walk Alone Wednesdays’.
ALI: It makes us have reasons to meet up – they’re not really reasons – they’re just Wednesdays – but it feels more legit if you give it a name! [laughs]

What happens on ‘Walk Along Wednesdays’?
NOAH: We just generally hang out at mine, drink beer and listen to a lot of nu metal and punk and also stuff that we would never like –
ALI: Like Offspring videos!! What a great idea!
NOAH: Well they say that ‘a band that eats together, stays together’ and I mean, well – we drink together. [Laughs] ALI: We try to eat together!
NOAH: Make out with each other, cry together, drink water together, forget together!
ALI: [Laughs]

What’s the best/worst gig experience you’ve had as Almighty Planets?
We played Sound Wave Festival (Croatia) twice which has been really fun, but the first time was the day after graduation and so we had to go straight to Gatwick. Joe (Keyboards) was supposed to be giving us directions, but he’d completely crashed out on the back seat!
ALI: Yeah it’s amazing, when he’s out, he’s out!
NOAH: Eventually we managed to get there! But we played the worst set though, cos’ we had no brass section, we had laptop failures, I think we even played three songs near acoustic. It was a disaster! But then we played Soundwave again three years later and it was awesome! We were all dressed up in marine outfits! I had my captains hat –
ALI: and the brass section looked like the sailors from the Jean-Paul-Gaultier advert!
NOAH: They really did! So we walked from our apartment all the way to the festival, all dressed up and it was so much fun because loads of people started following us – kinda like the Pied Piper through the festival over to the stage and then did an awesome set in the blaring Croatian sun!
ALI: Yeah, It was amazing.
NOAH: There’s also a story about Leeds, which I won’t indulge!
ALI: That’s my one! [Laughs] NOAH: But trust – that’s the funniest story! Maybe I’ll tell you another day! [Laughs]

You guys have some awesome choreography on stage – how do you come up with the ideas for it?
ALI: Most of it starts out as a joke and then we think ‘wait a minute, that’s actually quite funny’ and then end up doing it live!
NOAH: A lot of what we do on a day-to-day basis starts out as a joke and then think it’s a good idea.
ALI: [Laughs] NOAH: We’re working on one idea now, as we want to try and include the beginning to ‘In Bloom’ into our set and have the brass doing the ‘bananaaaaa da bananananaaaa’ so hopefully we can get that ready by the Ugly Duckling show!
ALI: We’ll see – it might be a Foo Fighters track by the time the gig comes around.
NOAH: [sings] ‘Here comes my hero’
ALI & NOAH: [Laughs] ALI: You see – now it’s a Joke! Now watch it happen!!! [Laughs]

Have you got any new releases coming up?
The next record that’s gonna come out was finished a year ago but I haven’t released it for various reasons – I think we’re going to put out one single with a video for it. The track’s called ‘Son Of A Bitch’ which is my favourite track off of the album! Then just maybe give the album away or maybe just for a pound just so we can put in peoples ears and put it in peoples CD players whilst they’re on the way to work – it’s a fun little 8 track record.

That sounds exciting, when’s that coming out?
NOAH: We should be releasing it in September just so we have enough time to make a great video for it and make it sound fucking awesome. We’re also going to release a couple of live videos soon!

Nice! When are they coming out?
NOAH: Hmmmm, I’m gonna say… the 1st April!

You better keep to that now!

NOAH: I’ll sign it in blood! [Evil Laugh] ALI: [Laughs]
Eva Howells