People in Planes
People in Planes are a five piece Indie rock band from Cardiff, Wales. They are signed to Wind-up Records. Prior to 2003 they were known as Tetra Splendour (during which time they moved to Cardiff from their original hometown of Porthcawl) and before that (circa 2000) they went by the name of Robots in the Sky. The current name is derived from the band's obsession with traveling (flying in particular - this is also present in song titles and lyrics of their debut album as Tetra Splendour)
The "Robots in the Sky" years
The band began as a four-piece under the name Robots in the Sky. They received assistance under the Community Music Wales scheme (the same organization behind Complete Control Music and the annual Compass Point Festival in Cardiff), and in 2000 they released their debut, a red 7" vinyl with two tracks - "E.T.A." and "Muriel's Motorhome". Only 500 copies of the record were made (incidentally, it was also the first ever release on the Complete Control Music label).
This attracted the attention of EMI/Chrysalis' brand new sub-label, Wishakismo, and the band were offered a deal. Fearing legal repercussions from other bands with similar names (most notably Robots in Disguise), the first name-change was implemented and Robots in the Sky became Tetra Splendour (the English translation of a Spanish jazz quartet, Quatro Esplendido).
The "Tetra Splendour" years
After signing to Wishakismo, the band headed into Cardiff's Audio Zone recording studio to commence recording of their debut album, Splendid Animation. In their brief time as Tetra Splendour, the then-four-piece toured with bands such as Fun Lovin' Criminals, Biffy Clyro and Miss Black America, among others, and played the famous Reading Festival in 2002.
On April 9, 2001, the band released their first single as Tetra Splendour - "Mr. Bishi" (on CD and on 7" vinyl, of which only 500 copies were made). It was met with positive reviews (and was, incidentally, the first Wishakismo release). On October 1, 2001, the band released their second single, "De-Rail" (on CD and 7" white vinyl). As the release of the album neared, the band were promoted from Wishakismo to the main roster of EMI/Chrysalis. On this label they released their final single, Pollenfever, on February 25, 2002 - it would be the only Tetra Splendour release to be backed up by a video (which received limited airplay) and a dedicated headline tour.
On 20 May 2002, the band's debut album was released.
The album received mixed reviews from the rock press, and many disagreements arose - mainly over Radiohead comparisons and whether or not their "meandering jazzy nonsense" was a good thing. However, the general consensus was that the band had potential, and EMI/Chrysalis allowed them to return to the studio.
While recording new material, EMI was the subject of a management change, which led to the subsequent releases of many bands from their old contracts, including Tetra Splendour.
People in Planes
After being dropped by EMI, the band recorded a new album at Wales' Monnow Valley Studio, containing new songs (with newly-hired keyboard player Ian Russell) and unreleased Tetra Splendour material.
In 2005, they released their first single under the name People in Planes - "Talking Heads" (another limited release, being made in a batch of 1,000). The single featured two unreleased Tetra Splendour tracks as B-sides (and being accompanied by a music video, which again received limited airplay). Talking Heads - which has since been renamed to "If You Talk Too Much (My Head Will Explode)", a line from the song's chorus (a decision Wind-Up made to make the songs more recognizable on the radio) - has since had a new video made, shot in an airport, that was directed by actor Joaquin Phoenix. It is also scheduled for re-release as a single.
At the 2005 South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, the band met Jeff Klein, with whom they would later tour in June 2005. Shortly after their South By Southwest appearance they were approached by Wind Up Records and in May, the band signed a deal with them.
Their debut album, As Far as the Eye Can See... (which has been the speculative title from as early as 2003), was released on March 28, 2006. The band also features on the soundtrack for the 2006 film John Tucker Must Die (and were also given a cameo in the film itself).
The second album
People In Planes have been in pre-production for their second album on Wind-Up records since they returned from the States in late 2006. They took a period off to rehearse new material and played a string of UK shows in late 2006 and early 2007 where they road-tested new material. New song titles include: "Baked", "Evil With You", "Get On The Flaw", "Human Error", "Better Than Life", "I Wish That You'd Fall Apart" and "Tonight (The Sun Will Rise)".
The line-up currently stands at:
- Gareth Jones - Lead vocals, rhythm guitar, Keyboards (was the main keyboard player before Ian was employed);
- Pete Roberts - Lead guitar, backing vocals;
- Kris Blight - Bass guitar;
- John Maloney - Drums;
- Ian Russell - Keyboards (joined the band after they had decided to rename themselves People in Planes)
- Splendid Animation (2002) (as Tetra Splendour)
- As Far as the Eye Can See (2006), Wind-Up
- People in Planes EP (2005, Wind-Up, promotional)
- Acoustic EP (2006), Wind-Up
- DIRTY ZINE presents - Pedestrian 01 - compilation (2005)DIRTY ZINE
- "E.T.A/Muriel's Motorhome" (7") (2000) (as Robots in the Sky)
- "Mr. Bishi" (2001) (CD single and 7") (as Tetra Splendour)
- "De-Rail" (2001) (CD single and 7" ) (as Tetra Splendour)
- "Pollenfever" (2002) (CD single and 7") (as Tetra Splendour)
- "Talking Heads" (2005) (CD single)
- "If You Talk To Much My Head Will Explode" (2006) (CD Single)
- "Barracuda" (2007) (CD Single)