Chain D.L.K.: You formed Plan E in 1995. Can you tell us what convinced you to form this particular studio project?
Plan E: I used to jam a lot together with our ex-drummer without guitars at that time. We were just into working hard to create a good bass-and-drum unit for our band we were both playing in, and at some point we started to jam our own riffs and pieces. We added some keyboards in and we got ourselves into something completely new to us. That’s how Plan E was started.
Chain D.L.K.: One year later you Jani also joined Impaled Nazarene. The sounds of the two bands are totally different, so how was it for you being in two bands with nothing in common (if not some people in the line-up)? Do you think that this helped both bands developing new sound solutions?
Plan E: Musically those both bands were so different it didn’t make any difference. Although I used the same bass sound with both groups and the drummer played with the same setting as well. When we didn’t jam ImpNaz we jammed Plan E. No big deal.
Chain D.L.K.: Why did you decide to exclusively use bass guitar on Plan E?
Plan E: We also used (and still use) keyboards. I didn’t want any guitars [to dominate and mess up the sound]. So it was all about the sound and it still is.
Chain D.L.K.: For your first albums you created your label, Solardisk. What are the main difficulties of running your own label, to promote your music and what are the satisfactions?
Plan E: Promoting and selling your own music was the worst part, but I was already used to doing everything by myself. We must remember that Solardisk label was not only there exclusively for Plan E. I had ten other groups releasing music via Solardisk.
Chain D.L.K.: In 2004 you signed a deal with My Kingdom Music. Did you find other improvements besides having good promotion/distribution when you had your own label?
Plan E: Now it easier to concentrate on the art only. I don’t like to mix art and business together even though it’s sometimes necessary.
Chain D.L.K.: Plan E has changed line-up several times. Did this affect the sound or the aims of the project?
Plan E: Sound, yes. Aims, no. People come and people go as they please. My aim is to create quality music and I’m here to stay until I die.
Chain D.L.K.: “Best Kept Secret” contains midtempo, introspective tracks where you chose to focus your efforts on melody/lyrics, with respect to creating a rich sound (you used only one or two tracks of bass guitar along with the synth and the drums). What has been the audience response to this particular formula?
Plan E: I have no idea about the response from the audience. Sometimes only two bass tracks were used, sometimes closer to ten. I’m not really into analyzing the old albums.
Chain D.L.K.: On “Shadow in the Dark” you sing that even though life sucks, somewhere in the darkest and deepest corner of the heart there’s a tree with a beautiful bird that sings your misery. Does it mean something positive (it seems to be the only beautiful thing that happens) or is it only an ironic point because the only beautiful thing isn’t in the real world and it is also making fun of you?
Plan E: There’s no EVEN IF. The bird thing just underlines the fact that life sucks but it goes on. Guess it’s irony.
Chain D.L.K.: Watching the song’s video is even worse, because after burning and throwing your releases into the sea you seem to commit suicide. What makes you feel that way?
Plan E: Did I really kill myself or was it a daydream?
Chain D.L.K.: On “Bassonova” I hear a certain progressive/hard rock influence that wasn’t present on your previous album (see the solos on “El Gusano Rojo”). Am I right?
Plan E: Please check out the album title again. We’ve had some similar elements earlier and will have more in the future. It’s just music for me.
Chain D.L.K.: “Bassonova” also seems to be your more upbeat “Best Kept Secret”. What brought you to this new sound?
Plan E: Please check out the album title again. I’m not into repeating myself too much. With the bigger line-up we were able to create different things.
Chain D.L.K.: Why did you choose such a particular title and why is all of the booklet focused on NASA photos of constellations?
Plan E: I must again remind you to check out the album title. And the front cover as well. Those NASA photos look good inside the booklet.
Chain D.L.K.: What are your future plans?
Plan E: Already working on the next album. It will be recorded next spring.
Chain D.L.K.: Something more to add?
Plan E: For more about the future plans, check out our website at www.plan-e-tarium.com and stay tuned.
Visit Plan E on the web at:
[interviewed by Maurizio Pustianaz] [proofreading by Benjamin Pike]