Out Like Pluto
are the Seattle-based band that just want you to dance -- and belt out their songs everywhere from your car to your workplace. In other words, they believe in keeping music light-hearted and spirited. They're about to do just that with the release of their debut full-length, Take Cover
-- an exciting fusion of alt-rock and pop, doused with a heavy '90s influence. Here, the band talks about why they can't put the '90s in the past, what sets them apart from other female-fronted rock bands, and why you'll kick yourself if you miss their live shows. Check out the interview, stream the album, and grab yourself free downloads of both "Where To Begin" and new single "Bridge." For those in the Seattle area, the band will also be throwing an album release party Jan. 13, which you can find more details about here
PureVolume: Take us back to the beginning. How did you meet and what spurred the decision to start a band?
Out Like Pluto’s Andy [drums]: The band started with Kari and I. We were actually introduced to each other and were encouraged by our mutual friend to start a band. Naturally, the first thing we did was come up with a name. [I'm not going to tell you what it was, but it wasn't "Out Like Pluto," and a little internet sleuthing will dig it up.] We then proceeded to pretend we were in a band for a year or so.
Kari [vocals]: We started what became “TCP Tuesdays” [an acronym for our first band name] which was basically red wine, our combined iTunes libraries, and eventually, our first dedicated rehearsals. Finally, one night we produced a song. We literally opened up Garage Band and, in one night, tracked guitar, drums, and vocals for a pop song that would come to be called "Starring John Stamos." Several more followed, and we managed to attract some coworkers -- Mike Van Wie, our original bassist, and Mike Pesce, our current lead guitarist -- to join us and round out the band. [Jeremy Hynoski replaced Mike Van Wie on bass as of last February.]
PV: Did you always realize you wanted to make music a professional endeavor?
Kari: I played my first gig when I was six. My father used to play guitar at this bar in Dayton called “Canal Street” and I decided one day that I wanted to join him. I’ve always been involved in the industry in some fashion, but when Andy and I started making music together, I realized I wanted to do it professionally.
Andy: I’ve always been really interested in the production and audio engineering side of music. I never pictured myself on the performance side of the mixing console, but starting Out Like Pluto rekindled a lot of my passion for creating new music, and reminded me that I want music to be part of my career long-term.
PV: We love that you channel 90s Alt Rock in your music. Can you talk about that influence, and why you latched onto 90's rock in particular?
Andy: Well, we are all products of the 90’s ourselves, so we have a certain affinity for the sound and attitude of the time. But channeling that sound wasn’t completely intentional. We set out to be a fun, light-hearted contributor to the local [music] scene in Seattle and, in the process, I think we let a lot of our 90’s influences come out in the music we were writing -- in part because a lot of the bands from that time really had the vibe and attitude that we have about music.
PV: Being a female-fronted pop/punk band, it's easy to fall into that "Paramore
stereotype." How do you set yourself apart from the comparisons?
Kari: It’s pretty standard in the industry to get compared to other female-fronted rock bands because there are fewer of them. Back when I was blonde, a journalist compared us to No Doubt
. I’ve always viewed it as a compliment because Hayley [Williams] and Gwen [Stefani] are such phenomenal vocalists. I think the only way to break out of those comparisons is to focus on making awesome music and putting on super-fun, live shows.
PV: While recording Take Cover, you had the chance to work with Gavin Lurssen. What was it like to work with a man who has also worked with Blink-182
and All Time Low
Andy: We worked with Gavin to have the album mastered. The thing that stood out to me the most about Gavin is he doesn't talk about the music or the process in technical terms. He's very philosophical, and focuses on the songs and the feeling he's going to create from the final mixes. And it's pretty clear why he's so successful -- he and Reuben [Cohen] added so much texture to the album. Yes, we're an alternative-pop band, but this album has a very organic feel throughout, and I'd attribute a lot of that to the finishing touches they added.
PV: You chose "Bridge" as your first single and video. Was it especially difficult picking a single since this is your debut full-length, or did you always know you wanted "Bridge" to be your first release?
Andy: “Bridge” was the single before most of the other songs on the album were written. In a lot of ways, the rest of the album was built around [it]. Singles are funny -- a lot of artists seem to release singles that don’t sound much like the rest of their music. If anything, I think “Bridge” is a fantastic summary track of the whole sound and feel of the album.
PV: What has your thought process been leading up to the album’s release
Kari: Intense excitement. We decided early on not to do a a track-by-track release and instead, wait to drop the record, which means crazy amounts of anticipation. We’re all really proud of the album and honestly just pumped to start doing the fun stuff -- like playing shows.
PV: Rumor has it you're known for "on-stage shenanigans." The "Ke$h-Off" of 2011 comes to mind. Can you fill us in on what exactly that was and how it all started?
Kari: [Laughs] We’re really good friends with the guys in Peace Mercutio
and decided to challenge them to a contest to see who could do the best Ke$ha cover. People came to the show in costume. I made Dan [their lead singer] this tank top with a giant, glittery dollar sign on it, and made him wear it after their set. A few months later, we did a show with The Nukes and challenged them to a “Brit-Noff.” They did this sick version of “Toxic.” It’s really important to us to make sure our live show is ridiculously fun. It’s what the genre is all about.
PV: What is the one thing you hope listeners will take away from your music?
Jeremy [bass]: When I love a song, I want to belt out the chorus on the freeway at top volume, bounce around like an idiot at home while blasting it through the stereo, annoy my office-mates by randomly singing out phrases at inopportune times during the workday -- I'd like one of our songs to be that for someone.
PV: Any big plans for 2012 that you can share with us?
Andy: Writing and recording are almost the same process for us -- we’ve already got ideas for new material we’re kicking around, so it won’t be long before we set in recording the next album. I think you can also expect to hear OLP’s music in a lot more places as we start to work on new ways of sharing it with the world. Finally, we’re planning to do some touring. 2012 is the year where we finally have something we’re proud to share with the world, and so it’s also the year that we’re going to do everything we can to get in touch with music fans and hear what they think of it.
And on that note: please, please, please email us and tell us what you think of the music. Seriously! Sending an email to email@example.com goes straight to our respective inboxes, so you’re sure to hear back from us really quickly.Purchase Take Cover on Tunes