Phantom Planet

Phantom Planet

Infobox musical artist
Name = Phantom Planet

Img_capt = Phantom Planet's logo
Background = group_or_band
Origin = flagicon|USA Los Angeles, California, USA
Genre = Alternative rock, garage rock revival, pop rock, powerpop
Years_active = 1994-present
Label = MCA/Geffen (1998-2001)
Epic/Daylight (2002-2007)
Fueled by Ramen (2007-Present)
URL = [ Official website]
Current_members = Alex Greenwald
Sam Farrar
Darren Robinson
Jeff Conrad
Past_members = Jason Schwartzman
Jacques Brautbar

Phantom Planet is an alternative rock band from Southern California. The band is most widely known in popular culture for its former member, actor and drummer, Jason Schwartzman and its track "California", which became the theme song for the popular Fox TV series, "The O.C.". They have just finished the "Honda Civic Tour" with Panic at the Disco, Motion City Soundtrack, and The Hush Sound, and are currently on tour with Paramore, Jack's Mannequin, and Paper Route on the "The Final Riot! Tour".


Phantom Planet played their first show in 1995 at The Dragonfly in Hollywood. Most of their friends could not attend because they were still in high school, while the Dragonfly only serves customers that are 21 and over. Two of the songs they played are featured on the bonus material of the "Chicago, Chicagogoing, Chicagogone" DVD. Among the songs performed were "My Friend Liz's Dad" (misprinted as "My Friend Liz Is Dead" on the DVD) and a cover of the Beastie Boys 1994 song "Sabotage".

The band is named after the theme song of a 1961 B-movie called "The Phantom Planet". They decided on the name in 1994 in a Pizza Hut.Fact|date=February 2007

Phantom Planet released their debut album, "Phantom Planet is Missing" in 1997. It is largely a collection of surf-rock inspired tunes reminiscent of The Beach Boys. It was after the band's second album, "The Guest" in 2002 that the band found mainstream success. It produced the highly popular song, "California". "The Guest" continued to forge the pop-rock sound the band introduced in their debut.

The band's eponymous third album in 2004 marked a significant change in both the band's sound and lineup. Ditching their radio-friendly pop-rock, the band moved towards a garage rock sound. Lead singer Alex Greenwald stated that he wants the band to continue to change it's sound. "I love rock 'n' roll music," Greenwald said. "I especially loved bands, like The Beatles, that changed with every single record they made. That's been our plan from the get-go. We want our records to be like experiments. We want to have fun with the music. People can hear when you're not having fun. They discover you're bored and you're boring." [] However, in the middle of recording the album, founding member and drummer Jason Schwartzman abruptly left the band to focus on his acting career. He was replaced by Jeff Conrad, who helped record the remainder of the album. "Phantom Planet" was released to mixed reviews from critics. Shortly after the album's release, guitarist Jacques Brautbar left the band to pursue a career in photography.

"Raise the Dead"

Early on in the recording process Phantom Planet's contract with Epic Records expired, which left them searching for a new record label. Soon after this, they signed to Fueled by Ramen, which produces bands such as Fall Out Boy, Paramore, Panic at the Disco, The Hush Sound and The Academy Is....

On January 20, 2008, Phantom Planet posted a bulletin on their Myspace page to announce that the official release date would be April 15, 2008. Fueled By Ramen re-released a teaser trailer and stated that the first single from the album will be a reworking of "Do the Panic".

In an interview with [ RaggedMag] , Alex stated that "all bands are kind of their own cult, you know, but we want to take it to a new level. We really like the show Lost, and even though it’s totally fiction, there’s this air of mystery that’s lacking in a lot entertainment these days. I really like mystery in things, and what a little bit of enigma brings out of people and their imaginations...a band is about community, and within itself it is a brotherhood; it’s companionship. But a band can’t be anything without the people to love it. Our goal will be to recruit and befriend as many people as possible with our message."

When describing the new record, Alex said that "the next record is a concept record. If the Beatles had Sgt. Pepper's and the Rolling Stones had Their Satanic Majesties Request, we have our “Leader.” We’reconcocting it, but at the same time we’re following it."

In the same interview bassist Sam Farrar described the new logo, which is a circular graphic of piano keys that seem to morph into a shirt sleeve with a hand emerging from the cuff. He said, "The idea is that we’re going to sell a lot of these sweatshirts and all the kids will show up in them so the entire audience looks just like us." Alex followed this up by saying that "'The Leader' is the hand. He is the hand that plays the notes we sing to. It’s in the beginning stages still; we’re just chipping away at the stone."

The new song "Leader", is about Alex's fictional or metaphorical experience with a cult. For the definitive recording of the song, Phantom Planet brought in children from Kenter Canyon Elementary School to sing the chorus, the video for which can be seen on their YouTube site.

The album, titled "Raise the Dead", was released as scheduled on April 15, 2008.

"Upcoming Album"

Alex Greenwald has already started writing songs for Phantom Planets' eventual upcoming album while on the 2008 HONDA CIVIC tour with Panic at the Disco, The Hush Sound and Motion City Soundtrack, and on the Final Riot Tour with Paramore, Jacks Mannequin and Paper Route (band). The two known songs that he has written are "Ordinary" and "Life After Us". Alex premiered "Life After Us" in Rochester, NY on May 6th, 2008 during the Honda Civic Tour [] . He debuted "Ordinary" in a St. Louis parking lot after their August 12th show with Paramore and Jacks Mannequin [] . He performed "Life After Us" on stage alone because the rest of his band was late to the concert and played "Ordinary" on a Mandolin.

Other appearances

The band has opened for many well-known artists, including Guns N' Roses, Sting, Elvis Costello, Incubus, Guided by Voices, The Zombies, The Hives, American Hi-Fi, Maroon 5, Ludacris, and Panic at the Disco.

Phantom Planet has appeared on the television programs "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch", performing "So I Fall Again", and "American Dreams", playing British rock band The Zombies.They have appeared in the 2005 remake "Bad News Bears", playing a band called The Bloodfarts. In 2005, they covered the CSNY track "Our House" for the movie "The Chumscrubber".Phantom Planet also performed a cover of Jackson Browne's "Somebody's Baby" for "Not Another Teen Movie". "Big Brat" was also introduced in the soundtrack to the video game "Driv3r".Alex Greenwald, the band's vocalist, sang a fusion jazz cover of Radiohead's "Just" for the 2006 compilation "".Sam Farrar also contributed to the Hanson album, Underneath, on the song Lost Without Each Other.


*Alex Greenwald — lead vocals, guitar
*Sam Farrar — bass guitar, backing vocals
*Darren Robinson — guitar, backing vocals
*Jeff Conrad — drums

Former members

*Jacques Brautbar — guitar, vocals — Left the group in May 2004 to pursue photography. Was not replaced. Brautbar went on to join electronica band Something for Rockets.
*Jason Schwartzman — drums — Left the group in the Summer of 2003, during recording of their self-titled third album, to pursue his acting career full-time. [cite web | url =,,572844,00.html | title = Planet Waves | publisher = | date = 2004-01-04 | accessdate = 2008-05-15 ] He was replaced by Jeff Conrad, formerly of Big City Rock.


Official releases

*"Phantom Planet Is Missing" (1998) (Geffen Records)
*"The Guest" (2002) (Epic Records) - #133 US
*"Phantom Planet" (2004) (Epic Records) - #95 US
*"Limited Edition Tour EP" (2007) (Fueled by Ramen)
*"Raise the Dead" (2008) (Fueled by Ramen)- #119 US


*"California" (2002) - #33 US Modern Rock []
*"Big Brat" (2004) - #20 US Modern Rock []
*"California" (2005, re-release) #9 UK []
*"Our House" (2005) -
*"Do the Panic" (2008)


*"Polaroid" (1999) (Phantom Planet Family)
*"Connect Sets" (2004) (SonyConnect Exclusive)
*"Live at The Troubadour" (2004)
*"" (2004)
*"" (2004) (Phantom Planet Family)
*"Negatives 2" (2004)


*"Not Another Teen Movie Soundtrack" (2001) (Maverick Records)
*"Maybe This Christmas" (2002) (Nettwerk)
*"" (2002)
*"" (2003) (Warner Bros./Wea)
*"" (2005) (Warner Bros./Wea)
*"" (2005) (Shout Factory)
*"" (2005) (Rykodisc)
*"" (2005) (Lakeshore)
*"Nano-Mugen Compilation 2008" (2008) (Sony Music)

DVD releases

*"Phantom Planet: Chicago, Chicagogoing, Chicagogone" - (2004) (Epic Records)
*"Phantom Planet: Live at the Troubadour" - (2003) (Epic Records)


*Alex Greenwald became a popular model and the familiar face of many commercials for clothing retailer The Gap. Greenwald also played Seth Devlin in the 2001 film "Donnie Darko". Bassist Sam Farrar is the son of John Farrar, the singer/songwriter known best for notable songs from the movie "Grease" and other hits sung by Olivia Newton-John.

*The band has also performed the title song from Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Phantom of the Opera" live in concert.

*The band provided voice overs in the movie Being John Malkovich.

*Greenwald made an impact on the British music scene in early 2008 by featuring on Mark Ronson's cover of the Radiohead song "Just". The song is credited to Mark Ronson feat. Phantom Planet.


External links

* [] Their Official Website
* [ Official youtube channel]
* [ Phantom Planet DRIV3R Interview]

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