Artist You Should Know: Planets Live in Houses

The Fresno BeeJanuary 22, 2014 

Fresno experimental band Planets Live in Houses releases its debut album on Saturday.


Planets Live in Houses will release a debut E.P. at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, at the Love the Captive loft, 1830 Van Ness Ave.

Guitarist Mike Gibson says it started out as a solo project.

"I moved to Santa Cruz for school and I didn't have any friends, so I locked myself in my room and started writing songs with the intention of starting a solo project. I would use my looper pedal and write both guitars and bass parts," he says.

Those songs became the impetus for a creative collaboration with several local musicians, including electronic producer singer Sahab. That collaboration in turn, became the band.

The Bee talked with Gibson to find out more. (Read an extended interview at

Start with the basics. Who does what in the band?

Brian Bakalian plays drums, Bobby Griffiths plays bass, John Tucker plays guitar and I play guitar as well. We don't really have a rhythm or lead distinction between the guitars. We have more of a "whatever part you wrote is the part you play" kinda thing.

I'm always interested in band names. Tell me about yours. Is it 'live,' like it's where the planets reside, or 'live' as in not dead?

I never anticipated the confusion you just expressed, but you are definitely not the first person to wonder that. It's 'live' as in where the planets reside. It came from an old astrology book Brian's grandfather left him when he passed away. It was the name of a chapter describing the different houses planets can inhabit and the effects those houses have throughout the year.

On that note, I'd describe the band as instrumental, progressive rock with hints of math rock. It's jazzier than some similar stuff I've heard. How am I doing?

I love math rock to death, but I made a conscious decision to stray away from the overly technical super mathy stuff because I didn't want to get labeled a "math rock band." There are expectations that go along with being a band that embraces a genre, especially a fringe genre like math rock. If I want to write a simple three chord, verse-chorus-verse-chorus kind of song, I don't want to have to wonder if our math-rock fans are going to be disappointed and write us off. So I don't think we fit into one genre very neatly. But, we all love really spacey music, and since all four of us play guitar, we are definitely riff oriented. So your description was pretty dead on. I think we are progressive, dynamic, a little jazzy (thanks mostly to Brian) and when we have mathy moments, it's because they seemed called for.

Find out more at

Know a local band or musician more people should be familiar with? Send details to Joshua Tehee or @joshuatehee on Twitter.



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