Baltimore’s WATERPLANET creates indie psychedelic-folk rock with a pop-sensible twist. Their cinematic storytelling has been compared to: The Velvet Underground, Dead Can Dance, The Vaselines, Sonic Youth, Violent Femmes, The Pixies, REM, The Beatles, Patti Smith, The Doors, Beat Happening, X…
WATERPLANET's core is the work of musician/artists Millie Landrum and Jim Hesser. Millie and Jim are both imagistic songwriters of unusual, catchy songs with driving melodies. Initially a two-piece, their sound evolved from male/female vocals interpreting the songs of two very different writers, switching off on guitar and percussion, with no bass. To cover a fuller sonic range, the vocals often take on the role of an instrument, adding texture, depth and harmony. In recent years the band performs as a three- or four-piece. Greg “Gregtape” Stinson plays lead guitar, expanding the sound and often carrying the bass range. He also shares recording/engineering and production duties. Jenny McBrien plays violin.
Shelly Yakus, recording engineer to John Lennon, U2, and countless others, once declared WATERPLANET ahead of its time, claiming the band’s songs conjured animated movies in his mind.
Places we’ve played:
Baltimore - Joe Squared Power Plant, Joe Squared North Ave., D'Agostino Studios, Brass Monkey Saloon,Sidebar, Golden West Cafe, Metro Gallery, Ottobar, Talking Head, Café Tattoo, Mojo Room and Lounge, 14 Karat Cabaret, Paloma's, Wolford's Bakery, 8x10, 13th Floor, The Bank, Sowebohemian Festival
Elsewhere - Mid City Caffe (Washington, DC), Artomatic (DC), Big Art Show Brooklyn (NYC), East End Cafe (Newark, DE), CODE Space (Philadelphia, PA), The Catbox (Philly), Galaxy Hut (Arlington, VA), Harrisburg Spring Festival (PA), Philadelphia Music Conference (PA), Millenium Music Conference (PA), Independent Music Conference (PA)
Millie Landrum - Vocals, Guitar, Percussion, Etc.
Jim Hesser - Vocals, Guitar, Percussion, Etc.
Gregtape - Guitar!
Jennifer McBrien - violin.
*1. Selected to have our cd profiled on Radio Crystal Blue internet radio. Date pending - will keep you posted! www.radiocrystalblue.net
*2. RIGHT NOW - Single "Headless/Headless" featured on Supercuts website as part of the Supercuts – Rock the Cut Artist Ambassador Program (http://rockthecut.supercuts.com/Home/ViewArtists/368)!
*3. RECORDING NOW - please stand by! New singles on the way: "Frankenstein", "Love Song", "Walk the Plank", "Pi Man", and more. Paint still wet on: "Lemmings" and "Gogogo".
1. Here We Go!: Smokescreen Revisited (www.cdbaby.com)
2. 2-headed monster
4. buzz demo
6. under the rug
7. ACR studio sessions, remix Joe Natoli (24-7 Records)
Other recordings, remixes, comps:
1. "Heedless/Headless," Buzzlighter 8 Natural Anthems compilation (Shut Eye Records). Other artists on comp: Fiery Furnaces, Ambulance Limited, Kaki King, Mary Lou Lourde.
2. "Hive" remix, Alex Strama (MT6 Records).
3. "Heedless/Headless" covered by Myracle Brah, Treblemaker release (Rainbow Quartz Records).
Go Go Go
She Won't Come Down
Shuteye Records Review of Here We Go!
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Though creatively distinct, [WATERPLANET's] music taps the stylistic vein of artists like Sonic Yout...Though creatively distinct, [WATERPLANET's] music taps the stylistic vein of artists like Sonic Youth and the Velvet Underground. This is definitely...music that would be warmly welcomed by...college radio.
Seldom do I have the pleasure of reviewing an album of such brilliant unconventionality. To classify Waterplanet as simply another indie/experimental outfit would be a great injustice... [The Here We Go!] compositions prove to be much more than extemporaneous explorations of discord. With driving percussive undertones, songs like 'Heedless/Headless' freewheel in pop-sensible lo-fidelity. Though every song is worthy of mention, ...my favorite song on the album is the hypnotic "Let it Drop". With its monotonous, dreary harmonies and atypical, avant-garde progression, this song radiates with unconventional intrigue. All in all, I was very impressed by [Here We Go!].
CD Baby Review of Here We Go!
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Take some elements of Belly, Pixies & The Doors, mix & serve. An original creation. This is a stu...Take some elements of Belly, Pixies & The Doors, mix & serve. An original creation.
This is a stunning release that becomes more appealing with each listen. ["Heedless/Headless"] fills the gap left by Belly's demise, and ["Smokescreen"] may remind you of The Pixies. One of the best aspects of Here We Go! is the lyrics, which challenge listeners, either to look for Waterplanet's message, or come to their own interpretations. Sometimes unconventional, this is an expressive set of hook-laden tunes. An appealing and creative piece of work, that I only wish were a little longer - maybe next time?! Follow the buzz to Waterplanet. 4+ stars.
Here We Go! Review, top to bottom
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1) At the top of the chart is undoubtedly "HENRY" which is pure genius, the kind of song I would hav...1) At the top of the chart is undoubtedly "HENRY" which is pure genius, the kind of song I would have loved to write myself
2) HEEDLESS/HEADLESS I like experimental music, but I can't resist...catchy pop songs, I really can't help it. [My friend had me listen to] it...quite original.
3) HIVE Another hit of genius; looks like you divided your cd in 2 parts, the first more easy listening,..."Sunny side up" kind of stuff and the second ...a "dark side", more experimental. Well, I love the second part the best.
4) LET IT DROP Nice guitar playing and guitar breaks. I love guitar breaks.
5) GET LOST Interesting, but being put between masterpieces such as "Henry" and "Hive" leaves it a little in the dark
6) SHE WON'T COME DOWN Nice to hear
7) SMOKESCREEN [The Syd] Barret-ish feel...should make me love it...
In the end a good album. Maybe a little bit too short. Left me a bit hungry for more.... In fact [I] listened to it again. ...[G]ood taste in using double vocals and small noises. I love that homemade air that lingers in your cd.
WATERPLANET Performance Review
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"Seeing WATERPLANET live was like diving into an octopus's garden and coming out through the Yellow ..."Seeing WATERPLANET live was like diving into an octopus's garden and coming out through the Yellow Submarine!... These two have something."
Golden Pie Radio on "Heedless/Headless"
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Waterplanet make really cool lofi acoustic songs with ace soft expressive vocals... ["Venus Supreme...Waterplanet make really cool lofi acoustic songs with ace soft expressive vocals... ["Venus Supreme"] has got hints of sunshine '60s but with an added spicey mischievous edge... [L]et them spread more magic!
["Heedless/Headless" is] A lo-fi rockin' acoustic mix of Buddy Holly, The Violent Femmes and The Jesus and Mary Chain doin' an unplugged set. All mixed together with a sweet, ultra catchy tune.
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Excellent acoustic new wavey - strange slightly sinister cabaret/torchy psychedelicy.... The total ...Excellent acoustic new wavey - strange slightly sinister cabaret/torchy psychedelicy.... The total minimalism of this really works and keeps it very intimate.
The Good Stuff Radio on
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[The] song ["Heedless/Headless"] reminds me so much of The Vaselines. The wonderful melody. The prim...[The] song ["Heedless/Headless"] reminds me so much of The Vaselines. The wonderful melody. The primitivism. The boy/girl vocals.... And there is nothing wrong with any of that. I checked it out on a lark, because I wanted them to add [our band] Hop On Pop to their station. And boy am I glad that I did -- whether they add us or not!
K-PNK Radio on "Heedless/Headless"
Dashingly done with shades of the Velvets with a dash of Hole. Great atmosphere.
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Your song is wow! ...The style [reminds me of] Patti Smith['s] debuts, the Violent Femmes and some t...Your song is wow! ...The style [reminds me of] Patti Smith['s] debuts, the Violent Femmes and some the Velvet Underground... Great! Continue this way!
Interview in Towson University Alumni Magazine
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WATERPLANET Creating a Psychedelic Escape By Sarah Jones By creating a worldly escape and lu...WATERPLANET
Creating a Psychedelic Escape
By Sarah Jones
By creating a worldly escape and luring its listeners to places unknown, WATERPLANET is catching ears. Some may think the sound is extinct, others may find it passé, but to Millie and James Hesser, the married duo who make up the group, psychedelic music is alive and well.
With its roots in folk and punk, the Hessers dub their music as “primitive psychedelic”, music that mixes together the sounds of acoustic guitar, percussion and voice simultaneously.
Why psychedelic? It was more of what they were writing at the time WATERPLANET was formed, resulting from the early influences of Pink Floyd, Blue Oyster Cult and the Beatles.
“Since there is no bass you have to adapt artistically to create a fuller sound, which in turn makes you more creative,” explains James. “The trick is trying to make it come off live, that’s the hardest part.”
Their web site compares the sound to groups like B-52s, REM and early T Rex, among others. Millie and co-founder Rick Schaub created WATERPLANET in 1994. A year later James Hesser was invited into the band as a percussionist. “It went from a duo to a trio to a duo again,” said James. The couple was married in April of 1999.
“I used to sing [in a lower key] because the songs I listened to when I was young were all sung by males,” says Millie. “Now I’m trying to sing the songs higher as Jim sings lower, to make the sound fuller.”
When it comes to the group, Millie and James do everything on their own, including the designing, recording, and publicizing, which can create some time restraints considering they both have jobs outside of the band...
A new release is expected out this coming year, with hopes of professional recording to help cut back their workload.
WATERPLANET plays at the Mojo Room and Lounge in Baltimore about twice a month. To find out more about the band, visit www.waterplanetarium.com.
January 2004 issue
WATERPLANET's music is completely original. Though an occasional cover may surface, under normal circumstances one should not be expected.
Most sets run 30 - 45 minutes, but we're flexible. We could easily play 2 times as long, multiple sets, or, of course, just a song or 2.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.