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Formed in 1994, Phantom Planet is a Los Angeles band that has released four albums of melodic, energetic Alt Rock. Helping to define the early 00s music landscape, they’re best known for writing anthemic hits like “California,” (theme of the TV series: The O.C.) and their wildly exciting live shows with deep fan engagement. The band has entertained the masses through a combination of stellar musicianship & compelling song writing which now spans 25 years.
Phantom Planet are: Alex Greenwald on vocals, Sam Farrar on bass, Darren Robinson and Jeff Conrad, who replaced original drummer Jason Schwartzman after he left to continue pursuing his acting career.
They played their first show ever in 1995 at The Dragonfly in Hollywood. Most of their friends couldn't 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".
Phantom Planet has appeared on the televison programs "Sabrina the Teenage Witch", Performing So I Fall Again, and "American Dreams", playing British rock band The Zombies. They have appeared in the remake of the feature film The Bad News Bears, playing a band called The Bloodfarts. In 2005 they covered the CSNY track, Our House for the movie The Chumscrubber.
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.
The band has opened for many well-known artists, including Sting, Elvis Costello, Incubus, Guided By Voices, The Hives, American Hi-Fi, Maroon 5, and even Ludacris.
Lead singer and song writer Alex Greenwald became a popular model and the familiar face of many commercials for clothing retailer Gap. Greenwald also played a sociopath 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 ("You're the One That I Want" and "Hopelessly Devoted to You") and other hits sung by Olivia Newton-John.
Ex-drummer Jason Schwartzman is the son of actress Talia Shire, brother of Rooney singer Robert Schwartzman and nephew of famed director Francis Ford Coppola. Schwartzman is now an acclaimed actor. He starred in Rushmore, I Heart Huckabees, Shopgirl, Roman Coppola's CQ, Bewitched, and appeared in his cousin Sofia Coppola's film Marie-Antoinette.
The band released their fourth and most recent album in April 2008 called Raise the Dead.
They announced, on November 25th, 2008, that they are on an indefinite hiatus.
On November 4, 2011, an official Phantom Planet reunion Twitter account was created which stated they would be reuniting in 2012. Since then, they have held their first practice in 3 years. In late January 2012, Phantom Planet announced their first reunion show, June 13, at The Troubadour in Los Angeles. On January 31, they announced the addition of a second Troubadour show to be played June 14, 2012. Former member of the band, Jacques Brautbar, joined them for songs at the June 13th show.
Also on January 31, guitarist Darren Robinson hinted at a Phantom Planet tour with the following Facebook status update: "Preparing for June shows for 5 months, in a huge positive way." No tour was announced.
In Augusts of 2013, the band, under Alex Greenwald & Phriends, performed a new song titled Balisong, which ended up being on Greenwald's solo album. This performance did not have bassist Sam Farrar because he was touring with Maroon 5. He was replaced by Jamiroquai bassist Stuart Zender.
A Phantom Planet Instagram account was created on January 19, 2019, indicating that the band could be reforming. Additionally, band members posted the logo on their personal social media accounts. It was confirmed that the band played a small secret private show January 19, 2019, at No Name on Fairfax in Los Angeles.
On March 18, 2019, the band officially announced "Hiatus. Over." They announced their first "public" show in over 7 years at Hanson's "Hop Jam" Music and Beer Festival in Tulsa, OK on May 19, 2019. Before that event, they scheduled three shows across Southern California.
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