By Nicholas Jason Lopez
Boise, Idaho-based punk band Young, Planetary recently dropped their new EP ‘Locations I Can’t Place’ via Hidden Home Records, now available everywhere with a vinyl version out later in the year.
The process to get to the finished product took three years and at a few points, the band feared it wouldn’t come out at all, due to personal hardships, lack of resources or full-on mental/emotional breakdowns.
2020 was set to be their year, but the COVID-19 pandemic prevented any full-fledged tour or studio plans and on this wild ride, they found what makes Young, Planetary work so well – their chemistry. Their “it takes a village” mentality has driven them to make ‘Locations I Can’t Place’ an EP that’ll hopefully provide its listeners some relief and emotional healing.
The six-track EP explores nostalgia, finding and losing love, life experiences and learning from the past in general.
The Music Bugle had the opportunity to talk to songwriter/frontman Trevor Villagrana about ‘Locations I Can’t Place’ and more.
Music Bugle – How did you guys come up with the name Young, Planetary?
Trevor Villagrana – “Young, Planetary” actually began as a pseudonym for our singer when the band was just a solo project. He started YP from the ashes of his old pop punk band after the rest of the group decided to call it quits. Essentially, the “young” part stands for being forever young at heart and the “planetary” represents being obsessed with space and the vast unknown. Kind of like a reminder to never let go of what makes you happy, even the silly, juvenile things and to always be willing to get out of your comfort zone to explore this crazy nightmare that we call life.
Music Bugle – In what ways have you felt the band mature as time passes by?
Trevor Villagrana – Well, the band has been around in some form or another for the past seven years, so in a lot of ways, it’s spent the better part of our twenties with us and you can hear that in our music. You can follow the progression from our very first EP, to our most recent one, ‘Locations I Can’t Place’ and piece together the story we are trying to tell. Love, loss, distance, separation, happy times, sad times, angry times, etc., it’s all there and we plan on continuing to mature and grow with each release from here on out.
Music Bugle – What excites you the most about your particular genre?
Trevor Villagrana – Our favorite aspect of our “genre,” is that we really don’t subscribe to just one. We would much rather mix as many genres as we can and not restrict ourselves to one particular style of music. “Mixed genre” is just kind of how we have always done it. Some of our best shows we have played have been with friends of ours who rap, friends of ours that are in metal bands, friends in indie bands and that’s something we definitely pride ourselves on.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
Trevor Villagrana – Our individual tastes are all over the place, to be honest. None of us really listen to the same stuff. Sure, there’s some crossover here and there, but if you want to know what we were inspired by most during the making of our most recent EP, check out our inspo playlist on Spotify! It’s honestly a banger of a playlist, so definitely give it a listen.
Music Bugle – What was it like putting together your recent EP ‘Locations I Can’t Place’?
Trevor Villagrana – Putting this record together was really unlike anything that we had done before. Throughout most of the recording process, the four of us who played on it were living in three separate states, which made the project really unique, but also incredibly challenging. Not being able to meet up in the same room was an absolute pain, but it did force us to be creative within a whole new context and also to really trust each other to come up with great ideas without help or influence from the other guys. Ideally, we’d much rather be in a single studio together, but especially these days, you can’t always count on that to happen, so it was really satisfying to hear the masters back and know how hard we worked on it and that all the grief was absolutely worth it. We couldn’t be more proud.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
Trevor Villagrana – For the lack of a more eloquent way to say it, COVID absolutely fucked us. We worked insanely hard in the latter part of 2019 and the early part of 2020 to set ourselves up for success and roll out this new record in the most effective way possible. Unfortunately, most of the plans we had fell through. Sure, we were still able to release ‘Locations I Can’t Place,’ which truly did mean the world to us, but we did also have to bail on a 10-day tour in May and also a tentative one in the Fall that we had planned on going on, so that sucks. However, with all of the other terrible shit that has happened and will probably continue to happen this year, we are honestly just thankful that we are all healthy and still able to meet up once a week to jam, even if we have to wear masks. We certainly don’t have it nearly as bad as so many other people around the world and our hearts truly go out to them. 2020 fucking blows.
Music Bugle – What has been your biggest challenge lately?
Trevor Villagrana – Full disclosure, the biggest challenge lately is our collective and individual mental health. This year has been hard on us. Hell, it’s been hard on everyone and the more the world burns, the harder it gets to get yourself out of bed, let alone pick up your guitar, so we are working through that as a team right now, but each and every day is a struggle. Luckily, throughout all of quarantine, we did our best to all keep in touch and at least post in our group chat regularly, so now that some restrictions have kind of lifted, we can finally all play music in the same room again, which is incredible, but knowing that we can’t hop in the van anytime soon is a fucking drag. We were so ready to share this record with everyone on the road, so we are all just doing what we can to keep a level head and check on each other whenever we can.
Music Bugle – What’s a quote that motivates you to keep doing what you do?
Trevor Villagrana – It’s hard to pick out a single quote that motivates us. If anything, we motivate each other by choosing to remain in each other’s lives and do music when we can. We have never been a band that puts unnecessary pressure on each other to perform at a certain level. We try to be friends first and bandmates second. Plus, after being scattered across the country at one point, we know when to pump the brakes and when to put the pedal to the floor. We are all really close, which makes Young, Planetary such a fun and fulfilling project to be a part of.
Music Bugle – What do you miss the most about performing in front of a live audience?
Trevor Villagrana – We are very much so a live band, so not being able to perform for people has been very strange and confusing and downright uncomfortable for us this year. There’s nothing we love more than being on stage and feeling that connection with the crowd that you get when you’re playing as loudly and as wildly as you possibly can. We sincerely miss that exchange of energy and really hope we can get back to that sooner than later.
Music Bugle – What do you wish happened more in the music industry?
Trevor Villagrana – It’s not even a matter of what we would like to see more. If anything, what we would like to see less in the music industry is that bullshit sense of competitiveness between musicians. We don’t mind some friendly, well-intentioned bouts every once in a while, but this whole, “Everyone versus everyone,” super cutthroat, overly business-focused version of being in a band is so stupid. Growing up in the punk and hardcore scene, music was never about gaining something to us. We were in it for the music and for making memories with each other on the road. That’s what keeps us going, so this constant grab for attention and success you see from bands just trying to climb the ladder is so corny. We just want to play shows and be in the van. If people are into that and into our music, then fuck yeah, but even if they aren’t, it’s definitely not going to stop us from doing what we do.