The Story of Mad Planet
Music is a labor of love…any musician will tell you that. When you see four guys playing music at a venue you know its because they have to play – it’s a moral imperative! Mad Planet was founded by Mike Eichhorn and Greg Viola – but, we added and subtracted a lot of ingredients until we perfected the potion. We’ve been through drummers. We’ve been through guitarists – we won’t bore you with the details. Some of those people are our friends and will be for life…some of those people are our mortal enemies (we jest, but the parting may have been less than sweet). We were always a rock, reggae and funk band. We were always a “good” band – we always got invited back to play at each and every venue we ever performed at. Mike Eichhorn is a great bass player and Greg has a good voice with respectable rhythm guitar work and we always surrounded ourselves with really good guitarists and drummers resulting in a really good band. There were times when our guitarist was outstanding and our drummer was just good, or vice versa, but we always had a great setlist and always sounded “good” – people liked our band. Our fortunes changed as a result of a drummer quitting. We were slightly afloat – we had gigs (like…a lot of gigs) on the books, we had a singer/guitarist, a bass player and a lead guitar player…and anyone in a band knows what an incredible pain it is to replace a bandmate – especially a drummer (you need to understand how labor intensive a drum tryout is…set up with awkward conversation because it takes a while to put it all together, play the songs, try to get to know the guy/gal, try to see where their weaknesses and strengths are, then breakdown the kit and load it up). At the time Shaz was our lead guitar player – he was really good. Everything that he played made us sound good…he studied the music, he innovated while he played and his tone was out of this world! He told Mike and I “let me play drums until we find another guy, and Rob Polino can sit in on lead guitar while we do – I’ll jump back to guitar when we’ve found someone we can live with”. I don’t think anyone knew that this would lead to what we have. Rob Polino was our “fill in” guy when Shaz couldn’t make a gig – he was our hired gun. He always did amazing work on the guitar (usually without practicing with us – just a setlist to go on). We all liked him and he’s easy on the eyes! To make a fairly long story short, the more we played with this configuration: with Greg on vocals/guitar, Mike on bass, Rob on lead guitar and Shaz on drums the less important it seemed to find another drummer. Shaz was loving life on the drums, Rob was breathing all sorts of new life into our music, Mike and Greg seemed to be having a lot more fun for a couple of guys who had been playing together for years with rotating members. Then we realized there was harmony in the band – everyone liked everyone, there was no petty arguing and we were as busy as a band could want to be playing great venues in front of amazing people! Anyone in a band will tell you that bandmates are like a second wife or husband and that is why bands break up when there’s arguing, stagnation and hurt feelings (“shatter” might be a more appropriate term). The most significant thing is we started learning awesome new music and people who knew us (and some who didn’t) were telling us we have never sounded better, the song selection is solid, and we all look like we’re having a great time! All of those things are true. The Story of Mad Planet was written on this day March 17, 2015. Time will tell how long this incarnation of the band lasts (we are a second marriage, we assure you). We have a feeling it’s going to be a while! Thanks for reading about us!