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Nashville rockers Backup Planet release sophomore album (Includes interview)

Nashville-based Backup Planet, a hard-hitting quartet known for writing anthemic songs with a funk swagger and a slight metallic edge, released their second LP, Reactions, on March 31. The band is currently on a 21-date co-headline tour with Floridian rock outfit The Heavy Pets.

The 10-track Reactions was recorded at Syncromesh Studios in Birmingham, Alabama with producer Jason Elgin (Collective Soul). The group, made up of Ben Cooper on keyboard and vocals, Chris Potocik on drums and vocals, guitarist/vocalist Gavin Donati and bass player/vocalist Blake Gallant, put out their full-length debut, Element, in 2015. Chris Potocik spoke to Digital Journal.

How are you? What have you been doing recently?

“I am doing well. Actually, I am just sitting in the van, headed towards Indianapolis to play tonight. We are about to start the northeast leg of the tour, and then we will make our way back down south to Nola to wrap it up. Also, I’m super pumped to say we just released our new album!”

Please tell me about Reactions. Where did the title come from?

“The album title is more or less reflective of the past year and a half for us; what we have been through and our plans to move forward, as individuals and as a team. In 2015 (I actually wasn’t with the band at this time), the guys were coming back from a show in Chicago and a drunk driver hit, flipped over and totally destroyed their van and trailer on the interstate.

“They lost just about everything they had – I’m talking gear, merchandise, personal items, etc. Because of the wreck, the band had to go through a rebuilding process. The experiences we overcame to make all of this music still happen were kept in mind while creating the songs and the record. It’s been a tough year and a half and these guys are honestly lucky to be alive.”

How does the album differ from your debut, in terms of sound and content? What themes did you address this time around?

“The new album is definitely heavier than the debut. For Element, I think there was more of an innocent vibe in the songs. For Reactions, the content is more mature; it’s more thematic of what we have been through and overcoming adversity in life.”



Which of the songs on the album particularly stand out for you?

“Oh man, this is a tough question for me. They are all special to me personally for different reasons. But if I had to pick, I’d have to say ‘A Different Life’, ‘Bad Man’ and/or ‘Destination Earth’.

Where did the name ‘Backup Planet’ come from?

“Ben, our singer/keyboard player, came up with the name. He was working at a liquor store at the time, watching all the bad news on the TV, going through some tough personal things and he was like: ‘I wish I had a backup planet to escape to’ – and BOOM!”

What are your plans for the rest of 2017 and beyond?

“My plans for the rest of 2017 involve quite a bit of touring to support Reactions. Stay tuned for festival announcements.”

Reactions is out now.

For more information on Backup Planet, visit their official website.

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