Cambridge band Planet Fatale to release debut album next month
If the video for up-and-coming rock band Planet Fatale’s debut single looks familiar, then that’s probably because it was shot a lot closer to the Cambridge group’s home town than many might think.
Filmed at Cherry Hinton Chalk Pits, Talking to Myself is the first single taken from the quintet’s forthcoming album The Cycle Repeats, which is due out on September 17 – and the hard-hitting track is the perfect introduction to the band’s sound.
The tune is pure riff-driven rock, Planet Fatale’s personal reinterpretation of the best New Wave of British heavy metal influences blended with hints of stoner rock and held together by singer Hels’ fierce vocals. Sitting on the darker and heavier side of the rock spectrum, Planet Fatale takes inspiration from genres, including alternative metal and blues.
Founded in Cambridge in early 2019, the rest of the outfit consists of Simon Murden (guitar), Chris Delay (guitar), James Miller (bass) and Ollie Wallace (drums). After two singles and a live EP, the band is eager to get back to performing live and is looking forward to the release of the new album.
“Myself, Miller and Ollie have been playing together for a little while now,” says Hels, who along with Miller spoke to the Cambridge Independent from a meeting room in Milton Road. “We were together in a previous band called Powderhead.
“Then at the beginning of 2019, Simon and Chris joined on guitars, and they’ve both been in former rock acts in Cambridge including Unit 9 and Salamander, and when they joined we basically started afresh – it was a brand new sound with the new guitars and so on. So that’s when we became Planet Fatale.”
Part of the inspiration for the band’s name came from the members’ interest in B movies and film noir – the moniker does indeed sound like it could be the name of a motion picture in either of those categories – and I suggested that there is also a rather movie-like quality to the Talking to Myself video.
“Yeah, absolutely,” says Hels, who studied film at university, “and we love doing the videos. I think next to playing live, it’s our favourite thing to do in the band. We worked on Talking to Myself with a videographer called Marianne Harris, and she was fantastic; she brought the vision that we had to life.
“We knew that we wanted to do the video in Cambridge and we also knew that we wanted to film in a desert – and so we basically had to find a desert in Cambridge, which you’d think is impossible but we managed it because the Cherry Hinton Chalk Pits actually resemble a desert, although they resemble a desert more so in the early spring...
“By the time we were filming, it had greened over quite a bit so we had to be quite creative about which areas to use. So it was filmed there and the live performance shots were filmed at Storey’s Field Centre.
They’ve got a fantastic space there that was just perfect for the video.”
Hels reveals that the next single will be Break for You, track three on the 10-track album. “It’s a bit of a slower, longer song,” she explains, “a bit more of a bluesy kind of feel, so it’s going to have quite a different video.”
Talking to Myself came out on June 25 and Miller notes that the response to it so far has been “amazing – everyone’s been blown away with it.” He adds: “We really put a lot of effort into this album and Russ Russell, the producer we got on board with it, really helped bring our creativity out and helped make the album sound amazing.”
Hels interjects: “The feedback’s been really good; we’ve had it played on a lot of local and more regional radio stations and the reviews we’ve had from it have been absolutely brilliant, so so far so good – I’m sure they’ll be a lot more comments to come when the album comes out.”
To celebrate the release of The Cycle Repeats, the band will embark on a UK tour in September, the first since the pandemic started in 2020. Before then, Planet Fatale will be supporting fellow Cambridge rockers The Treatment at new Cambridge venue, Mash (mashcambridge.com) – previously the Fez Club – this Saturday (August 21).