Plane Jane weave elements together

By Michael Schryvers

"We have our bad gigs, but you need to," says Daryl Whitehead. "You need those really shitty gigs. The last time we played here, we played in the basement, that was the worst. [We were] too drunk and there was like six people in the audience."

At some time or another, half the Western world picks up an old guitar and a set of drums, and tries to hammer out some kind of meaningful music. At the first sign of things becoming difficult, most of us toss our instruments aside and run screaming to something safer and easier. It is, however, the bands who persevere that make a difference and Plane Jane is one band that won’t let the thousand and one little difficulties slow them down.

"I had a bunch of poetry and lyrics stashed up, I figured if I just started to play guitar I could make some songs and so I bought a guitar," explains Tim Todd.

"Darryl was getting into guitar, and was interested in the idea of playing it, but I was like ‘Darryl, buy drums, so we can jam.’"

And so lyricist Tim Todd and his elementary school friends Jamie Sellick, and Darryl Whitehead rounded up the basic guitar, drums, and bass. After realizing they were talented enough to leave their basement, Plane Jane added vocalist Paul Visser, and University of Calgary post-grad music composition student Cam Harbridge.

"We didn’t pick a style, it just kind of happened, we go in, we play, it’s whatever comes out of us at the time," explains Sellick.

What comes out happens to be a large variety of styles, from basic hard-rock, to space-rock, and the addition of an occasional violin, which manages to avoid the conspicuousness that some extra instruments can occasionally cause.

Last fall, Plane Jane finished recording their self-titled debut disc. Featuring the blissed out digital opener "Duel" as well as a wide variety of Plane Jane’s trippier songs, the disc is yet only a small snapshot of the bands work.

"By the time this CD has come out, we already have a whole new whack of shit, it’s like, ‘oh these are our oldies.’"

Their live show gives an even better idea of everything Plane Jane has been experimenting with, and it is a pleasure to see along with the album tracks, a few much harder numbers that are better suited to live performance. The band promises to play their entire catalog of songs for their CD release party this Saturday.

"There’s not many good places to play, not places where you have to play twenty covers and one original," says Harbridge.

Though expressing some frustration at a local scene that views live music as fodder for band competitions, endless covers, and decoration for 25-cent wing nights, Plane Jane remains determined to continue making original music.

"We try to take it one step at a time, but we definitely have large goals," says Whitehead.

The route to becoming a successful band can leave some burned out and angry. But despite the inevitable frustrations, Plane Jane loves what they do, and this comes through in both their album and live show.

The Plane Jane CD release party will be held at 10 p.m. Jan. 22, at 421 Meridith Rd. N.E.