The interplanetary trajectory of the band’s heavy metal sound recently earned it $5,000 in studio recording time.
The 9th Planet Out (T9PO), comprised of Grey Serie (21, lead vocals), Josh Kulack (18, guitar), Andy Head (16, guitar), Nick Wanek (19, Bass), and Clay Ebertowski (20, Drums), trekked down to Boone, Iowa, for the Forte Studios Battle of the Bands. In their final winning round, they went head to head against the country band Tyler Richton & The High Bank Boys.
The band almost didn’t make it. As Ebertowski tells it, the band’s “vehicle completely died in the middle of the highway. Luckily, our parents are superheroes and spontaneously rented us a U-Haul. Even though we had to transport all of our gear from truck to truck on the side of the road, we still made it in time!”
The battle was supposed to be completed in September 2016, but weather caused the finals to be rescheduled for January. Ebertowski says, “When the finals rolled around, we went back to Boone and gave it all we had!”
“It was definitely a close contest,” says Serie.
T9PO is hoping to release a new full-length album in time for their gig at RockFest XVII in Cadott, Wisc., on July 13. At the fest, T9PO’s name graces a bill that includes bands like Megadeth, Anthrax, Insane Clown Posse, and Wanek’s favorite, Lamb of God. Wanek says, “We melt faces for a living,” so T9PO should fit right in with this lineup.
Kulack, the band’s founder, says the current lineup has only been together for about half a year, but he’s quick to add, “We are very proud of what we have accomplished in such a short period of time.”
And the band has a lot to be proud of. They’ve been traveling to places like Madison, Wisc., and Stillwater, Minn., for gigs, have released a four-song EP of original music, and have even shot a music video for their original song “Burn It Down.”
Working with Tyler Aug, the mastermind behind The Rochester Experience web series, T9PO created a video that soars to roof-top scenes, dives to smoking ruins, and manages to smash a TV, create atomic blasts, and include snake-enhanced guitar solos on the way down.
Aug, who says T9PO is “not like any other band around here”, compares them to international bands like Wolf Mother and Volbeat: “These guys give me goose bumps live.”
Oliver Books, front man for Booksie & The Pages, while praising the band’s support of the local music scene, says, “The talent those guys have is jaw dropping…They are everything a hard rock band should be, and they look so good doing it.” In part, Books is referring to the band’s all white astronaut-inspired stage attire.
The band’s high energy will ensure its orbit doesn’t decay anytime soon. As Serie puts it, “We like it loud, and we like it fast!”