New Music To Know: Terraplane Sun Embraces Lap Steel, Trombone & Other Odd Instruments
It’s hard to figure out what genre Terraplane Sun is. In fact, they wish you wouldn’t even bother.
Comprised of five friends who are also multi-instrumentalists, the California-based rock band can easily tour with a country act, rock band, or hip-hop group. All of which they’ve done previously.
On their latest EP, Ya Never Know, the band mixes trombone, lap steel, organ and electric guitar together. And that’s just on one song. It’s not something you’d hear from a typical rock band. Terraplane Sun admit their eclectic sound wasn’t planned, rather it came together organically.
“The majority of us are multi-instrumentalists but we’re not just throwing in these instruments to showboat and say, ‘Look what I can do. Isn’t this neat? Check this out!’” guitarist Johnny Zambetti told Radio.com. “It’s definitely song specific. We’re just lucky enough to hear that in our heads.”
Before the group met keyboardist/trombonist/lap steel player Gabe Feenberg they had the idea for a trombone part in “Tell Me I’m Wrong.” Once he joined the group and confessed he played the instrument it seemed as if it was fate. Thanks to Feenberg’s lap steel, the band’s song, “No Regrets” takes on more of a country feel.
“It’s really cool to have these ideas and be able to take it to the stage live,” Zambetti said. “He pulls out a lap steel and is playing an organ at the same time. It blows my mind every night.”
He continued: “We have a freedom to weave in and out of different genres because at the end of the day he’s [frontman Ben Rothbard] singing on it so it’s going to sound like Terraplane Sun.”
Terraplane Sun’s current single “Get Me Golden” is just a hint of what’s to come. Complete with an organ, a bit of hand-clapping and a trombone, the track becomes an adequate introduction to the band.
“I had this organ line in my head and I took it to the studio and laid it down,” Rothbard said of how the song came together. “It was a dancier thing and I had Motown in mind.”