The name Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet brings to mind 50's horror sci-fi flicks. The type of movie that's poorly filmed, with strings and other mechanical devices clearly visible to the naked eye. It probably would have been a classic, up there with Plan 9 From Outer Space and Zontar The Thing From Venus. A genuine cult item. Instead, Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet is the name of a band from Toronto; A cult band who specialize in trebly surf style instrumentals that are powered by rocket fuel. The Shadowy trio has been together as a band since 1985 - playing strictly instrumentals. The band consists of Brian Connelly on the twang guitar, Reid Diamond on bass and Don Pyle on the drum kit. Before forming this band, all 3 were in the late 70's/early 80's punk outfit, Crash Kills 5, although oddly enough all were in the band at different times.
As the Shadowy Men, the band has released 4 7 inch EPs of surf inspired instrumental madness. Two other 7 inch EPs have been released by the band, but they weren't official releases. Instead, these were items that the band gave away on special occasions, like a show that marked the birthday of the band. They've also appeared on a couple of It Came From Canada compilation records, as well as a compilation record put out by Sounds magazine in the UK. On a much smaller scale, they've appeared on a couple of the What Wave compilation tapes, including the one that came with the first 500 issues of this magazine.
At present a full album has been recorded and should have been released around the time that this issue goes to print. It's gonna be on Glass Records out of the UK and the first 500 copies are gonna contain copies of the sixth EP put out the band, entitled Reid Does Neil. The album has been delayed for ages, first due to Glass Records distributor going bankrupt and then pressing problems with Reid Does Neil. In fact, they had to repress this little sucker 6 times at the plant before they got it right. So the album should be out and the boys hope to get over to the UK in late spring/early summer to give it a little push to the top of the charts. This record is also going to be available on CD with some bonus tracks because as Brian put it, a CD is essential "so you can hear all the noisy amp buzz and everything else, just like it's in your living room or something." Oh the joys of CDs!
There's also rumored to be an album coming out on Og Records, Og's longest ever delayed record. And the band is also thinking about doing another EP, this time in the twelve inch format. They claim to have a backlog of tunes that they want to put on vinyl as soon as they can, while the songs are still fresh.
The band also recently did the soundtrack fo a movie, Comic Book Confidential which is obviously about comix and their author/illustrators. A movie that anyone who's interested in cool comix (Robert Crumb, Love And Rockets, Raw, Charles Burns, etc.) should definitely check out. The movie steers away from mainstream comics and gets into the real meat of the subject.
The Shadowy Men are also going to be doing the soundtrack for a television series entitled The Kids In The Hall. This came about after a comedy troupe asked the band if they could use "Bennett Cerf," from the first record as the theme song for their comedy show. They used the record for the opening and approached the band about doing the song live for the intro. Don: "We did the live show with them for about 2 weeks at the Factory Theater (Toronto) where we were doing music behind them and they said we've been playing 'Bennett Cerf' ever since and we want you guys to play opening night. And we kept playing 'Bennett Cerf,' 'Bennett Cerf.' After 2 weeks they said: 'Why do you keep playing that song? We want you to play 'Bennett Cerf.'' What they really wanted was the song on the single that is before it ("Having An Average Weekend"). So, found out they didn't really want us to play "Bennett Cerf" at all. (laughter) It was great. It took them 2 weeks to say anything." Out of the mess came the theme song for the TV series The Kids In The Hall, which is actually "Having An Average Weekend." The show is a Lorne Michaels (Saturday Night Live) production and the band will be working on the series all spring and summer. Hopefully the series will become a success and the band will become something of a household name.
That's about all of the Shadowy news for now, so watch for the new album, the TV show, the movie and live shows. That is, if the band has any spare time to play live shows.