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Phantom Planet
Origin Los Angeles, California, USA
Genres Alternative rock, garage rock revival, power pop, pop rock
Years active 1994-2008 (indefinite hiatus)
Labels Fueled by Ramen (2007-Present)
Daylight/Epic (2002-2007)
MCA Records (1998-2001)
Website Official website
Alex Greenwald
Sam Farrar
Darren Robinson
Jeff Conrad
Former members
Jason Schwartzman
Jacques Brautbar

Phantom Planet is an alternative rock band from Southern California. The band is best known for its track "California", which became the theme song for the Fox TV series, The O.C..



Phantom Planet is named after the theme song of a 1961 B-movie called The Phantom Planet. They decided on the name in 1994 in a Pizza Hut. They played their first show in 1994 at The Troubadour in Hollywood, California. Most of their friends could not attend because they were still in high school.

Phantom Planet released their debut album, Phantom Planet is Missing in 1998. A straightforward pop record, with influences ranging from The Beach Boys to Electric Light Orchestra, the album didn't catch on. It was after the band's second album, The Guest in 2002 that the band found success. It produced the popular song, "California". The Guest continued the pop-rock sound the band introduced in their debut.

The band's eponymous third album in 2004 marked a change in both the band's sound and lineup. Ditching their radio-friendly pop-rock, the band moved towards a garage rock sound. Lead singer Alex Greenwald stated that he wants the band to continue to change its sound. "I love rock 'n' roll music," Greenwald said. "I especially loved bands, like The Beatles, that changed with every single record they made. That's been our plan from the get-go. We want our records to be like experiments. We want to have fun with the music. People can hear when you're not having fun. They discover you're bored and you're boring."[1] In the middle of recording the album, founding member and drummer Jason Schwartzman abruptly left the band to focus on his acting career. He was replaced by Jeff Conrad, who helped record the remainder of the album. Phantom Planet was released to mixed reviews from critics. Shortly after the album's release, guitarist Jacques Brautbar left the band to pursue a career in photography


On November 25, 2008, the band announced in a blog entry on their website that they are going on "hiatus, and will not be playing any more live shows or making any new records, indefinitely." [2] They played their last show on December 12, 2008, in Los Angeles. Alex mentioned numerous times during their last show that the band was, in fact, going on a hiatus, not breaking up.

Former drummer Jason Schwartzman makes a cheeky reference to this hiatus in his song "Drummer" from the Coconut Records album Davy (released January 2009). The lyrics state "I was a drummer in a band that you've heard of / I was a drummer in a band that just broke up / Isn't that the way it goes?"

Guitarist Darren Robinson posted this message on his personal Myspace page telling fans that they are not broken up: "We have NOT broken up. We are on an indefinite hiatus. That means we don't know when we'll regroup. But we are NOT broken up. I swear to you it's not just a polite way of saying we have broken up. Got it?"

Other appearances

The band has opened for many well-known artists, including Guns N' Roses, Sting, Elvis Costello, Incubus, Guided by Voices, blink-182, The Zombies, The Hives, American Hi-Fi, Maroon 5, Ludacris, Panic at the Disco, and Paramore.

Phantom Planet has appeared on the television programs Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, performing "So I Fall Again", and they have also appeared on American Dreams, playing British rock band The Zombies. They have appeared in the 2005 remake Bad News Bears, playing a band called The Bloodfarts. In 2005, they covered the CSNY track "Our House" for the movie The Chumscrubber. Phantom Planet also performed a cover of Jackson Browne's "Somebody's Baby" for Not Another Teen Movie. "Big Brat" was also introduced in the soundtrack to the video game Driv3r and featured as a "Hip Clipz" on the website of Curly Grrlz Skateboards. Alex Greenwald, the band's vocalist, sang a fusion jazz cover of Radiohead's "Just" for the 2006 compilation Exit Music: Songs with Radio Heads. Sam Farrar also contributed to the Hanson album, Underneath, on the song Lost Without Each Other. In 2008, Raise the Dead was featured in an episode of the second season of Gossip Girl. In 2009, Phantom Planet will be featured on Josh Schwartz new show 'Rockville, CA.' [3] Their music has been heard frequently on television, most notably "California," as the theme song for the popular tv show "The OC," and the songs "Do the Panic" and "Dropped" in various commercials.

  • Greenwald made an impact on the British music scene in early 2008 by featuring on Mark Ronson's cover of the Radiohead song "Just". The song is credited to Mark Ronson feat. Phantom Planet.


Former members

  • Jacques Brautbar — guitar, vocals — Left the group in May 2004 to pursue photography. Was not replaced. Brautbar went on to join electronica band Something for Rockets. He also helped Phantom Planet perform a few songs during their last show.
  • Jason Schwartzman — drums — Left the group in the Summer of 2003, during recording of their self-titled third album, to pursue his acting career full-time.[4] He was replaced by Jeff Conrad, formerly of Big City Rock.


Official releases



  • Polaroid (1999) (Phantom Planet Family)
  • Connect Sets (2004) (SonyConnect Exclusive)
  • Live at The Troubadour (2004)
  • Phantom Planet: Live 2004 (2004)
  • Phantom Planet: Negatives (2004) (Phantom Planet Family)
  • Negatives 2 (2004)


DVD releases

  • Phantom Planet: Chicago, Chicagogoing, Chicagogone - (2004) (Epic Records)
  • Phantom Planet: Live at the Troubadour - (2003) (Epic Records)


  • The band has also performed the title song from Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera live in concert.


External links

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