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Wild Planet: Tallahassee’s Hit Local Band Taking Over the Music Scene

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

Name: Justin Fogel

Age: 21

Major: Economics

Hometown: Coral Springs, FL


Name: Madison Fields

Age: 20

Major: Commercial Music and Marketing         

Hometown: Charleston, SC


Name: Dartanyan Melendez

Age: 21

Major: BA Arts and Music 

Hometown: Coral Springs, FL


Name: Daniel Prusher

Age: 20

Major: Commercial Music

Hometown: Miami, FL

Her Campus (HC): How did you all meet and decide to start a band together?

Dartanyan Melendez (DM): I’ve known Justin since high school; we were in a couple of bands prior to graduating. I met Madison at the School of Music; her and I played the upright bass in the classical program. My roommate at the time got a copy of her EP that she put out and I listened to it. She’s got an amazing voice and immediately I was just trying to plan how I could get her in a band with me. And here we are, three years later!

Justin Fogel (JF): It was us three in a band called “David and the Phoenix,” and then we ended up meeting Dan, because Dartanyan’s an RA and he worked for Cawthon, and Dan was a freshman. They just happened to be living on the same floor. So, D (Dartanyan) picked up the two wonder pieces of our band—Madison and Dan.

HC: What made you choose ‘Wild Planet’ as your name?

DM: It derived from this French film called, La Planete Sauvage . The English translation is Fantastic Planet. It’s this really quirky, 70’s animated film about these blue aliens… but anyways, I was so entranced by this film. I thought it was really cool. We were also at a point where we didn’t feel like “David and the Phoenix” was a reflection of who we were. We had started off as a trio, more folk music, and a lot of things changed once Dan came into the band. We started playing electric guitars and bass. It just changed the sound and we needed a name to fit it.

HC: If you could play any other instrument (other than the one you play now), what would it be?

Madison Field (MF): Mine would be drums for sure. I don’t know why; I’ve just always wanted to play the drums.

JF: Honestly, probably drums too… or the trumpet—but really freaking good at the trumpet—or maybe the sax.

DM: Maybe I could revive the keytar… just bring it back. [All members laugh] I think that would be cool.  

Danny Prusher (DP): Aww man, the drums are my passion. [Laughs]


HC: What has been your favorite venue you’ve performed at so far, and what is your dream venue?

MF: The Wilbury has been really fun.

DM: Yeah, we’ve played at the Wilbury a couple of times. The last time we played there it was a late show. The starting time for us kept getting moved back, it was like midnight and we were just stepping on stage. The place was relatively full, but people decided to stay and they were grooving with us. It was one of our favorite gigs.

JF: The environment there is super electric; we’ve played at many different venues in Tallahassee but this was different. Dream venue, probably Woodstock. [Laughs]. I’ve personally always wanted to play the Fillmore, that would be so awesome. We saw Vampire Weekend there. We actually ended up opening up for the band that opened up for Vampire Weekend- “Jacuzzi Boys.” We went up for them at the Wilbury and that show was really fun.

DM & MF: The Sydney Opera House!

JF: Red Rocks in Colorado would also be awesome. I see videos of Eric Clapton playing there, and I don’t even really like Eric Clapton that much, but it looks so cool.

HC: Any songs that resonate with you the most?

JF: I think, one that resonates with me, in terms of the feeling is Handle(s). When we wrote it, we pretty much just wrote the entire song on the spot. That was probably the easiest song to write, but also the most dynamic. The feeling behind it is incredible. Dan loves that song too, but Dan loves every new song we write.

DP: Our new song, definitely. I feel like every time we come up with a new song it becomes my favorite song. It’s just fun being creative with the band. Break My Back definitely sounds coolest. And then that’ll change when we come up with a new song.


HC: Tell us about your upcoming EP.

JF:  It’s coming! It’s definitely coming! [Laughs]

DM: We’ve been writing it for a long time, some of these songs go back to nearly two years ago—the origins of our band. [Jokingly] It’s kind of like the ‘greatest hits’ of “Wild Planet.” I feel that it was hard to put out a single for this because we used a lot of different sounds and pulled out a lot of different styles, so it was hard to put out a track that encompassed everything we do. We might put out another single before the EP. It’ll most likely be released in early May, definitely in the summer.


HC: Do you have any upcoming events?

JF: [Laughs] So many!

DM: We’re playing Jam for Peace this Thursday at The Strip (4/20). We’re also headlining The Wilbury this Friday (4/21).

MF: We’re opening for “Slothrust” at Club Downunder Friday, April 28.

JF: They’re a punk band and they’re awesome. I’m very excited for that gig because I’ve been listening to them for about a month now. We just opened for “Magic City Hippies” this past week, and they’re starting to take over the music scene.

HC: Do you see yourselves doing this forever?

All: 100%.

DM: Right now, we’re trying to get this band off the ground before we graduate. We’re doing everything we can, so we’ll see what happens. We have some things in the works, possibly a summer tour.  

MF: We wanted to go all the way up to New Jersey.

JF: [Laughs] We put a limit on New Jersey, that’s the farthest we would go.

DM: We could go to Philly or New York!

JF: We were thinking a ten-day tour, but if we could that far, maybe 14? I just think as long as we like music, we can make it wherever we go. As long as we put the initiative behind it, and publish and market it. That’s where being in a band requires you to really push yourself and your music. Now it’s on us.


Important dates:

Thursday April 20, 2017: Jam for Peace at The Strip

Friday April 21, 2017: The Wilbury

Friday April 28, 2017: Club Downunder

May: EP Release TBA



All photos courtesy of Wild Planet

Alejandra is a Junior at Florida State University double majoring in Media Communication Studies and Editing, Writing, and Media. Upon graduating from FSU she aspires to become a screenwriter.
Alex is native to Miami, Florida but currently resides in Tallahassee. She's a Senior at Florida State double majoring in Editing, Writing and Media and Media Communications.