“Running around feels more natural to me then having to play something. Leave that up to everyone else.” Confidence Man’s Janet Planet began her musical career as part of the rock scene, and her first time on stage was seated at a keyboard: “I was so nervous my hands were shaking” she tells. “I’m happy I don’t have to do that again.” It’s a distant vibe from that she exudes as frontwoman for the Brisbane-bred dance pop outfit, who’ve recently returned to Australia after a tour across Europe and the US. “It was crazy, we played some of the biggest shows we have ever played,” says Planet, who leads the live show alongside best friend, Sugar Bones. Her partner and brother, going by pseudonyms of Clarence McGuffie and Reggie Goodchild, are the band’s veiled members – on drums and keyboards respectively.
Alongside their fun-heavy sounds and elaborate stage wear – “the design stuff is my mum and I,” clarifies Planet of her own costumes – Confidence Man’s legendary stage presence has seen the band explode from “jamming in a room at home” to playing “Primavera in Barcelona, which was 20,000 people”. “We didn’t think anyone would know who we were and I don’t know if they did either but they had a really good time so that’s pretty awesome.” Their ability to draw large, wild, crowds to each show is down to them shedding all façade and completely letting loose, with fans returning the energy. We captured them at Paris’s Rock en Seine, getting all dressed up and dancing like no one else can.
“I think that character of Janet is just natural to me, I think there must be a weird part of me that is that person so I don’t know, it just feels normal.”
“[Our Europe tour] was just insane, playing shows every day with all these people knowing your music is pretty exciting.”
“We always do black and white, I suppose that’s our look but really the hardest thing is making things out of material that moves really well on stage and stuff that is quite hardy.”
The band’s ability to have fun together comes through on stage – but it’s also responsible for much of their creative output. “People are like, how did you come up with all these crazy ideas? I’m like, I don’t know it happens mostly when we are drunk at a bar somewhere,” says Planet. The most recent example: a Christmas track titled Santa’s Comin’ Down the Chimney.
“So Clarence and I were driving around the countryside, I think around Daylesford and then we were listening to this beat and then we were like, ‘imagine if we just wrote a Christmas song over this’, and then we just started rapping that, the first few verses … that’s how it started,” explains Planet. “And then we finished it in Portugal when we were all really trashed on sangria, I think you can kind of tell.”
“[Being on stage] is intense but really fun. It is always really exciting coming off stage and having a lot of adrenaline.”
“I saw David Byrne, about a week ago … oh man he is just like the coolest guy ever and so creative in his live show, I love that about him. The same thing with Michael Jackson as well, I love how he isn’t just music, he is all these visual elements and video elements.”
Along with another European tour on the horizon, Janet Planet’s next moves will be inspired by the greats. “I am getting dance classes because I want to learn how to spin … I think that will be really impressive … I am just starting to get some Michael Jackson dance move lessons so I’ll update you on that later…”