Founded during the summer of 2000, the Planet of the Drums is the alliance of four of America's most popular drum and bass DJ's: AK1200 (Dave Minner, Orlando, Florida), DJ Dara (Darragh Guilfoyle, Brooklyn, New York), Dieselboy (Damian Higgins, Brooklyn, New York), and MC Messinian (James Fiorella, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). The alliance was created to move drum and bass out of siderooms and onto the main stages of electronic dance music events.
In fall 2009 the Planet of the Drums embarked on their Tenth Anniversary Tour. The Planet of the Drums is the longest-running annual national electronic dance music tour of any genre.
In 2010 The Planet of the Drums switched to performing one-offs, the first played at U Street Music Hall in Washington, DC in December 2010.
As told to RINSE Magazine (now defunct) in 2007:
"We all ended up playing the same place at the same time in New Orleans on the Moonshine Over America tour in 1999," says Dara. 'Damian said we really ought to do a tour to promote dnb because we're supposedly the three biggest draws, to prove to promoters that dnb is a viable proposition.'
"Dieselboy explains, 'I had this epiphany. It would be cool if people could see three big dogs together, and it would be a sign of unity in the scene. 'The first tour with MC Dub2 was a success,' says Dieselboy. 'The second year we attempted to get MC Rage from England but he had a visa problem. Messinian came on because he'd MC'ed for me at Platinum in Philly.'
"Messinian (James Fiorella, Philadelphia), then part of the Substitution crew, describes the call from DSL, 'I always came to Platinum strapped with a mic, just in case. I got a call out of the blue that their MC couldn't make it. I said, 'Hells yeah, I'll pack my bags!'
"'We realized we could use our collective weight to lean on promoters to get our music on the main stage," Dieselboy admits. 'I felt like kids were getting ripped off paying full price and having to listen to dnb on the shittiest sound system while the other kids got to hear trance, techno and house on the big system. We've come a long way in elevating respect for dnb.'
"'At first we did individual sets and tag-teamed at the end,' says AK1200. 'It evolved into a multi-setup where we do spontaneous routines. Damian usually starts and Dara or I go on after him. Then we go three records, three records, three records, with the whole night ranging from two to five hours. Our main setup is two Technics 1200's and two Pioneer CDJ-1000's with an Allen & Heath mixer, a separate Pioneer mixer with another turntable and another CDJ-1000 hooked up to an auxiliary of the main mixer. Two people are on at all times and the other is standing by.'
"'Stylistically,' says Dara, 'We're complementary. Damian plays the hardest, myself I play the mellower tunes, and Dave is somewhere in between.'
"Messinian says, 'I try to take the energy of the club to that next level, get everybody on the same page, sparking that fire that makes it go fucking bananas. We're a strong unified force.'"
Planet of the Drums Intros
In 2005? the Planet of the Drums began a tradition of creating dramatic science fiction-style audio introductions to kick off their shows.
[note: preacher friend of AK1200 recorded in DJ Icey's studio;
For the 2008 POTD intro, Dieselboy hired Julianne Moore, the disembodied female voice in the movie thriller "Eagle Eye", with sound design by SPKTRM and Dieselboy]
The POTD created their first video intro for their 2009 10th Anniversary Tour, script by Dieselboy and AK1200, sound design by Venezuelan producer Zardonic.
Dieselboy created the audio intro for the Planet of the Drums 2010 reunion at U Street Music Hall in Washington, DC on December 9, 2010. For the first time in a Planet of the Drums performance Dieselboy incorporated dubstep and drumstep into the mix. Opening for them in this Steez Promo production were Grime Syndicate, Cannon Boyz, and Headhunterz Inc..
Electric Daisy Carnival, June 26, 2011, Las Vegas, NV
Nocturnal Festival, September 26, 2009, San Bernardino, CA
Ultra Music Festival (Winter Music Conference, Miami, FL, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007)
Detroit Electronic Music Festival, May 2006, Detroit, MI
Electric Daisy Carnival, June 26, 2004, Los Angeles, CA
Starscape, September 27, 2003, Baltimore, MD
Video 2007 Planet of the Drums Tour Preview, Part 1 of 2
Video 2007 Planet of the Drums Tour Preview, Part 2 of 2
– AK1200 Official Website
– DJ Dara Official Website
– Dieselboy Human/SubHuman Official Website
– Dieselboy Official Fan Page
– Messinian Official Website
"Planet of the Drums: Four Men, One Mission", Jive Magazine, 6/13/2005
Cover story, RINSE Magazine May/June 2007
"Stress Relievers: Planet of the Drums," by Christopher Porter, Express, 7/20/2007
"AK 1200 Interview - Planet of the Drums Tour," by DJ Ron Slomowicz, About.com, 2007
"Planet of the Drums 2007 Recap - 'drum and bass isn't just dance music, it is a way of life'" by Katie Olsheskie and Dmitri Vassiliev, Jivemagazine.com, 8/13/2007