Planet Jackpot's video for "Alive Girl" off their 2020 release "Learns Music" on Get Better Records.

Juxtaposing Lightness and Darkness With Planet Jackpot

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Armed with almost a non-existent knowledge of how to do things CORRECTLY, Planet Jackpot prefers instead to do things LOUDLY. – Planet Jackpot’s bandcamp self description 

Max Wheeler’s Planet Jackpot is a manic celestial being who uses their otherworldly powers to energetically manifest the gamut of human and non-human emotional experiences in smatterings of oversaturated neon and superimposed, cleverly selected footage.

Planet Jackpot, which Wheeler describes as a collaborative performance art project as well as an “excuse to make some masks and costumes and be a weirdo in front of people,” spun into existence in 2018 after Wheeler drove by the eponymous Internet gambling café in the heart of Appalachia.

“Right outside of town, I saw this seedy internet gambling place called Planet Jackpot, and it all hit me right then,” said Wheeler in an interview with WOUB Culture. “I had this idea this collaborative band — I could ask certain people to make backing tracks and I could sing over them; or maybe people I wouldn’t know would eventually want to do the same thing, and just kind of went from there.”

Last month Planet Jackpot released Learns to Play Music on Philadelphia-based Get Better Records, which marked the project’s first release that relied more on Wheeler’s ability to create backing tracks rather than work with others for the fundamental grooves that Planet Jackpot’s creations are based on.

WOUB Culture spoke to Wheeler about the creation of Planet Jackpot and the beauty to be found in juxtaposing lightness and darkness. Keep tabs on Planet Jackpot’s next live-from-their-van performance on Instagram @planet_jackpot_the_planet.