One Ring Zero Does the Planets, Their Way

Lit-rock meets Holst.

Michael Hearst and Joshua Camp of One Ring Zero in their studio, Brooklyn, NY 2003 (Photo by Chris Smith Photography)

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A & S: What made you decide to work with novelist Rick Moody?

MH: Of all the writers that we've worked with, Rick has continued to be our closest literary collaborator. It certainly helps that Rick is also a musician, performing both as a solo artist and with his group The Wingdale Community Singers. His taste in music is very much in line with ours, spanning from alternative, to jazz, to classical, to geeky 70's prog rock, which took a big role on Planets. At this point, Rick Moody is pretty much an honorary member of One Ring Zero.

A & S: Describe your sound in three words, using all nouns.

JC: Circus rock melodies.

A & S: I know choosing a favorite song is like choosing a favorite child, but if you could go back in time and have had one track from Planets sent into space on the 1977 Voyager Golden Record to represent you, which one would you pick and why?

JC: Maybe "Mars (Part II)," because it goes through so many musical changes in a very short time. It represents a lot of our interests in one brief sonic statement.

MH: Yeah, "Mars Part II" is a good choice, aesthetically speaking. Though I might put "Earth" on there just to keep things simple. I wouldn't want to confuse the extraterrestrials that find the album. [They might think] "Wait, are they from Mars or are they from Earth?” Then again, we will have probably colonized Mars by the time the Golden Record is discovered. Yeah, okay, on that note, I’ll go with “Mars.”

Jeff Campagna is the Art Services Coordinator for Smithsonian Magazine.

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