by Kaiti RayMaking their way onto the music scene is Kingsburg-based hardcore/trancecore, Christian band Planet to Portal. Composed of vocalists Kyle Ray and Frankie Flynn, guitarist Malachi Robertson, bassist Matt Ponce and drummer Jared Ramos, Planet to Portal got their start a little over a year ago when Ray and Robertson’s previous band, This Emerging, fell apart.
Planet to Portal started with only three members; vocalists Ray and Flynn and guitarist Robertson. The majority of the music came from electronic tracks written and recorded by Ray. Two vocalists gave the young band the advantage of having duel and overlapping parts during live performances, which is not too common in their genre. The inclusion of a guitar player allowed the band to play around more with their sound, always aiming for a harder, more raw, but still very electronic sound.
Planet to Portal is a very interesting band name that almost seems as if it was just meant to sound cool but Robertson shared, “God’s people will go from this planet to heaven. I think I remembered hearing somewhere in the Bible heaven being referred to as a portal, so Planet stands for the earth and Portal is a symbol for heaven. Thus, Planet to Portal became not only a cool name but a really strong symbol of our future.” Robertson was the band member who originally came up with the name Planet to Portal.
In the early days of their music, the band was unsure of where they were going or who they wanted to be. They had not yet established their Christian persona which might answer the question of why a Christian band would have a chorus in their first song, “Can’t I Take a Breakup, Hold the Up,” that says repeatedly “Take the blade, do what you will.” “That song is the only one we have without a Christian background,” said Flynn. “At the time we didn’t know what we wanted, but it just so happened that the first song we wrote was a breakup song. But when we thought about how we should be more creative with our music and put it all towards God so he can take us where we need to be, we came up with some more intense lyrics like ‘All is for His glory, Nothing For This World.’”
After playing their first handful of shows and home-recording their first songs and interludes, Planet to Portal decided to take their growing band to another level by adding Matt Ponce who would be playing the bass for his first time in a band. “I’m primarily a guitar player so it was easy to switch to bass but I’m still learning how to write songs for bass,” says Ponce.Planet to Portal continued to play shows and write new songs over the course of a few months. Juggling work, school and a band does get a little difficult for young adults at different ages. With their youngest member, Robertson, going into his senior year of high school and their oldest members, Flynn and Ray, starting their sophomore year of college, planning shows and practices around all the normalities of life can be challenging.
Along the way, the band decided it was time to add another person to the mix. They were in need of a real drummer, rather than a drum track played from Ray’s MacBook — comically placed in the middle of their sets, as if it were a band member too. It was just a few weeks ago that Planet to Portal added their fifth member, Jared Ramos, who had previously drummed for Ray and Robertson’s band This Emerging.
The band’s sense of humor doesn’t stop at their MacBook band member. Planet to Portal also has fun with many of their song titles like “Tom and Jerry” (the names of the old television show cat and mouse), “Droids Vs. Clones” (to show their love for the Star Wars movies) and “Dried Roasted Nut Trio” (a take off of a snack item from Starbucks). Planet to Portal may have some pretty powerful lyrics and music but they tend to keep their song titles light and funny.
For more about the band, show dates, and to sample their music, visit Planet to Portal at MySpace.