Toronto’s Meligrove Band was formed by Jason Nunes, Darcy Rego and Michael Small in high school in 1997. Andrew Scott joined in late 2002 when his previous band, Femme Fatale, gave way to Death From Above 1979. After two critically-acclaimed indie releases (2000’s Stars & Guitars and 2002’s Let it Grow), in 2005 the Meligrove Band became the first Canadian group to sign a worldwide deal with V2 Records. The band’s V2 debut, Planets Conspire, was near-finished before the deal was signed that August.
Planets Conspire was recorded by José Contreras (By Divine Right) in friends’ houses and apartments. Often the people living there would go about their daily lives while the band recorded in the same room – plates and glasses clink; a kettle whistles; a dog barks. All of the piano, bass, drums, and some guitar were recorded live, together, to half-inch tape. Later, José spliced the best parts of each take together, and the overdubs were done on four-track cassette and a computer. Jason wrote much of the album himself on the piano at his parents' house, while some songs like “Free on the Air” and “Our Love Will Make the World Go Round” were put together only hours or minutes before they were recorded.
Planets Conspire has garnered massive critical acclaim since its Canadian release. The band appeared on the cover of influential Toronto magazine Eye Weekly, were named first of the “15 Bands That Will Rock You in 2006” by Chart Magazine, and interviews appeared in Exclaim, Now, Dose, Ukula, Toronto Star, Toronto Sun, KW Record, Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa Sun, Ottawa Xpress, Echo Weekly, Truth Explosion, Le Soleil, and Voir. The band was featured on popular TV show E-Talk Daily, and the video for first single “Everyone’s a Winner” (directed by Juno winner Ante Kovac) has been added to rotation at MuchMusic, who also featured the band on MuchNews and Going Coastal for their shows at SXSW in March. The song has been featured on commercial stations 102.1 The Edge, CFOX-Vancouver and CHOM-Montréal, and as of this writing, Planets Conspire has reached #2 on Canada’s national college radio chart. In the UK, Rough Trade made the disc its “album of the month” for April – a distinction shared with The Strokes, Neko Case and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah for 2006 so far – and it doesn’t even come out there until July!
The Meligrove Band’s previous album, 2002’s Let it Grow, received four-star reviews from the Montréal Mirror, Eye Weekly, and more kudos from places as far away as Germany, Spain and Singapore. In 2004 alone, the album sold nearly 1000 import copies in Japan, and reached #1 on Tokyo campus radio. A video for the song “Before We Arrive,” directed by Ante Kovac, achieved plays on MuchMusic’s The Wedge and rotation on MuchMoreMusic. Pitchfork remarked that “their next release will be even better.” And now, the song “Monkey Mask” is featured in Douglas Coupland’s upcoming feature film Everything’s Gone Green.
The Meligrove Band has toured all over Canada, winning fans over with their explosive live show, and sharing stages with the likes of Spoon, Ted Leo, Dinosaur Jr, Constantines, The Mooney Suzuki, Sloan, The Unicorns, Final Fantasy, and the All American Rejects. The band played themselves on an episode of the teen comedy Radio Free Roscoe in 2004, and appeared together in Joel Plaskett’s “Come On Teacher” video. Members of the Meligrove Band have also lent their talents to Toronto pop collective The Bicycles, groundbreaking MC Masia One, and Canadian indie legends By Divine Right.