John Manhardt of Astronaut Your Planet, Trained Attack Dogs, The Chant
Stacey Finney guest interviews John Manhardt of the band Astronaut Your Planet. John was born in Clark, New Jersey. He spent his formative years speaking up against bullies and bigotry and attending Catholic high school. John describes his upbringing as fairly normal, with parents who often took him to New York to experience art and music. While John was exposed to a variety of music through New York radio as a young lad, it wasn’t until he moved to Philadelphia in 1980 and began attending the Philadelphia College of the Arts (PCA), now University of the Arts, that his punk roots began to grow. While at PCA, John formed several bands, including The Chant and Trained Attack Dogs. Among his many musical endeavors, John’s current band is Astronaut Your Planet, a band he refers to as his preferred form of artistic expression. John talks about his move to Los Angeles, where he continued to play music and destroy venues, as well as how he terrorized the band The Dwarves. As you listen, you will hear John’s tales of musical adventure, art school realities, and his encounter with a male prostitute wielding a crow bar. From kicking his ex-band mate in the gut, to becoming a roadie for L7, on to his time working at Revival, John intertwines his dry humor with the sordid tales of being a punk and the thriving meth scene in Philly. John’s forward-thinking attitude and creative approach to life make this an interview worth lending an ear to.
Photos by Stacey Finney