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I am a huge fan of Phantom Planet, and unashamed to have been there before The OC(Don’t call it that…) and to see them pass through having a million 14 year olds at their show JUST to hear California. I thought it was over, I thought that, after a couple more records, I could just see the first band I saw in a club setting continue to kick ass. But, the bastards went “on hiatus.” Hopefully it’s not the same hiatus Walt Disney is taking. BUT, we did score an interview with PP, and now The Californian, guitarist Darren Robinson.

Whattup, mang!? How have you been?
Yo yo yo. I’ve been well lately. No complaints here.

Summertime is upon us, any summer plans?
I have plans to get back in shape (if I can actually stick with a routine), play music with my new band, take a vacation (a road trip most likely) and hang the eff out with friends/family.

How do you keep cool when it’s hotter than hell?
I take lots of showers, drink lots of water, and keep fans on constantly if I am home.

I think a reduction in body hair helps. As I don’t think I’ve hit puberty quite yet, I just keep my hair short, it does wonders. Are you a Man-Scaper?
Only on my balls. TMI?

So, you were (are?) in Phantom Planet, then you were (are?) in Miniature Tigers, now you’re in some other band, what the hell, man?
I wasn’t technically “in Miniature Tigers.” I was asked to fill in as guitarist for them by Charlie Brand, an old friend of mine. I did that for a few months in early 2009 and ended up meeting a guy in the band we were opening for named John Graney. John and I became very good friends, found out we lived very close to each other in LA and he quickly invited me to be in his band, The Californian.  Once I heard the music, I agreed wholeheartedly.

Is Phantom Planet still a band, or is it kaput? Or is it “On Hiatus,” like Walt Disney’s head?
Phantom Planet is on hiatus. We have talked about doing more shows, but as of now, that’s all up in the air. I still consider us a band, however. I’m certain the other guys would agree.

And did I see that you were getting grades via your Twitter account? You going back to school? Give it to me straight, here.
I have been taking one online business class through SMC, to see how it works and if it is something I want to further pursue. So far so good… I have one more exam (this weekend – I should be taking it right now instead of answering these questions). After that I’ll take a little break and then figure out what other classes I want to take during another semester.

Uh, I prefer the scientific term: “dork”.

I remember seeing The Like’s first show at a PP fan club show a few years back, and I thought Z was hot then, but now: Holy jeez! How much can you hook that up?
We did give them their first show I believe. More recently they’ve changed their lineup a little and have been creating their best music yet, in my opinion. I’m excited to hear their new record. As for hooking anyone up with Z, good luck. She’s dating Ryan Ross of PATD! (more recently The Young Veins) now. She tends to date only famous guys, judging by her track record. (Better than my track record, that’s for sure.)

DAMMIT! I saw that they replaced their bassist with a chick who looks pretty much the same. There seems to be a lot of celeb-incest in the LA music scene, what’s your closest brush with that?
I haven’t had any brushes with the incestuous LA music scene. I avoid  “the Hollywood Scene” any chance I can. That’s not to say I haven’t dated any nutjobs though. One girl turned out to be a complete sociopath. Never again!

I’ve always lived in SoCal and can’t imagine living anywhere else, even if it’s expensive, crowded and smoggy. Having traveled a LOT more than I have, do you agree or disagree with that?
I actually agree with you. The weather is gorgeous here and the food is incredible, despite the smog, cost of living, and overcrowding. I’ve been to some beautiful places around the globe, but Los Angeles always has been and most likely always will be my home years from now. If I stumbled on a ton of cash, I may consider relocating to Hawaii though and retiring.

Describe your perfect nachos.
Simple. Lots of cheese. I don’t need jalapenos or any other toppings. Just a lot of chips and a lot of cheese. I’m sort of a picky eater.

Cheese on the side or on top?
On the side, top, underneath, and in a can next to me in case I need even more.

What is the most depressing song you can think of?
“Miracles” by Insane Clown Posse. It is seriously the dumbest song I have ever heard in my life. Every word out of their mouths rings of ignorance and a complete and utter lack of knowledge. Not only that, but they seem to be proud of the fact that they sound like complete imbeciles. It’s like reverse evolution; humans should become smarter over time, not dumber.

Right? That song and video made my soul cry for hours upon hours.

-Interview by Jonathan “The Emperor” Yost