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Confidence Man’s new single will make you feel really good

Photography – Jordan Drysdale

Styling – Abby Bennett

Art Direction and Production – Lucy Perrett for Positive Feedback

Words by Indah Dwyer

Janet Planet told me herself.

Once I danced in a crowd at Falls Festival. Shook by the feel-good groove beat and the larger than life artists on stage, I asked the person next to me who the band was. “Confidence Man,” they replied. 

Thank you sweaty, sweaty stranger, my inner Disco Stu is forever grateful.  

A couple of years later and the band’s pop beats have continued to win the hearts of dance enthusiasts across the world. From playing Glastonbury in 2017 to supporting rock icons New Order in March of next year, Confidence Man are now far from having audiences question who they are. 

Frontwoman Janet Planet wears the heart of Confidence Man on her sleeve.

She’s the only woman in the band, and confesses this fact means she feels (at times) a responsibility to keep it all together. But dating one band member and considering the others her best mates, Planet has worked out a good approach to navigating this headspace. 

“I think they are all a little bit scared of me and I like to keep it that way,” she laughs. “The boys are great but can be pretty useless for everything besides the music.”

The boys she’s referring to are the integral other parts of Confidence Man. Taking on quirky pseudonyms Sugar Bones, Clarence McGuffie and Reggie Goodchild, it’s clear they don’t take themselves too seriously — and for a band in their position, that’s very refreshing.   

The four of them were housemates in Brisbane when Confidence Man started, born out of a long-running joke to form a band, that no one seemed to want to stop. 

And before they knew it, the running gag had become a full-time job. 

“We just sort of started music as a joke,” Planet confirms. “Then we all thought, ‘Hang on, maybe this is good?’”

After questioning the power of their sound, it didn’t take Confidence Man long to obtain a spot in the A-team of Australian pop. Since, Planet’s life has taken an unexpected turn.

“I wasn’t meant to be a musician, I was supposed to be a marketing person,” she says. “I am a classically trained pianist and violinist. Which again, is odd that I ended up being in this band.” 

So Confidence Man wasn’t Planet’s first choice at a career. But it became one that gave her the freedom to create shamelessly; to explore different characters of herself and work for the greater good of our dance parties. 

“When I am on stage is when I feel the most free and myself. I’m a character that isn’t exactly me, but sometimes it feels more me than the normal me,” she muses. “I want to give the people the ability to fully let go.”

Their new single ‘Does It Make You Feel Good’ fulfills this purpose to a tee. 

The single was written in two hours, following a year-long sabbatical from songwriting for the band.

They just experiment, says Planet of the process. The band sits around and rebounds ideas off each other — probably not unlike how you would talk to your housemates around the dinner table. 

“Everyone has a song name list in their phone and we read each other’s, wait for someone to read something that makes us say ‘oh funny’, and then contribute another line from their song bank.” she describes. 

Planet’s first interactions with music were at a young age, inspired by her dad’s love for music.

Each of Planet and her siblings had their own record player and would go to sleep listening to a different record from their father’s collection each night.

“For some funny reason, I have always been super into disco and my dad always hated disco,” she reflects.

It’s odd to think of liking disco music as rebellion, but to some degree that’s what it was for a young Planet.  Since those night-time rituals as a kid, her talents have developed and so has her musical confidence alongside it. “My music break was when I could say ‘I like this even if you don’t like this’. So I think that has been part of my growth,” she says.

Despite their differences, some of her dad’s teachings stuck, because her band of choice is the Bee Gees.

“At the end of the day, anything that makes you dance is my favourite kind of music,” she states. 

Alas, it’s not always that easy. Fun isn’t the most reliable mood and the heavier side of life can often get in the way.  But the members of Confidence Man have a knack for taking sore situations (like heartbreak, ouch)  and turning them into something audiences can dance about.

“In a way, it’s a challenge to turn something hard into something lighthearted,” Planet explains. “To be able to dance about it, and to see the silliness in the stuff that can consume you, is important. I’m a massive sook so paying that out makes me feel better.” 

Now Confidence Man are stepping into a new phase and starting to write with other people. As it’s unchartered territory for them, it is going to be an interesting experience.     

“It might turn out really badly. We might just [end up] doing Nikki Webster covers or something,” Planet jokes. 

But I’m serious when I say, I’d be up the front for it.  

Listen to ‘Does It Make You Feel Good’ here.

confidenceman.com.au


Styling credits
LOOK ONE
JANET WEARS/ STRATEAS CARLUCCI JACKET, PERMANENT VACATION CARDIGAN, KATE SYLVESTER DRESS, KAREN WALKER SUNGLASSES, DR MARTENS SHOES
SUGAR WEARS/ STRATEAS CARLUCCI COAT, STONE ISLAND PANTS FROM INCU, COMMAS SHIRT,  STYLIST’S OWN MESH T-SHIRT, DR MARTENS BOOTS, POMS SUNGLASSES
LOOK TWO
JANET WEARS/ NIQUE JACKET
SUGAR WEARS/ NIQUE JACKET, P.A.M TOP
LOOK THREE
JANET WEARS/ A GENTLE SPRING CORSET, STANRAY PANTS, RELIQUIA EARRINGS, STYLIST’S OWN SHOES
SUGAR WEARS/ CMMN SHIRT FROM INCU, P.A.M PANTS, TALENT’S OWN SHOES
LOOK  FOUR
JANET WEARS/ WORKTONES BOILER SUIT, TALENT’S OWN SHOES
SUGAR WEARS/ HOLIDAY THE LABEL PANTS, NIKE SHOES, ACNE STUDIOS SUNGLASSES
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