The Los Angeles-based indie rock band Phantom Planet came together during early adolescence at a local Pizza Hut in 1994. The band, which is comprised of Jacques Brauther (guitar), Sam Farrar (bass), Alex Greenwald (vocals/guitar), Darren Robinson (guitar), and Jason Schwartzman (drums), played around with post-grunge stylings while taking their name from the '60s sci-fi movie. Each member came from a well-educated background, therefore finding time to jam in the garage was simply something to do. Schwartzman, who is the nephew of Francis Ford Coppola and the son of Talia Shire, made a name for himself starring in such films as Rushmore (1998) and Slackers (2002). Greenwald spent time modeling and became a familiar face in the chic GAP commercials during the new millennium. He also played a sociopath in the black comedy flick Donnie Darko (2001). Farrar, who's been playing since early childhood, is the son of renowned singer/songwriter producer John Farrar. The elder Farrar is most-noted for writing "You're the One That I Want" and "Hopelessly Devoted to You" for the 1978 smash musical Grease, as well as other chart-toppers for Olivia Newton-John.
The men of Phantom Planet made a name for themselves playing gigs in and around L.A. throughout the late '90s. In between projects, they managed to score a deal with Geffen in 1997. Their debut, Phantom Planet Is Missing, was released the following year, but critics weren't quick to jump. Still, their credibility had a steady rise and select members had spots on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch and Get Real. In early 2001, Phantom Planet returned to the studio to work on a follow-up with Tchad Blake (Pearl Jam, Sheryl Crow) and Mitchell Froom (Elvis Costello, Paul McCartney). A year later, The Guest appeared on Dreamworks. Debut single "California," which was included on the soundtrack to Orange County, also gained praise. Sadly for fans, Jason Schwartzman annouced his departure from the band in August 2003. He decided that it wasn't his time to be in a band and wanted to pursue other things. However, he did appear on Phantom Planet's 2004 self-titled third album, along with new drummer Jeff Conrad. ~ MacKenzie Wilson, All Music Guide