Plan B is Seattle-native experimental indie rock/hip hop producer and drummer James van Leuven. Inspired by hip hop’s approach to putting drums at the center of song writing and NPR bumpers, James made Like A Ship Sailing in 2001 with all of his influences in tow; Post-Punk, Hip Hop, Swing, BeBop, and Indie Rock.
James’ first published music as the drummer of the “science-friction”(credit: Stranger writer Dan Paulus) rock band Automaton Adventure Series (Self-Titled 7″ Vinyl) in 1997. Automaton was a experimental post-punk band sharing influences and concert halls with Fugazi, Blonde Redhead, Built To Spill, Modest Mouse, Murder City Devils, Man or Astro-Man, Servotron, Sweep The Leg Johnny, No Means No, etc.
Started as a side project when James was still drumming in Automaton (Pacifico Recordings) and The Subdebs (K Records). James began writing songs with protools, recording himself playing the drums, guitar, bass, keys, etc. This experiment resulted in a more eno-esque instrumental + hip-hop style. “The first EP, “Like a Ship Sailing” (Luckyhorse Industries, U.S. 2001), introduced the Plan B sound to the world. In concert, van Leuven’s solo performances were often punctuated by him joining the crowd to break dance to his own output.”
Acclaim from the first EP sent van Leuven touring around Europe, including a long stint in Paris, where he released a second EP “Keepsake” (Ggoo22, France 2003), which moved Plan B into more group-oriented output. This continued upon van Leuven’s return to Seattle, with the performing collective often adopting the Plan B mini-orchestra moniker as their ranks grew. And in 2007 a first full length album, I’m the Captain, Where We Going? (Fourthcity, US/Ggoo22, France) was released featuring guest musicians cellist Brent Arnold (Modest Mouse, Built to Spill), violinist Jen Kozel (Quasi, Elliott Smith), violinist Sarah Standard (Carissa’s Weird) and analog mix down at Avast Studios in Seattle with Phil Ek (Built to Spill, Modest Mouse, Band of Horses, Fleet Foxes, etc). ‘I’m The Captain, Where We Going?’ was written and produced while touring. When the touring slowed down in 2006, James mixed down and released the album. The concept was an experiment: ‘what kind of music will I make while traveling around the world?’ The answer: pretty mellow.
In 2007, Plan B installed himself in Paris, France. In 2010 he release a remix single called Crow’s Nest, a hip hop mix of Artie Shaw’s Nightmare. That same year James started a family.
In 2013 James moved back to Seattle, WA with his family. James is currently in a duo collaboration with with songwriter John Atkins(Hush Harbor, 764-Hero and The Magic Magicians) called Sun Breaks. http://www.sun-breaks.com