The Little Green Men make their arrival to Earth


Courtesy of Ben Heil

Sophomore lead singer Ben Heil records Planet of the Little Green Men’s new single in a Loyola studio. The songs released on Friday, Jan. 27. Courtesy of Ben Heil

Abigail Schmidt, Life and Times Editor

Planet of the Little Green Men, a Loyola sophomore-led psychedelic rock band, released their first single, “Arrival/Monsters in Your Head”.

The single dropped on Jan. 27 and was two songs released as one that the band wrote the first semester of their freshman year in 2021, according to popular and commercial music sophomore and the band’s lead singer Ben Heil.

“It’s about how you’re your own worst enemy,” Heil said.

The two songs were the band’s first collaborative project, Heil said. They have been playing together since August of 2021, the beginning of their freshman year, and in April of 2022 they played their first live show. Heil said he was eager to start a band before he ever got to college, so it was a top priority as soon as he came to Loyola. 

Heil also said that while he’s the band’s main lyricist and composer, they write everything as a team. 

“Arrival” started with an idea for a guitar intro by music industry major and lead guitarist, Anton Alvarez. He and Heil then “jammed around” and built off of it with guitarist Jack Owen, adding lyrics to play around with the idea of an alien invasion, according to Heil. 

“Monsters in your Head” also started with an idea for a guitar riff, then music industry sophomore and drummer Hunter Croft pieced it together. Heil said the band often gets together with different ideas and builds off of them together, he said. 

Heil added that the songs were recorded live in the Loyola studios and mixed and produced by music industry sophomore Giovanni Vantello. 

“I’ve never done a psych band before, but it was a lot of fun and I hope to do it again,” Vantello said. 

The band is excited to bring the psychedelic sound to Loyola, Heil said. He and the band draw inspiration from the Beatles, along with punk rock and early hip-hop in his performing, he said.  

“It’s a lot of weird elements meshed together that sounds really fucking good,” said political science sophomore Cesar Barragon. 

Barragon heard Planet of the Little Green Men for the first time in August of 2022. He described going to Audubon park with his friends the night his plane landed in New Orleans, and bassist Caleb Hedemark started playing some “out there” music. 

“I was like, ‘who is this?’ and Caleb says, ‘This is us! This is our band!’ I was hooked the second I heard,” said Barragon. “The genre-bending experience was immaculate.” 

Planet of the Little Green Men creates this experience with the help of their manager, popular and commercial music sophomore Diego Gutierrez. Along with getting their music on streaming platforms, Guiterrez said he books recording sessions, shows, and helps to develop the overall LGM brand. 

“The main purpose of the position is to take away the stress and time that comes with licensing and booking so that the band can focus on giving the best product/performance to their audience,” Gutierrez said. 

Once the single was recorded, Gutierrez said he devised a release plan to get the band on track for promotion. He said he also aids in the legal aspects and registrations for their music. 

Gutierrez, Heil, and the band hope to grow their presence across New Orleans, according to Gutierrez.

“The city is filled with talented artists that embrace collaboration and create fantastic work,” Gutierrez said. 

The band is “taking it day by day” by writing more material and growing their discography, Heil said. 

“Long term, I hope to see LGM grow to be a notable group in the psych rock community so that as many people as possible can enjoy experiencing their music as much as they enjoy making it,” Gutierrez said.