EMQ’s with PLASTIC BARRICADES
Hi Everyone. Welcome to our new EMQ’s interview with London based Alternative Indie Rock band Plastic Barricades! Huge thanks to them for taking part!
What is your name, what do you play and can you tell us a little bit about the history of the band?
My name is Paul Love and I play drums, shakers, spoons, cowbell, tambourine, and the occasional woodblock so you could say I’m a multi-instrumentalist. Most people choose only the last three syllables though…
We are PLASTIC BARRICADES and THAT has been the nom de plume of Dan Kert for a while now. He wrote all the songs on this album and the last album. I helped. He’s also an accomplished race car driver. I make a mean pan of stew. It’s a good team.
How did you come up with your band name?
Voodoo. We kept popping chickens like fortune cookies until one gave us the right answer.
What country are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
I’m from Liverpool and I live in Paris. Dan is Estonian and lives in London. London is London and it has an enviable metal scene. I couldn’t really say about Liverpool, We’re more hard rock and northern soul people and Paris is big on gypsy jazz and accordions. Estonia is Nordic so I can safely presume that they’re born in drop C. Shout out to Opensight (the band, not the eye charity). They’re my favourite London metal band. You rock, Red!
What is your latest release (Album, EP, Single, Video)
Our Latest release is called “Self-Theories”. It’s an album we’ve been writing, recording and mixing in a 2x4m wooden shed in a secret location. It’s pretty chill and has some cool moments, but our big intention was to make something reeeeeally earnest. I don’t mean deliberately lo-fi or anything pretentious like that. We really tried to make the best sounding record we can, but we made it in a shed. Apart from mastering, a BV, one keyboard loop and some handclaps everything was written, played, recorded and mixed by Dan and I. It’s been an incredibly rewarding and refreshing experience. The first single is ‘One For The Road which came out on 1st October 2019 accompanied by a video by our MVP, Elina.
Who have been your greatest influences?
I can’t answer for Dan (actually, I will make an attempt in a moment) but I’ll list some of mine: The Beatles, James Brown, Michael, Quincy Jones, Nirvana, Sting, The Mars Volta, The La’s, Radiohead, Slayer, everyone Rick Rubin has worked with, Led Zeppelin and my mentor James Earp. Dan loves Radiohead, Nirvana, Oasis, Death Cab for Cutie, early Muse, early Coldplay and etc. We love songs.
What first got you into music?
When my dad brought home the final Beatles single when I was 6 years old. I fell in love. I’m not that old, it was released in ‘95. Look it up! My dad played drums so I had the opportunity. I was incredibly lucky and continue to be.
If you could collaborate with a current band or musician who would it be?
Either Jacob Collier or Justin Bieber! Yeah. I know. I’m not trying to be controversial I just think they’re both incredibly talented and continuously put out fun, inventive and genuinely moving music. Particularly when it comes to collaborations! Jacob Collier with the Metropole Orchestra, Snarky Puppy, the LPO: all amazing. He’s a legit arrangement genius. My favourite Bieber tracks are all collaborations. He brings out the best in songwriters like Julia Michaels and Ed Sheeran and producers like Skrillex. Go listen to ‘Love Yourself’. That song is the biggest fuck you since McCluskey’s ‘Gareth Brown Says’. “My Momma don’t like you and she like everyone.” COLD.
If you could play any festival in the world, which would you choose and why?
I haven’t been to a UK festival in years because they’re poorly run, they stink, they’re expensive, the sound’s crap and most of the bands get a pittance. Some have been genuinely dangerous… but I’m a miserable auld git. I like little festivals in places like the Netherlands and Norway. My top number one the best festival I ever did play was Piknik in Parken in Oslo. Little, friendly, surrounded by tripped out statues of gangs of babies fighting adults. There was a really communal backstage area with great food and all the artists hung out, Dungen played and then we went skinny dipping in Oslo fjord at midnight in the summer solstice. If I ever have to go to Glasto again it’ll be too soon.
I don’t know… Burning Man?
What’s the weirdest gift you have ever received from a fan?
Handmade socks depicting scientists. They were really good socks to be fair, and very thoughtful. The fan knew I love me some science. Still have ‘em and still wear ‘em.
If you had one message for your fans, what would it be?
Don’t idolise people for expressing a shared experience. We’re all the same, musicians just have the ability to express their feelings with soundwaves. They don’t have any special insight. Just enjoy feeling connected another human being through the medium of air vibrations. It doesn’t have to get weird.
If you could bring one rock star back from the dead, who would it be?
Awww man! My first thought was Cobain, but he probably march right back out again because he didn’t want to be here. My second thought was Lennon but… I don’t think I’d want to meet him. I think we’d clash because I can be a bit too opinionated too. My next thought was Bonham. I would love to meet him and I think he’d have learnt from his mistake and probably lay of the booze. He seemed like a big sweetheart that really hated being away from home. I’d like to pick his brains on a couple of his licks. Then I’d feel guilty about not picking George Harisson (number one bestest Beatle, he wrote everyone’s favourites and didn’t act like the big I AM) or Prince (My mrs’ favourite) or Bowie (me Mum’s favourite). Final answer? James motherfucking Brown!
What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? And what do you hate?
I love the freedom I have. I love that I can be with free jazz nerds at a squat in Lewisham one night and the next night I’m having dinner with a Billionaire in Mayfair and then I fly out to a gig in Denmark and everyone appreciates the same thing. It’s really beautiful. Everyone from the poorest to the the richest; we’re all the same and we’re all just products of our environments. Nobody’s really that different from each other. Doesn’t matter how much money you got, you’re still gonna love the Gypsy Kings. I hate being afraid to look at my bank account. Yes, I love doing what I love but my family also loves food and shelter.
If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
Consolidation of rights and royalty distribution! The amount of different types of rights and royalties and collection agencies is crazy and there’s no centralised place of registration or a way of hard-encoding this information into the audio file itself. The whole system is so anachronistic. I’ve had work stolen from me and released and never received a penny. There’s a lot of crooks and they hide in the cracks. A friend of mine found out he was missing a load of royalties from a publisher and the guy actually claimed he didn’t pay him because he thought he was dead!
Name one of your all-time favourite albums?
“Smile” by Brian Wilson. The 2004 version! What a sound. What a band. From the use of bass harmonica to the vocal harmonies and Van Dyke Parks’ lyrics! An absolute masterpiece and a massively overlooked work! Way better than any Beach Boys stuff. That album got me introduced to the love of production and arrangement.
What’s best? Vinyl, Cassettes, CD’s or Downloads?
Downloads! Easily! A lot of people don’t know this but our hearing is actually digital (sorry audiophile nerds). We have a bunch of different hairs and each vibrates and produces and electric signal and this signal goes through a process of encoding to pass to the other regions of the brain. It is digital. 44.1khz 16 bit encoding is higher fidelity than our own hearing. Vinyl warps, cassettes break and CDs skip and they’re all heavy. Digital all the way!
What’s the best gig that you have played to date?
There’s been so many. I’ve been really blessed. Some of them sound like fever dreams and some just sound like lies. Ancient ampitheatres are always enjoyable.
If you weren’t a musician, what else would you be doing?
Sound Engineer! Does that count? Non music related… I don’t know, I would have studied physics otherwise. I’d probably be designing trading algorithms for unethical bastards with big wallets.
Which five people would you invite to a dinner party?
That I don’t personally already, I presume? Trump, Bannon, Scaramucci, Johnson annnnnd Gwyneth Paltrow. Can’t stand the first four, but I’m betting that would make me look really charming and intelligent in comparison.
What’s next for the band?
A Hot Wings interview… I wish (one day I will taste the sweet taste of those spicy spicy fame wings).
What Social Media/Website links do you use to get your music out to people?
Jaffa Cakes! Are they a cake or a biscuit?
Cake! Biscuits are hard or chewy. Jaffa Cakes are neither and contain the word “cake”.
Thank you for your time. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Plastic Barricades’ new single ‘One For The Road’
Romantic and honest, gloomy and curious, melodic and melancholic, Plastic Barricades chronicle life in the troubled yet fascinating XXI century, asking questions and trying to find answers. Inspired and influenced by almighty Radiohead, Foo Fighters, Oasis, Coldplay, Muse, Death Cab for Cutie, Placebo, Nirvana and many others, the band loves to experiment with styles, sound and approach.
Based in North-West London, Plastic Barricades are Dan Kert on guitars, keyboards and vocals and Paul Love on drums. Debut album “Mechanics of Life” was released in September 2017 and is available on Spotify. Sophomore album “Self-Theories” out early 2020!
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