Ahead of their appearance at the upcoming Edgetival, Camilla Cassidy talked with London-based, alt indie rock band Plastic Barricades about their favourite songs to play, favourite venues and who they’d most love to work with.
The Edge has been a Plastic Barricades fan for years, and we’re very excited for the album release for Mechanics of Life! Is it different writing songs for an album, as opposed to for single release? Does it feel like a big moment?
Dan Kert (vocals, guitar): We did try several different approaches to writing music together over the last year, but I don’t think there can really be any strict rules or principles, every song will still require a very personal approach. Mechanics of Life release is just a couple of months away and we are currently finalising the mixes and the last bits of arrangement for the tracks. It does feel very exciting and a bit scary at the same time but we are all very proud of the results and eager to share them with the world.
Daniele Borgato (bass guitar): The writing process can be different, mainly because there is a concept throughout the album. And yes, releasing an album is a big moment, a culmination of all the time spent composing, arranging, recording, and producing the album.
Jonas Svendsen (lead guitar): I think the process for writing songs is pretty much the same, it’s just choosing the combination of songs to include in the album and so on that makes it a bit different.
Do you have favourite songs, or would that be like choosing between your children?
Frazer James Webster (drums): I like all of the songs we’ve worked on but I have to say ‘Half Of Your Soul’ is up there. But I think ‘How Goldfish Grow’ is my favourite overall song.
Daniele: Yes, I do have favourites and I think that is pretty normal. The songs are influenced by all of us, therefore they resonate differently with each member of the band. But my favourites keep changing. But it’s not like choosing between your children, how would you feel about selling them then?
Dan: For me it usually depends on the mood, also some songs are favourite on the records, others are especially adored live. For me our latest single ‘Half Of Your Soul’ has all the elements in the right proportion – melodic content, lyrical message, honest drive, and arrangement. You can have a look at the music video as well!
Jonas: Yeah for sure, I think we’ve all got our favourite songs for different reasons. Mine are ‘Our Favourite Delusions’ and ‘How Goldfish Grow’, for me they’re always the most fun to play.
You’ve played some amazing venues – has there been a favourite?
Dan: When I was a kid and first time came to London I was fascinated by the Hard Rock Café London and its epic guitar collection, I was even allowed to hold Kurt Cobain’s Fender. A decade later we’ve played a gig there as UK finalists of Global Battle of the Bands competition. That was definitely a very special night.
Jonas: I can’t really pin point a favourite but I always enjoy the smaller underground venues, I like the atmosphere and playing in those kinds of spaces.
Frazer: Probably the Barfly in Camden (London), the crowd were singing the lyrics to our song ‘Shine!’ during the choruses and were all around energetic, and that’s always what you want as a band playing live.
Since we last spoke, you’ve gone from a trio to quartet – will growing your ranks help influence the Plastic Barricades sound?
Frazer: Every time you change a factor in a band from something as small as the guitar strings or a pedal, to a band member it will influence the sound. So of course the addition of a fourth member has helped broaden our influences and overall sound quite a lot but we are still us.
Daniele: Each member of the band influences the new songs so the answer to your question is yes. I think that going from a trio to a quartet changes the environment a lot, especially the space for each instrument in the mix.
Dan: And there are more people to get into heated debates with – that is always fun!
If you could collaborate with any other bands or artists, who would you aspire to work with?
Jonas: I wouldn’t mind working with someone on the more electronic side of things, to make something really different, I’ve been listening to a lot of Flying Lotus again recently so working with someone like that would be really interesting.
Frazer: That’s a difficult question for me but as a band I’m sure we would love to work with anyone who’s passionate and hardworking!
Dan: I would love to work with Chris Wall and his wonderful Soft Bullets (and reformed Air Traffic), he is one of the most talented British songwriters and singers that I know. And across the pond I would be honoured to write a tune or two and gig around with The Shins and Death Cab for Cutie, these guys with their melodies and honesty keep giving me goose bumps.
You can catch Plastic Barricades at the upcoming Edgetival – you can get tickets by visiting the event here.