Interview with Plastic Barricades
Dan Kert, guitarist, singer and one half of London alt rock duo Plastic Barricades sat down for a chat with Voices in My Head:
SPR (VIMH): Hi guys, congrats on your new single “Optimist”!
Plastic Barricades: Thank you! We’ve been humbled and overwhelmed with the response our new single has been getting and are excited to see it travel the world so quickly. SPR (VIMH): What is the significance of naming an album “Self-Theories”? Plastic Barricades: The upcoming album name came to me after stumbling upon Carol Dweck’s fascinating physcology research into mindsets and personalities, that she calls Self-Theories. Google this – it is absolutely brilliant. SPR (VIMH): What do the lyrics talk about? Which are your major lyrics’ influences? Plastic Barricades: I believe that global change starts within a single individual. Self-improvement is extremely important and in today’s world it is also much easier, with all the knowledge that the Internet holds. Learning to be the best version of yourself and then using your knowledge to help others sounds like a nice purpose in life. Lyrics on “Self-Theories” talk a lot about perseverance, optimism and kindness, but also touch subjects like acceptance of the circumstances you cannot change and need for more empathy in the world. I know I sound like a hippie, but people DO need to be kinder to one another today. SPR (VIMH): Which are those elements that separate your new album from your previous albums? Plastic Barricades: Our debut LP “Mechanics of Life” came out in 2017 – and I think we were quite a different band back then. “Self-Theories” is much less bombastic, we are not trying to prove anything to anyone. This is a more intimate album, with much more sincere production. We’ve learned to embrace our limitations and were on the look for those special spontaneous sounds and noises. All songs were written, recorded and mixed in a backyard shed – so very much down-to-earth DIY approach. SPR (VIMH): How would you characterize “Optimist” and what are your expectations from the new album? Plastic Barricades: “Optimist” is the second single from our upcoming album – and it holds a special place in our hearts. The song was written around this guitar riff in 7/8 time signature, that was just bouncing in my head one gloomy winter day of 2018. Paul (drummer) quickly found an appropriate beat and the song was basically written on the spot. With its determined tone and forward-moving energy it helped us to fight the doom and gloom and made us smile every time we played it in the studio. And then we had so much fun filming the music video for it with our art-director Elina – go check it out, it is quite something! SPR (VIMH): Do you prefer to be on the road or on the studio writing and recording? Plastic Barricades: Both in good balance, please! Rock band’s life is usually quite cyclical: you spend a years recording and a year touring the record. Both disciplines are equally important, but they require quite different set of skills. You need to be more of an introvert to be productive in the studio and an extrovert to keep entertaining crowds and talking to the press on the road. SPR (VIMH): How did you come up with the name Plastic Barricades? Plastic Barricades: I will quote our drummer and producer Paul Love here, he came up with this brilliant explanation recently: "Plastic barricades give the impression of a barrier, but they can be very easily moved or pushed over. They’re kind of fake but they also don’t rot. Our mental barriers are pretty much the same. They’ll always be there but we have moments of clarity where they can be pushed over, moved or just ignored. You can be anything you want to be and you can make anything you want to make it all just takes time, effort, belief and Love" SPR (VIMH): How would you describe your music style to someone that hasn’t heard of you before? Plastic Barricades: Two guys in a backyard shed making noises and not trying to be cool or hip. SPR (VIMH): Which do you consider to be the best male & female vocalist in rock history? Plastic Barricades: It is hard to beat Kurt Cobain and Chris Cornell when it comes to singing your heart out. As for female vocals – I always felt in love with the soothing and sweet voice of Nina Persson of The Cardigans. SPR (VIMH): Which is the record you wish you had written and why? Plastic Barricades: This is difficult question to answer, because every record I love came in existence in certain context and certain time. But writing “OK Computer” together with Radiohead would be pretty special, although it might have been a really painful process, after the success of much more commercial “Creep” and the following album “The Bends”. SPR (VIMH): Were you obliged to give just one album to extraterrestrials that would represent the whole human music, which album would it be and from which band/artist? Plastic Barricades: I don’t think I would give them an album – that sounds like an impossible task. Instead, I would invite them to some festivals around the planet and let them decide who they like best, secretly hoping they won’t go crazy for Ed Sheeran or 50 Cent.
SPR (VIMH): If you had the chance to travel in time… where would you choose to go? To the past or the future and why? Plastic Barricades:Going to the future sounds quite scary, according to all the current research the future most probably won’t be pretty. Going too far back in time is even scarier, humanity went through some very dark times. I think I would like to visit 1920s Paris and hang with the great writers of the time and then move on to 1950s USA to witness the birth of rock-n-roll and the electric guitar.
“Optimist”, the second single from the upcoming LP “Self-Theories” IS OUT NOW!
“Optimist” video: https://youtu.be/IHOLEtYj7oM
"Optimist " facts:
· The song was written, recorded and mixed in a backyard Shed Studio in North-West London and mastered by legendary Andy “Hippy” Baldwin at Metropolis Studios.
· Music video for the single, created by PB art-director Elina Pasok, was filmed in a bedroom. None of the 300 cast members were harmed during the shoot, although one house and one car were destroyed in the end.
· Can you hear Paul saying “Again!” in the very beginning of the song? To us this IS optimism!
· Single release date – 2nd of February 2020
· “Self-Theories” LP due in summer 2020
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, Snow Patrol, The Shins, Nirvana and many others, the band loves to experiment with styles, sound and approach.
Based between London and Paris, Plastic Barricades are Dan Kert on guitars and vocals and Paul Love on drums.