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. http://www.plasticbarricades.eu/
Paul Love, drummer, producer and one half of London alt indie duo Plastic Barricades tackling the latest questions from Photogroupie:
TELL US ABOUT YOUR NEW ALBUM/ PROJECT?
Our new album is a bunch of songs we wrote and recorded in our shed. We started last August and we’ve just about finished up. It’s been a fun ride. I think it’s about Dan watching my daily neuroses and panic attacks as I worry about money, politics and relationships… but that may just be narcissism. It’s about survival in the modern world. How do we stay happy and sane when so much is changing around us?
WHAT INSPIRED ANY CENTRAL THEMES ON THE ALBUM?
The effect of social media and information access on our culture was the big one. Phone addiction, 24/7 news etc. It’s really changed how we live our lives minute to minute. It’s hard to focus on one thing throughout the day when we have total access to each other and constant opportunities for distraction. It’s a hopeful album though, it’s not doom and gloom. We’re still human and we have to remember our happiness and love for each other comes from within. Our problems aren’t ‘where can I find food’ anymore but ‘where can I find meaning’ and that’s not a bad problem to have.
HOW LONG DID YOU SPEND RECORDING?
We started writing last August and we have been recording as we go. It’s been a learning experience trying to achieve the best results from a 2mx3m wooden shed. We’re finishing up on the last guitar tracks and overdubs as I write. The whole process has taken just over a year. That’s not bad for two guys in a shed. We’ve recorded and mixed everything ourselves, mostly because we’re skint and have the skills (debatable) but partly thematically. We want it to sound real. We don’t time correct and we try to use single takes. There is the occasional edit but we wanted to treat the hard drive in the same way we would tape. The imperfections create character.
HOW DID YOU GO ABOUT THE SONGWRITING PROCESS?
Day by day. Bach once said “No day without a line” and this is really important. No matter what write down at least one creative thing every day. You end up with more ideas than you can possibly work on in one lifetime, then you just choose what you like. It’s much easier than writing one thing and then wondering why it’s not good enough. Art snowballs and the creative process is a matter of time rather than talent. We wrote in the same room that we recorded. Our trusty shed.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE TRACK FROM THE ALBUM?
I can’t decide between Weightless or The Great Unknown. I like big laid back songs with communal feelings. I’m interested to see what everyone else thinks. I love Optimist too, but I always get a hard on for time-signature stuff. Who doesn’t love a bit of 7/8?
WHO ARE YOUR BIGGEST INFLUENCES?
Dan loves Coldplay, Death Cab for Cutie, Oasis, Radiohead. I love The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Stevie Wonder and The Mars Volta… that might seem like quite a different list but we cross over a lot. We both just love music (although Dan will never understand my love of Julia Michaels and Justin Beiber, I’m sure).
HOW DID YOU FORM THE BAND?
Dan started the band looooong time ago and I met him when he’d just moved to London. I had a recording studio back then and he needed a rehearsal spot and I was the closest one. We got on but then we didn’t see each other for years. We got back in touch randomly, I can’t remember why. I was living in Chiswick and I was getting fed up with being a session musician. Dan was in Harlesden and was fed up with working with guys who wanted to be session musicians. It was a match made in heaven. Nothing against technical players, but the London scene is full of people playing in bands for money without really enjoying the music. It’s a little crazy, because the money’s not good. Life’s too short.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ANYONE STARTING OUT?
Find people you really love to be with and try to make them smile as often as possible. Don’t make stupid decisions because your bank account is empty. Playing big stages with people you don’t quite gel with for cash is really fun but you might find you’ve lost a lot of friends when it’s over. Don’t try to be the best, just try to be real to yourself.
WHAT IS NEXT?
Well this album is all Dan’s songs. I’m really afraid of writing words and singing, so hopefully I’ll have grown a pair in time for the next album. We’re going to keep on writing and recording until we’re sick of each other! In the short term, we’re working out how to play these songs live. Look out for the tour, we’ll have merch!