IndiePulse Interviews Plastic Barricades
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 guitar, keyboards and vocals and Paul Love on drums.
Since relocating to London in 2012, PB has been nominated for “Oxjam Band of the Year 2014” and “MTV Brand New 2014”, voted #1 out of 222 bands participating in Hard Rock Cafe London Global Battle of the Bands competition, won Camden Rocks 2014 Battle of the Bands, got nominated for “Brand New Artist 2015”, landed 2nd place in Sziget Festival 2015 band competition and won Enfield Battle of the Bands 2016 and Songwall’s “Songs in the Sky” competition.
In February 2014 Plastic Barricades were voted to #1 out of 222 bands participating in Hard Rock Cafe London Global Battle of the Bands competition and played a sold out gig at the notorious London venue. On the 24th of March the band released their new single „Shine!” – an ode to self-improvement and taking chances in the world where it’s very easy to get lost. Single received a warm welcome from the press media. In May PB have won Camden Rocks Battle of the Bands and played at the massive North London festival.
On the 16th of June 2014 trio introduced their second single from the upcoming album called “Masterminds”. Anyone can be a mastermind of his life, all he needs is to take full control and responsibility and make the best of it, strive for happiness, success, exploration and constant improvement. “There are no limits, just frontiers!”.
2015 was dedicated to writing and recording the debut album with a working title “Mechanics of Life”. Meanwhile, “Shine!” and “Masterminds” were invading more and more ears, getting a lot of international media attention and extensive airplay in UK, Europe, USA, Canada and Japan. Trio introduced 4 new songs from the upcoming album – “Around the Sun”, “Singularity-2045”, “Our Favourite Delusions” and “Voices” at Solarsphere Music and Astronomy Festival in Wales and Oxjam Charity Festival in London.
On the 18th of June 2016 Plastic Barricades were named winners of Enfield Battle of the Bands and played a very special set at a charity festival set on the grounds of a 17th century Forty Hall mansion. In August 2016 Songwall named PB winners of their “Songs in the Sky” competition. Main judge – ex-singer of legendary Inspiral Carpets Tom Hingley said the following about band’s “Around the Sun” single: “..breezy, energetic with an underlying melancholic lyrical structure redolent of the Boo Radleys”. The winners were invited to play a stripped down set to an intimate crowd at a penthouse of the classic 1960s Rotunda skyscraper in Birmingham. You can find a video with performance of “Half of your Soul” from that evening on Songwall website and YouTube.
Romantic and heartfelt “Half of Your Soul” was released as a single on the 7th of October and pretty quickly got picked up by more than 200 radio stations in UK, Europe, Japan, North America and Canada. The song even managed to break into Indie TOP 10 charts, landing 10th place for a week in November. String of London shows and traditional Oxjam Charity Festival concluded the gigging year of 2016. In December Dan and Jonas took a boat to the Isle of Wight and have spent several days mixing the remaining songs for “Mechanics of Life” at Bad Cow studios with Carl Perkins at the desk.
First half of 2017 was spent relentlessly working on the final arrangements and mixing for the album. Last song off “Mechanics of Life” LP to come out as a single was a gig favourite indie number “How Goldfish Grow”, accompanied by band’s first ever ANIMATED music video. The song got great reviews and very positive reaction not only from the British media, but also from journalists in USA, Japan and Canada.
“Mechanics of Life” album was released on the 14th of September 2017. The band played the album launch party at London’s Camden Proud and embarked on a 11 date trek around UK, including a show at the legendary Cavern Club in Liverpool and a headline slot at the Oxjam Islington Charity Festival.
Brand new chapter in the “Plastic Barricades” saga started on the 2nd of May 2018, when the band revealed that they got a new sticksman – Paul Love. A long-time friend, Paul has joined PB in the most exciting times, with album number 2 in the works. Riding the fresh wave of artistic inspiration and experimentation, the rest of 2018 and first half of 2019 was spent locked in the Shed Studio, writing, recording and mixing LP#2 with the working title “Self-theories”. By July 2019 the album has 11 tracks in different stages of mixing.
The first single from the upcoming release is called “One for the Road”. This song was inspired by Jack Kerouac’s iconic “On the Road” novel and will be released together with a trippy music video, containing a lot of amateur footage from the late 1950s. Preliminary release date for the single is currently the 1st of October 2019.
IndiePulse Music Magazine had the amazingly wonderful honor to interview Dan Kert, singer and guitarist of Plastic Barricades on their story and the road ahead.
IPM: Dan, How would you describe the band as you are today
We are London alt indie duo Plastic Barricades – and we’ve just released our latest single “One for the Road” from the upcoming sophomore LP. We have a special poem, that comes handy when describing our sound. Here it is:
Shimmering bass and ringing guitars
Meaningful lyrics healing your scars
Heart-breaking beat put on repeat
Mystical keyboards make us complete
Curious, happy, honest and sad
Future of mankind makes us gloomy and mad
Don’t try to run, nowhere to hide
There is no escape from our little Plastic Tribe!
IPM: What inspired you to write music like you do
Fascination with the world we live in today won’t let me sleep at night, so writing songs is the only real way out. Curiosity and search for the answers drive a lot of creativity.
IPM: Tell us about the other members of the band, and of your chemistry.
We’ve been a 3-piece for a very long time and went through many line-up changes over the last decade. Today it is just me and Paul – and we feel totally free to create whatever we can come up with. This total freedom is absolutely mindboggling and very enjoyable, but it could only be achieved after we both (in separate bands) went through all the classic pitfalls of songwriting, band leading, personal relationship dramas, touring exhaustion and etc. Now we have a recording studio in a backyard shed and hundreds of gigabytes of raw unrefined and unedited music, right from the heart. It has been a very productive year.
IPM: What are or were some of the challenges for you in producing or performing while keeping true to your vision of your music.
I try to write every day; I show up to work so my muse knows where to find me. Some days are productive, other’s not so much. The biggest challenge for so many songwriters is to let go of any expectations, forget about the trends and just embrace who they are. Searching for your own voice is the ultimate goal. Producing is a bit more technical, so we are learning by doing. Every day. Stick a mic in front of an amp, adjust the gain and hit record. Catching spontaneity in a recording is such a magical moment, but it is hard to stop overthinking sometimes. I used to consider myself a perfectionist – and it was hard to get out of my own head sometimes. Now I just absorb and write, record and edit, with no expectations or now ambition. It is very refreshing.
IPM: Tell us about some of your recent work.
We’ve spent the last year in the studio, because we wanted to focus on the creative process. When you are out on the road playing gigs it is quite hard to stop. But we both miss gigging very much, so keep your eyes peeled for tour announcements in early 2020.
IPM: Any Albums coming out soon or shows you are looking to tell our readers about?
Our second full-length LP will be called “Self-Theories” and it will be out sometime in the first half of 2020. We are very proud of these 12 songs, because we feel they are very true to who we both are in this moment in our lives. First single “One for the Road” is out now, second single “Glaring Screens” will be out on the 1st of February.
IPM: Any “strange tales” or things that may have happened during a show that seemed too weird to be true?
Travelling to a city you’ve never been to and then having the audience sing your songs back to you still feels quite surreal. But nothing can beat when you’ve just finished a gig, went out back for some fresh air, the backstage door locked behind you – and then the mighty security guy on the front door won’t let you in because you are wearing sneakers (Converse, to be precise). That happened to us in Nottingham – and it was quite funny at first, but then almost ended in an epic fight between our former drummer and the guard.
IPM: Where do you see your music going, where would you like to be in the near future, goals, dreams and passions?
We cannot wait to unleash our next album onto the world next year – and we are very excited to be back on stage. Touring USA is definitely a life-long dream. Hanging out with Dave Grohl and Ben Gibbard would be another dream, that needs to be fulfilled. As for the music – it always takes us somewhere new and exciting, and we are always keen on those adventures. Bring it on!
IPM: What would you like our readers to know about you.
Storytelling is important, we always try to provide context to the songs on our gigs, so it becomes a collaborative journey through time and space. Honesty in music is crucial, but honesty can sometimes be brutal. But don’t be afraid – we are here to heal your wounds and conquer your heart.
IPM: Where can our readers find your music?
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I like “Half of Your Soul.” Not surprised to hear the Foo Fighters are among their influences. Both bands strike a really good balance of melodic and rocky.