We had the chance to chat with London alt indie trio Plastic Barricades singer and guitarist Dan Kert, talcking questions about recording and having a beer with Dave Grohl!
Heya! Could you please introduce yourself and what you do in the band?
Dan: Hi there! Dan here, singing and guitar playing is my role in Plastic Barricades
You guys have been doing a run of shows across the UK in the last month, do you have any fun/embarrassing stories from any of the shows?
Oh yes, plenty! Touring is a perfect way to collect those kind of stories. During this tour we had a chance to sleep at a venue after the gig, first time ever. However, no one told us that there will be an epic club night till 3 am and we have to party before we are allowed to bed. The whole building was shaking. This was in Derby. The next day after a gig in Liverpool we couldn’t locate our van for hours. This had happened before. We need to load out quickly and cannot leave the van at the venue. I go and park it somewhere and then run back for the soundcheck. After the gig in Lennon’s Club it took us ages to find the van tucked into one of the narrow streets of central Liverpool.
The process of recording was more or less the same as in the last couple of years, but we did experiment a lot of vocal sounds, bass effects, synth arrangements and guitar double-tracking. Album allows you to follow a certain overarching plot, but each song has to have a bit of diversity in the sounds in any case.
Do you think there is anything you would change about the recording experience?
This is a difficult question, but I would say that starting with a very solid and great sounding drums is a must for anyone. Half of “Mechanics of Life” drum tracking was done at fab Resident Studios in North-West London – and that big drum sound made the tracks stand out nicely. So next time we will focus on getting those drums nice and fat before we worry about the rest.
Having 11 tracks on ‘The Mechanics Of Life’, each song is different. What inspirations do you use when writing your music both lyrically and musically?
Inspiration is all around! From daily news to art and literature. I like to research a subject thoroughly and “get into it” before I finalise my lyrics for recording. The album starts with the song we usually end our gigs with called How Goldfish Grow. It is based on a simple fact that if you take a goldfish and you find a big tank for it – it will grow BIG! The environment affects the size of the goldfish, the same way as our environment affect our own growth. There is a funny animated music video for this song on our YouTube channel. Then we sing about artificial intelligence helping humans get their s**** together (Singularity-2045), being able to reinvent yourselves again and again (Our Favourite Delusions), caring about the environment and throwing all the mindless consumerism away (Be the Change), looking back and overthinking it instead of moving forward (Around the Sun), searching for meaning (Needles in Haystacks), shining a light to show others the way (Shine!), finding the one intended for you (Half of your Soul), Big pharma conspiracy (Medicine Man) and mental illness (Voices). The last song of the LP – Masterminds – kind of summarises the whole experience, reminding everyone that they are the ones responsible for the things happening around them – and they can take back control!
Were there any songs that didn’t make it onto the album? If so , will they be released in the future?
We had a couple of tracks we wanted on this LP, including an new version of an old track we still play live called “9Lives”. But in the end it just didn’t fit with the rest. Who knows, maybe someday it will get a revamp.
For a growing band, you have also got a lot of personal achievements such as winning Enfield Battle of the Bands 2016 and coming second in 2016’s Sziget Festival. If you can pick one, which of these achievements do you each hold closest to your heart?
Being selected nr 1 out of 222 London bands participating in Global Battle of the Bands 2014 was pretty cool. And we got to play a show at Hard Rock Café London that year – what a legendary venue!
What do you plan to do next with Plastic Barricades? Do you have an ultimate goal?
We will be touring extensively around UK throughout 2018. European tour is also currently in the works and might happen around April. We are also starting to collect demos for LP nr 2. As for the ultimate goal – we would love to travel the world and play our music and maybe heal a heart or two. And share a case of beer with Dave Grohl.
And here is how a goldfish can conquer the world: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYpBYXMzwOg
“Mechanics of Life” album OUT on iTunes and Spotify!
You can hear the album here: https://open.spotify.com/album/71tNyY0qX5fNgTsoXD0r3t