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 now, on Spotify.
Shayne speaks with Paul Love, drummer, producer and one half of London alt rock duo Plastic Barricades, as part of Noise Pollution’s on-going “Introducing..” series..
What does the band name mean to you?
There was a time when I was younger and stupider and I got rat-arsed drunk at the end of a run of shows. I ended up annoying a Kiwi guy with a load of tattoos. I was asking what I thought was a very reasonable question. I like your tattoos, what do they mean? They don’t mean bloody anything; I just have tattoos.
“Oh”, I said, “Then why have them?”
I went away, but not before ill-advisedly asking again.
Then I woke up with a plastic barricade in my dorm room.
Where is the band based?
Dan lives in London, I live in Paris. We’re big fans of the Eurostar… and the occasional £12 coach.
How long have you been together?
About a year, but Dan has been a Plastic Barricade much longer.
What style of music do you play?
Like Coldplay but warmer and more serious. Hot work. I’m sorry about the pun, it’s a serious condition. Why am I like this? Oasis but with less arseholes… Asis? We like pop songs with guitars in them. The word “indie” isn’t cool anymore, because it’s not 2005 – so we’re not that.
Give us the story of the bands formation.
Loki came down in the form of a black cat and told Dan to move to London to buy him some boots. “Why?” – Dan asked.
“Look, things don’t have to make sense. Stories are supposed to reflect humanity in all its illogical emotional range. Just go with it, stop nitpicking.”
And he went to London. Loki is 17 years old. Still no boots, but he does live in London, and Dan is working on it. When we get that big record advance the boots will be the first thing we get. I promise, Loki. Please, don’t hurt us.
Tell us about your influences.
Daniel Johnston passed away yesterday. He was a really interesting guy. Did you see his documentary? It was tragically sad, but the guy was always so optimistic on record. I saw him perform in London with Laura Marling supporting. Wonderful stuff but it felt a little wrong all these middle class kids come to watch. I question how many people identify with him and how many heard Kurt Cobain and David Bowie and followed. There’s something smelling of privilege to deify mental illness, but surely the point of art is sincerity and not technique? I don’t know how much I like it, but his impact on me is undeniable. That’s what I look for. Impact. Rhianna’s good too.
Tell us about your latest release.
We wrote and recorded a bunch of songs over the course of a year in a 2 x 4m shed. Loki entered once throughout the whole process. Dan was there most days. I helped. It’s a reflection of the times we live in. The world is very uncertain despite living in the best circumstances mankind has ever seen. How much of our pain is self-inflicted? How much do our fears affect our perception and actions? Some of the songs have handclaps. One is counted 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 instead of 1 2 3 4.
Where is your music available?
The world wide web and my hard drive. Wait, no the world wide web is a bit outdated… The information superhighway? You can stream it, there’s no physical release planned as of yet but that will probably come with the tour.
What are your goals for the bands future?
A three-part series of young adult novels and background roles in an HBO drama. Loki demands boots. It’d be nice if our songs reach such a level of ubiquity in the Anglophone world that we eventually become resented for it. That seems like a good measure of success.
If you could share the stage with any other band or artist, who would you chose?
Currently living and touring? Paul McCartney, partly because it would make my parents very happy and partly because I bloody love Wings.
What can you tell us about your live shows?
We like surprising our audience, and ourselves, as we haven’t figured out how to play these songs live yet. Our song writing approach has been a little backwards. We’re currently only two so we were recording and arranging with the ideal of no limitations. Now we have the joy of choosing how to present it to people. I like energetic shows with lots of crowd pleasing and audience interaction. Confetti cannons, giant hands with laser beams. That sort of stuff. I can’t guarantee that sort of stuff, but I do like it.
Do you have any upcoming gigs to promote?
Not as of yet. We’re itchy to get back on the road and share these songs with people though. Keep your eyes peeled.
What do you think sets you apart from other bands?
A complete lack of consciousness of the status quo. We have no idea what’s cool.
Explain why you think a new listener should give your music a go.
We’re not big fans of style or genre, not that our music doesn’t have a style or a genre, but we try to just be honest about what excites us. If that sounds like you too, maybe you’ll enjoy. Maybe not, but we hope what resonates with us resonates with others.
What has been your biggest achievement as a band, so far?
This new record, I think. We’ve just tried to have our most honest and direct expression on our own terms and I think we have that. We’ve recorded and produced it ourselves and there’s been no compromise on that. That’s rare, and also a little scary. We have no idea what people will think of it.
What else do you hope to achieve?
A 9-acre property in the south of France and a Grammy.
Where can fans find you online?
Plastic Barricades’ new single “One for the Road” was released on the 1st of October.