North London’s Plastic Barricades are a trio of dreamers. Using their melodic indie tunes Dan, Daniele and Frazer contemplate their thoughts on life, the world we have built, and their place in it using an infusion of influences and original hooks. In late 2017 the band released “The Mechanics Of Life” and took the album on tour around the country, spreading their sincere and thoughtful musings and melodies to new audiences. I caught up with founding member Dan Kert to find out what drives Plastic Barricades.
If you were explaining Plastic Barricades to someone who hadn’t heard your music before, how would you describe sound?
We actually have a very precise poem that describes us:
Shimmering bass and ringing guitars
Heart-breaking beat put on repeat
Mystical keyboards make us completeCurious, 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!
The name Plastic Barricades has been around for the better part of the decade, and the current line-up has been active for 4 years now. I’d just moved to London and was scouting for the most passionate musicians I could find. The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance in Kilburn happened to be just around the corner, and Frazer and Dani just happened to be the best of the best. It was love at first sight.
All three of us have very different musical tastes, so we try to combine those into something that is truly ours. Frazer adores Snarky Puppy, Newton Faulkner and Dave Matthews Band, Dani is into Led Zeppelin, Muse and 1970s’ stuff and I really love Radiohead, early Coldplay, late Biffy Clyro, all of The Shins and Death Cab for Cutie, as well as Razorlight and Nirvana.
Playing live is an essential part of any rock band – because where else would you get that energy exchange? I do like to give a bit of context before each song we play, so the audience can not only listen to the music, but also think about some important things. And maybe even come home afterwards and decide to be a better human being, maybe even inspire a friend or two to do the same.
There’s a very dreamy, near surrealist nature to the atmosphere that surrounds Plastic Barricades, is this intentional or is it something that happened naturally?
We always try to compose naturally, we never want to force a certain mood into a new song. Our songs are reflections of who we are. Honesty is very important here.
Lyrically your songs are intricate and thought provoking, which provides a wonderful correlation with the general softness of your overall sound, is having that symbiotic relationship important to you?
As a lyricist I feel that I have a certain responsibility – to inspire my audience and give them something important to think about. But most of the time, music comes first, so it is the music that dictates what the next song is going to be about.
You’ve mentioned before that when producing Mechanics Of Life you did research into the topics you address in the songs, what makes you want to produce well-informed music as well as writings from personal experiences?
I do like to try to get into a different headspace and explore subjects that I haven’t experienced myself. Personal experiences make a great song, but we are all limited in some sense. I like to tell stories about other people, not just myself. Note to fellow songwriters: TED talks are an immense source of song topics and inspiration.
You have just completed a very successful UK tour and received some shining reviews for Mechanics Of Life, does positive support and feedback mean a lot to you as a band?
It is amazing to write a song, then play it live to your friends and record it for posterity – and then suddenly read an in-depth review of it from Australia. Or the USA. Or any other part of the world we’ve never been to. Music has no boundaries, no borders, it doesn’t need passports or visas or any of that nonsense. Positive support means a lot, but we could never have imagined that the messages of “Mechanics of Life” would be universally understood around the globe.
Where do you see the band headed to in the future, are there dreams or aspirations you are yet to achieve?
Touring the world was always a dream of ours, and we will keep playing gigs and releasing new material. But the main aspiration was and always will be to write good songs that could heal wounds and conquer hearts, and to bring positive emotions and deep thoughts in these turbulent times. And here is how a goldfish can conquer the world: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYpBYXMzwOg
Hear more from the band on their YouTube
The Mechanics Of Life is available on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon Music & GooglePlay Music
To find out more about Plastic Barricades check out their website