A quick conversation with The Plastics
Cape Town based psych pop band, The Plastics have been around since 2008. The band have released two EPs and two albums: “The Plastics” EP (in 2008), “Kiss The Plastics” EP (in 2009), “Shark” (in 2010) (produced by Gordon Raphael) and “Pyramid” (in 2012) (produced by Shai Caleb Hirschson).
The Plastics have been nominated for numerous awards, had three successive Top 10 national radio hits, topped numerous campus radio charts with another 5 singles, released 8 music videos, played at every major festival and extensively toured South Africa.
Throughout the years, the band has gained a cult-like following and have opened for numerous international acts since their inception in 2008. 2014 saw them touring and working on new material. In November 2014, The Plastics embarked on their first European tour, which included a slot at the prestigious Nouvelle Prague music festival and some amazing club shows in London and Berlin.
2015 brought about exciting times: The band has releases 2 new singles: ‘Table Manners’, followed by ‘All I Really Want’ (presently playlisted on national radio including 5FM). Both these singles set the tone for the band’s new album titled “In Threes” which was released in November 2015.
The Plastics won a studio recording session at the iconic Studio 301 in Sydney, with Converse Rubber Trax Global, giving them an opportunity to work with world-renowned producer and sound engineer Hector Castillo (David Bowie, Björk, Lou Reed, Suzanne Vega, Rufus Wainwright, and Philip Glass among others). International artists that have recorded at 301 include Kanye West, Lana Del Ray, Coldplay, Lady Gaga, Muse, Jay-Z, Metallica, The Black Eyed Peas, U2, Snoop Dogg, Tiesto, Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, Prince, Elton John, Bob Dylan, Stevie Nicks, INXS and Midnight Oil. In September 2015 The Plastics joined this remarkable list. Pretty damn snazzy if you ask me.
Check out The Plastics performing “All I Really Want” on SABC’s Expresso below:
I recently had a chat with Emile van Dango from The Plastics about their new album and a few other things. This is what he had to say:
What can fans expect from your new album?
Every album is a challenge to grow, to progress, to improve your complete product, and this was very true of In Threes. This album was an attempt to expand on the sounds we were using, broadening our production techniques and generally being bolder and more fearless.
Which 2 songs on the album is “a must listen to” and why?
We all feel that “The New” is quite a classic on this album. It’s just the perfect conclusion to the whirlwind of sounds and motions of the album, ending off everything with a big retro throwback, a sort of trance-like mantra. And in terms of singles, I think “Alona” was the first song where every vision we had for the album came together seamlessly. I think it’s a great marker of the bands current sound.
Which city in South Africa is your favorite to perform live in and why?
Definitely Pretoria. The best people, the best weather and the best venues like Arcade Empire and Park Acoustics.
What is the funniest thing that’s ever happened to you guys at a live show?
We played a gig once during the semi finals of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and we were booked to play after the game finished. The game ended up going to extra time as we got on stage, so we played pretty much the entire set to a crowd glued to the big screen, super annoyed at the bunch of dudes making a noise in the background.
What are your thoughts on the current state of SA Music?
There’s definitely no lack of talent, but it does seem to be a lacking some key ingredient. Compared to other major music scenes, there’s a great lack of competition, lack of money for most artists and at times, lack of industry knowledge in a few key areas.
South African bands always seem to get to a certain level of success really quickly, and then fail to push any further. Whether it’s running out of ground in the SA scene or the fear of tackling and competing with international bands, who knows.
What can expect from the Plastics in 2016?
This year is vital to moving forward and breaking some new ground. This album was a massive project, and we want to give it the life it deserves. Overseas tours have become a major priority for us, and of course, we’re dying to get started on the next project!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Emile and The Plastics for taking time to answer my questions. I’m also sending a virtual high five for the praise given to Pretoria. I wish them all of the best with their future musical endeavors.
Watch this space for regular updates in the Music and Interviews categories on Running Wolf’s Rant.
Photos by Jason Paul Hermann and Duran Levinson.