Australian guitar maestro Plini has fast become a firm favourite of the Tech Fest crowd. After a transcendental set on last year’s Early Bird Thursday, Plini returned to hit up the Carillion Guitars Main Stage on Friday afternoon just before Intervals – whose main man Aaron Marshall played second guitar for Plini, and vice versa – as well as hitting up that evening’s Super Jam after party. Earlier in the afternoon we chatted to the Sydneysider about political leanings, sad bass solos, and this one time he held an albino snake…
Plini’s debut album Handmade Cities drops August 26th. Read our review of his last EP The End Of Everything here!
What’s up? I’m Plini, and I play in a band called The Time Travelling Avocado. That’s my interesting fact as well. It symbolises jet lag.
Who should be the next British PM?
I’m not the biggest expert on UK politics, but I think Jeremy Corbyn is a pretty sick dude. Do you know the graph that has Left/Right/Progressive/Conservative etc. on it?
Well, I’m on like the upper left of that, and while I don’t know an awful lot about him, a lot of other people I know who tend to align with me on a lot of things support him. So maybe him? Or maybe a panel of scientists and artists instead of a PM, because they’re always fucking up. Even Barack Obama who seems like a sick dude, also does shit things, so maybe it’s time to move on from that system, and have some change. OR, Tosin Abasi. He’s slick as fuck, and do a good job.
Best thing about being in a band?
Hanging out with your friends and making music.
Not making that much money. No, actually, I don’t agree with that, that’s not the worst thing because I don’t care about that stuff. Now that I’ve started touring more, it’s been tough on my girlfriend and friends back at home. When you go on tour with people you’re in like best friend mode with them, and then you come home and you feel like you know relative strangers you spent a few months with better than the friends you’ve had for years. I don’t even know if that’s the worst, it’s just a weird state of flux to live in.
Playing strange noises I made in my bedroom and have it be a job. It’s a mind blowing thing. It’s completely inconsequential. I spend my time at home EQing the pick attack of a guitar and now it’s resulted in me touring and getting up on stage to an audience. It’s a strange concept.
Best tour story?
Do you want disgusting or fun?
You can go disgusting if you want!
Na, that’s mean to the person. I’ll keep it light. On our last U.S. tour, we had a lot of great days. We got to Portland and there was great weather. Our band manager woke us up and treated us to this famous donut place for breakfast, which was awesome. And then the donut guy came to the show later and brought us all specially made donuts with our band names on. Finished sound check, it was all great, we were walking all around and the sun was setting. It was just beautiful, a real “wow, we’re doing this” moment. Those times are the best.
Photo by Evie Murphy
Worst tour story?
I guess for me personally, before we did that U.S. tour. The U.S. sucks to get visas for. I had good immigration lawyers who were helping me with it all and it all went through and everything, but then the day before I was set to go I got an emergency request through for more identification, where someone judging it not agreeing with it and they wanted more information and evidence before it could be approved again.
So it was just a week spent not sleeping trying to communicate with the lawyers in New York time so I could get it moving and make it happen. It was really stressful. That was probably the worst because so much preparation and anticipation and then some stupid shit, possibly throwing the whole thing off.
We had some really good times in Japan. Wasn’t necessarily crazy, but it was the first proper international touring I’d done, and just finishing a show in Tokyo was insane, and then going out partying for a night, and it was wild. And then you got to do it all over again the next day. It’s not really crazy, but it was when it really hit home about how fun and cool touring could be.
When we were in Dallas, there were some kids outside the show that were super fucking high. Someone I hope knew one of them and we ended up going back to their place. They were typical 18 year-olds, and the place was like from a TV show. Really nice, someone else was clearly paying for it, aquariums and shit. Then someone busted out a pet rat, and we were just sitting there with this rat running around, and then they busted out an albino snake for me to hold. It’s not crazy, it’s just one of those moments where I’m like “how the fuck did I get here?”
If you could trade a member of your band for someone famous, who would it be?
I could my bassist for Seth Rogen, because apparently nobody would be able to tell the difference. Ooooh, I could trade my second guitarist, who’s currently Aaron (Marshall, Intervals) for Jared Leto, and then I’d have a singer and be famous as fuck! (Laughs)
Song association! Funeral?
That’s brutal. I guess that’s the kinda shit I need to think about at some point…probably like a string quartet arrangement of a bunch of shit that I like, a Dream Theater song maybe.
A string quartet…..(laughs). I haven’t thought about what my wedding would be like, but I’d definitely get a sick cover band and have them throw some Michael Jackson in there. Human Nature.
Let’s just go with another Michael Jackson son “Speed Demon“.
A new Disperse song I heard last night. I don’t know what it’s called, but you’ll know it when you hear it. It’s the happiest song I’ve ever heard. Or more specifically, it’s the song that’s made me happiest of any music I’ve heard recently.
Photo by Evie Murphy
“Toxic Garbage Island“, probably. That’s pure anger. Have you seen that website, toxic garbage island? It’s just a plastic bag and that part of the song just played on a loop.
The Art Of Dying is one of my favourite records
Me too! Have you heard their new one?
I haven’t. Basically, I’ve seen people either say it’s the most amazing thing ever, or it’s utter shit and they’ve sold out and should die in a fire. So, I’ve just avoided it, and I’ll wait a year when no one is talking about it anymore.
Yeah, I get that. I’ve seen people say that stuff too. It;s not really either to be honest, but I really like it. It still feels honest, it’s just a lot less angry.
Exactly. For me, if you’re less angry, and as a result, you make a less angry record, that’s not selling out. You’re still following your emotions and being honest about how you feel. It’s not like say, KoRn who are now rich, and Jonathan Davis brags in Playboy magazine about how laid he gets, but then they go into studio and whine about school bullies for the 15th album in a row. THAT’S selling out.
Bit of self promotion. The second track on my new album, which I can’t tell you the name of yet, but there’s a bass solo that’s just the saddest thing I’ve ever heard. When it was first sent to me, I actually put it in the wrong place, it was like half a bar out, but in context it actually made it sound sadder. Holy shit man, you just brought this album down, or up, 10 levels of sadness.
“The Way You Make Me Feel” by Michael Jackson
The intro tape to “Moment Marauder” by Intervals. The whole set is pretty bouncy and everything, but that little tape comes on and it’s like the kind of shit where you’re lying in bed hiding from a serial killer. Not the actual song, but just the pre-song filler. I’m being useless because people can’t hear this stuff.
“Octavarium” by Dream Theater.