By Nicholas Jason Lopez
What do eight houses, eight cars, glassware, benches, trees, 300 cast members and approximately 20 water buckets all have in common?
They make up the DIY-style music video of “Optimist,” the second single from alt indie duo Plastic Barricades, off their upcoming LP ‘Self-Theories,’ due out this summer.
Based between London and Paris, Plastic Barricades is currently Guitarist/Vocalist Dan Kert and Drummer Paul Love.
The Music Bugle had the opportunity to chat with Love about the new single and other recent happenings.
Music Bugle – How was the experience shooting the “Optimist” music video?
Paul Love – So much fun! I’m a big fan of miniatures work and special FX, so it was great to be involved. I never usually get to take part in making music videos. Elina (the secret Plastic Barricade) did an absolutely incredible job. I love the colors. The hardest part was getting the giant fish tank delivered without it getting cracked.
Music Bugle – What are your overall thoughts on “One For The Road” as a song?
Paul Love – I’m really proud of it! I was really burnt out and Dan got in touch after we hadn’t seen each other for years. He came back into my life at just the right time and reminded me to make music for the pure love of it. “One For The Road” was one of the first songs we wrote together for this album. It’s pretty special for that reason. It’s a bit rough around the edges. We were figuring out how to get the best out of our shed still. I’d been so used to having all the fancy equipment and electronics and mixing in places like The Church. It was like being a teenager again, not caring what other people thought of it, if a label thought it sounded modern enough or trying to fit in with the radio.
Music Bugle – What can fans expect from your upcoming music? How do you think it will be received?
Paul Love – We’re trying to release the lead singles in a kinda chronological order. We want the audience to experience us making the album. The album is about our relationship with ourselves and our art. That’s why we recorded and mixed it all in our shed. We wanted these songs to be the truest representation of ourselves. The musical equivalent of a self-portrait, so expect them to sound bigger and better as we go.
Music Bugle – What are your most meaningful song/set of lyrics?
Paul Love – “Is the glass you hold half empty?/Are you gonna fill it up again?/Drink it till the very end/Find the light; don’t curse the darkness/There are many pathways to explore/Labyrinths with open doors/For an optimist.” I swear it’s not because it’s the next single! I think it’s really important for the world. There’s a lot of pessimism around right now, even though we’ve all got magical touchscreen super computers in our pockets and live in the most peaceful time in human history. Like Bane says in “Dark Knight Rises,” “Victory has defeated you!” We need to pull our heads out of our asses and look at the ways to fix our problems. There’s a lot of problems, but even more solutions.
Music Bugle – What inspired your act’s name?
Paul Love – The idea that any limitations are temporary and surpassable, “all barricades are plastic.” The only things that can stop us are our own inhibitions.
Music Bugle – What differences would you say exist between playing your music in the studio against onstage?
Paul Love – I love being in the studio and crafting everything in perfect detail, like a painter or an auteur director editing his film, but it doesn’t beat the pure thrill of making a huge audience of people move to your rhythm. That’s a visceral connection with people a recording can never hope to replicate.
Music Bugle – What are your plans for 2020?
Paul Love – Release this album, have a baby, move houses, write another album, produce some more albums, learn French and hopefully find some time to tour in between all that.
Music Bugle – What hasn’t Plastic Barricades accomplished yet?
Paul Love – A number one album and a slot at Glasto. Financial independence would be lovely too, but we’re not exactly hurting. We have wonderful places to live and even better friends and family. We’re very blessed.
Music Bugle – Who are your musical influences and how have they helped shape your sound?
Paul Love – Woowee. What hasn’t influenced us!? I love all sorts, but I’m sure you don’t wanna hear me talk about Olivier Messiaen and Kanye West. Dan and I both love guitar music from the 90s: Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Oasis, Blur, Coldplay, Weezer. We like raw, gritty and honest… and weird chords… and offset guitars. I haven’t got a maple kit yet though. I can’t help but sound like The Beatles. I grew up in Merseyside.
Music Bugle – When did that “aha” moment happen that made you happy to be a duo?
Paul Love – When Dan and I were recording some percussion overdubs together. We were clackin’ each other’s clave like Goten and Trunks performing fusion. I hadn’t laughed that hard in a while.