Interview: Melbourne’s Dear Plastic
Carol Bowditch chats to Scarlette Baccini from Melbourne trip hop/electro outfit, Dear Plastic, about art, Nick Cave and getting DIY with synthesisers:
How long have you been performing as Dear Plastic? How did you form as a band?
We’ve been performing as Dear Plastic for nearly two years now. Josh (keys), Danny (guitar) and myself had played together before in a little alt-pop band, using electronic beats that we’d made ourselves – very poorly. After a short break we decided that we needed a real percussion section if we were to start playing again, so we got Cory and Nathan on board, and went in a slightly different direction.
You site Björk and Portishead as influences. Which Australian groups are you enjoying listening to/are influenced by?
There are so many fantastic local acts to rave about. We absolutely love Sleep Decade and BJ Morriszonkle – BJ is just out there, and Sleep Decade floor us every time, their sets are mesmerising. I also listened to a lot of Nick Cave growing up, and I’d say he’s been a significant influence for me. Actually, my mum met him once in the 80’s just after a show with The Bad Seeds. She went to a party in his silver Jaguar and sang ‘Karma Chameleon‘ – he said she had a nice voice!
You create the artwork for the band. Do you think it is important to be creative in other ways than just music, for example, through fashion and art?
It’s certainly been important for me – I’m an illustrator as well as a musician, and when I’m feeling stuck in one creative field I find it very helpful to switch to the other. Nathan is also a visual artist, and Danny is a graphic designer who does a little bit of film-making – I guess once you try one creative outlet it’s easy to be lured toward others.
I read that you build your own synths. Why do you do this?
Josh and Nathan are into modular synths in a big way. They build their own filters and LFO modules. Here’s what Josh said when I posed this question to him: “Once you get into the analog modular world your options are pretty much endless if you can go DIY – there’s nothing quite like modular synths for control possibilities and the massive sound.” I’d say they do it because they are obsessive nerds.
What do you have in store for the future? Gigs? New releases?
We have a heap of gigs coming up, which is exciting, but scary because I’ve been having some voice issues recently. I’ve been told I need to stop talking for a while – my friends will be glad! We’re also working on two more videos for songs from our upcoming debut album, ‘The Thieves are Babes’, which will be out early next year.
Finally, how would you describe your band in three words…
Melodramatic, dark, nerdy.
Keep up to date with Dear Plastic on Facebook and/or catch them live in their homeland at the Ding Dong Lounge on March 28th, in Melbourne.
Interview by Carol Bowditch.