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Coast to Coast with Plastic Picnic

Plastic Picnic is comprised of four Pacific North Westerners who came together once making the trek East to Brooklyn, NY. The band’s sound is a bright mix of lush guitar tones and driving 80’s rhythms.

We sat down with the band to talk about their self-titled EP, SXSW, and being from the Pacific North West. Be sure to catch them with Arlie @ Zone One at Elsewhere Wednesday March 7th!

You released an EP a few months back, it’s bright, sunny, and dreamy. Who or what influenced these songs?

The EP though released only a few months back, was inspired heavily between my first couple years living in NYC. It was definitely an adjustment period and I think I got a little rude awakening at the less sincere parts of a large metropolitan city. I became focused on the over curation our generation and those below us seem to obsess over. The mask in many facets of youth culture, particularly in New York City nightlife seems to always be “on”. I think comparing what sincerity means through loss, relationships and self reflection became the focal point—How do we create real, sincere and intimate relationships in a world where so many compete to  appear perfect to strangers.  Though that concept isn’t very bright or dreamy, we’re big fans of juxtaposition and wanted to approach these ideas with the brighter pop nostalgia of the 1980’s.  That mixed with the collaboration of 4 friends with lots of crossover tastes led to the sonic capture of the EP.

You’re all from the Pacific Northwest but you live in Brooklyn now. What do you miss? What’s better in Brooklyn?

Oof.  Well you always want what you don’t have. One isn’t better than the other. Seattle summers rule, mountain weekends are our friends.  Being from the PNW we were definitely outdoorsy people.  Winter weekends were for snowboarding/skiing and summers we’re for beaches and campfires—all with our friends and all with a lot less humidity, so we miss those moments for sure.  Better in BK? PIZZA. ha but, seriously we eat a lot of pizza and the rumors are confirmed, Brooklyn knows.  I’d say the other thing is just the daily exposure to different experiences, the stacked architecture, the stacked culture and diversity are so exciting and I feel like I’m continually learning and experiencing new things from new people. Not that those things don’t exist in the PNW, but here you don’t have a choice to stay in a comfort zone, you have to experience new things and new people daily and I think that’s really good for you.  It’d really unifying to me—we’re all in this crazy thing together.

Who would be your dream collaborator?

We agreed it’d be Shawn Everett. He produced our favorite records of the year and does such an amazing job of creating lush unique productions while maintaining a saturated / nostalgic quality to his recordings. We geeked out pretty hard on his techniques on the Perfume Genuis and War on Drugs records in particular. He’s brilliant dude and we hope to make records that live up to his taste one day.

Congrats on playing SXSW this year! As a band, is this a an event you’ve always wanted to play?

Thanks! And yea—sx’s name resonates with any band, especially new ones.  We’re excited to experience it—we’ve played single performance festivals, but never the showcase style set-up.  We have a busy schedule lined up for the week so I think we’re a little nervous, but excited to work hard and meet a lot of people.  Sunshine, tacos and music—hard not to be excited.

Who’s your favorite new band/musician?

Japanese Breakfast. Her newest record was a perfect follow up to the debut we fell in love with. Plus her and Jay Som crack us up on instagram. Her music is a beautiful and sparkly capture of sincere pain I think— something we admire she does so well is approaching dark content with an often juxtaposed sonic landscape, something we tried to do on our own EP. Emo music doesn’t always have to be depressing and she proves that powerfully. We also would just like to get a beer with her because she seems like a hilarious and cool human. Fingers crossed that dream comes true. JB rules.

Interview by Fred Desmond

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