Dan Kert, singer, guitarist and one half of London alt rock duo Plastic Barricades sat down for a chat with Black Serpent Press
How did the band come to be?
Barricades first became plastic about a decade ago in Tallinn, the capital of small and northern Estonia. 2 bassists and 6 drummers later we are in 2020, with our second full length album due this year. It’s been one fun roller coaster so far.
Do you have any releases coming up in the new year?
Our spanking new single is called “Optimist” – and it is due on the 2nd of February. The song is accompanied by a truly DIY music video, featuring 8 houses, 8 cars, plenty of glassware, some benches and trees, a crowd of exactly 300 cast members and around 20 buckets of water. We are quite proud of both the track and the video and can’t wait to share it with the world.
What is something you want listeners to take away from your music?
A lot of Plastic Barricades songs are based on “be the change you want to see around” philosophy. You hear people complaining about things all the time, there is always a lot of negativity around. But how many of those people actually go and do something about the things they don’t like? Not enough. Self-improvement for the sake of helping others sounds like a good life goal to me. “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give” – once said Sir Winston Churchill.
With everything that is going on in our world what is one cause or organization that you are passionate about?
It is hard to choose one organization, so we try to rotate our charity donations from year to year. But I think that if everyone chose one local organization and one global organization and helped even a little, the world would be a much better place. I think the key to solving a lot of the problems is education. If we don’t spread knowledge around, we will still live in the dark ages. If you have a skill, or you’ve gained some wisdom over the years – go and share it with someone without expecting anything in return.
What is your writing process like?
Our upcoming album “Self-Theories” was all written, recorded and mixed in a 4x2 m backyard shed in north-west London. During the process both me and Paul fell in love with the DIY approach all over again. You know how they say: absence of limitations is the enemy of creativity. So we’ve embraced our limitations and dived into the world of spontaneity and chance. A lot of the music came out of thin air during a jam. It is very refreshing to just let go of any preconceptions and see what comes out of your instrument. Sometimes these coincidences felt almost metaphysical. It’s nice to still be in awe of the magic after so many years of making music.
To follow up with the last question, what inspires your sound?
Honest experimentation often leads to incredibly interesting results. It is when you try hard to sound cool it all falls apart. There is this radio station that I really like, but I cannot turn it off. It is in my head. It plays all the best music, but sometimes there is interference, so I have to listen carefully. Sometimes it drives me nuts, but most of the time I am just itching to get back into the studio and do some “fishing”.
Any tours coming up soon?
We hope to tour in summer and do some festivals along the way. Touring is fun, but it takes a lot of energy and at some point toward the end you just become numb from playing the same songs over and over and over again. But we do look forward to taking “Self-Theories” tracks on the road and making a cool interactive visual show out of them.
Anything you would like to tell our readers?
Please be kind to each other. We are all in the same boat, and it is leaking.