Recently, I had an opportunity to chat with Indie-rockers Plaid Brixx. Frontman Chris Duggan took the time to discuss the band’s upcoming self-titled EP, Star Wars and more! Read our interview below and follow the band’s journey via Twitter and their website.
How did you get started?
Twenty years ago in a galaxy far, far away I picked up a guitar and a lifelong love began. (laughs). I played in bands for most of my life up until I finally moved home after college and tried to figure out what to do with myself. My Uncle Owen told me to go pick up some power converters from Toshi Station, where I met up with Mark LeRose who had played drums for a cantina band over in Mos Eisley. I ended up asking him if he wanted to drum in a project I had started called Plaid Brixx and he accepted my crazy offer, even though we didn’t have any clue as to how to find any more people for our band. (laughs).Our first show was just us – guitar,
Our first show was just us – guitar, vocals, and drums. Eventually, we met Jared Sawaya who came to one of our shows and he was so awesome that we convinced him to join up. Once we moved off world from Tattooine to Earth things really started getting interesting. Star Wars jokes aside, I really do have an uncle named Owen and he is a really great guy, but he doesn’t live on Tattooine. (laughs).
Where do you find inspiration for your songs?
Most of my inspiration comes from the finer half of our species – the Leias, Reys and Padmes of the world, if you will. I recently attended the ASCAP Songwriter’s Expo in LA and something I heard struck a chord with me. This country producer, I forget his name, was talking about how you have to actually live your life to find inspiration for your music. This was a new concept to me, because for the last few years I have locked myself in my house and obsessively made music.
So now I am trying to go out and do more stuff beyond video games (WoW, Heroes Of The Storm, Fallout) and writing music. I am finding that inspiration comes a lot more easily to me now that I go out more! So I guess real life experiences inform my inspiration. But again, women are a huge component of that for me. Occasionally I will write about my fascination with droids, but only during pod racing season. It’s hard to find a great bar in Columbus to watch the races back on Tattooine, but we get by with Pay-Per-View. (laughs).
Are there any artists that influence you and your songwriting?
There are always different artists influencing me. Right now it’s Grimes and Mozart. I have really eclectic tastes. Movies tend to influence my writing as well, such as when Disney released that documentary about The First Order and Han Solo last December.
“The Greener Side” has a really cool dance vibe to it. How did you come up with the song?
I wrote it with an old friend from college! We took a live performance class together my senior year and then happened to cross paths again in LA. Her name’s Melody Noel and she is super talented and hilarious. We were thinking about how things were simpler when we were in school, when all we had to do was study and party and write, and tried to capture that feeling in a song about going out at night to recapture that feeling of freedom! In terms of the beat, I love reggaetón so I really wanted to do a song that reminded me of that and thought it would be great for a song about having fun.
Can you tell everyone about “The Greener Side” video? How long did it take to shoot, the concept, etc?
It was a ton of fun! Mark and Jared had never been to LA before so I think they enjoyed it more than I did (laughs)- we also took a little side detour to check out San Diego the night before the shoot! We had never shot a ‘proper’ music video before with a huge production crew so that was really crazy to us. There were 20 people on set so every take we did was like a performance – it was immensely draining. I’m not sure how actors do it, maybe you get used to all of it after a while.
We had a pro hair and makeup team and a stylist – which was also really cool but a bit overwhelming. I also was kind of bummed because I wanted to get to know everyone there but there were just too many people. Maybe it’s Midwest of me but I like to meet and talk to everyone I work around, I think it just creates a happier, more positive vibe in any scenario. I was very glad the director only made me do one take of the scene where our royal party barge is hovering over The Sarlacc Pit – a couple of crew members fell in and I was worried we would lose more!
How long does it take you guys to record an EP?
Depends on how you define EP. I can write 5 songs in a day if I need to. Will they all be worth releasing? Probably not. Our self-titled EP that is being released in July took about 8 full days to write and record, and then probably another couple of days worth of time to mix. The thing that takes the longest when it comes to releasing music is putting together the strategy behind releasing it and testing the songs with lots of people to make sure they are the right ones to release!
How does this current sound, differ from your previous EP, “Chemistry”?
We kind of went all-out pop. I have really started to love pop music in the last few years and listened to a sickening amount of Top100 stuff – I have become obsessed with watching market trends in pop music and analyzing pop production and songwriting so that may have influenced our transition a teeny bit. There is no live instrumentation on our new EP, whereas Chemistry has guitar on every song and sounds much more rock.
I think our new songs rock harder in a different way – you don’t need strings to rock out super fucking hard. I also enjoy the freedom of performing live without having to be at a mic stand while playing guitar. It is liberating in so many ways, like learning to use the Force.
Are you planning to go on the road?
Since we no longer live on Tattooine, travel is safer since we don’t have to worry about Tusken Raiders and rogue Jaws. (laughs). We are playing a lot of shows on the road this summer, you can find the listings on our website!
What else can we look forward to from Plaid Brixx?
We will never stop making music so you can count on more in the future. And you can count on us to keep evolving and growing our sound. Hopefully, we can all look forward to a Mark Hamill and Daisey Ridley training montage that rivals Rocky.