Plini about constant touring and the Australian secret
Hi Plini, how has it been on the road for more than one month with Tesseract?
It was great! Every single show has been good, I loved everyone in Tesseract and in Astronoid, the opening band. We haven’t had a single problem – it was almost like a holiday.
It has been three years since your first tour in Europe, and after the North American tour you are coming back to tour Europe this summer, including some festivals, like Be Prog my Friend (29-30/06). Would it be too much to talk of a skyrocketing career?
I guess you could say that. In terms of the touring I’ve been very lucky. I have been writing music for almost 15 years and releasing music for almost 6 years, and I guess I just didn’t really start playing live until recently. I have been lucky to play on tours with the likes of Animals As Leaders and Tesseract. That’s been really helpful.
Steve Hackett will be playing in Barcelona, too. For a young guitarist, how is it to play on the same stage as such a veteran?
Oh, it’s crazy, because I mean pretty much everyone on that festival to me are like professional, famous artists, whereas I just see myself as some random person from a bedroom, so it’s like a little dream. Actually, the band I’m most looking forward to see is Baroness. I’ve been a huge fan since the Red Album came out [2007, editor’s note] and I’ve only seen them once about 5 years ago – so that’s exciting!
Talking about big names, who made you pick up a guitar and learn playing it in the first place?
I guess I picked it up for no reason in particular and started learning stuff like Green Day, Blink 182 and Oasis, like everyone does. But I think when I found Dream Theater and Steve Vai, that’s when I realized you could do so much with the instrument and with using the instrument in the context of songwriting.
Of course, your name is on the tour poster, but would you introduce us to your tour band?
For almost all shows this year – India, America, Europe, Australia – I’m playing with Simon Grove on bass, who I’ve played with pretty much every show I’ve ever done. Jake Howsam Lowe on guitar, who is in the band The Helix Nebula with Simon, and I play with him almost all the time as well, and there’s a new drummer called Chris Allison, who grew up with Simon and they used to play in a lot of bands together. So, in some way or another we’ve all been playing with each other for years and we’re all excited Australians. It’s been really good on this [American] tour to see how everything has progressed from the first show to the last. It’s the little details that we are all kicking up on and tightening up.
In November you will be coming back to Europe, again supporting Tesseract. With all this touring and the single ‘Salt + Charcoal’ you released earlier this year, is there any time for the next full length album?
I’m gonna start writing and just see what happens, probably when I get back from this summer tour in Europe. I would like to go full length, but we’ll see what happens. Not having to make long term plans is one of the freedoms that comes with not having a record contract. In the past, I’ve been deciding “I want to make an album”, and then I write 10 tracks and then turns out I actually only like 4 of them, so I can just cut them out and make an EP – an no one’s angry!
How do you approach writing your music? Do you think of a concept when you start, or does it all flow during the process to be joined in the end?
Usually it starts with an idea, it’s just something that I come across while playing guitar, and for some reason it feels special or like it should turn into a song. And then as I start developing it and adding the other instruments, maybe I start thinking about if it has a story or if it’s about something or someone or a place and then I try to finish it with that in mind.
Australia seems to have a never ending output of new progressive music in the latest years, and most of it is on the top of the game. What do you have in the water down under?
Yeah, I guess maybe we’re all just bored, because there isn’t much to do. I think the biggest activity for Australia is sports, so if you’re someone that doesn’t like that then you turn to music as an alternative. The country is almost the same size as the United States, but we only have five major markets instead of 30 or 40, which means you can’t really tour that much. So it’s not a great place to tour all year round, but still a very fun place with great audiences.
Since finishing your degree in architecture you’ve basically been on the road. Do you still plan on following that career as well?
Not really. I finished the degree, and the next year was when I played my first show, and that turned into a tour, and then that turned into the last 3 year I guess. I’m still interested, I visited the contemporary art galleries in Montreal on tour, but I’m not sure that I’ll ever go into the industry. For now at least the music is enough to sustain me.
Plini European Tour 2018 with with Mestis and Arch Echo:
- 09/06 – UK – Donington Park, Download Festival
- 11/06 – FR- Paris, Petit Bain
- 12/06 – FR- Nantes, Le Ferrailleur
- 13/06 – FR – Bègles, BT59
- 14/06 – FR – Toulouse, Le Rex de Toulouse
- 15/06 – FR – Lyon, Ninkasi Kao Gerland
- 17/06 – FR – Besançon, L’antonnoir,
- 19/06 – NL – Haarlem, Patronaat
- 20/06 – DE – Hannover, LUX
- 21/06 – DE – Oberhausen, Kulttempel Oberhausen
- 24/06 – DE – Nürnberg, Z-Bau
- 26/06 – IT – Milano, Legend Club Milano
- 30/06 – ESP – Barcelona, Be Prog, My Friend Festival