Talking Music With Plaitum

Colchester alt-rock duo Plaitum AKA Abi Dersiley and Matt Canham released their their debut album, Constraint, on April 7 along with a new single entitled Ovation. To support the new releases, the pair are currently undertaking a UK tour which brings them to Bristol’s Crofters Rights on April 20. Andy Howells recently put questions to the pair.

How did you first start out in music?
Matt: We were both playing instruments from a pretty young age and at secondary school in music lessons we’d have to pair up with someone in the class – being close friends we always picked each other. From there we played in a range of bands together for like 4 years until our music GCSE exam – it was essentially 2 days to make a track and everyone had finished on the first day. We spent the second one making a beat together, really liked it and spent most of that summer locked away at Abi’s house making more tracks and uploading them to SoundCloud until one got picked up by Radio 6 Music – from there we got managers and subsequently signed to Wolf Tone, locked ourselves away for several years to write an album and that’s pretty much it.



Who or what has inspired you most on your musical journey?
Abi: The environment we grew up in and the people we affiliated with inspired us to make music by our own messed up guidelines. We had numerous influences but one we had in common was Damon Albarn/Jamie Hewlett’s Gorillaz. They played with a lot of genres and concepts and the fact that the band members were these intense illustrations with individual personalities was also very tight. And also bees. Bees inspire us a lot.

Can you give us some background about your latest release?
A: The album is basically a collection of individual stories about a certain period of our lives that were… interesting…(between the ages 18-21, what do you expect). All of the tracks are distorted, bassy and most are pretty intense; it was recorded half in Matt’s bedroom and half in an amazing studio that belongs to our label which has given it a nice mix of lo-fi sounds with hi-fi production and effects.

You’re touring shortly are you looking forward to that?
A: Always, we love carrying heavy loads over long distances so tours are really up our alley. Our tracks are designed to be played ridiculously loud so unless you have a particularly forgiving neighbour this will be your best chance to hear our music as intended. We’re playing in some amazing places – Bristol is the birthplace of a lot of our favourite music – Portishead, Massive Attack etc. – and getting to see and play in the city will be pretty special.

What can people expect from your forthcoming Bristol gig?
M: Distortion, smoke, bass, strobe lighting, Matt dancing really badly, guitar solo (singular NOT plural), fun/laughter/enlightenment, tears (sadness/joy), alcohol (on request), us playing our songs really loud.

What are you enjoying listening to at the moment?
M: There’s an EP by a band called Baby Blood that’s really good; Kelly Lee Owens is this techno artist who dropped an amazing album recently too. At least 50% of what we listen to is stuff we’ve been listening to for years though – the amount of parties that Abi has dropped Can’t Get You Out Of My Head by Kylie at is huge and I’ve pretty exclusively been playing Cocteau Twins for about 2 weeks.

What else have you got planned for the rest of the year?
M: We’re gonna be playing some more shows – we have the rest of the tour and Great Escape in May, as well as any others we can get – just generally trying to get as many people as possible to hear our album. As well as Plaitum, Abi’s hoping to do an art exhibition, I’ll be doing some production work and we’ll be producing some more music videos – we just made a vid for our track Yearning and we have about 10000 other ideas so we’re looking forward to getting those out of our heads and into the real world.

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