Interview: A Plastic Rose
Published on July 2nd, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
Belfast-based rockers A Plastic Rose are bringing their skyscraping sound to the UK this month – see bottom of the page for dates – so Rocksucker caught up with guitarist/singer Gerry Norman for a bit of a natter about the whole operation. First, though, get an earload of this choice cut from last year’s seven-track The Promise Notes EP…
Is your debut album still set for a September release?
It’s out of our control so there’s a possibility it could be a bit further on, but at the minute we’re hoping for early September.
What can you tell us about it?
It’s eleven songs we’ve written in the last seven years of us being a band, so it’s a bit like our Greatest Hits I suppose! We’ve had two singles from it already, well three actually because we released one as a single three years ago because Chris Moyles was playing it on Radio 1 when we played the BBC Introducing spotlight thing at Reading and Leeds.
The singles we’ve had have been getting a lot of love, great reviews so far, and we’re touring the UK for two weeks this month, the big gig being the Camden Barfly in London on 20th July. Once we’ve done that, we’ll be back over wrecking your heads every couple of months or so, hopefully with bigger and better shows.
The album’s called Camera.Shutter.Life, which are lyrics from the second track of the album “All You Know & Love Will Die”. There’s not really a radio-friendly rock song, more deep stuff with meaningful lyrics – we really like the lyrics. That’s basically it, a quick synopsis!
No, that’s its own little thing. We wrote The Promise Notes as a full piece of work – we went into the studio and wrote all those songs there and then, which was different because a few of the songs that we kept for the debut album had been written before that. We recorded the EP to tide people over, keep them interested, but the reaction to The Promise Notes was amazing – it was available in HMVs all over the UK and it came in a lovely physical package. Our label spent a bit of money on it because they were so happy with how it sounded.
We’re still playing a few of those songs but we probably won’t for the smaller UK shows because we’re only getting 30-45-minute sets so we kind of have to show people the noisier songs. Once we start getting longer sets, an hour or something like that, then we’ll be able to start throwing out “Last Shining Star”, the last track of The Promise Notes, which we never get to play but all love.
Rocksucker heartily approves of your listed influences. Which is your favourite album? [Rocksucker says: click here to read our interview with Bob Nastanovich of Pavement/Silver Jews from last month!]
Mine is probably Terror Twilight. It gives me the happies. I’d love it if we were just like Pavement! It’s a hard sound to master, really loose like they don’t give a shit but really they know exactly what they’re doing. I’ve never seen them play but apparently Stephen Malkmus never sticks to the recorded version of the song, sings the same lyrics but not the same melody, like it’s a completely different fucking song! “Major Leagues” is probably my favourite song off that album.
Are there any other up-and-coming bands you’d like to recommend or give a shout-out to?
Yeah, absolutely. Obviously we’re more familiar with the Northern Irish scene at the minute but I’m looking forward to getting over to the UK and seeing a few of the new bands on the circuit. There’s a band from over here that played the BBC Introducing stage at T in the Park – they’re called More Than Conquerors and they’re good friends of ours. They’re a great wee band. Wonder Villains too – we went on a short tour of the UK a few weeks ago and they’re completely mental. They’re supposed to be these little teeny pop song guys but they drank us under the table! There’s a band called Pretty Child Backfire who are making some waves over here at the minute. I’ll give you one more: a band I really like called Master and Dog.
Finally, if you had to spend the rest of your life with the back catalogues of just five different musical artists, whose would you choose?
Ooh, nice one. I’m going to have to pick Nirvana and Radiohead, simply because they’re Nirvana and Radiohead, and I’d also like to have The Beatles’ back catalogue because I could listen to it for two hundred years and still not hear all the songs. I’m a massive Beatles fan.
Favourite Beatles album?
It’s probably Sgt Pepper’s, you know. I know it’s not everybody’s favourite for some reason but the first time I was in Camden I bought it, and I love Camden so maybe it’s the connection! You know what, I’d like Bruce Springsteen as well because I haven’t heard his back catalogue yet but I just know it’s going to be amazing. And one more…Foo Fighters. Can you make this happen?
We’ll have all the music and a desert island on your desk by tomorrow morning! Gerry Norman, thank you.
A Plastic Rose will play the following UK dates in July:
Fri 13 UK, Leeds, The Cockpit, Middle Room Kasiuss
Sat 14 UK, Southampton, Joiners, Club Night N/A
Sun 15 UK, Bristol, Thekla Upstairs
Mon 16 UK, Nottingham, Rescue Rooms Red Room Great British Weather
Tue 17 UK, Manchester, Dry Bar The Hyena Kill
Thu 19 UK, Stoke, Sugarmill Gravities
Fri 20 UK, London, Barfly, Jubilee Club Night