Plaid Brixx is an Ohio band that combines the best of Neon Trees, The Bravery, and Cobra Starship. The band released their first EP this past year, which was co-produced by the band’s lead guitarist and vocalist, Chris Duggan. I caught up with Chris about future touring plans, new music, what bands he’s currently listening to, and more.
MEB: With your EP having just come out last year, are there any big touring plans in the works?
Indeed there are, we are in the process of laying that out at the moment, so stay tuned for more about that in the next few months! We are headed down to SXSW to play a bunch of shows so that’s kind of a mini-tour I suppose!
With future touring plans, what is the place you would most want to go?
I have always wanted to go to Japan – so Tokyo would probably have to be my number one. But stateside, I would love to play an unconventional show on a historic monument, for example if we played a show on the steps of the Capitol building or something – or a small show on the observation deck of the Empire State Building – or an acoustic set inside the Statue of Liberty!
I personally love your EP, how has feedback been so far?
We are extremely pleased with the feedback so far – it has been overwhelmingly positive and we are so overjoyed and grateful that people enjoy our music! We can’t wait to share the next batch of songs that we have been working on the past few months.
What was it like being able to co-produce your album?
It was stressful…you have to approach your own music objectively which can be difficult at times – for example you have to make choices like figuring out the song length and arrangement, committing to a drum sound, and stressing about if sections of the song have too much going on or are too complicated. There is a lot of nit-picking and analyzing under a microscope involved – but you just have to be confident in the decisions you make about the song as you go. Plus, anything can be changed, or re-recorded later if you don’t like how something sounds.
How was your experience of playing at a festival as big as Fashion Meets Music Festival?
It was awesome to be part of the festival in its first year – we were very grateful to be involved in something so big – we had a great time and made a lot of new friends and discovered a lot of new, great bands!
From your EP, what is your favorite song to play live?
I know Mark loves playing “Here I Go Again” and Cole loves playing “Wanderlust”. My favorite to play is “Hipster Queen” because I love messing around during the bridge and it’s just a super upbeat, fun song to sing.
With new music on the way, how many tracks should we be expecting?
We are going to be releasing a fun YouTube parody song fairly soon – you are the first I am informing of this outside of our team – and I will give you a little hint that it is going to involve Game Of Thrones.
For the upcoming EP we have five songs done with vocals that we feel are 95% there – and then 5 more mostly tracked that are in a state of limbo. These were chosen from a batch of about 100 song ideas we’ve had since the last EP came out. We are taking our time on finishing the EP because we want it to be just as high quality (if not higher) than our first EP – we only want to release the best of the best of what we come up with so once we finish the last 5 songs we will probably choose 5 from the 10 finished ones.
Having been together since high school, why wait years to share your unique sound?
Well we definitely did not sound like we do now in high school! We wrote really bad pop-punk stuff about being sexually frustrated teens (well, at least that’s what most of my songs were about – I can’t speak for Mark and Cole on this one – they were both in like 3 or 4 other bands throughout high school). Plus, my singing voice was less than enticing at the time, considering my voice hadn’t really deepened yet! Haha.
What are some of your favorite things about the Ohio music scene?
There are so many awesome bands in Columbus. And I hear about new ones almost every week. I try to go to as many local shows as possible – I just went to one last night actually…The Sidekicks are about to go on a huge tour and played a hometown show and blew everyone’s face off! People actually go to shows here because they believe in art and culture and supporting musicians. It’s awesome – the people in Ohio are so friendly and cool to each other and it’s just a super-positive, easy place to live.
Was there a moment when you had the realization of “Yes, this is what I want to do”?
My parents like to tell a story about me when I was seven or eight years old, apparently I said that I needed to get really good at guitar so that I would never have to get a desk job. So I guess I knew it before I even had thoughts that I remember.
Having a couple of the members in college, how has that been for the band?
I think it gets kind of tricky for Mark and Cole sometimes, juggling school with the band – but they always seem to have time or make time for the band which I appreciate so so so much. They are awesome dudes and extremely busy – Mark is actually in his last semester of college for Art Education so he is student teaching for the next couple of months. He always finds time for Plaid Brixx though because he is a fucking excellent guy. I have mad respect for both of them for finding ways to make it all work.
The punk songs you began playing together, were they ever recorded, and would a fun surprise release of them ever be possible? A type of “the unreleased” Plaid Brixx?
Oh God, I seriously hope none of that floats to the surface of the lake I sent it to the bottom of. But maybe we could re-cut some of those tracks with a few…rewrites. I hope I never have to hear my childhood voice again! Hahaha.
What are your some of your favorite things you’re listening to now?
I have been listening to so much rap lately. I seriously can’t stop listening to Run The Jewels 2 – it’s SO GOOD. Also have been revisiting Kendrick Lamar’s last full length and have been really into Die Antwoord lately. They are so weird but I absolutely love them and can rap along for the entirety of some of their songs. If you haven’t checked their videos out – I highly recommend them –minimally, they will be highly entertaining even if you aren’t that into rap. I also can’t stop listening to Taylor Swift’s new record – it brings me so much joy. Life’s too short to pretend you don’t like Taylor Swift’s music.