The Soundtrack Of The Future… Meet – The Fantastic Plastics

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Let’s start the unofficial start of summer with The Fantastic Plastics. This band is a party, the first time I listened to them , I was hooked and had to get a “Meet the Band” with them. The Devo comparisons are inevitable but its more than that, think B-52’s being able to rap as well as sing and if I was 20 and didn’t have the past history of New Wave stuck in my head, I would think I was listening to something that was unlike 99.9% of what I was exposed to from the radio or my friends. In other words, The Fantastic Plastics are super uber cool and I can think of no better way to start your Memorial Day party than by giving a listen to them….

Hi our name is….

The Fantastic Plastics

People say we sound like…..

Most of the time we get compared to DEVO and bands from that era, B-52s, Talking Heads, Gary Numan, etc. We also get compared to The White Stripes, but I think that has more to do with our live performances and stage setup.

We are…

Miranda Plastic – vocals, synth, theremin

Tyson Plastic – vocals, guitar, synth

Dylan Plastic – drum / bass programming, video installation (does not perform live in case you wondered. He’s the man behind the scenes, the 5th Beatle if you will)

We are from…….
The band started in central Illinois, Champaign/Urbana IL to be exact. Home of the super computer HAL from the movie 2001 A Space Odyssey. We now call Brooklyn our home base.

What’s the scene/support from other musicians like in Brooklyn
Compared with the scene back in Illinois where we started Brooklyn is much different. In general the bands are more sophisticated and polished, not necessarily in their abilities as musicians and songwriters, but in the way they handle their bands. I think the bar is raised here and everyone feeds off of each other. It makes you want to be a better band. And, at the same time, the other bands we’ve worked with have been very supportive and positive. There is a positive vibe in Brooklyn right now. There is a feeling that something good is going to happen.

Who are some that have an influence on you
I’m not sure if you mean which local acts have an influence on us, or which bands in general have an influence, so I’ll answer it both ways.
Locally: Teen Girl Scientist Monthly, Ghost and Goblin, and Mindtroll are 3 Brooklyn bands that have influenced us since we’ve been here. All 3 bands are super fun to watch, have their own identity, and always perform at a high level while staying true to their identity.

Nationally / Historically: DAVID BOWIE, influences everything. Also, DEVO taught us it’s ok to be nerdy, where cool costumes on stage and at the same time write music with meaning. DEVO has always had a look and stage show that was as visually pleasing as it was sonically. DEVO is not a joke, there’s meaning and a message there. I think NIRVANA has been a constant influence for many reasons, but as we mature I think Kurt Cobains brilliant lyrical twists and tight song writing structure are something we try to embody in most of our songs. The Flaming Lips, Man or Astroman?, Metronomy, Kraftwerk, The White Stripes, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, New Order…and a long list of others continue to influence us as well.

How old were all of you when you started to play and who plays what in the band

While I can’t speak for the rest of them, I started playing bass at 15, picked up a guitar at 16 and a Moog synth at 20 and never looked back!

Miranda Plastic – vocals, synth, theremin

Tyson Plastic – vocals, guitar, synth

Dylan Plastic – drum / bass programming, video installation (does not perform live in case you wondered. He’s the man behind the scenes, the 5th Beatle if you will)

Can you tell us about the process you use, from writing the songs all the way through getting the songs out
Songwriting for The Fantastic Plastics is somewhat different when compared with most bands. Mandy and I live together and Dylan lives 1000 miles away. So for us, songwriting usually consists of either Dylan or I creating basic backing tracks and e-mailing them back and forth until we have the base of a song. From there Mandy adds synth leads. Lyrics are always the last part of the bit. Usually when building the backing tracks a chorus or theme will bubble itself up to the surface, as if it writes itself and from there we fill in the verses.

What are some of the challenges you face as musicians and how have you overcome those challenges
We’ve had a lot of challenges. I think our biggest challenge was finding our niche audience and staying true to ourselves along the way. We are not your typical rock band. When we were first started out I think we were often dismissed because we are sort of weird, we where uniforms on stage, we have video behind us, the subject matter of our songs can seem silly if passively listening, etc. But we decided not to change our image, or our songs, and instead we just went full steam ahead. We are making art as well as music and we feel we have a message and part of that message is to have fun, always.

If you could pick any time to travel back to for music, where would you go and what year would it be ….

That’s a difficult question to answer. As far as our influences are concerned 1978 was an amazing year. DEVO, Gary Numan, and The Cars all released their debut full length albums. The period of 1977 – 1981 was the golden era of New Wave. But as a music fan, to go back to 1964 and see The Beatles during the mania would awesome.

What do you think of “the state of rock n roll”…

Rock and Roll is in a very strange place. I hesitate to call it something negative because it’s always evolving. I think we are seeing bands struggle to make money by traditional means, like physical merch, album sales, touring, etc, especially indie bands. I think majors do well with touring. It used to be a big blow to a band’s credibility to sell or license a song for commercial use, now it’s considered a big victory. It’s just all really weird. We recently watched “Montage of Heck” that documentary about Kurt Cobain, and the whole time I was watching it I was thinking, this will never happen again. A band that unpolished and that dangerous with a singer equally so will never be allowed to become that big of a success again. Today the big bands are all components of much larger corporate machines. They are allowed to grow that large because they are there to sell things, like Pepsi, and headphones, and make up, and movies, etc. etc. etc. I imagine if Nirvana came out today Kurt Cobain would be the face of Proactiv skin care. Today it has to be safe because no corporation is going to invest millions and millions of dollars on something that isn’t a sure thing. Think of how much money the Britany Spears implosion cost companies like Pepsi and Clear Channel. Today if you see a band that’s huge and they are dangerous, it’s probably all manufactured that way for a reason.

It blows my mind that someone like Nicki Minaj at one moment can be a hard core rapper dressed like a burlesque dancer and then the next moment be on Nickelodeon Kid’s Choice Awards presenting. It blows my mind. How do acts like that maintain credibility with their core audience? Are they are hard core or tween core? It’s pretty funny really. I enjoy it.

But all that said, I think there’s still a strong indie scene and there are new bands all over the place trying to navigate this new landscape. And most of us aren’t in it for the money, we’re in it because we are compelled to make music. We can’t help it. And I think that compulsion will always exist. If there’s a guitar, drums or a synth laying around some one is going to pick it up and dream big.

some albums that you have played on repeat over the years……

Metronomy “Nights Out”, Kraftwerk “Computer World”, Beck “Midnight Vultures”, Nirvana “In Utero”, DEVO “Freedom of Choice”, Daft Punk “Discovery” Buggles “Age of Plastic”, Weezer “Pinkerton”, No Doubt “Tragic Kingdom”, The Flaming Lips “Soft Bulletin” …. that’s just a few.


If you could open for any Band right now who would that be
That’s a really tough question too. Opening for DEVO, The Flaming Lips or LCD Soundsytem would be a huge honor. But for an amazingly curated show I think we would gel nicely with Man or Astroman?, Stereo Total, and Har Mar Superstar.

My youngest son is 13 and in a Band, what advice would you offer him…
Practice, find your voice musically, stay true to yourself, and network. Meet lots of bands and musicians, pick their brains, and learn to navigate social media.

80s or 90s???

80s….or 90s… Why choose one?

Our plans for 2015…..

This year we are releasing our first full length album “Devolver” in August. We are making a couple new music videos to go with the album, and a graphic novel based on the songs. And of course we are going to play lots and lots of shows!!

Upcoming Shows…..
05/30 – Torrington CT – Robot Dance Off Party
06/06 – NYC – Piano’s – 8:30pm
06/13 – Brooklyn – The Knitting Factory – Northside Fest – 2:30pm
06/21 – Queens – The Local Hostel – Make Music NYC
06/24 – NYC – Otto’s Shrunken Head – Performing as DEVO!!

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Scott

From Pittsburgh, now in Florida, Cool Canadian artist wife , 4 great kids and two granddaughters!! I’m a lucky guy!

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