Wednesday 3 June 2015

Interview with PLAINRIDE

When my good pal – Timon Menge – advised me to check out a cool Stoner/Rock and Roll band by the name of Plainride I checked them out as Timon knows his stuff as he also runs Sludge Worm Magazine. So he's the premier authority along with his partner in crime - Andy on German Doom/Sludge/Stoner Metal music.

I was blown away by what I had heard. As Plainride are not your average Stoner Rock/Metal band. They inject a huge stream of Desert Rock, Fuzz Rock, Southern Rock and good old fashioned Rock and Roll. Now these Stoner Rock Outlaws are about to release their superb debut album – Return Of The Jackalope – And believe me when I tell you it's 71 mins of fuel injected Stoner Rock goddness.

Return Of The Jackalope is going to be released very soon along with my review. Before then I was given the chance to interview Max Rebel (Vox/Guitar) and Fabe van Fuzz (Guitar) from the band. And this is what they had to say.

1 – Hi guys. How's it going. Thanks for doing this interview. Much appreciated as we're huge fans of you guys.

Max: It’s an honor. Thanks for having us!

Photo Credit - Philipp Buron

2 – Can you tell our readers of how the band came about and where it is today.

Max: When I moved to Cologne back in 2012 I was looking for a new project and started digging through the local musicians groups online where eventually Fabe stumbled upon one of my posts. I guess the first time we met had a general awkwardness to it - till we discovered that we are both huge Eagles Of Death Metal fans. Ever since then our mission was clear. We later got Andrew (The Beermachine) involved on drums after a shady dude at a party gave us his contact info and then even later Leo on bass, whom we just discovered passed out in our rehearsal room one day.

After recording the album in 2014, Andrew went forth to pursue his career as undoubtedly the best drummer in Colognian carnival rock music. Luckily we managed to get Damian (The Brute) on board after him rescuing us from a possessed Yeti on our annual camping trip.

So now we’re here, waiting for the release of our first record, stoked as a goat and with absolutely no idea what awaits us on the other side.

3 – We are here to talk about your new album – Return Of The Jackalope. Now I've heard it a few times and it's a kick-ass album. But in your own words what can people expect from it.

Max: Thanks. I’d say people can expect an epic adventure straight from the desert, featuring some really catchy tunes, a phat vintage vibe and a shit-ton of booze.

4 – What inspired you or influenced you when recording the album.

Fabe: All. The. Beer.

Max: Not to mention the Polish cuisine, gallons of coffee and some quality Herbes de Provence.

5 – It's an epic album. 71 mins in length. Was it your intention to record something as epic as that for your debut record. Or did you just have to many great songs not to leave out.

Fabe: We just didn’t want to stop playing. But seriously though, I think a debut should contain all the band’s ideas and that’s exactly what we did.

Max: It really bothers me that a lot of bands make their first “professional” appearance with an EP. To me that’s like applying with only half a résumé. Obviously you gotta put some demos out there and any handcrafted mini-release is totally cool, but if you really wanna put yourself out there, you better make goddamn sure to do it with a bang!

6 – The album feels like a soundtrack to a long lost Desert Rock Road Movie as it has that kind of vibe especially with the soundbytes at the start of the album. Or am I just looking to much into this.

Fabe: Well we had this rough idea to arrange the track list in the same way as with a concept album. I mean it sure isn’t a concept album, but as you said it got that vibe.

Max: First of all I appreciate you saying this as I feel kind of the same way. And to all you Desert Rock Road Movie makers out there: you heard the man, go hire us! Alright now lemme go full singer-songwriter on you here: To me, the album also has this weird soundtrack-ish appeal even though the songs aren’t referencing each other or anything. However, Iyric- as well as sound-wise I feel like there’s this array of different universes and timelines we are covering that are partly separate but still connected. Return Of The Jackalope and Salt River for example to me both belong in this same sinister 1800’s Wild West tale, whereas Devil At Your Heels and Warpdrive are definitely pointing towards some Space Age thriller. Actually, thinking about this, I guess there’s a recurring motive of freedom and independence that’s inherent to every song on the album. Holy shit, we’re deep.

7 – Your album is already generating a lot of BUZZ within the Stoner Rock community. Did you expect that to happen. Did you know you have a great album on your hands.

Max: I was aware of people enjoying our music and I know we made a killer album, but whatever evil witchcraft the shit is that’s going down as of right now is totally beyond me.

Fabe: Return Of The Jackalope isn’t your typical Stoner Rock album that’s for sure. As I like to say: we just play Rock ’n’ Roll from the desert. I really love the album and we hope the community will dig it too!

8 – What is the song writing dynamic in the band. Is it a group process or is it down to one individual.

Fabe: Usually Max or myself come up with a riff and then stuff happens, haha. The whole band works on it until it’s a real song. It’s really important to us that everybody in the band likes it and is satisfied with whatever result we end up with.

9 – How would you describe the bands sound. As I feel it's best coming from the bands themselves.

Fabe: Rock ’n’ Roll from the desert!

Max: Kickass Stoner Rock ’n’ Roll with Jackalopes!

10 – We have to talk about the awesome album cover. Who designed this and how much input did you have into the final design.

Fabe: My buddy and best friend Artur Bäcker designed it. He’s immensely talented and I knew he was the right guy for the job. He just gave us two sketches with different styles to choose from in the beginning and then worked his magic. I think the result is fucking epic!

11 - Your new album is being released by a new label called Beerfuzz Records. How did you hook up with them. Did you have any other offers from other labels. (Sorry Timon – I had to ask dude. If you don't know folks Beerfuzz is a new label created by a good pal of mine – Timon Menge – who also co-runs the fantastic website – Sludge Worm Magazine).

Max: Haha, Timon you sneaky ol’ bastard. Full disclosure: we met Timon quite a while ago at one of our shows after I had done an interview for Sludge Worm. That must’ve been the night he started putting stuff in our drinks. A year or so later the dosage had probably reached critical mass and now we’re all just a bunch of mindless zombies doing whatever he says. No, but seriously: Timon is a great guy / evil mastermind, who knows just what to do most of the time and we’d all be lost without him. I don’t recall any other labels asking us, which is probably gonna go down in Rock history as the single worst collective decision of the music industry in a few years.

12 – Which bands and artists got you involved with music. Was it a particular band or album that made you decide to become a musician.

Fabe: Mississippi Queen by Mountain. Leslie West is the fucking man!

Max: Probably the first time I saw EODM perform live. I was 15 and they didn’t have a press section in front of the stage yet. By the end of the show the crowd stormed the stage and I played air guitar back to back with Jesse Hughes. That’s when I lost my soul to Rock ’n’ Roll.

13 – You’re from Germany which has a great Sludge/Doom/Stoner Metal Scene. What is the scene actually like in Germany. Is it thriving or does it still remain in the underground.

Max: There’s definitely a thriving scene in Germany and we hope to be able to actively push that development forward - not only in regard for Stoner but live music in general. Sometimes it’s still tough to find your niche between bullshit pop and old father Metal that seems to be clutching Germany like a monarch overstaying his welcome, but it’s getting easier and I’m confident that music with a lot of groove to it is always gonna make its way - even in the cold north.

14 – Do you play a lot of gigs in your hometown or do you have to travel further afield to perform regular. And how would you best describe the Plainride live experience.

Max: It’s been quite a while now since we last played Cologne. Luckily there’s a lot of go-to places with great venues nearby - like Vortex in Siegen and Waldmeister in Solingen. We’re super excited for all the upcoming shows in strange new places also though. The Plainride live experience I’d say is of pretty fast pace, includes a lot of humor, a lot of headbanging and obviously loads and loads and LOADS of beer.

15 – Are there plans for you to tour overseas in the near future or so. Or is still to early to do at this point in your career.

Max: Lemme just check my bucket list. Says right here:
- play at The Viper Room
- record album at The Machine Shop
Well. Guess we’re gonna have to head over there someday.

16 – Well guys thanks for doing this interview. Before we go, do you have anything to say to your fans.

Max: Thanks a ton for having us! Fans out there, you guys are the best, we love you, stay in school, listen to your moms and don’t drink shitty beer! Cheers!

All the best with your new album as it's a fantastic record. My review will be coming soon.

I want to thank Timon Menge for arranging this interview. Return Of The Jackalope will be released via BeerFuzz Records on CD/DD from July 24th 2015.

Words by Steve Howe, Max Rebel and Fabe van Fuzz

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