by: Nicole Juliette Hetlyn
Plaid Brixx: learn that name real fast, because they are about to be your new favorite band. Friday night, I had the honor of chatting with Plaid Brixx before their kickoff show for the We The Kings 10th Anniversary summer tour. These guys were genuinely nice, hilarious, and are extremely talented. Check out our exclusive interview on music, snacks, and.. New Girl?
CD: Chris Duggan (vocals)
ML: Mark LeRose (drums)
JS: Jared Sawaya (bass, guitar)
Tonight is the first night of tour. What are you most excited about, and how did this tour come about?
CD: The tour came about due to some magic with our booking agent and another booking agent and POOF! We didn’t even know that we got it until about a month and a half ago.
JS: It happened very suddenly. We heard an inkling about it around Christmas. They said “it’s probably not going to happen, “ and after Christmas they said “it might happen, but don’t get your hopes up.” Slowly but surely, they said, “it’s happening!”
CD: We are excited to be playing so many shows. I’m also excited just t be seeing a lot of cool stuff and to be eating at a lot of cool places
ML: We all love We The Kings and Cute Is What We Aim For. Astro Lasso is also a really cool band, it’s going to be fun.
Describe your music using only three words.
CD: Hot, fun, pop!
ML: Our live shows - sweaty, loud, fun!
JS: Electric… Eclectric.. Symmetric! (all laugh)
NH: I like that, it could be a song title!
JS: There you go, I just wrote a book!
Your music has shifted towards pop with your latest release. What were some of you biggest influences while writing this EP?
CD: I think that everything in the music industry now can be categorized into a pre and post 1989 era. Taylor Swift was the Swiftie and with everything that Max Martin has done. We listen to a lot of CHVRCHES. Jared and I love CHVRCHES, Grimes was another huge influence. Ryn Weaver. Verite is just blowing up now, but I’ve listened to her for like two years.
You’ve played several festivals in the past, and you are currently on a tour suited for smaller venues. Do you have a preference to which kind of show you play?
CD: I love all shows.
ML: We try to give the same amount of energy no matter what show we are playing or how many people are there. It’s always a really good time when there is a really big crowd and everyone is having a good time, we always have fun.
JS: I feel like there is something magical about each one. Like, smaller settings you get to rock out with people more closely.
ML: We played a really small show in Clarion recently, and it was awesome. We got to bring a few people on stage and they were dancing. They were so into it, it was amazing. We love them there. So there are pros and cons to both settings.
You posted a picture earlier of a bunch of snacks (in a suitcase), what are your “must have” snacks for touring?
CD: For me, I am obsessed with Starburst Minis. I’m trying to not eat anymore of them. I overindulged yesterday, I can’t live like this for two months! So I went to Whole Foods today and got some plain chicken breasts to eat with fruits and vegetables. I’m going to try and do that every day.
ML: I have been eating a lot of Slim Jims. I normally don’t eat that many Slim Jims, but I don’t know.. I have about 30 of them in our snack briefcase and I have been going pretty hard! Fruit snacks are always pretty great.
CD: Slim and dangerous!
JS: I got a bunch of the Welch’s fruit snacks! I got a big box and it said 40 of them and I kinda forgot how big they were, and I was like “i’m ready for tour!”
NH: It looks like you had them secured in a briefcase?
JS: Yeah, it was more organized earlier but now it’s becoming a mess!
CD: It reminds me of when I was a kid. I had a briefcase that my mom gave me. I kept comic books and huge amounts of candy in there. I got so many cavities in my baby teeth, I needed so many teeth pulled as a direct result of that. Whenever I see that, I’m like “sss, novacaine..”
If you could have one of you songs featured in any TV show or movie, what would you choose?
CD: I think Mark and I would answer the same TV show, Always Sunny in Philadelphia. But I also love Peaky Blinders, and I would love to have our stuff in that.
JS: This is kinda a guilty pleasure of mine, I’ve been binging on New Girl (laughs). It seems fitting!
Mark designs the merch - which is incredible. Will it be available on this tour? Can you tell us more about it?
ML: Yeah, all of the merch is available. I designed a new t-shirt just for this tour and it’s my favorite.
NH: Do you do your drawings specifically for the merch?
ML: Usually we will talk about an idea or something that we would like to see on a tshirt and I will do some sketches and show those to Chris. Then we take the final version to our friends over at Traxler, which is a printing company in Columbus. They do an awesome job putting it into photoshop and putting it onto shirts. It’s all hand-drawn sent to a high resolution scanner. The EP cover is papercut, so it’s like South Park style collage.
What does the rest of 2017 have in store for you?
CD: We are going to be doing an insane amount of studio work in the next couple of months. We are going to try and do a new song or cover every month into the foreseeable future. Right now, with just originals, if we did one a month, we have enough for 25 months worth. We will be doing a lot of covers too as well as continuing writing. We have three songs in the can with the same people that did the last EP. There are a couple songs that are really good! Tons of new music. We are going to bowl you over with tons of new music and hopefully videos. We’re getting into DIY productions, “it doesn’t matter if it’s been mastered, we’re gonna put it out there. WOO!”