Q & A with PLTS

Byron Bay’s PLTS (pronounced ‘pilots’) are no strangers to the Sunshine Coast, having developed a healthy relationship with the music scene here, and the bands.  With an impressive debut, and a new single (leading towards a follow-up EP), PLTS are heading back our way to play Solbar on August 20 with The Delicates, and locals, Lifeboat.

We sent through a few questions to drummer Harry Deacon to get y’all prepped for this upcoming show…

Hey Harry. I’ll get the most obvious question out of the way… how was playing Splendour?  
Did you have any of those ‘oh shit’ thoughts during your set?  
And did you get up to any backstage shenanigans?

Such an incredible opportunity for us as a band to play the main stage, the whole weekend was a bit of an ‘oh shit’ moment I guess. We’ve written a bunch of new material that we’ve been itching to showcase on a massive platform like that and although it was a short and sweet 30 minute set, we went hard, managed to get a great turnout and some really positive feedback. Backstage shenanigans were plenty but not PG enough to mention here…

‘On & On’ (the most recent single) was released at the end of 2015. 
It’s a ripper of a track, but are we going to see some new material soon?

Hey, thanks! Pretty overwhelmed with the response it’s received so far, it’s pretty humbling to see the obscure places around the world it’s reaching thanks to the Internet. 

We’ve spent the better half of this year working on a bunch of new tracks with JP Fung again, after the whole experience of ‘On and On’ went so smooth. We just clicked creatively and felt so ready to continue that connection. As for releasing it to the world, you’ll be blasting the first single ‘Astoria’ by the time this goes to press. It’s a solid follow up to ‘On and On’, but a little more dark and brooding. Saturday’s gig at Sol Bar is the first of the release shows, looking forward to kicking this next phase off on the Sunshine Coast!

It’s interesting listening to the debut EP, compared to ‘On & On’. Obviously, as bands do, they grow with their sound. With the EP being more indie rock, ‘On & On’ has a more bombastic, and very 90s alt rock feel to it (guessing that’s where the nostalgia that is mentioned in the bio is from). 
Were there any influences on this slightly rougher sound?

Two really different approaches to production set these two releases apart. The EP we recorded with Nick Didia at Studio 301, using a lot more analog gear and organic sounds. Nick’s produced everything from ‘Powderfinger’ to ‘The Offspring’ and working with him to create the EP definitely brought out a lot of unpolished elements in our songwriting. By the time we hit the studio with JP to produce what would become ‘On and On’, we had a really clear picture of what ‘sound’ we were aiming to create. Given JP’s clean cut style of production, with big drums and a lot more focus on lyrical content, his influence attributes to a lot of the development and growth of PLTS’ sound.

Byron Bands and Sunshine Coast Bands have an interesting relationship (PLTS and Pro Vita are a pretty good example of this), and also similar music scenes… 
What do you think it is about our scenes that produces pretty damn cool music? 
Do you think it’s a need to prove ourselves to our metropolitan cousins?

I find the music scenes in smaller regions like ours, a lot more tight knit and community based compared to the capital cities. Everyone works harder to get their music out and all the bands we share stages with all seem to genuinely enjoy playing gigs, so there’s this common element that forms connections from the get go. We immediately got that vibe from Pro Vita the first time we saw them live and have been mates ever since. Both BB and the SC are also lucky enough to have great venues like ‘The Northern’ and ‘Sol Bar’ on the national circuit, so touring bands coming through on the reg really gives local music a steady injection of inspiration, as well as an amazing platform to launch the thriving local scenes.

I loved your cover of CHVRCHES ‘Leave a Trace’. Such a random cover to do. 
Why did you choose that song, and how long did it take to work out that particular arrangement?

Thanks again! The aim was to recreate something from a different genre all together. We floated a few ideas for a couple of weeks then someone dropped this song; it clicked, we jammed it out and boom what you hear is our adaptation. The original track is a sugar coated pop master piece, so It was cool trying to adapt it to a 4 piece rock band and recreate those catchy synth melodies with guitars. It was challenging, but we’re stoked with the result and had a lot of fun during the process.

Thanks Harry! Have a kick-arse start to the mini-tour.

PLTS play Solbar on Saturday August 20 with The Delicates, and Lifeboat.

You can purchase the single, ‘On & On’ through their bandcamp here.

Rhys Fox