[Aural Reports] Call It a Bum Back
Rock & roll is dangerous. Just ask Chris Scott and (especially) Brian Carhart of Huntington Beach's Plastick.
What's the story behind the band?
Brian: Our previous band ended, and I went through some injuries. I ended up writing my own songs, and now I'm the singer. I used to be the drummer for the last band. The old band fell apart, and me and Chris kept going with Plastick.
How do you describe your band to people?
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Chris: I just call it hard rock, or rock, if you have to call it anything.
Does that make it hard for a band when shows are often scene-oriented or built around specific subgenres?
Chris: Playing with indie bands is difficult because we have a three-guitar lineup, so if the band before us or after us is acoustic, it doesn't really work.
Your MySpace page has some Surfrider banners. Are you surfers?
Chris: I am. I've been surfing since I was 6 or 7. I grew up in downtown Huntington Beach. We're kind of like the Beach Boys—one true surfer in the group.
Do you see much crossover in those worlds?
Chris: I've always been around music because of my parents. My dad was a surfer, and my mom was a hippie. When there are no waves, I just grab a guitar. I don't think there are a lot of people out there that are like that. I have a few friends who surf and play music, but all of my surfing friends are surfers. And I have my musician friends. It's two different worlds, actually. They're both great, but both different. With music, you're up late. With surfing, you're up early. When it comes to surfing, it's pretty much you and your friends dissing one another the whole time. And with music, you're creating something instead.
And Brian produces demos for your band and other bands?
Brian: Yeah. I haven't done much lately. I went through a period where I was injured. [Producing is] really time-consuming. I used to do it like a madman. Now I'm free to work on our stuff. We were actually mixing when you called.
How did you get into recording bands?
Brian: I have two older brothers who had 4-tracks and keyboards. I've always had access to recording equipment, and I learned really young. Being in bands came later.
Is home recording at the point where you can get a good sound at home?
Chris: It depends on how good you are as an engineer and a producer. That comes with experience. You can't just go, "I want to be a producer," and be a producer. Brian's at the point where he's starting to prove that he's a really good producer.
Is it different recording your own band as compared to recording other bands?
Brian: No, because I'm a weird type of person. I can lean back and play second fiddle to somebody and do whatever they want. Or, if they let me, I can take it and lead it. With my band, I can do it the way I think, but I work with Chris, too. It's not really different.
With this band, you moved from drummer to singer?
Brian: This was my first band moving from drums to behind the mic live. As a drummer, I got to the point where I was showy. I didn't want to be just a drummer. Becoming a singer wasn't too weird. The injuries I went through made me angry enough to write songs nobody else could sing.
What was the nature of the injuries?
Brian: I got knocked off a stage that had an 8-foot drop behind me. Because we love the Who, we used to end shows pushing over the drum set. Or the bass player would come flying at me and break the guitar. One show, the singer jumped from the front and knocked me over, and there was an 8-foot drop behind me. I fell and messed up my back for a long time. It's part of why that band broke up—I was injured. It played a big part in writing my own songs. I had a lot of spare time.
For more information, visit www.myspace.com/plastick.
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