Thursday, February 26, 2015
Local indie-psych-pop practicioners Plastic Bubble have returned with their latest modern classic album, with a Will Oldham-starring video to help turn heads on. The band plays a release show on Friday at Haymarket Whiskey Bar. I asked visionary Matt Taylor to tell me the tale.
First, tell me about putting this album together – and how did you decide it needed two dozen or so of Louisville’s best musicians to come in and add cameos?
We started recording Big Day Parade less than a week after the release show for our debut album, Treble Treasure Chest (in 2012). The plan was to do this one as more of a band effort than the first one, as the debut began with me assembling recordings with a loose and shifting collection of friends, before a band name or identity was in place.
By the time we started recording Big Day Parade, the four of us that had played the most stuff on the first album – Jason Dudgeon, Elisa McCabe, John Kleemeier, and myself – had been playing live and had become a real band, rather than just a name for people to record under. We recorded this new album in multiple environments and with different recording setups … the overdubs on the bulk of the other material on the album were recorded in one of our homes, or at a friend’s home on a laptop. Almost everything was done digitally, but a few songs were built on top of things recorded on cassette 4-track. This material was more collaboratively written by the live line-up, and tended to be a little more developed from a performance angle before we started recording, rather than figuring out how to play the songs live after creating them as a studio band. But still, all along we knew we would have people outside the band make appearances on the recordings.
On the first album, I had a lot of fun just having people come over and play overdubs on things to put their personalities on it and give each song its own unique vibe. I’m a music nerd who gets into reading liner notes and seeing who plays on what, and I especially like it when I see a complicated combination of people contributing and interweaving on a project. Because we did so much recording at home and over a long period of time, it was natural to have friends just add an overdub here or there when they were over hanging out. Sometimes it was to have a community chorus kind of vibe, sometimes because we knew someone who could play an instrument we couldn’t, and sometimes just to put a touch of someone else’s energy on something.
Tell me about things you’ve learned in the journey from starting the band to where you’re at now.
While it doesn’t feel like we’ve learned any lessons or anything, it does seem like we are a very different band, or are coming at things from a different angle now compared to when we first started playing out as a band. I can’t speak for the others, but I feel like we are more confident now. It helped that people seemed pretty responsive, from the beginning.
I think we learned that we don’t have to be too serious, and that we can be ourselves. Not that we are overconfident and think that people will like whatever we do. I just feel like we don’t have to go out there trying to keep a straight face and be all “Louisville” about everything. I think we feel pretty free to quirk out. The people that like us probably like the lighter, silly side.
Maybe I personally have learned a few lessons; mostly to not ramble so damn much and getting my wannabe stand-up comedian on between songs. I’ve learned to shut my mouth and keep a little mystique. The main thing I’d like to learn is how to move and look human onstage. I love doing this so much, but I don’t think I look like I’m having much fun from my stiff presence onstage … when not making Nancy Kerrigan jokes, that is.
Hear examples at www.hopeforthetapedeck.bandcamp.com/album/big-day-parade.
C. 2015 The Voice-Tribube
at 8:03:00 PM