London alt-indie duo Plastic Barricades, consists of Paul Love on drums and vocalist/guitarist Dan Kert. Kert took the time to chat with No Apologies Magazine about their recent album release Self Theories and Plastic Barricades metamorphosis from it’s inception in 2007.
NA: How did you come up with your name?
Dan Kert: Well, Barricades first became Plastic all the way back in 2007, but the origins of the name remain a case shrouded in mystery to this day. Every interview we ever gave contains a different band name origin story. Collect them all and unlock the secrets of the universe !
NA: Why did you decide this was the path to take?
Kert: I had music in my life since I was about 6 and started attending classical music school, studying piano and guitar. My parents always played acoustic guitars and sang folk songs and I was fascinated by the beauty of the major7 chords and poetic lyrics. Song is such a perfect vessel for self-expression, with all its limitations and time constrictions. I’ve also hear Kurt Cobain sing his heart out when I was 12 – and there was absolutely no way back since then. Music will most definitely save the world (or will be played loud at its funeral).
NA: What inspires your music?
Kert: People and their stories, their fears and joy, their achievements and failings. Humankind is fascinating. I find a lot of inspiration in literature, which allows me to live a short life through someone else’s eyes. That is invaluable to a songwriter.
NA: What is the best thing about being on tour? The toughest?
Kert: The toughest thing when you are on tour besides the early morning and late nights and below average diet is the need to play the same songs night after night. It is nice when you have a big back catalogue and can diversify the setlist, otherwise you always end up hating a lot of the songs that were once so dear to your heart.
NA: How long have you all been together as a group?
Kert: Plastic Barricades had a lot of different line-ups, we were even a four-piece for a year or so. The band was started in autumn 2007 in Estonia and migrated to UK in 2012.
NA: What brought you two together?
Kert: Me and Paul knew each other for quite a while. He was running a rehearsal studio in North-West London all the way back in 2012 – and I just moved to London and desperately needed a place to play music. His studio was the closest to my house back then. PB had a long row of drummers, tours and a debut album before we reconnected with Paul in 2018 and wrote “Self-Theories” together in a tiny backyard shed.
NA: What is your secret super power?
Kert: Contagious optimism and stubbornness, that’s for sure
NA: Who is your hero? Why?
Kert: Dave Grohl is definitely a hero of mine. Why? Do I really need to answer that? He managed to become one of the most prolific songwriters and band leaders of our time, while still being a genuinely nice guy! What a rare combination of accolades! Dear Dave, I really hope that someday soon we will meet for a nice cup of coffee and a mean jam with you and the Foos !
NA: Name one person you would want to be for a day?
Kert: To be honest, I don’t think I want to be anyone else, even for a day. Although, if I am allowed to travel back in time, I wouldn’t mind being a random guy/girl in the front row at Reading Festival on a lovely Sunday night in 1992.
NA: What is the hardest aspect about what you do?
Kert: Talking about myself is hard. No, seriously. This has nothing to do with being modest or shy. It is hard work regardless of how much you adore yourself.
NA: Last meal on earth? Why?
Kert: Probably has to be pizza and some ice-cream for desert. Why? Because if this is the last meal, it can be an unhealthy one, I suppose.
NA: What do you think defines you as a person? As a musician?
Kert: What defines me as a person is a very difficult question and will require me to write an essay, which I am sure you don’t have time for. What defines me as a musician might be a bit easier to answer, at least in the context of Plastic Barricades: plenty of weird chord voicing and ringing open strings, over-the-top layering of guitar parts, clear and concise lyrics without unnecessary vagueness and the regular urge to offer some consolation and comfort to the listener.
NA: What do you want to do in life but are afraid to try?
Kert: I would love to finish a novel that has been in the works for quite a while now. I wouldn’t say I am afraid of doing that, it just requires a particular state of mind and probably total absence of internet connection for at least a week or two. High hopes for 2021.