Catch up with alternative pop band Plaid Brixx's Chris Duggan (vocals & guitar) and watch the video for their single "Since You Came" off the band's new self-titled EP, out now.
What brought you all together?
Chris: I was interested in starting a band since I saw Blink-182 on the MTV Video Awards in, like, 1998, I think [laughs]. Mark (drummer) and I were in a punk band in high school and we weren't very good, as most high school punk bands are not, but we bonded over our love of Blink-182.
Which musicians have you been influenced by?
Everything. I listened to a lot of The Beach Boys growing up. I also went through a metal phase in middle and high school: Metallica, Tool, System Of A Down. And then, more punk bands like The Ramones and The Clash and, yeah, Sex Pistols, Green Day, Sum 41; all those were really influencers for me.
What words would you use to describe your sound?
Which EP would you like me to describe, because I think there's a distinct sound to each one? I would call it [Plaid Brixx EP] fun, dance-y, pop music.
Where does your name, Plaid Brixx, come from?
I always loved plaid growing up and I begged my parents to let me have plaid wallpaper in my room, so I did, and then I pinned all my skateboarder and Blink-182 and other band posters over top of the plaid. So, I've always loved plaid and I thought it would be interesting to do something visually with that. Then, a strong image is a brick wall, so I took that and then I added 2 x's because it would be more fun [laughs]. Because I don't want anyone to think we take ourselves too seriously or anything, it's all about fun.
What were your inspirations behind your video for "Since You Came"?
A lot of things. I like the Miyazaki films so I wanted it to have that magical element, like animated stuff, and I love fantasy stuff, too. I also kind of wanted to pay homage to The Powerpuff Girls so, the three women in the video, it's like a nod to The Powerpuff Girls; there's a Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup [laughs].
Could you tell us more about your new EP, Plaid Brixx?
It's definitely a more pop-y approach. We've all started getting into the whole alternative pop thing since we became a band and that's just what we've been listening to and I guess it's influenced where we wanted to take the sound. So, instead of a more hard rock mixed with pop sound, we just wanted to have it be a lot of fun and maybe simplify things a little bit and make it a riotously good time to see us live; because I can do more without a guitar in my hands on all the new songs on the new EP when we perform them. I can jump around, jump off stuff - I don't have a guitar - I run around and jump into the audience. It just makes for a lot more fun live.
Do you have a favorite track to perform live?
I would say "The Greener Side" is really fun to perform live. I also really like performing "Away We Go". The new EP is definitely more fun for me since I don't have to play guitar.
Could you sum up the new EP in one sentence?
Pop dynamite wrapped in fun.
What do you hope listeners and fans are able to take away from your music?
If you look at the overall theme of what we're doing as a band, which is always growing and evolving and learning and never stopping, that would be a good thing to look at for fans to take away and apply to their own lives; never giving up on their dreams and always continuing to grow and evolve as a person, or in any creative pursuit. But, from the music itself, I want people to relate and apply their own experiences to it. The songs kind of take a new life when people take them out into the world and make memories to them and stuff like that, so we just want to make the best music possible and have it be fun to listen to.
Is there anything you want to add?
Yeah, we absolutely adore all of our fans and everyone who has supported us this far and we look forward to continuing to get better and grow - as people and artists - and have our fans grow with us.
August 18 - Illinois State Fair - Springfield, IL
August 19 - Illinois State Fair - Springfield, IL
August 20 - Illinois State Fair - Springfield, IL
September 3 - Fashion Meets Music Festival - Columbus, OH
September 25 - The New Albany Classic - Albany, OH