We sat down to chat with Plaid Brixx in Pittsburgh, PA on their tour with We The Kings. The trio were very open about their recording process, the music industry and upcoming music. Read our Q&A with the band below.
BTS: You just started a tour with We The Kings, right?
PB: Its really awesome, really good times all around. Super good fun times. We have a hashtag that we made up.
BTS: What’s the hashtag?
PB: #SuperGoodFunTimes, It hasn’t caught on. I think I’ve only used it once. We’re not trying very hard but its our personal hashtag.
BTS: We’re gonna ask you about your name because it’s interesting, we’ll give it that. Where does it come from?
PB: There are many angles to this. It’s partially because we had a lot of brick houses around where we grew up. Partially because I wanted to see a plaid brick wall because I thought it would look cool. We could do a lot of stuff with brick pattern, plaid pattern and band names. Also I love plaid stuff. I love plaid wallpaper, I had it in my room growing up, like plaid shirts with hipster and music culture.
BTS: Any reason for the X’s at the end of the name?
PB: Because its cool and also it looks like plaid. The two X’s next to each other look like plaid. Fun fact, there is a band called Plaid and a band called Bricks.
BTS: We were going to say, Have you ever heard of Dr. Brixx? He does pop punk mashups.
PB: He just tweeted at us today. He was like “People have been telling me that I should do a collaboration with Plaid Brixx and I’m not opposed to that”. Lets do it.
BTS: You guys are from Columbus, OH. What was it like coming up in that local music scene?
PB: We’re not really part of the local music scene that much, they don’t really like pop music. There have been people in Columbus that have been supportive, but not really the scene people. The scene is very punk and very indie. It’s a good scene, theres just not a ton of bands that are like us. It’s a very community oriented scene, but its just been difficult for us because we are one of the few true pop acts in Columbus, so it makes it difficult for us to put up other shows. Like when Twenty One Pilots came up in Columbus, they weren’t part of the scene at all. Like the scene actually hated them. Like “these guys use tracks, they’re fucking fake” and now they’re like “Yeah! Twenty One Pilots is from Columbus!”.
BTS: Are there really any Pop scenes anywhere?
PB: Yeah like L.A.
BTS: You never really see pop local shows. Everyones either playing pop punk or metal stuff.
PB: It’s interesting. We’ve been on the bill with a lot of metal bands, lets just put it that way. But people still like it. It was really funny, like a couple of years back. We played SXSW and it was this metal bill, just a bunch of metal bands. There was this one dude who looked like former army veteran, shaved head, camo, wife beater shirt, and he was just rocking out to stuff. Then we came on and afterward he was like “You guys were awesome! I love your music!” and we were like “Thank you! Don’t kill us!”. It was pretty funny though.
BTS: How was playing SXSW?
PB: Extremely tiring. We played five shows in four days. I would love to go back and just hang out. I was still in school at the time too, so I was doing school things as well so I was running from panels to the shows then trying to see other shows and doing business dinner type stuff. I went to the grammy party. It was a very tiring, but very fun South By. And then the house we rented on AirBnB was infested with larger cockroaches. I didn’t look for like a really cheap one, we wanted like a clean, safe area and it just happened that this house was infested with enormous cockroaches. I was like “you know that your house is infested with cockroaches right?” and they were like “Every house is, whats wrong with that? Thats how it goes, it’s Texas!”. Im pretty sure that not every house has these things living in the kitchen running on the silverware. If you were quiet at night, you could hear them crawling around, like no joke. They would eat each other and stuff too. It was cannibalistic.
BTS: How did you guys all meet?
PB: We went to the same school growing up. Played in a band together when we were young. Jared moved to Columbus to college and we met him at one of our shows. We were like “You should pretend to play keyboard for our video”. Then he came to the video shoot and he was so good at pretending to play keyboard, we eventually convinced him over the course of a month or two that he needed to learn to play keyboard and join our band. Our bass player left, so Jared took over the stringed instruments. He plays guitar and bass, interchangeably.
Jared: Guitar is my main instrument, I stretched to get into the band a lil bit, now I’m back on strings.
Chris: I am a reformed guitarist. I went to Musicologists Monogamous, meaning I’m the only person mono, and they told me I need to give up the guitar because I’ve become addicted. I’m making that up, but I just like stopped playing guitar.
BTS: Do you guys have any music coming out soon?
PB: Yes. We’re gonna do a bunch of singles. A BUNCH. I can’t promise, but I would really like to do one a month, indefinitely.
BTS: That’s awesome because a lot of bands just throw out a bunch of content at once and you don’t get anything for a year or two.
PB: Yeah, I don’t like that. I wanna make Fan-fare every song we release. And every song should be good enough to stand on it’s own. Like you shouldn’t have to cluster a bunch of songs together in hopes that the people will pay more money for the product when half the songs suck and the other half are okay. Like album tracks.
BTS: Thats cool actually because a lot of bands nowadays are doing more album things, and not only are they doing full out albums, but they’re going with album movies.
PB: Which is kinda cool. Theres something to be said for that. We’re not ready to do that.
Chris: I know Grimes just released five or six music videos at once and I was like “Grimes, you’re killing me, thats like six months worth of content. You could make new music while you have that in the piggy bank ready to be put out”. It just makes more sense in todays culture where kids attention span is just wanting new stuff all the time. You have to cater to that.
PB: Like Mo-Town with the singles and the B-sides, exactly. It all comes back around.
BTS: And since you are trying to cater to the fans more, how do you feel about music streaming as opposed to album sales?
PB: Love it. Love it. Why not? The World’s changing, embrace the change. It’s proven that people do what is most convenient. It’s a simple marketing term. Even if they have to pay a little more, which is why you’re seeing piracy drop as streaming becomes more prevalent. People will pay 10 dollars a month for access to all music. Basically its change or get wrecked in this industry. You have to, like yeah you might not make as much money from streaming but you use that as a tunnel for other things. Marketing research suggests that millenials are more into buying experiences and making memories than they are having physical objects. That just goes into like “go to the show” and then ticket prices rise to adjust to the fact that theres less album sales generating. The market will adjust appropriately. I love industry trend watching. We went to school for this.
BTS: What did you guys go to school for?
PB: Music Business and Entrepreneurship as well as Production.
BTS: And speaking of production, what is the whole writing process like for you guys?
PB: Well, it’s a little bit different for every album and it probably will continue to be different. First album was in my basement, just off my laptop. Second album, we worked producers in LA who are like Hip-Hop and Pop dudes. They’re like beat makers basically. They were so fucking good. They did our second album. You have the beat, and you write top line over top of it which is like melody and lyrics. Generally, I’ll start a title and write a song based on the title. Not always.
BTS: Thats an interesting way to go about it.
PB: It’s an attention grabbing title and then try to sing off them in song.
BTS: Do you guys have a favorite venue, or a favorite city to tour?
PB. Wichita, Buffalo, Toronto. I really enjoy Toronto as a city, like the people there. We’ll know more as we go on. This is our first major tour. I really liked Jersey, like the show. It was a really fun show. And I love Springstein.
BTS: I see you have a plaid tattoo?
PB: I do, yeah
BTS: Is there a meaning?
PB: It’s kinda complicated. I got the octopus because I like octopus. Then I got it filled in with plaid later. That’s kind of it.
BTS: If you look on your Facebook page, it says you are very into pizza?
BTS: Where are some of your favorite pizza places?
PB: Pizza is where I have- well pizza and candy I guess, where I have some issues. It varies by city. Right now we are totally into Lorenzo’s in Philly. Those were the biggest pizza slices we’ve seen. It’s on our instagram. They’re enormous. And they’re $3.50!
BTS: No way!
PB: No for real! It’s like the biggest slice of pizza, its like bigger than your face. He ate two of them, I ate one and I was like “I’m still hungry” so I got another one and I only got like half way through it so I kinda munched on it throughout the night and the next day. In New York, Joe’s Pizza in West Village on Carmine street is amazing. And Two Boots. I took them to Two Boots in New York for the first time. It’s Louisiana and Italy, they’re both shaped like boots so it’s like cajun style mixed with Italian. It’s amazing.
BTS: Is there a favorite type, a go-to?
PB: Chris likes the cheese slice. (Chris) Yeah, It’s how you judge the quality of any pizza place. Yeah that’s my philosophy. I’ll always do a slice of cheese and and then a specialty slice, but always at least one of cheese. If you can’t serve a good slice of cheese, you’re not actually a real pizza place and might as well close. This is serious stuff. Just because you have a pizza oven doesn’t mean you should have a business. We are very passionate about pizza.
BTS: Do you have any Up and Coming band’s you’d like to shoutout?
PB: Astro Lasso. They play before us on this tour and they are so good. They are such good dues and have amazing music, definitely check them out. Kid Runner is another of our friend’s bands from Columbus and they’re doing national stuff right now. I think they’re opening a couple dates for The Griswolds right now, which is dooooooooope. I love The Griswalds.