[INTERVIEW] Plastic Section
Bangkok Garage Rockers, Plastic Section just dropped their new album Combination Special on February 23rd. This band is the epitome of garage rock chic. Their last, self-titled album was the shit and this new one will knock your socks off, pull your hair, and then invite you to it’s birthday party. I caught up with their lead singer, Ben Edwards, to find out what’s making them tock in Bangkok.
So Ben, how did you end up in a band in Bangkok?
I came to Bangkok six or seven years ago because I was bored with living in Sydney and wanted a change. I quickly got a job as a sub-editor on a magazine and also found that the underground music scene in Bangkok was really interesting, so I decided to stay. Initially I played some solo gigs, the first being at a cool art gallery / performance space called No Space, and there I met a lot of people in bands and the people from Panda Records. Pretty soon I formed a band called Basement Tape with some new friends, and at the same time I occasionally played solo gigs under the name of Plastic Section. After a while I was playing with a drummer, and by the time the first album came out Plastic Section had evolved into a proper three-piece band with Pok Wannarit Pongprayoon on bass and Put Wednesday Suksriwan on drums.
As English is not everybody in the band’s first language, do you ever struggle communicating?
No we don't have any problems with that. Put has lived in Singapore, Japan and the UK and speaks Thai, Japanese and English fluently, and Pok speaks English really well too. Unfortunately my Thai is pretty bad! But mostly we're all musicians who look at music from an artistic rather than commercial point of view, so we understand each other pretty well.
Tell us about the Bangkok scene?
When I first came to Bangkok the scene for original music was interesting but small. Since then it has grown a lot and become more diverse and interesting. The scene is very international now, with people from different backgrounds and nationalities forming bands together, which makes for some interesting ideas and sounds. A lot of the bands here are as good as or better than bands anywhere in the world. It's also a friendly scene and fairly easy to set up gigs in small venues. More international indie bands are starting to come too, which is great because it gives local bands a chance to play with some of their heroes.
What’s the best gig you have ever played?
The most exciting for me were two gigs we had supporting two of my favorite bands - The King Khan and BBQ Show at Cosmic Cafe and Deerhoof at Harmonica. It was an honor to play with these amazing bands, and the people in both bands were also really cool and friendly.
Another unforgettable gig was the last Stone Free Festival, set in a disused quarry in Kanchanaburi that looked like the surface of the moon!
If your band were birds, what birds would they be and where would they fly?
Haha.. I can't speak for Pok and Put, but maybe I'd be an Australian cockatoo because they're very noisy and destructive! I'd probably try to fly to Mars.
Name 3 of your bands main artistic influences:
Bo Diddley - the king of crazy raw rock 'n' roll.
The Gories - brilliant rhythm and blues-based garage rock from Detroit.
Kim Salmon and the Surrealists - a unique three-piece band from Australia led by former Scientists frontman Kim Salmon. The music is kind of a blend of noisy swamp rock, twisted abstract jazz and surrealism.
What are your plans for the future?
We plan to shoot two more videos for our new album, Combination Special with local Thai artists Tokin Teekanun and Pichan Sujaritsatit, then record a new album in April. Later in the year we're hoping to play in some other countries (probably Australia and Japan) and then hopefully tour Europe in the near future!
So there you have it folks. Straight from the horses mouth. If you live in Europe, Australia, or Japan, then keep your eyes peeled and your ears close to the pavement. Hopefully you will catch a glimpse of these cats in the near future.
For now, check out the video for their first single, "Shot" from the new album, Combination Special.
Or head straight over to iTunes and download yourself a copy.