Face to face with Plainview


Dark, magnetic, roaring riffs wrap you like firm embrace which definitely won’t let you go once you get into it. Haunting vocals will stay in your head for days on end circulating through your system. This is Plainview. Want to experience this music wonder? Get Plainview’s debut self-titled album from iTunes and read on to Rock Britain’s chat with the band.

In your bio you state it was desire to get back on the road that brought Plainview together. And what pre-Plainview music experience had you had by that time? How did you cut your teeth as musicians?

David: “Over the years we’ve all played in various original bands.  Jonny and I were part of a Prog Rock band called The Spinlords, Chris played for a Hard Rock band called Counterpoint, and we all recorded and toured with them respectively.  After a few years of not getting anywhere I decided to approach the session scene more and eventually got picked up by The Yardbirds.  I was in my 5th year of touring with them when Plainview formed last year, which was one of the main reasons for forming the band, I missed being on the road playing my own music.”

Chris: “I ended up drumming for a pub band which Dave was playing for early last year, and we got talking at a gig about how we missed playing proper Rock music, touring around the world sleeping in the back of a dirty van.  After that night Dave went home and talked to Jonny and we all decided to start writing together for a new band.  We emailed ideas to each other, and funnily enough only rehearsed a few times before going in the studio to record the album!”

You are influenced by hard rock and grunge bands and I really love how you combine these inspirations in your music. What bands have had the biggest impact on you as a person and a musicians in terms of music inspiration?

Jonny: “It’s probably easier to answer this from a less personal perspective.  When we created this band we set our own musical boundaries.  The influences of Plainview the band do not encapsulate the sum of our musical influences.  We wanted to be in a band that had a unified sound and image rather than an explosion of all our influences.  We looked to Metal bands that had riffs that groove whilst utilising strong melodies.”

Dave: “We all dig so much music that we could easily have written music that sounded like Gentle Giant or something…. what do you mean you haven’t heard of Gentle Giant!?  I think we did the right thing in deciding upon a sound early on so that everything we do is focused.  We will one day however take everyone by surprise and release a reggae album.”

You released your debut, self-titled album a year ago. Looking back at it and being a year older, what makes you especially proud of this album?

Jonny: “A lot of bands tend to take far too long and tend to be far too precious about their debut album. We wanted to do the opposite of that so just wrote and recorded the songs quickly so we never lost that initial excitement we had for that material.”

Dave: “As a musician and songwriter it is hard to look back at something you’ve done in the past and remain proud. At the moment we are really looking forward to the next album. we’re really focused on making album 2 better than the first, and I hope we always have that drive to move forward with our music.”

What are your future plans new-releases wise?

Chris “We’re writing all the time, already getting sick of playing the first album and nobodies heard of us! Haha, joking of course, but we have been throwing new songs into our live set recently, and will be going back into the studio in January to record a limited edition three track single/EP.  We plan for them all to have their own unique, twisted artwork.  Something a bit different.  As for second album, we’ve already got a load of new songs written, so it’s just going to be a case of picking the very best of however many we have by the time it comes to record.  We’re approaching labels and looking for different ways to fund the second album at the moment, but hoping to be recording next Spring/Summer with the aim of a Winter release.”

You’re playing a special Halloween show at the end of the month. How are you going to make it special? What’s your favourite Halloween costume?

Danny: “I think it’s going to be special for all of us as Dave gets to wear his red spandex trousers again.  In truth, it’s great to play one off gigs when not touring, they always have a different atmosphere.  It also gives us a chance to try out some of the new material we have been working on over the last couple of months.”

Jonny: “I have a bad track record for costumes.  Being both cheap and lazy I tend to fail horribly at creating any costume.  My only fall back is to lean heavily towards partial nudity.  It’s an easy distraction to draw people’s attention from the fact that I haven’t really been arsed.”

What’s the best gig you’ve ever attended? And the worst?

Danny: “Devin Townsend playing the ‘Addicted’ album in London.  He’s always great on stage.  The worst would be Bob Dylan at Hammersmith Apollo a couple of years ago.  His ability to massacre his entire back catalogue was incredible.

Dave: “I’d have to say that Stan Webb’s Chickenshack was easily the worst gig I’ve seen.  I played a festival in Poland with the Yardbirds and he was headlining.  He was wasted and kept turning his amps up full blast, busting them, and blaming the crew.  The vibe was terrible.   The best, hands down, was Kate Bush last month at the Apollo.  Just a once in a lifetime experience and pure magic.”

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a band so far?

Danny: “I’ve found that it’s been really difficult to move up in the scene and play the types of gigs we want to be playing.  The live music scene in the UK is struggling and we’ve seen great, small venues closing all over the country.  People don’t seem as keen to spend some money to go out and see up and coming bands anymore, even if it’s just a fiver.”

Chris: “There also seems to be no value in music and ownership anymore.  Everybody illegally downloads music or uses subscription services such as Spotify, and as an independent band we just don’t see any return from this.  We took our music off Spotify when we found that even people who we knew were loving the album hadn’t bought a copy.  People buying our music not only lets us know that you like it, but it allows us to make more in the future.”

Dave: “Biggest challenge? Getting Tony Iommi to listen to the damn CD I gave him!!”

How are your songs usually born? What does the process of making music look like in Plainview?

Jonny: “We have a fairly efficient writing process in Plainview.  The majority of the time Dave or I will record a rudimentary demo of a song and send it around.  This way we have a good idea of how the song will sound before we spend time in a studio.  This also acts as part of the vetting process.  When we get into the studio we then form and shape the song to our liking.  This is where we work together as a unit, we can experiment and play with an existing song rather than jamming from scratch.”

While making music, what’s the most important thing for you in it?

Dave: “When I write I always remember an interview I once heard with Richie Blackmore.  He said about Rock n Roll needing to be written quickly, and without thinking about it too much.  I tend to think that a lot of modern Rock/Metal stuff over thinks and over complicates things.  So when I write for Plainview I just bash out ideas quickly, send them to the boys and just ask for them to be brutal.  Immediacy is so important in Rock music so if they don’t instantly dig an idea I just bin it.”

What do you ideally want to achieve with Plainview?

Plainview: “Getting a Crumpton Oaks cider sponsorship. End of.”

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