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BOTW Interview: Plant Plants

Band of the Week, Plant Plants, are two mates based in East London. We didn’t know too much about their background or how the amazing Plant Plants even sprung up from the ground. So, we asked them for a little explanation and they were kind enough to give us one, and some more juicy little tidbits!

PlanetNotion:  How did Plant Plants get started?

Stuart Francis: We had a mutual friend that died about three years ago, and through that we kind of became a bit closer and our other bands kind of broke up so we started writing some tunes together.

PN:  You’ve both been in bands previously, how have they shaped Plant Plants?

Howard Whatley: I think all the bands we’ve been in previously have been a really good step for things that are happening at the moment.

SF: We’re using bits of every band we’ve ever been in in what we’re doing now. Also you grow and you like different shit. I’m into stuff that just wasn’t around five years ago.

HW: I think this is the most honest music that I’ve personally done, probably.

PN: ‘Hand That Sleep’ is a pretty strange track, but a lot of people are doing quite difficult electronic music which has acoustic elements. Do you think with the success of that music, you’ve felt more comfortable doing your music?

SF: ‘Hands of Sleep’ was the first track we ever did together and we just did it because we just wanted to make music and we didn’t even think about putting it out there. The process of Hands was really fun for me too, because I just went around the house slamming doors, hitting things, and recording with the SP202 which has this awesome little condenser mic on it and I just pulled the sounds out and cut them up and made the drums out of that.

HW: Yeah we’ve found some pretty cool sounds from just recording people going about their daily business in peoples’ houses.

PN: Your upcoming EP was produced by Jas Shaw of Simian Mobile Disco, how did that come about?

SF: We basically heard he did the Gold Panda record. Howie and I were like, ‘Fuck we love that record!’ and thought wow, this could be really cool.

PN: Which studio did you work at?

HW: He’s [Jas Shaw] got a studio in Old Street. We pretty much recorded everything before we went in there and it was a case of just using some of his toys and technology and his brain as well. He has a whole analogue of sounds and for guys like us that are pretty geeky about effects and technology that was a real treat.

PN: So, were you two basically helping him co-produce?

SF: Yeah playing with files and these soft sythns which tend to sound really computer-y and digital and it sounded great. And Jas loves that stuff as well. He plays with the synth sound for like half an hour.

HW: I think it was ‘Hands That Sleep’ actually, we were running synth through some of his peddles and me and Stu were just sitting there watching him set up and next thing we know, 45 minutes later Jas is still standing there tweaking that stuff. It was like, ‘Jas, do you thinks it’s time we sort of, maybe get something to eat?’

PN: The EP will be released through This Is Music, were you drawn to them or did they come to you?

HW: Luke at This is Music has been really cool to us in the way that he’s basically just given us the rains and kind of said, you can just put out what you want to put out. He has a belief in us to sort of create something which is worthy enough to go out. They haven’t been very strict with us in terms of you must do this, you must do that.

PN: How does the live show work?

HW: In terms of how we do it, there’s guitars being used live. A lot of its samples, lots of effects, and lots of manipulation. There’s certainly no computers on stage or anything like that, it’s all done live.

PN: Are you going to keep it just you two on stage?

SF: Yeah. We’ll see how it goes.

PN: Your artwork for your EP and on your site is interesting, who does that?

HW: Mo Rah-man is our artist and you can…

SF: …website is plusmomo.com

HW: He’s an awesome, awesome artist and he’s done all of our graphics. We do all the photos ourselves. We’ve got sort of this funny thing going with these masks I bought in Mexico. I bought them as a joke really and I text Stu from Mexico saying, ‘Oh we’re going to use these in a band video.’ They’re on the front cover the EP. I just dreaded doing another band photoshoot, so we just started taking photos of these masks.


-Tim Robins

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