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The Fantastic Plastics Interview: Vans Warped Tour Denver 2017

The Fantastic Plastics have combined their love of 80’s synths and modern technology to make their sci-fi adventure into a musical journey.  We caught up with Tyson Plastic and Miranda Plastic at the Denver stop on the Vans Warped Tour to hear more about their musical style and their love of sci-fi.

GTV: I saw on your Facebook page that this is your first time playing on Warped Tour. Did you grow up attending the shows? How does it feel to be on the bill?
Tyson Plastic: Yeah, when I was younger I went to a couple. A previous band I was in played a Warped Tour show in the past, just one though. This is actually the first time we’ve been on the tour.
Miranda Plastic: It’s amazing to be on the bill. It’s definitely the biggest thing we’ve done with the band so far. It’s been incredible; surreal even.
TP: It’s been great to see. We’ve mostly played on the east coast and the Midwest because we’re based in Brooklyn. It’s been cool to show up in Phoenix or Seattle and see fans who would’ve never had the chance to see us.

GTV: How did the idea to personify sci-fi into a musical act come about?
TP: I think we’re both really into retro-futurism, sort of that idea.
MP: The look, mostly; the visuals, the styles.

GTV: What drew you into playing this very retro, synth style of music?
MP: We’re both really into 80’s new wave like Gary Newman, Devo, and The B-52s. So we’re kind of trying to take our influences of that and make it more futuristic now.
TP: It was kind of just that thing with the book 1984 and this idea of the 50’s and 60s, what they thought the future was going to look like by the 80s. New wave to us was sort of this optimistic approach at music and it kind of seemed like that was the pinnacle of it.

GTV: Electronic music seems to be very divided as far as technology goes, but it seems like you guys have mixed vintage synths with modern digital synths seamlessly. Did mixing new and old come naturally or was it born out of a necessity or growth?
TP: We’re both just in love with Moog synthesizers. Devo used a lot of them, and The Cars. We are big Weezer fans and their bass player started a band called The Rentals with that mixture and we’re just in love with that. We’ve been able to take that and mix it with chiptunes and other synths.
MP: It just has such a unique sound and so much bass, more than any other synthesizer out there. And the design of their product is kind of futuristic so it goes with our whole package.

GTV: I read that you guys record and produce your music mostly through the internet with limited physical interaction. Is that true? How did you decide that this was the best method for you?
MP: Yeah, we kind of have a third, invisible member of the band. He works with Tyson a lot on the bass and the drums. A lot of the songs are initiated from that and then we build on top of it.
TP: He used to be in the band at one time; we still write and collaborate. He does our videos too. It’s actually great to collaborate this way because you don’t have someone hovering over you saying ‘No! Play it like this’ or ‘play it like that’. It’s like ‘here’s this track, lets collaborate on it’.
MP: You get a chance to listen to it on your own and think about it, which is nice. It came out of necessity when he moved to the Midwest.
TP: We didn’t want to lose him and we wanted him to stay involved, so it worked out.

GTV: Your video for ‘Troublemaker’ states that is was shot on iPhone. Why did you decide to forgo a big camera crew for a phone?
MP: Cost, mostly. We actually shot that in our apartment in Brooklyn. We painted a green wall in our studio. We tried to make it look as professional as we could.
TP: It kind of goes with our whole DIY thing. We have a DIY aesthetic; we write and record our own stuff. We produce it in our own little bedroom studio.
MP: And I make all of our costumes.

GTV: Do you design these yourselves? Where do you get the inspiration for that?
MP: We’re just into that old school sci-fi like Barbarella. That was one of the first movies that had amazing futuristic costumes. I saw that movie, which I probably shouldn’t have been watching as a kid, and thought ‘wow! That is so cool!’ We’re going to try and wear something different at every show were playing on the tour. We may have to repeat a couple but I think we brought at least 10 different looks. It’s taking up a lot of space.

GTV: Do you ever see yourself branching out of that style of music?
TP: I think there’s enough we can do within it. We’re working on some videos for our EP that kind of take that whole era-vibe in a different direction. But we like the idea of old-school TV and VHS.

GTV: You recently released your cover of The Flaming Lips ‘She Don’t Use Jelly’. What was it about this song that made you want to make it into your own?
TP: We actually recorded that about three years ago when we did a 90s cover night in Brooklyn. We got to thinking about it and we saw that the 90s were really coming back big. And when I think back to the 90s, that song and that video specifically personified that time. The weirdness, the outcast, the low-fi. So it just seemed perfect for the time.

GTV: You’re out on tour for a couple more weeks. What does the band have planned for the remainder of the year?
MP: Yeah, we’re planning on touring again in September on our own, with maybe another supporting band. Mostly in the Midwest area because we aren’t hitting that on this tour. And eventually out to California, we haven’t been out there in a really long time.
TP: And our team behind the scenes is working on trying to get us on a few more so we’re probably going to be busy the rest of the year and into next year.

GTV: Any last comments you want to share:
TP: Follow us on our social media pages. Send us a message and we’ll reply!

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