Artist Spotlight: Plaza (September 2016)

By: Katie Hall

Band/Artist: Plaza

If you haven't heard of Hartlepool's post-indie poster boys Plaza, don’t worry as they’re set to release more material soon, and they’re playing headline gig at Middlesbrough's Empire tomorrow.

Noted as one of our top 10 North East artists to look out for in 2016, there are plenty of reasons to keep an eye on the band in the coming months. I caught it with band member, Bradley to deliver the details on what kicked it all off.

"Well, inspiration is obviously a huge factor to the sound you make. We started Plaza because we were bored during summer, and we spent around eighth months just writing songs and progressing and modifying the sound; obviously the progression is a reoccurring thing as this is a constant thing that happens over time, but yeah we just knew he sound we wanted and worked hard towards that goal."

Obviously, the band have come an incredibly long way from being bored kids, to now having an upcoming headline show on Friday 3rd September Middlesbrough's Empire, on a Saturday night no less. But as far as things go, fame doesn't seem to be going to their heads much. Overall, Bradley informed us that everything is getting: "a lot more close to home".

"The new material that we have, in my opinion, is more true to myself - it feels a lot more raw." Their lyrics, in particular, he feels have become much more cohesive and put together. He said: "all of the old songs were all over, and some of the songs seem to be hard to understand and very subliminal - such as ‘Antumbra’, ‘Origami’, and ‘As Above’. These all have their own personal meanings to me, whereas songs like ‘Fickle’ or ‘Home’ are just about girls and getting wrecked with my friends."

Their influences are evolving constantly, too. According to Bradley, it takes more than just music to create the band's sound. Even the people around them have an effect on the sound the band creates at that point in time: "Obviously you discover new bands and make new friends who have an influence on your music. It definitely has an impact on the music you create."

The new material they have is due out in the coming months, but until then, I had to ask the boys about what it had been like in the process of creating their latest haul of tunes. Bradley was keen to discuss the process:"It varies. For one of the new songs, I got the idea whilst we were in the studio recording ‘Blood Orange’, then I messed around with it for a while, made a little experimental demo in my bedroom, took it to practise and then worked on it as a band. The majority of it comes from little ideas and demos and then we work on it."

And, of course, the Hartlepool lads have always got home in their hearts - even as they travel the length and breadth of the UK (getting kicked out of hotels along the way). They discussed how, even in hard times, the Northern music scene is beginning to blossom in to something truly unique in the UK: "The scene up here is getting better and better all the time. From when we first started playing shows and writing music, there didn't seem to be much going on, compared to now. We've made so many friends and so many bands are doing incredibly well - it's just amazing to see, it gives you hope."

Plaza are playing the Middlesbrough Empire tomorrow.. To keep up-to-date with the band please follow them on Twitter: wernotplaza and listen to their music on Soundcloud.

Photography by Callum Thornhill.

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