PLTS Talk Their New EP and the Importance of Home
We spoke to Byron rockers PLTS ahead of the release of their second EP, Lonely Leaves. We touched on the importance of home, their upcoming tour and just what’s next for the band.
PLTS (pronounced “Pilots”) have been around for a long time, hitting the road with bands like Hockey Dad and Hands Like Houses. PLTS have managed to amass over three million Spotify streams, and now they’re gearing up tour the east coast of Australia and finally release their long-awaited second EP.
The Creative Issue: First of all, who are PLTS and what are you up to at the moment?
PLTS: PLTS are an indie rock band hailing from Byron Bay, NSW. Forming in 2012, we’ve held true to our love for writing honest, larger than life, anthemic songs and delivering a powerful live performance to match. We’re currently gearing up to release our second EP, Lonely Leaves – our first body of work in over six years.
TCI: Your album tour hits Brisbane’s Black Bear Lodge on the 1st of June with Concrete Surfers – it’s quite an intimate venue, so what can those attending expect from the gig?
PLTS: Brisbane has such a strong music scene and it’s one of our favourite cities to play. I think the band has ticked off most of the iconic venues over the years, through support slots or headline shows, so it only seemed fitting to bring this tour through Black Bear Lodge. Being an intimate venue, expect quality banter and a great way to connect with the band, as well as a safe and positive space to enjoy live music.
TCI: You worked with Nick DiDia to record Lonely Leaves – he’s recorded some absolutely massive albums, what was that process like for you?
PLTS: We’ve been collaborating with Nick for over six years now. He actually recorded our first EP, which was an incredible learning experience for us. We started demoing music again with him about two years ago and it seemed really fitting to have him at the helm of this record. Nick and Bernard Fanning have a beautiful studio about ten minutes from Byron [Bay], which allowed us to record and be close to the comfort of home and the ocean – this is a major theme of the EP. As we tracked the majority of the record live, it was paramount to connect to the space and the producer above all else and finding comfort in these elements allowed us to really let our guards down and bring out the best in the songs.
TCI: There’s a diverse mix of sounds on the record – what particular artists were you influenced by when writing the record?
PLTS: Contrary to our previous releases, we chose to take a really organic route when producing Lonely Leaves. We tried to recreate the most accurate representation of the band’s live sound, which takes influence from bands including (but not limited to) The Smashing Pumpkins, The Districts, Basement and The Gaslight Anthem. The studio space was incredibly inspiring and allows for any sonic idea’s to be tried and tracked on the spot – hence the percussion, pianos and experimental guitar tones you’ll hear throughout.
TCI: A whole heap of great bands have come out of Byron and the Northern Rivers – does the area influence your songwriting on anything more than a superficial level?
PLTS: We’ve always stood by the fact that being such a beautiful part of the world, it’s bound to nurture creative talent and expression. I think the community in Byron Bay is incredibly supportive and fosters a lot of growth for artists, across any medium. On the contrary, you don’t need beaches and hinterland to foster amazing music scenes. Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth have thriving arts communities and we take inspiration for our songs every time we visit these places.
TCI: You’ve covered songs by artists like CHVRCHES and Courtney Barnett before – what inspires this diversity in song choice? What would you like to cover next?
PLTS: Plain and simple – genre doesn’t define great song-writing. We tried to attempt really diverse ways of covering the two songs, one being acoustic and one being a full band. Not sure what we’ll cover next.
TCI: What do your past experiences playing in other bands bring to PLTS? Any significant lessons learned?
PLTS: Every member of the band currently plays in multiple projects and we feel this is really important as musicians. I think everyone takes a little piece of every project they’ve ever played in/play with and brings this to PLTS. The team feels really strong at the moment and playing with other musicians then coming back to PLTS really enforces that.
TCI: You’ve clearly got a massive streaming audience – are there any plans to head overseas on the back of ‘Lonely Leaves’?
PLTS: We’ve spent so long refining our craft and finally feel ready to take it overseas. We’ve got some exciting things in the pipeline for next year and will be making the voyage overseas on the back of this EP with the follow up already in the oven.
What: PLTS’ Lonely Leaves tour
When: 1st of June
Where: Black Bear Lodge
More information: Tickets available here