March 20, 2017

March is music month for UO. From interviews and live performances, to panel discussions and more, we’re celebrating all month long. We caught up with PLAZA, a four-piece rock outfit from Hartlepool. From playing the Albert Hall to embarking on their biggest tour to date, it’s all kicking off for these guys. We speak with them about having their sound described as ‘intricate shoegaze’ and their new material coming soon.

UO: Can you tell us a little about your story so far?

We’re all Hartlepool born and bred (strong in the arm, wrong in the head). Four strapping, handsome, young men writing songs about love, loss, life and gaining our ticket out of loserville. The four of us met at a county cricket tournament and decided to swap the whites for riffs. Nah that’s a lie – Hartlepool has a pretty small and irregular music scene but everyone involved loves each other to bits, so as musicians we’ve all been familiar with each other for a lot of years, and one day, between the four of us we decided to start a super cool rock band.

UO: How would you describe your sound and style?

Our sound has been called all sorts, in the last six months we’ve had “math metal” and “intricate shoegaze” but I think we’ve decided on “progressive chav indie reebok rock”. Style wise, I’m not actually sure, I know we definitely couldn’t pull off wearing a Ted Baker blazer, someone once described our look as “hanging outside the off licence asking people to gan in the shop for them” – not entirely sure what that means but we’ll take it. We’re just happy to be here.

UO: You’ve got your biggest tour to date coming up in April. Are you excited for this or feeling the nerves?

We were born for this man, a couple of weeks worth of not having to brush ya teeth sounds immense. Not looking forward to service station prices or pasties though. The gigs should be special, we’re touring with HAUS for half of it who are all gorgeous young men.

UO: Which venue has been your favourite to perform at so far?

Albert Hall in Manchester was a good one, it was enormous! Small venues are always good too, the intimacy always makes the show feel a little more special.

UO: You recently released a new single ‘Totem’ and a follow up single is rumoured to be released this spring. What can we expect from this new material?

New material is coming very soon and is like a limited edition Maccy’s burger (big and tasty). We’re buzzing for everyone to get it into them and can’t wait to see people’s heads oozing with PLAZA’s special musical sauce.

UO: Has music always been a part of your life?

Music is probably the reason we’re not all doing hair and makeup courses or studying a sports BTEC. I was voted most likely to become a talk show host in my school yearbook but that’s been dulled by ambition to succeed as a musician. We all grew up listening to similar stuff and were fed tunes on a spoon by our parents (thanks mam and dad). I think I read people who are distanced from music from a young age or even in later life are statistically more likely to go out and commit grade A atrocities, which explains our clean living, positive and helpful approach to life. Music is the key.

UO: Who are your biggest musical inspirations?

We all have pretty similar collective influences but if we had to pick one each it would be:

Will – Thom yorke

Brad – Ian Curtis

Swinny – Roni Size

Matty – Avril Lavigne

UO: When and where are you most actively creative?

Our practice room at The Studio in Hartlepool, we practically live there. We recently got two sofas off gumtree for free and crammed them in. That place is Plaza paradise and the sofas are as comfy as anything I’ve ever sat me bot on. We get all our writing done in there and all our laughing. We might look like moody goths but we have a right giggle on them sofas. Also if anyone is reading this and has a set of bunk beds they no longer want and need them collecting, we will happily take them off your hands.

UO: What can we expect to see and hear from you for the rest of 2017?

We’re busy buggers this year, but all exciting stuff. EP out very soon, lots of touring after that, back in the studio, a couple of cool festivals and probably some more touring. Plenty more Plaza and plenty more patter. We invite everyone to join us!