What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
Back in 2015 I was living in my bosses hobby closet on an air mattress on the floor after a roommate bailed on me last minute. I had a busted guitar, a 40 dollar interface with a missing knob, a 15 dollar set of headphones, an ancient laptop, and some song ideas. I put them together as the Eugenics EP, which was pretty well received in Salt Lake City, and played some really neat live shows right away with that same garbage laptop and guitar.
5 years, 3 albums, two EPs and a few singles later, Golden Plates is still just me, my guitar and a laptop. I made a documentary for Youtube where I play all the different band members, they talk about their influences and lives, it’s pretty entertaining according to my mom, who is also upset she couldn’t unsee it after learning that her son is probably a total degenerate.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
Golden Plates: Unplugged with the Bourbon Tabernacle Orchestra is an extension of the idea that all the band members of Golden Plates are voices in my head. This time, I hooked up to a Scientology E-Reader and this is what came out, an entire Bourbon Tabernacle Orchestra (BoTab for short),led by yours truly, Elder Brycen. I took some old songs and some unreleased tracks, took out the electric instruments, and added violin, viola, cello, woodwinds, double bass, harmonica, and more for something a little different.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
Musically, Bowie is the biggest influence, but there’s a lot. We wear our influences on our sleeves, and they include Interpol, The Kills, The Cure, Joan Jett, Nirvana, Wipers, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Arcade Fire, Modest Mouse, Elvis Costello, Blur, Oasis, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Black Pistol Fire, Jack White, Josh Homme, Iggy Pop, Car Seat Headrest, Spoon, Beck, The Chemical Brothers, Depeche Mode, Pixies, Joy Division, Radiohead, Bloc Party, Rx Bandits, Bright Eyes, King Khan, Slowdive… I could go on for another few hours if you like.
My two biggest influences, non musically, are probably LSD, which has nearly cured my depression where all other meds have failed miserably, and the sociopath who calls himself my dad. Honorable mentions include Jason Schwarzman who I like to think narrates my life, Mary Poole, who has stuck with Robert Smith for all these years giving the rest of us hope, and Emma Goldman, because if your revolution doesn’t have dancing, I want no part of it.
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
Good artists borrow, great artists steal. As we mentioned before, we have a ton of influences, and we like to throw as much homage as we can into our music in our sad attempt to stand on the shoulders of giants. We do a cover every week on Tuesday, partly to tear apart the arrangements of our favorite music and learn from them. We want to sound just a little like your favorite band, whoever that is, and maybe bring some comfort to you in these troubling times.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
Albums: In Rainbows by Radiohead, GaGaGaGaGa by Spoon, Disintegration by The Cure. That is subject to change at any given moment.
Books: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson, Rivethead by Ben Hamper, and while I read a lot of philosophy and political writings, Emma Goldman and Socrates aren’t going to keep me entertained forever on a desert island, so, probably one of the Star Wars X-Wing books by Timothy Zahn, or maybe a book on wilderness survival.
Movies: Oldboy (the Park Chan-Wook one), Almost Famous, It Might Get Loud.
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
At this moment, I prefer the studio. I get to play all the instruments and get creative with it. In a live setting, currently, I only have control over a handful of parameters. I improvise a bit on guitar live, and try to add new things in the backing tracks before each show to make it a little different. I’m really proud of what we’re able to do live despite our low budget. We plan to one day have a full backing band and just be on vocals and sometimes pick up other instruments, kind of like Trent Reznor or James Murphy, but we don’t have the resources for that just yet.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
Once we were asked to perform at the Great Salt Lake Fringe Festival in Utah. If you’re not familiar, Utah is a repressive theocracy run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We used to poke a lot of fun, wearing missionary costumes and cursing like sailors. We figured a fest like the “FRINGE” festival would be totally cool with this. They were not. I’ve never been kicked off a stage before, but we clearly offended someone important. I think if they’d had a shepherds crook to pull us offstage like in an old cartoon, they would have. We played at a food truck festival 2 weeks later for twice as long at the same venue, the crowd loved it.
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
We released a single called Double a few months back. It’s one we’ve been working on for years. It’s deeply personal, musically out there, and has a couple time changes for you math rock nerds out there. We have an acoustic version on the upcoming album as well.
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
This year we’re releasing new music at least once a month for #goldenplates2020, as well as a weekly cover on our YouTube channel. When concerts start up again, we absolutely plan on booking a small tour in the western US, and trying to do our part in the fight against systemic racism and injustice. I know that’s the button right now, but we’ve been raging against that machine for decades.
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
Where have you performed? What are your favourite and least favourite venues?
In California we’ve played Soundwave Festival in Santa Ana and The Merrow in San Diego, in Utah we’ve played at The Urban Lounge, Metro Music Hall, Acoustic Love Fest, Keetley Music Fest, Nebo Music Fest, Sundance Film Festival (yeah that Sundance), and a ton of smaller bars and venues, and in Arizona we performed at the Mesa Music Fest with like 150 global acts.
Our favorite venue to play will always be The Urban Lounge in Salt Lake City. It’s always a blast, the sound is always on point, we usually get sandwiched on the marquee in between amazing acts, and it’s home for us. Playing Sundance was the worst. A bunch of drunk WASPs kept making requests for us to play “the Dropkick Murphys song from the movie we just saw”. Not having seen the movie, I don’t know what song it was to this day, or if it was even really a Dropkick Murphys song.
Photo credits: Elder Brycen (1st one), Lucas Epperson (2nd one)
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
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