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Michael Plaster

Please Sennd Help is a phenomenal album. Why was it such a long time coming?

well, its a bit difficult to answer without going into a complex breakdown of my life the last few years. obvious things like financial problems, day-jobs, etc. but ultimately i think i'm glad there was such a long hiatus. personally, i think people see the last album, Hope Was, as a pretty intense album, especially if you really pay attention to what it was about. it probably would have looked pretty silly to release 25 songs all about this undying love for one woman and then 10 months later be onto the next step. but a lot of it was just the fact that all the things that occurred in my life which i ended up writing the songs about just took place over a long span of time, from far back as 1996 up until 2001. that's five years of junk goin' on. because of the way albums are produced and released, there's always a long delay that leads people to believe that the songs they are hearing are what is going on currently in my life. which is not necessarily true. i think ultimately i just wanted to make sure i was totally into the next phase of my life, musically.

What inspires you lyrically?

hmmmm. just whatever's goin on in my life.. the people in it, the way i interact and feel about them.. and things. i don't exactly have the most healthy view on life, but i'd like to think it is at least a genuine and loving one.

What piece of musical equipment would you be most reluctant to part with?

ummm, does my brain count? not that it has much value, but i guess thatís where i think stuff up.. i guess.

Describe your recording set-up.

well, it's changed over the years.. the first 2 albums was just me, a synth, an acoustic, and a 4-track. but now its a bit more complex. i'm recording onto computer now. Macintosh, of course. Peak TDM, StudioVision DSP, DBX tube pre-amp. main synth is a Roland JD-800. Kurzweil K2000rs sampler. Roland SH-101 TC-Electronics reverbs, Various Electrix delays, filters, vocoders.... plenty of pedals. my piece of crap acoustic guitar. and my new electric guitar, a Gretsch G3140, which is heard ad nauseum on the new CD.

What are some of your favorite books? Authors?

i get asked this fairly often, but I'm really not much of a reader. i don't really enjoy fiction, per se. mostly what i read is either books on physics or the bible. Brian Greene, Paul Davies, Hugh Ross, John Gribbin. unless your into quantum physics and all that junk you probably wouldn't recognize those names. i find science very satisfying.

Name some albums that had a great impact upon you in the past.

Pieter Nooten's "Sleeps with the Fishes" ; blacktapeforabluegirl's "Ashes in the Brittle Air" ; David Sylvian "Gone to Earth." ; American Music Club's "Everclear" ; Pink Floyd "The Wall" and i guess i'd have to include any Depeche Mode and Cocteau Twins' albums.

Are there any bands or artists currently creating work that you feel deserves greater attention?

well, there's plenty of artists who ARE getting attention that i feel DON'T.

How has being on the Projekt label been for you?

Projekt has been absolutely wonderful. although i have nothing firsthand with which to compare it, Sam has let me pretty much have total "artistic freedom" and really seems to actually care about and like my music.

Do you feel they market your music accurately?

i suppose so. i mean, its kinda odd in a way, because Projekt i think has become seen as more or less a "Gothic" label in many people's eyes. but i think anyone who is at least remotely familiar with the label knows that to call it a 'goth' label is a bit of a misnomer. Steve Roach ain't goth. Lovespirals ain't goth. i sure as hell ain't goth. some of the newer bands are....but i think they do well at letting people know that certain bands have their own kinda sound. it's obvious in many of the press releases they compose for us artists. i can only hope that any uninformed listeners see past the initial reaction of, "oh, Projekt - that's that Goth label, huh?" reaction.

Your page on mp3.com was immediately popular. Is it reaching listeners who may not have heard you otherwise?

to be honest i have no idea. i was never a fan of the whole Napster thing, but that's another topic. i do however see the benefits of the medium. its hard to say. i really don't know if the people who come to the MP3.com site are led there by a link from the Projekt website or my soulwhirlingsomewhere website, or just happen to be nosing around MP3's site. i dunno. but ultimately i guess i'm glad it gives the opportunity for people to hear the music, if they ever might have been iffy about wanting to shell out money for something they'd never heard. but i do hope people are finding it and liking it.

Michael Plaster: selected discography

Soul Whirling Somewhere
1995 - Eating the Sea - Projekt
1997 - Everyone Will Eventually Leave You - Projekt
1997 - Pyewackit EP - Projekt
1998 - Hope Was - Projekt
2001 - Please Sennd Help - Projekt