To celebrate LISTEN’s new website we’re interviewing a bunch of local Australian artists to profile them on the site. Introducing Plaster of Paris:
How would you best describe your music?
Riot Grrrl Goth
How did your band / musical project start?
The current lineup came together at a La mama cabaret performance by The Stain. Zec and Sarah were in it and it was a dedication to women in rock music by some pretty cool women in rock! Zec was being honoured for her role in Sydney band Bracode in the play, Sarah filled in on bass that night and Nicola was in the audience. It was a stupidly hot summer night and beers followed the performance and an musical alliance was formed!
Do you make music with a political focus? If so, what is your focus? If not, why not?
When all of us started playing in rock bands in the 90s, women playing in bands was political, the act of doing was an act against the pre-grunge dude rock scene, the metal bands, the scary venues. Sarah was part of Rock n Roll High School in Melbourne (in Hecate/Sheraw/Porcelain/Remake Remodel) and Zec was part of Scooter in Sydney (in Bracode) – both places simultaneously bombing the music patriarchy with estrogen. None of us ever stopped playing music but the industry just didn’t support those bands from that era.. it was a hard slog, particularly if bands were all women, that was always harder and more threatening to the industry. Interestingly, the most support we get now is from younger bands. The people that didn’t support us ‘back in the day’ still don’t and now they own the venues and are high up in industry. But they are being held to account by our younger peers, something we didn’t manage before – we thought if we were good enough and we played their game that we would get what we deserved. We didn’t. Many of our peers stopped playing altogether. But what is our focus really? If we forget how hard it has been just to play over the years and think about what we actually do.. Zec writes really personal songs, hidden in layers of colour about fighting to survive, illness, mental anguish, growing up in chaos in a small town, finding chosen family and hollering through the maelstrom. She is the driving force of Plaster and Nic and Sarah just try and keep up!
What has been the biggest highlight as a band?
Plaster in its current form is pretty new – only 18 month of gigging. The previous incarnation played with Le Butcherettes and MEN (JD Samson) which were both great shows to be part of. We did a crazy NYE show at the Red Rattler in Sydney with JD Samson djing and Sia hanging out and Zec kept getting mistaken for Sia all night which was quite surreal. I think Wetfest II was probably the best local lineup we’ve been on and anytime we play with our Psychic Hysteria mates is a good time!
Who are your biggest influences musically right now?
This would be different for every member! For Zec and Sarah there will always be old favs Souixsie Souix, Babes in Toyland, Bikini Kill, Bratmobile, Helium and Sleater Kinney but we love our oz rock Divinyls, Adalita, Little Ugly Girls and newies Wet Lips, Root Rat, Heat Wave, Babymachine. It’s tough to talk influences because we just love music, we buy a huge amount and go out constantly. We’re just as excited to see the Clouds/Falling Joys reunion shows as we are playing with Lazertits whose new single is a cracker! Also we are having a band excursion to see Midnight Oil.. we’re pretty eclectic!
Where can people find your music?