After being dazzled by their dreamlike new track, we caught up with Sydney’s experimental duo Plastic Face to get to know them better.
Plastic Face are the enigmatic Pete Stals and Will Coleman, always hidden behind their daunting masks. They craft dark and experimental electronic sounds, drawing from influences as varied as Tame Impala and Drake.
Their latest intense single, ‘HiiViSiON’, was released on November 17th and it’s a gently euphoric anthem. It simmers under layers of tender guitars and lilting vocals, before a powerful bass line and illuminating synths kick in as the song rises into the clouds.
The accompanying video – directed by Sean Donovan – sees the pair take a late night trip into the eerie unknown; their song is the perfect soundtrack to such a hazy and unsettling journey.
After its release, we had an enlightening and fun chat with Plastic Face as part of our Get To Know series to understand more about their music and career.
How did your artist name come about?
That’s a bit of a game of snake and ladders kinda chicken or the egg type scenario really, did we choose the name Plastic Face or did the name Plastic Face choose us? This is what Neil deGrasse Tyson reckons – “Which came first: the chicken or the egg? The egg—laid by a bird that was not a chicken.”
So I guess that makes us the egg.
How would you describe your music to your grandma?
Plastic Face: “Heya grandma! So lovely to see you again, how have you been?”
Grandma: ‘Oh boys, it’s so lovely to see you too. Do you boys want a cuppa tea with some vegemite on toast?”
Plastic Face: “Yes! Thanks grandma, we love you.”
Grandma: “My darlings, what kind of music do you two make again?”Plastic face: “Ummm, how do we put this so you’ll get it….It’s a bit like a cross between Engelbert Humperdinck and Kamal with a little bit more bass.”
Grandma: “That’s so lovely me dears.”
Tell us about a few of your tracks; their titles and what they’re about?
A lot of the lyrics are quite cryptic and there’s lots of metaphors used to describe the subject matter . We like that everyone can form their own unique interpretation of what a Plastic Face song means and represents for them. The below two songs are our songs with our interpretation:
‘HiiViSiON’ – this song isn’t necessarily about someone, it’s more a state of mind.
‘Back2Tokyo’ – whether or not you’ve been to the city of Tokyo or not doesn’t really matter in this case. ‘Back2Tokyo’ in this song represents going back to that girlfriend, boyfriend, partner, job, friend, ex, or an old environment, just kinda stepping backwards into those old ways instead of moving forward. You think you’re free of something and sure enough, it/they always seem to creep back up on you and before you know it you’re back in Tokyo eating sushi with pickled ginger and mayo thinking… Why have I put so much wasabi on my sashimi? Again…
What do you love about your hometown?
What’s not to love about Sydney?! The inner west is awesome! Having the the city and the ocean so close to each other is a really spesh feature, we also love love love Melbourne too! But just to visit, it’s just to damn far from the ocean when you need that Sunday swim to wash away your sins from the Saturday night before.
Career highlight so far?
Surviving the apocalyptic year that is 2020! Having that free time to get our act together, create Plastic Face, finish our debut record, film a couple of videos, and release our first music video, ‘HiiViSiON’! It’s been a great start, we’ve finally gotten this ball rolling!
Fave non-music hobby?
Ping pong. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears have been shed over intense, heated, day upon day, week upon week, brutally competitive ping pong tournaments. We could take down anyone. Any challengers?
What’s on your dream rider?
The dream rider would have to be a floating unicorn merry-go-round with a young 1996 Kevin Bacon and six other clones of young Kevin, each riding their own uniquely named unicorn serving us endless chilled cocktails with little umbrellas and caviar.
We’d be like “Excuse me, Kevin’s!? Can we have a little more of that Moroccan dip to go with our caviar and we both need a cocktail top up.” One of the Kevin’s would ride their floating unicorn over, let’s say this Kevin’s unicorn’s name is Greg and do our bidding. We’d also be listening to nothing but Mariah Carey Christmas carols.
Dream music collaboration?
Do the collaborators need to be musicians? And is it a dead or alive kinda thing? We are gonna say it’s fair game ’cause man, oh man we’d love to see a boy band made up of phenomenal haircuts of the likes of John Farnham, Billy Ray Cyrus, Darryl Oates and Lionel Richie, with Lionel’s plastic surgeon on drums covering nothing but Craig David jams. ‘Fill Me In’ would be on the top of the list, we would obviously produce and pretty much do whatever they say.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
10 years !? Woah 10 years is a bloody long time away. Tame Impala have just released their tenth anniversary record for Innerspeaker right? Well, we’d be stoked to be doing our thing and be relevant for as long as Mr Kevin Parker. Maybe we will have released a ‘Greatest Hits’ record by then and be doing several John Farnham-esque comeback tours. Anything really along those lines sounds brilliant to us!
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
Straight away we’d both be going for your classic “chin rock” songs. Now for some of you who are unaware of chin rock, strap on your seatbelts cause it’s just gone up a level. You’ve got your Scott Stapps, your Chad Kroegers, your Anastasia, your bloody Chers, your bloody Rob Thomas’, anything really where you sing in that chin accent ‘cerrrmerrrn herrrh berrrrebeyyy toonightttt-ahh’
What’s on the cards for the future?
2021 will see us release our debut record and another couple of video singles. Hopefully a bunch of national touring and international touring (pending ‘rona). Just having a nice time and trying not to be too stressed about anything. The world is bonkers, so we just feel really lucky to be able to write and release music in these crazy times.