If you hit play on Plethora’s “One Step Closer to Hell” streaming on our site you know how ungodly good they are. If you didn’t you’re a dumbass and need to go rectify your dumbassity right now. Get to clicking play, Sparky! Plethora is the band we all have been waiting for. They are monsters. They are Canadian and we here at C2CM think they are the future of our beloved metal. Here is the interview.
C2CM: What circumstances led to the formation of Plethora?
Mike: We’re four guys that have all grown up with the big dream of creating the biggest band in the world. We all strive for a life on the road and in the studio because we love music, and playing and writing for Plethora. We’re all struggling financially and that push’s us harder than a lot of other bands. We’re still a young band but the reactions we have had so far at our live shows have been killer, and as well as the messages we have received through social media have been very reassuring that were on the right path. Flying out to Denver and meeting with MGI (Music Gallery International) was a big step for this band, not just for our future, but it really showed our belief in each other. I called the guys after receiving a message from our manager Shawn, and said we need to fly to Denver tomorrow and we dropped everything and flew out there.
C2CM: Did any of you have any formal training in music? If so, tell me what that was like?
Trevor: We all went to Metal Works Institute for 2 years and we each majored in our instruments in the performance and technology program. Those 2 years helped us become better musicians and we all we all became great friends. Seeing each other every day, working, studying, jamming, and living together brought us all closer to one another. I’ve been playing in bands and have been in lessons since I was 13 years old but the teachers at Metal Works really opened me up to so much I did not know. We not only had private lessons, ear training, musicianship, song writing, ensemble, sight reading, and theory classes, but we learned a lot from our business classes and Pro Tools, and studio classes as well. I would highly recommend any aspiring musician to go to school, not only to better yourself but to surround yourself with like-minded people.
C2CM: How did you develop your passion for music?
Mike: I’m lucky I grew up with a father who was passionate about guitar and he got me playing at a very early age. I have an older brother who plays guitar and was into a lot of heavy music like Metallica, and Marilyn Manson. My uncle has been a huge part in fueling my passion for music taking me to see Slipknot a bunch of times and Metallica and Lamb of God. Whether I’ve been at a show watching Metallica, or watching a local band I’ve never heard of I’ve always thought to myself that I could do that and do it better. Having some Italian in me I naturally am a very passionate person, weather I’m playing guitar or cooking up a storm in the kitchen I’m very passionate about everything I do in my life.
C2CM: How would you say Plethora stands out from other bands these days? Do you have any particular gimmick?
Mike: I think it’s our musicianship that helps us stick out. Not too many bands have a drum solo in the middle of their set, and you don’t hear a ton of guitar solos in metal today like you used to. I feel like the bass often gets lost in a lot of metal music but our bass player has great tone and a great musical scene and doesn’t just mimic the guitar, and we have a great front man. Gary has a background in musical theater, has a great singing voice, and is very intelligent. I don’t imagine too many singers are as capable as Gary is in the song writing process. Sometimes I’ll write a song and I don’t even know what key I’m playing in or what time signature I’m in (lol) but Gary always knows what’s going on.
C2CM: Your song One Step Closer to Hell could be described as an “anti – love song”. Was this song written about a specific person or a specific concept?
Gary: I love that you mention “anti-love” or the song being about a person because that’s exactly what I want you to think. “One Step” has a particularly close meaning to my life but I’ve tried to use metaphors and pronouns that are open enough to interpretation so that the listener can relate it to any person or establishment holding them back in their life. For me to really dig into the meaning behind this one I have to explain a little about my personal life. When I was around 15 years old my family was given the news that my father had leukemia and had a year left to live, maybe a little longer if we were lucky. A little over a year later he passed away suddenly on a trip to be moved into a hospice that specializes in treatment of cancer patients. For me this song involves a lot of the thoughts and feelings I’ve had about this time in my life as I’ve matured. As a child I thought of my father as this invincible mountain, almost not human in the eyes of a child. Watching someone so invincible wither so quickly and so dramatically really brings your mortality into a clearer focus. As I’ve grown older I’ve started to have questions about what must have been going through my father’s mind at the time. Was he happy with how his life turned out? Was he proud of the legacy he would leave behind himself? How hard it must have been to never let your children see you cry, and was there anything within himself that told him we would be better off if he ended his own suffering? All these unanswerable questions and frustration came out in the lyrics to this song and kind of points to the idea if cancer, hate, and death were a living person, what emptions they might embody.
C2CM: What music do you listen to when you aren’t writing your own?
Jordan: I listen to all styles of music, I keep an open mind and show respect to other bands/ artist even if I’m not a fan of their music. I used to be critical and say the bands I didn’t like sucked and didn’t take the time to listen to them, but I’ve learned to appreciate all different varieties of music. Not only does it make you a better player having a bigger vocabulary, it creates a unique vibe when the rest of the band all have different likes and dislikes. I have been listening to more radio hits to see what new music is out there, most of these country bands have some really talented session players. There are always a few bands I fall back on and won’t ever stop being influenced by, like Rush, Dream Theater, The Police, and Slipknot, there is not a day that goes by that I don’t listen to a Lamb of God tune. I’ll jam out some Gypsy kings, and great big sea as well, there is so much talent in the world it’s hard to stick to just one genre.
C2CM: Out of the shows you have played in the past which was your favorite and why?
Jordan: That’s a hard question; we have had some fun shows, gained exposure and met some cool bands and promoters along the way. I would say my favorite show was at the Sound Academy in 2013. It was a great experience for our band; we had pretty much just started playing shows as a band. We played really well that night, and we had good support from family and friends. It was a good feeling being on the same stage as some of the bands who have influenced me, bands like Children of Bodom, Machine Head, and Black Label Society. It’s a great venue for heavy loud music, and I’m sure we’ll play there again.
Mike: Playing at the Slipknot after party and hanging out with Sid Wilson was pretty awesome. Not only was it awesome hanging out with Sid but he ended up passing along our demo to Shawn Barusch who ended up becoming our manager. All the shows we have played with Steve Hoeg have been pretty awesome. We got to play with Mushroom Head at the Rock Pile in front of a killer crowd. I always love playing at The Atria in Oshawa, seeing all my friends getting a little rowdy is always a nice feeling.
C2CM: A lot of songs on your album are about pretty controversial issues. How have your listeners reacted to your songs?
Gary: Our lyrics tend to be about things we see in the world that we want to change. Hatred, corruption, class warfare, and war around the world. Our listeners are provoked into an honest intellectual debate when confronted about these topics and most people I’ve met genuinely want to change the world. The great thing about controversial writings is the reactions they can gain. Bands like Kiss get picketers outside their shows who were terrified of their music and their writings. I love the idea that music can still bring out such a visceral reaction in people.
C2CM: What is your favorite song on the album and why?
Jordan: My favorite song on the album right now is “I Will Kill, Amen”. Simply for the fact that it’s a straight up metal tune that gets the message across that were a serious band and going to write the best music we can. This song was written around the same time Slipknot .5 the Gray Chapter was released, so when Nasso came in with the riff idea right away I knew it was going to be a heavy fast song. The writing process for this song went smooth and it came together with hard hitting drums, groovy bass, heavy guitar, and screaming vocals which created a masterpiece.
C2CM: Do you have any advice for fans that would like to follow in your footsteps?
Trevor: The music is the most important element of all. There are decisions to be made and things that happen outside of the music but it’s all meaningless if your music sucks. Just stay true to yourselves, and look for band members who are not only good musicians, but people you can stand to be around because when your spending, days, weeks, months, and even years together you need to have love for each other. Being in a band is like being married, and it’s a commitment that each member should take seriously.
C2CM: If you could eat only one thing while on tour, what would it be?
Jordan: Tuna. It’s easy, cheap, healthy, and taste good. Not a whole lot of options. Not going to be living off gourmet pasta dishes and $40 steaks just yet.
Plethora is Gary Walsh (Vocals), Jordan Stevenson (Drums), Trevor Friday (Bass), and Mike Nasso (Guitar)