The PlaKard Project | Jumping over the limits

The PlaKard Project speak to TEODOR RELJIC ahead of the launch of their debut album, Jump the Fence

The PlaKard Project
The PlaKard Project

Could you tell us a little bit about the evolution of the PlaKard Project, and how you’ve hit upon the sound that you’re currently experimenting with?

It was back in September 2016 when after jamming together, Matthew John Scicluna (bass) and Kyle Drakard (drums) kicked off on a musical experiment taking them on a journey to share music. In February 2017 Matthew Camilleri (guitar) joined the band, evolving the core of The PlaKard Project to a tripod.

Last year we gigged and toured the island together with guest musicians Angela Vella Zarb (vocals) and Mark Harrison (saxophone). We shared our song writing with the public in a number of different venues and events. Organising and being part of great events and festivals, exposed us to experience and learn great things that lead us to the next steps of the journey.

Last December we released a live session playing one of our tunes ‘Chili Love’ featuring Mark Harrison on Alto Saxophone. The video can be found on our Facebook page and Youtube.

In January this year we recorded our debut album at Temple Studios. It was a great experience for all of us and it surely helped us evolve our sound and made us get to know ourselves and our sound better.

The band appears to have a diverse array of influences. How did you decide to incorporate all of these varied elements, and how do you strive to make it all cohere together?

Coming from a different and diverse music background made us just play and experiment with a mixture of genres. Our influences vary from contemporary jazz to hip hop and experimental music together with other genres that happen to pop out and flow through in a given moment. We don’t really think about how to incorporate all these styles and varied elements. We listen to different music, practise and then we just play.

How would you chart the journey to your debut album, which you will be launching on April 14?

It all started from an experience that required Kyle and Matt to jump a real fence as they were locked inside a festival. This experience inspired the duo to start working on a song and from there onwards it evolved into an album. ‘Jump The Fence’ which is the name of the album comes from a song title ‘Jump The Fence’. It was this song that inspired the kick off The PlaKard Project back in August 2016. The album was then written throughout 2017. The songs in the album were inspired by past experiences that the members of the band had. There were songs that were written before and arranged for the album and a mix of other riffs, grooves and melodies that created the songs that we have today.

How did you decide you were “ready” to put together your first recording?

Well, we decided to put together our first recording as soon as we felt the chemistry between us and the confidence in playing together. After we booked the studio dates we started working hard to get the sound and energy we imagined. We also continued writing new material which led to our six-track album Jump the Fence.

The Album also features Angela Vella Zarb on vocals, Mark Harrison on Alto Saxophone and Warren Galea on Keys. It is one of our intentions to collaborate with other musicians and artists. Playing in a sextet setup is a wonderful experience. We learn a lot from each other and the sound we imagined for the album was in such a setup. We’ve also known each other before The PlaKard Project started and that made it smoother for us to collaborate together.

What kind of feel do you hope people will get for the PlaKard Project once they listen to it?

The album can be perceived in many ways. It is a story about artistic, environmental, social and personal limits and fears that create fences and challenges. Once tackled and jumped creation will flow and bear fruit.

What are some of the greatest challenges local musicians like yourselves face, and what would you change about the music scene in Malta if you could?

The greatest challenge for us is called ‘UPP’: Understanding, Patience and Perseverance.

A local scene challenge could be that the music supply is greater than the demand. In other words, since we are a tiny island the percentage of the population who actually support the local music scene is small when compared to the scene itself.

To overcome this challenge we are seeing a number of bands and artists taking it to the next levels and also touring abroad. At the end of the day we believe it has to come from the musicians and bands themselves to lay a simple and easy way forward that works for them.

What’s next for you?

Soon after our album launch, we’ll continue to perform in events and festivals such as Rock The South and Earth Garden. We’re also planning on touring abroad in the near future.

 

The PlaKard Project will be launching their debut album ‘Jump The Fence’ at Giovanni Curmi Higher Secondary School, Naxxar on April 14. Doors open at 20:00

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