Dan Kert, singer and guitarist of London alt indie band Plastic Barricades talked to Drop the Spotlight:
1. What is your inspiration to write your music? Is it your surroundings?
Inspiration is all around us, but we need to pay attention to the details. I don’t believe that you can have a songwriting career if you only write from your personal experience. As a writer you have to be able to step into other people’s shoes and interpret their stories. I find a lot of inspiration in literature and visual art as well.
2. What type of music did you listen to growing up?
Nirvana and Metallica were two staples on my early teenage mixtapes. Another transformative stage came at around 18, when I’ve discovered Muse, Coldplay, Oasis, Razorlight and some others. And then at around 25 came Death Cab for Cutie and the Shins and Biffy Clyro.
3. Is there someone you looked up as a hero?
Kurt Cobain is definitely someone I still feel a strong connection to. His sincerity and passion mean a lot to me. He also taught me that you don’t have to have a music degree to be an artist. You just have to be brave enough to be honest in your art.
4. If you weren’t a musician, would you be doing today?
Chances are high that I would be writing novels and racing cars.
5.What advice do you have for our fans out there that want to create music?
No matter if you are a beginner or a experienced player, please don’t measure your abilities against others. Your main mission as an artist is not to be technically proficient (although that does help with self-expression), but to find your own unique voice and develop it. The earlier you start developing your own idiosyncrasies and ignoring the “trends” , the more chance you have of making fresh art that is truly an extension of yourself. The other thing is this: your art needs to help people – to entertain them, or to hold a mirror to them or to soothe their pain. If your song is about hoes and dollars, that might be entertaining, but is it really the most important thing you have to say?
Tunnel – How would your anxieties look under a microscope? The video was made using a microscope with up to 1000 times magnification.
Optimist – “Labyrinths with open doors for an optimist”. Video featuring 8 houses, 8 cars, plenty of glassware, some benches and trees, a crowd of 300 cast members and around 20 buckets of water.
One for the Road – An ode to the freedom of exploration. Footage filmed in the late 1950s around the US by families with their brand new cutting edge handheld cameras.