“the future of exceptional guitar playing” – Steve Vai
Named #8 in Ultimate-Guitar’s top 12 guitarists of 2015 and listed amongst “MusicRadar’s #1 prog guitar player in the world right now” for 2017, Sydney’s independent instrumental progressive rising star, PLINI is set to release his new EP, Sunhead on July 27.
Sunhead is written, recorded and produced by PLINI himself – and for the most part, all from a bedroom studio. PLINI explains the writing process and what inspired him, “I started working on the material almost straight after “Handmade Cities” was released in 2016, sort of with the goal to make a very big, small EP – aiming to put as much detail and refinement into the composition and playing as possible. Both musically and emotionally, the music is greatly influenced by the amount of touring and travel I’ve done in the past couple of years. I was particularly inspired by Animals As Leaders (who I toured Europe and North America with in 2016), by the musical adventurousness in their last album, and Disperse (who I toured with in Europe in early 2017) for the way they seamlessly combined contemporary pop and electronic elements with prog-metal – updating a genre that sometimes seems (ironically for the name, “progressive”) entrenched in old musical cliches. Aside from this, I think the “Sunhead” EP is a musical expression of the pure excitement that comes with traveling to new places, meeting new people and eating new things.”
The EP features fantastic collaborations. PLINI talks through the involvement with each artist. He starts off with The 1975’s, John Waugh who plays saxophone on Flâneur. “I first met John Waugh in Toronto at the end of 2016. My sound engineer in the UK is a mutual friend and thought the two of us would get a long (both personally and musically). John happened to have a day off on tour with the 1975, and I had a free morning before a rehearsal, so we met for coffee. We stayed in touch, and when I played in London in 2017, I invited him to come play on a tune and have a jam. This was such a magical experience that we decided it should happen again, and on record!” says PLINI
Flâneur also features piano and keyboards from Anomalie. PLINI adds, “After becoming a big fan of Anomalie’s playing in early 2017, I invited him to our show in Montreal (where he’s based). We hung out a bit, and the combination of his amazing musicianship and seeming like a fun guy, left the idea of collaborating with him in the back of my mind. We ran into each other again at a house party we happened to both be playing at in LA in early 2018, and after accidentally pouring an entire cup of water on him, asked if he’d record some piano/synth parts on one of my songs. As “Flâneur” started to take shape, I knew he needed to be on it!”
The EP features the new single, Salt + Charcoal which includes a guitar solo by Skyharbor’s, Devesh Dayal. The single is accompanied by a music video filmed + edited by Randy Edwards during parts of the “Sonder” North American tour with Tesseract.
“I’ve known Devesh for many years, because of his band Skyharbor. We started to hang out a lot any time I was in LA, and he would always show me the super current-sounding pop/electronic tracks he was producing on the side of Skyharbor. When I was wrapping up “Salt + Charcoal”, I had some synth parts that reminded me of the production style I knew he was skilled at, so one night I just texted him “hey – wanna add some vocal chops to this song?”. He probably responded, “yeah dude, lit” – and within a day or so, it was done!” says PLINI
Finishing off the EP is Tim Miller’s guitar solo which can be heard on Sunhead. “My live guitarist, Jake, showed me Tim Miller a few years ago. When his “Trio Vol. 3” album came out, he instantly became one of the biggest influences on my playing and tone, in years. I happened to meet him at the beginning of this year, and found out that he had already heard of me, having taught some of my material to his students at Berklee College of Music – that was a trip! A few months later, I had one guitar solo left to record in “Sunhead”, and a flight to the start of a tour the next day. Nothing I was playing felt right, and I noticed I was mostly just trying to emulate Tim’s playing. So, I took a tactical retreat, and simply asked him to play the solo instead, which, thankfully, he was up for!” PLINI explains.
The EP announcement follows PLINI’s triumphant performance at Download Festival, where the band were the first instrumental guitar band to ever play the fest; Be Prog! My Friend (Barcelona), and a highly successful European tour with Arch Echo and Mestis. PLINI will next embark on a second European tour which includes dates at Arctangent (UK), Brutal Assault (CZ) and a headline show at London’s Islington Assembly that’s on track to sell-out before returning to Australia in September 2018 to embark his first full Australian headlining tour in more than two years.
The tour is supported by fellow progressive music luminaries MESTIS (USA), the solo project of world-renowned guitarist Javier Reyes from Animals As Leaders and DAVID MAXIM MICIC (Serbia) who has made a name from himself via a number of EPs under the project-name Bilo, as well as his band Destiny Potato.
Before each show, you can also attend a one-hour long Masterclass and Q&A session with Plini, Javier and David, tailored to the interests of the group and covering anything from composition & guitar techniques to touring & building a career as an independent musician.
NEW WORLD ARTISTS + EVOLUTION TOURING PRESENT
PLINI “SUNHEAD” AUSTRALIAN TOUR
WITH SPECIAL GUESTS
DAVID MAXIM MICIC (SERBIA)
FRIDAY 7 SEPTEMBER – THE ZOO, BRISBANE
SATURDAY 8 SEPTEMBER – MANNING BAR, SYDNEY
THURSDAY 13 SEPTEMBER – BADLANDS, PERTH
FRIDAY 14 SEPTEMBER – JIVE, ADELAIDE
SATURDAY 15 SEPTEMBER – CORNER HOTEL, MELBOURNE
TICKETS ON SALE NOW HERE!
SUNHEAD TRACK LISTING:
02. Salt + Charcoal
In addition to his own catalogue (an album, a trilogy of EPs and numerous singles), PLINI has recorded guest solos for artists from all over the world, including SKYHARBOR (India), INTERVALS (Canada), NOVELISTS (France), DAVID MAXIM MICIC (Serbia), MODERN DAY BABYLON (Czech Republic) and more. He has also released two singles for charity, KO KI (2014) and EVERY PIECE MATTERS (2016), raising over $10,000 for providing shelter and sustainable housing for communities in poverty in Cambodia.
In a short time since 2015, PLINI has already shared stages all over the world with artists like CYNIC, TESSERACT, BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME and more. He also has a signature guitar with Strandberg Guitars, and endorsement deals with Yahama Music, Dunlop, D’Addario and Fractal Audio.
After a successful burst of sold-out Australian shows in 2015, PLINI was invited to support a couple of the instrumental genre’s biggest artists ANIMALS AS LEADERS and INTERVALS for more than a hundred different club and festival shows throughout North America and Europe in 2016.
Capitalising on the fast growth from these tours and the critical acclaim for his debut album, 2017 sawPLINI embark on highly successful headline tours of Europe, the UK, North America and Australia. These tours included dozens of sold out shows and performances at some of the world’s iconic small venues, including the Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles, The Borderline in London and the Basement in Sydney.