Q&A with the deli's Band of the Month: Plumerai
by Chrissy Prisco
Deli: How did the band start?
James Newman: Martin and I started the band in '05 with Suzanna and Jorge. The owners of the rehearsal studio we practiced at invited us to record an album, but unfortunately that band fell apart during the sessions. So, Martin and I wound up handling all the instrumentation while we searched for a new singer. Eventually, we found Kathryn, finished recording and then pieced together a band to play out while we mixed.
Where did the band name Plumerai come from?
Eliza Brown: I'm convinced the Newman brothers had no idea what it meant before I came along, but they say I'm rude to say that. It's a verb that comes from a French children’s song called "Alouette, je te plumerai" : Alouette, I will pluck your feathers. I don't -- and hope -- it has no deep meaning in relation to the band. I think they just liked how it sounded. And it does sound nice. A little bit of nonesense that sounds nice.
J: The lyrics were in my high school french text book. For some reason, that particular word [plumerai] stuck with me.
What are your biggest musical influences?
J: In context of this band: Siouxsie & the Banshees, the Cure, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, Cranes, Birthday Party, the Glove, Lush.
What artists (local, national and/or international) are you currently listening to?
E: A wonderful old record of Duke Ellington with Adelaide Hall singing. It's a pure joy
J: In addition to the ones I already mentioned, I've been into the Sugarcubes, Dag Nasty, Danzig-era Misfits, Tindersticks & random hits from the 60's & 70's.
What's the first concert that you ever attended and first album that you ever bought?
E: The first big concert was Cali, a French singer. It was very impressive. But I prefer more intimate concerts. First album I bought... I haven't bought many albums. Didn't have much allowance for it and modern music wasn't very approved in the house. It was much more fun to steal albums from my siblings. I remember the first cd I ever listened to was the Cruel Intentions soundtrack that I still care for today.
J: Ozzy was my first concert. Sadly, it was for the Ultimate Sin album when he was dressed up like a fat, sequined bumble bee. First album I bought with my own money was Iron Maiden's Piece of Mind.
What do you love about New Englands music scene?
E: I prefer more intimate concerts, which is what is cool with the New England music scene. Even big bands come and play in a small room with limited entries. So much more enjoyable than standing 10 meters away from the stage. In Boston particularly what is wonderful is that there are many gig opportunities if you work for it.
What would you like to see change in the local music scene?
E: Obviously more breaks given to the little bands. More support from bigger bands. More opening act opportunities.
What are your plans for the upcoming year?
E: Finish our album and go on tour on the west coast. As a foreigner, being in a band is the most incredible way to discover a country. People welcome you more, and you have something to share and an opportunity to bond with others, which is quite difficult when you're first to a new country. Plumerai definetely makes my life in America fuller and better. So my intention is to keep the adventure going on and enjoy every minute of it.
What was your most memorable live show?
E: A show at Jacques' Underground when for the first time people danced. We had no shoegazing that night it was wonderful!
J: Playing Thesaloniki, Greece. It was the most professional event we've played & there were a lot of people who seemed to enjoy our music. Plus being jetlagged made things blurry. Almost dream-like.
Is there someone who has helped your band grow through support?
E: Our friends most of all who regurlarly come to our shows and pass around our music.
J: There have been people throughout the band's existence that helped us along the way. The owners of Get Nice Records recorded and released our first album. Nektarios of Muzine included us in his magazine and set up the shows in Greece. Brian at Silber Records promoted/released/distributed our music. And there are DJs and bloggers who exposed us to their audience.
Is there a piece of equipment you couldn't live without and why?
E: Nope. You can do music with anything.
Why do you read The Deli?
E: Because they nominated us to be the band of the month, so they must be very clever people with outstandingly good taste.
J: To see what other bands are up to.