MEET THE BAND: Emile Panerio (vocals), Lincoln Lute (guitar), Marshall Hunt (bass) and Gordon Taylor (drummer)
A HAPPY ACCIDENT: “We all are originally from the Pacific Northwest,” says Taylor during a conference call with the other band members. “Emile and Lincoln knew each other out there. Marshall and I also knew each other from out there, and we moved to New York separately. We somehow managed to not cross paths the entire time.” A mutual friend told Taylor to “hang out” with Panerio and Lute. “I hit them up and when I showed up at the studio space, they had guitars a drum kit out,” says Taylor. “We started music, and it evolved from that. It was a happy accident.”
TRYING TO TRACE THE CHANGES: Since the band formed in Brooklyn in 2016, the city has transformed and so has its music scene. “A lot has changed,” says Taylor. “Our original practice space no longer exists. That building got torn down and is the Vice Media Group offices now. It’s weird because we used to practice in Williamsburg. There’s the Meet Me in the Bathroom film that just came out that shows [the transformation]. We got to see the tail end of some of these places that still existed when we first moved here. Six years later, a lot of the practice spaces and venues have already disappeared.” Panerio says many of the band’s friends who were also trying to find their own paths have moved on. “We lost a bit of that nose-to-the-grindstone [attitude],” he says. “We were close friends to some of those bands, [and it’s different] not having them here and at the shows and fighting to keep on creating and not get discouraged. That was the hardest part for me after the pandemic. Some of those familiar faces have changed. It’s been a weird turmoil for the past few years.”
WHY YOU SHOULD HEAR THEM: After the band first formed, it immediately wrote the Brit-pop-inspired “Nausea in Paradise,” a tune that it released as a single and then included on its 2017 self-titled EP. The band has continuously released singles. Panerio describes the latest effort, “Bite,” as a song about “getting your New York innocence broken.” With its soft vocals and shimmering guitar riffs, it sounds like something like could have been on the soundtrack to a John Hughes movie from the ’80s. “I really like British and Australian stuff a lot,” says Panerio. “When it’s all online, [music] just collapses. But something about that songwriting style is unique. While that influences us, it turns into something else when we try to incorporate it into our own sound.” The band has collected demos and fragments of ideas in the past year and is currently parsing through the material to find the musical gems for its next album. The group’s appearance at the Beachland will represent its Cleveland debut.
WHERE YOU CAN HEAR THEM: plasticpicnic.com.
WHERE YOU CAN SEE THEM: Plastic Picnic performs at 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 20, at the Beachland Tavern.
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