Elina Pasok, art-director of London alt rock duo Plastic Barricades and creator of band’s latest “Optimist” music video sat down for a chat with GBHBL. (Photo credit – Elina Pasok)
1. Hi Plastic Barricades! Thank you for taking the time to speak with us. How are you all doing?
Hi! Thanks for having us! It’s an unusually beautiful sunny day today. Unusual, because at night an epic storm was knocking down fences and ripping trees. It’s bright and tranquil now, a perfect setting for creativity. Dan and I are brewing coffee in NW London, and Paul is waving “Hi!” from Paris.
2. Can you tell us what inspired Optimist?
Dan and Paul recorded the song as a reflection to the painful daggers of news. Politicians making mistakes, floods and fires wiping houses, air pollution, extinction, to name a few… It’s very easy to fall into hopelessness and sadness, but it’s an effort to be an optimist. To see the solution, to make a change and to stand up and do the impossible. Optimists see more opportunities for change and can react to change faster. How about you? Is your glass half-full or half-empty?
3. Was the aim always to keep it focused on a positive message, so to speak?
Both lyrically and musically the song evokes a complex emotion. I feel both elated and melancholic when it comes up in my “favourites” Spotify playlist. The guitars are dreamy and the drums are focused.
One of the lyrics brings us back from optimism to the glass “half-empty” – a pessimist’s side of view:
We are survivors by design
But we’re afraid of failing
Sometimes it’s easier not to try
Because the effort’s draining
The message of the song is to find the light in the labyrinth, to make a step towards the light. To make an effort.
4. You’ve crafted a very unique video for it. Can you tell us a little bit about how it came about?
We are over the moon that the video looks as cool as we wanted it to look. All it took was a village of 8 houses, 8 cars, 300 people and 20 buckets of water. Dan and I built the film set in our living room, nearly taking all livable space. First, there was a “dry” set that was once demolished by Loki the cat. He must have played his Godzilla fantasies when he dropped the village houses and inhabitants one by one.
Then there was a “wet” set where we used different vases we found around the house and some were rented from our neighbour. Loki didn’t like the dripping water and watched the filming from a safe distance. At this point kitchen rolls became our best friends. Finally, there was a fish tank scene which was the most interesting and the most demanding to film. We stirred, and added paint, and made it stormy, and drowned it all. It was so much fun! You can find some behind the scenes videos on the Instagram page.
5. It must have been heart-breaking to drown the entire village at the end though!
I’d say it was bittersweet. Who wouldn’t want to pour a bucket of water on unsuspecting plastic people? Draining 20 buckets of water was a challenge, though.
None of the cast members were hurt during the filming. I know a couple tried to flee in the drain but we caught them in time. Now we give the little plastic music video actors to our friends as tokens of luck and optimism.
“Optimist”, the second single from the upcoming LP “Self-Theories” IS OUT NOW!