By Rod Whitfield
The young but prodigiously talented Sydney based guitarist and composer Plini has made a serious name for himself over the past few years, nationally and internationally, with the release of several EPs under his own name, that have caught the attention of fans and the industry worldwide. One thing he has done very little of in his career so far however, is play live. In fact, he is about to do his first ever real tour, when he plays four dates along the eastern seaboard in mid to late August, and he is rather pumped about it, in his own understated way.
“I’m super excited, it’ll be my fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh performances ever!” He emphasises, laughing, “More than I’ve ever played in my life in two weeks.”
So why has it taken you so long to get out into the live scene? “I was studying, I did a five year degree in architecture,” he responds. “So music was my way of staying sane through that. I didn’t really have time to put a band together or anything. But as soon as I was getting towards the end, I was like ‘alright, I better play a show’.”
And what’s even more exciting is that he is going out on the road with his good mates in the fellow instrumental act The Helix Nebula, who are also building a rather nice reputation for themselves in progressive heavy music circles, so it’s a pretty dynamic double bill.
“I’ve known Jake and Simon, one of the guitarists and the bass player, for about as long as I’ve been putting music on the internet,” he reveals, “so they were like the first picks to have as my own band, and they have their own band, so it’s like two bands for one band.”
Given his incredible talents on the six-string, it’s somewhat difficult to believe that Plini started out on a couple of different instruments, although the second of the two leant itself more to the guitar.
“I started playing drums when I was about seven,” He recalls, “I used to just love Ringo Starr, I used to play heaps of Beatles. I can’t remember if it was the neighbours, or because I got too tall to play drums quietly, but I had to sell them, and we had a ukulele that broke, so my parents were like ‘do you want another ukulele or should we get you a guitar?’ I made the right decision!
“I’ve been recording random stuff of my own for ages, but I got semi-serious about five years ago, and now I’m here!”
And ‘here’ is a pretty damn good place to be for the young musician, as he has already had several luminaries of progressive music wanting to play with him.
“I never would have dreamed that I would get to record something and have Marco Minnemman (Steven Wilson, Joe Satriani) play drums on it!” He states excitedly.
He has also collaborated with fellow guitar prodigy Jakub Zytecki, from Polish progressive act Disperse. “He’s probably one of the sweetest human beings I’ve ever met,” he says, “I had never really talked to him apart from just very quick Facebook messages, but I invited him to come and play with me in the UK a couple of weeks ago, and it just turns out that in person he is just insanely nice, and fun to be around, and ridiculous at guitar!”
After the Australian tour, the rest of the year is looking to be extremely busy for Plini. It seems that now he has dipped his toe into the live scene, there will be no stopping him from now on.
“As soon as we get back from Melbourne, I’m pretty much packing up and going to Japan, for three shows with Cynic, and I think the first one of those shows is also sold out. So a pretty good few weeks coming up.
“There should be something else coming up for late this year, which I can’t announce yet, and then I’m going to try and write an album.”
PLINI & The Helix Nebula
“The End Of Everything” Australian Tour