Plainride have just released their high-powered debut album, Return of the Jackalope. Hailing from Cologne, Germany, the sound is more reminiscent of a bunch of guys having a ball racing through the deserts of Nevada in vintage Dodge Challengers. Frontman Max Rebel was kind enough to answer a few questions about the album, beer, and the fearsome Jackalope.
Your album sounds rad. What would you like to tell us about it?
Well first of all thanks for the kind words and having us. We’re super happy with the release and with RotJ being our firstborn - we think it turned out pretty great. I think it should give people a good idea of what we are about and now we’re gonna try and build on that.
What was your release strategy in terms of promotion? What elements of social media did you use?
If you’re putting yourself out there as a DIY artist/band, I personally think that organic growth and authenticity are key. Nobody cares about poor content or paid likes. We genuinely care about sharing the fun we’re having as a band with our fans. And I think that’s hard to do while at the same time covering every social media channel there is without compromising the quality of your content. So we mainly stuck with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (which isn’t as big a deal in Germany as in the US) and YouTube for our videos. Also we tried to keep a certain regularity with our #TasteBeerThirstday posts and our videos.
You’ve been signed to the label Beerfuzz records as their very first artist. How did that cooperation come about?
Full disclosure: our good friend Timon Menge (Commander-In-Chief at German heavy music blog SludgeWorm Magazine), who also took control of the wheel on our promo cruiser, came up with the idea of creating our own label to release our album on so print magazines wouldn’t toss our album reviews in the demo section. I then came up with the brilliant name Beerfuzz Records, which perfectly captures 2 out of 3 things we’re about: Beer and fuzz. The third being the cowbell of course. Plus, the German word for ‘barrel’ sounds a whole lot like ‘fuzz’, so it’s kind of a play on words as well.
How did you go about the recording process? How much beer was involved?
Besides using various digital outlets, you are also distributing physically. Is it important for you to have a physical CD available? And why did you not jump on the vinyl hype-train?
CDs are just the easiest to bring and sell on the road I guess. We would’ve loved to have some wax made as well – especially since vinyl is a really big deal in the stoner scene - but as of right now our budget just doesn’t want us to.
What’s your main source of income as a band: online sales, CDs, or live gigs?
Up until now we didn’t really have ANY source of income but we managed to make a few bucks at our release party (especially since we can finally sell CDs) so I guess there’s a silver lining up ahead.
How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences?
We always called it Kickass Stoner Rock ‘n’ Roll. We’re not as heavy as your classic Stoner bands, more fast-paced and lightweight maybe. It’s all about the groove really. We’re huge fans of Clutch and the likes. Monster Magnet, Planet Of Zeus… but we also dig ourselves some southern, bluesy tunes by say Stoner Train or Reignwolf.
And… what’s up with your obsession with the Jackalope?
The Jackalope is just a badass little dude, who makes for a great band mascot. I’ve always loved the killer rabbit from Monty Python’s Holy Grail, so maybe that’s where my obsession with fearsome critters comes from. And since he also exists in Germany (Hasenbock/Wolpertinger), there’s just a great connection we deem quite fitting for Plainride.
What can we expect from you next?
Lots of live shows in and around Germany and then hopefully another record that’s gonna kick even more ass than the one before!
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