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Home » Music

PLF

Submitted by RamonLP4 on October 1, 2008 – 2:01 amNo Comment
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Photo by Rosa Guerrero

A PLF rehearsal is a pretty intense experience. Dave Callier’s guitar sounds like a car engine, Matt Brunette’s bass is like the rumble of thunder, and Frank Faerman’s drums are like unrelenting machine guns. The band members don’t hop or jump but studiously listen to how they fit into the barrage of rhythm and noise and communicate with their eyes and nods. The typical rock posturing is replaced by an intense concentration of a band that relies on the volume and violence of its music. This is pure unrepentant Grindcore – a furious combination of rat-tat-tat blast beats, a blur of notes, whiplash inducing stops, and guttural vocals. It’s music at its most violent and aggressive. Drop the PLF sonic assault at a Gulf Coast Hardcore show and you’ll find yourself surrounded by kids sweating and screaming along. For those that buy into the idea that Rock and Roll has lost its grit, PLF and the Gulf Coast Hardcore scene should renew your faith.

I sat with Frank and Dave at a Bar-B-Q at Frank’s house recently (Matt was busy feeding the masses at Pizza Hut) and the first order of business was figuring out how they came up with the band’s name. After a short round of “you wanna answer that one” between the two, Dave smiled like a guilty student and confessed to his crime, “For the first few practices, the band was Frank and Jeff. They’d practice at Frank’s parent’s house and I’d give them a ride. They asked me for band names and I said Pretty Little Flower; it was the wimpiest and worst name I could think of.”

Frank laughs and adds, “Then he joined up a month later and he’s cursed himself ever since.”

The band released records and toured under the old moniker but now they simply go under the acronym PLF. Beyond that one change and a few bass players over the years, PLF remains the same uncompromising sonic beast they set out to create. As Frank explains it, a PLF song has to have “tight stops, blast beats, and a circle pit part for people to dance. Most of all, it has to be full force. We’ve been doing [PLF] for 10 years. We’re true to grind and we’ll be doing this until our bones won’t let us.”

“I usually start with rhythm parts – not even chords.” explains Dave, “I’ll come to practice with the beats and parts then me and Frank will work it out. I actually record and put away guitar riffs so I’ll bring them in depending on the beat and speed of the part. Early on, most songs were socio-political protest songs - not so much now. Really [lyrics come from] anything that inspires me from seizing life to corny existentialism. It’s painting a picture like things exploding, heavy machinery…just thoughts and impressions to give texture to intensity. What we want to do is grab people with noise and speed and blow their heads off. I like to play to people who’ve never heard us and totally terrorize them.”

“There are people out there who’ve never heard of Grindcore or Punk.” says Frank, “It’s great to play to them and see them totally stoked to be at their first Grindcore show. This music attracts a lot of people so you’ll get Punks, Metal Heads, Crusties…you name it. The shows are cheap as shit, anyone can come, and it’s easy to meet people. There aren’t any bad vibes. Hell, you can go to church and listen to Avril Levigne – we don’t give a shit.”

“You have to understand,” says Dave, “the original Grindcore bands were a mesh of fast extreme Political Punk, Thrash, and Death Metal. So it’s a melding of cultures that were into anger, protest, and sonic violence. It works into [the idea of] releasing aggression through music. It lets you deal with daily life’s bullshit and the struggles that come along and releasing that negative energy. It’s the perfect therapy.”

“I know if I don’t get my PLF rehearsal two or more times a week,” says Frank, “I have to smoke a bit more. I need that furious pummeling energy ….”

“But it’s life affirming.” adds Dave, “It’s intense in a happy way - the music and being part of the scene.” That scene is a huge part of PLF and, when I ask how, Dave elaborates; “99% of the shows we play are small DIY shows. We support touring bands and help them out with gigs which helps sustain the international punk/hardcore/grind community. Most of the time we don’t even take money when there is a touring band and we’ll even cook for them.”

“I’ve probably put on 30 shows in the last six months,” says Frank, “and each time more and more kids show up. That’s the thing - like 80 kids will show up on a Wednesday night. After their tour, a lot of the bands will call me up and say how that was the best night of the tour. Then they’ll tell other bands how they have to play Houston. That’s the way it is – everyone helps each other.”

All in all Dave is pretty satisfied with the success they’ve achieved and their place within the Gulf Coast Hardcore community; “We’re where we want to be – writing, recording, touring, and playing fun intense shows. I can’t relate to people who judge success by money and getting rich. We’ve released records all over the world and we’re at the point where we don’t have to ask labels to release our stuff. They come to us. I know people who’ve signed with large labels and it sounds like a lot of red tape and limitations. If we diluted our music, it wouldn’t be fun and if it’s not fun – fuck it.”

I ask them for one lesson they’ve picked up over the last decade that they can share and Dave replies, “If I can give you one lesson it would be to just to write prolifically. If you’re persistent enough, someone is bound to like you. So just put down the beer, put down the joint, and write songs.”

Frank adds with a smirk, “You can always smoke it after.”

The new PLF album “Crushing Fury of Bastardization” (LP/CD) is out now on Power It Up Records. The new PLF split EP with Mesrine out now on To Live a Lie Records. Also coming in late 2008 - an EP with Needful Things and a split LP with In Disgust.

PLF will be on tour from October 1st through October 27th in Europe. Currently, their next scheduled Houston performance will be at Noisefest 2008 which runs December 5th and 6th.

Links:
PLF on Myspace (Link)

Gulf Coast Hardcore on Myspace (Link)
Power It Up Records (Link)
To Live A Lie Records (Link)

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