At Columbus, Ohio’s Fashion Meets Music Festival, Chris Duggan discussed his band, Plaid Brixx.
QRO: The name ‘Plaid Brixx’ is an interesting one. Where did you come up with that?
Chris Duggan: I have a weird fascination with plaid. I love plaid. I just one day somehow thought, it would be cool to see a brick wall, but instead of the ruddy brick color, have it be plaid.
QRO: All the different bricks making one big plaid pattern or–
CD: Yeah something like that, and then it just kind of got changed to two Xs.
QRO: There’s probably more crowd appeal with the two Xs.
CD: Ha-ha, yeah, you can just do more with that.
QRO: How did you and the other guys in your band get together?
CD: They were two years behind me in high school, and we played in a band together back then. So then I went off to college and I didn’t talk to them for a while. Well, we kept in touch a little here and there and we just got back together about five months ago.
QRO: So you have a little more history than your 2013 formation might suggest.
QRO: Because you are relatively young as a band, do you think you’re still getting a feel for your sound?
CD: No. I have a clear-cut vision of what I want it to sound like and the EP that we just released is that exactly. I broke my back to make it sound perfect. I spent a ton of time on it.
QRO: How long did the recording take?
CD: I did all the live instrumentation on it before the other guys were with the band. I just wanted to jump right into the songs.
QRO: So you can actually play all the instruments in your band?
CD: They play them better than I play them but I did the studio things. Our next record is going be with everyone playing their parts.
QRO: How long do you expect it to be before you release another record?
CD: I have five songs demoed; completely done and lyrics written and then I’m starting work on another batch this week.
QRO: How long does it take to write a full song?
CD: Just the writing for one song, I rewrite and rewrite and rewrite and change. I don’t know. It could take around 200 hours for one song. With the production of the demo I spend so much time making sure everything sounds great and that’s before we even go into the studio and re-record everything.
QRO: What’s your process for writing each instrument’s part?
CD: I’ll typically do a guitar part and build synth stuff around that and then figure drum stuff out around that and then melody once I have a solid background.
QRO: I read that you’ve been writing songs since you were ten years old?
CD: I’ve been playing guitar since I was around seven, writing since I was ten – playing guitar since I was barely able to form cohesive thoughts.
QRO: And how old are you now?
CD: 24, so I’ve been at this for a little while now.
QRO: Is this the first festival you guys have played?
CD: We just played the Columbus Arts Festival a couple months ago and then we just played the Day and Night Music festival in Cleveland yesterday.
QRO: Do you have a preference on the kind of venue you like to play in?
CD: I like festivals, but I prefer playing in grungy little dive bar places. I love packed dive bars. Everyone’s sweaty, it’s hot, it’s just awesome. The crowd’s a little more intimate; I love that you can really connect with people. It’s less impersonal than yelling, “How you guys doing?” into a big crowd.
QRO: From what I understand you’re a relatively local or region kind of act. Do you have any plans to tour outside of the area?
CD: Absolutely. Absolutely, but we just wanted to get our touring legs before expanding out. The Midwest is really the perfect place to do that – to tour from. I think it’s like 50% of the population of America is within 6 hours of the Midwest.
QRO: Do you have a lot of upcoming shows?
CD: Yeah, we’ve got a show every weekend this month. Detroit, Cincinnati, another show in Columbus. We just played Cleveland last night and we have Fashion Meets tomorrow night.
QRO: Where can people get your music?
CD: We went only digital with the EP, which you can find on iTunes, but we’ll probably go physical as well with the full album.
QRO: Sounds good. Thanks for your time.
CD: Nice talking to you.