Plini is a guitarist/composer from Sydney, Australia. His music is combination of prog, jazz, and shred, with an emphasis on some really beautiful composition and phrasing. His music can be found on his Bandcamp page and YouTube. His new EP The End of Everything was just released in March to critical acclaim. He is recently a Strandberg artist. As part of Australia Week here on the site, we asked him a bit about the EP, his gear, and his musical approach.
Congratulations on your new EP. Tell us a bit about the making of.
A slow, on-and-off mess really! If writing and recording music were anything like cooking a meal, it would taste awful — some parts would be hot, some would be cold, some would be chopped a different size to others… Unlike a meal though I think it all got there in the end, fortunately. I started writing and recording (I usually do both at the same time so that when inspiration strikes I can squeeze it for all its worth) around July last year, I think. Had the first and last tracks about finished after not too long, but Wombat Astronaut went from being a fairly terrible demo to possibly my favourite track, thanks to Luke Martin (piano), who worked with me off the original demo and we co-wrote it into something much cooler! After that, it was all pretty much done, then I crazily ended up meeting Marco Minnemann and he offered to record some drums. So I muted all my programmed drums and let him do his thing! A couple months later I was finally happy enough with the mix to call it a day and press “upload”, and that’s that.
What is your all-time favorite recorded guitar tone?
Ooft, tricky! Probably a John Petrucci one – the beginning of About To Crash (Reprise) and the last solo on Octavarium come to mind, but overall he’s pretty much the tone-lord. Guthrie Govan’s first solo on Waves also gets me every time. Honourable mentions to many Led Zeppelin and Van Halen tracks too.
Do you have a tone philosophy? How does this affect your current rig?
Whatever works! This has resulted in me using free plugins for a good while, until getting an AxeFX (yes, I’m a terrible, digital kinda guy). I’d love to mess with real amps one day, when I can afford to be in an appropriate room with some, but for now I’ll just go with whatever’s easy.
What is your warmup and daily practice routine like?
For most of my life, non existent, but lately I’ve been going over some of my songs in preparation for playing them live in a couple of months. I’ve always been more interested in writing and recording than developing technique for technique’s sake, so I guess the majority of my practice comes from trying to record parts cleanly and tightly to a metronome.
What kind of strings, picks, and effects pedals are you using?
At the moment, Ernie Ball 10 gauges, though it changes depending what I happen to have at the time. Picks, I recently got a few different shape Red Bear Trading Co. picks, and man, those things rule. Can’t touch anything else now. Beautiful little objects and they just feel musical to hold. Effects pedals: trusty old AxeFX II. Looking forward to trying out an Atomic Amplifire very soon though! Those things look awesome.
What is the very first instrument you ever owned?
A ukelele. It broke, which led to my first guitar.
What is the music scene like in Australia? Who are your favorite Aussie musicians/bands?
Pretty dry for the type of stuff I’m into! That said, some of my all time favourites are Australian: Karnivool, Dead Letter Circus, Closure In Moscow, Virgil Donati (technically), The Helix Nebula, Glass Ocean, I Built The Sky, Sleepmakeswaves… shall I go on?
Tell the folks at home how to say your name properly so when they’re spreading the gospel of Plini they can get it right.
I’ve noticed that a lot of people tend to find “Plee-nee” rolls off the tongue better, so that’s fine with me if that’s what your mouth wants to do, but if you want to be accurate, it rhymes with ‘mini’ or ‘skinny’.
Thanks for the questions!