The Plot In You are gearing up for the long awaited release of their fifth album Swan Song, originally all but finished pre-pandemic, but now freshly polished and ready for roll out September 17th on Fearless Records.
We caught up with guitarist Josh Childress to talk about the album, his love for Neural DSP and the Quad Cortex, and getting out in front of people.
Your new album Swan Song is said to have been in the works for quite a while. Was it a difficult album to put together?
It was a pretty long process. Landon had been grinding away for a while at it and then we took some songs in with Drew Fulk to polish them up and get some fresh ideas. We left the studio thinking we were all set but once the lockdowns happened and we sat on the songs even longer which led to even more adjustments. I think that it benefited the album a lot.
People are pretty hyped for the record on the basis of lead single Face Me. Would you say it is representative of the album? What should people expect?
We picked Face Me because we felt it gave everyone a little taste of elements you’re going to hear throughout the record. There’s a lot of similar pop elements but also songs that take the heaviness from Face Me to the next level.
How did the band deal with the lockdowns in 2020? Did you guys end up spending more time on the record than you might otherwise have?
We ended up cancelling a European headliner at the beginning of lockdowns. We had the record pretty much done before then, but with all the extra time Landon was able to go in and fine tune some stuff and even swap some songs out.
So guitars! What did you guys use on the new record in terms of guitars/amps/pedals?
The guitars on the record are all DI with the Neural DSP plugins. It’s amazing how easily you can get incredible tones out of all of their products.
Did you have any reference records going into the studio in terms of how you wanted the finished product to sound?
I don’t remember us going into it trying to achieve any specific sound. When we wrapped everything up and were listening back to the record as a whole, we were pleasantly surprised with how heavy it turned out.
Are you a gear head at all? Any pieces of gear you’ve played recently that were a pleasant surprise? Anything you got to play that was disappointing?
I’m not too deep of a gear head. I keep my setup fairly simple. I just got the Quad Cortex and i’m really excited to start dialing everything in for our upcoming tour on that.
A lot of guitarists are embracing modelling and profiling amps these days, especially due to making fly in gigs much easier. What’s your take on digital amps and effects?
I’ve always been a fan of tubes. Back at the start of the band I played a 6505+ with a tube screamer. Nice and simple. These days though I have switched over to the digital world. I was hesitant at first but now, especially with the quad cortex, I can get a phenomenal tone out of it and the user interface is extremely simple.
Thankfully, we’re usually playing through nice PA’s that can really push the tone. The convenience of having one small pedalboard and not having to haul heavy equipment around is also hard to beat.
For someone who’s just discovering your band and wants to hear more music that sounds like you, what bands would you suggest they start with?
This is a terribly hard question because we are never really sure who to compare ourselves to. It makes trying to figure out tours difficult sometimes.
If someone maybe wasn’t familiar with you guys but wanted to learn to play one of your songs, where would you suggest they start? Any riffs/licks/passages in particular that are fun to play, or maybe challenging but rewarding for more advanced players?
I find our album ‘Happiness In Self Destruction’ to have some of the more challenging riffs that can be a blast to play once you get them down. With the new album, we plan on doing some play throughs. There’s a super fun riff to play in one of the new singles that will be coming out before the record drops.
Next up for the band is a November/December tour with Silverstein – anything else on the horizon?
We have some behind the scenes things happening. We want to make sure there’s going to be some good chances for everyone to come see this album live.