Back in March, Plastic Mermaids released their debut EP 'Drømtorp', which earned them comparisons to Mercury Rev and The Flaming Lips and won them support from BBC Introducing and BBC Radio 1's Rob Da Bank and Edith Bowman. After sold-out headline shows in London, Bristol and on the Isle of Wight, they spent the summer winning fans at festivals across the UK, including Bestival on the Isle of Wight, where they blew (literally) their entire gig fee on a confetti cannon to fire 4kg of coloured paper over the audience at the culmination of their set.
They then holed themselves up to write, record and produce their new EP 'Inhale the Universe' in their ever-growing, self-built analogue studio.
"I've made all sorts of analogue gear and I'm half way through building myself a huge mixing desk," says guitarist/producer Jamie Richards. "It's been hard though. There's a big learning curve [and] some stuff sets on fire. On more than one occasion I've gone to make a cup of tea only to return to a room full of smoke. I'm too far down the line to stop now though, and every time I plug something in and hear how great it sounds I'm reminded to persevere: I'm building myself the studio I could never afford, and I haven't electrocuted myself. Yet."
Hailing from the Isle of Wight, when they aren't busy soldering things together in their studio, the band are keen surfers. This might give us an insight into where they came up with the name Plastic Mermaids, but, according to them, it was simply: "we just wanted something memorable which no-one else was called and was easy to spell."
Plastic Mermaids have become notable for their eye catching stage production, which involves handmade sets, lazers, projections and samples from films. They have even invited string sections and choirs to join them on stage. "It's something we want to work on further," says lead singer Douglas Richards. "You can really change the way people perceive music by what they see while they hear it. I like the idea of doing a gig one day that's equally about sound and visuals. And maybe smell."
Plastic Mermaids are: Douglas Richards (vocals, piano), Jamie Richards (guitar, drum machine, samples, vocals), Chris Newnham (guitar), Tom Farren (bass) and Chris Jones (drums).