Ahead of The Plot In You's bold, remarkable new album ‘Dispose’, we chat to frontman Landon Tewers about sticking with music, breaking out of a scene and how his band made one of the records of 2018.
YOU’VE HAD A CAREER FULL OF UPS AND DOWNS - WHAT’S KEPT YOU GOING ALL THIS TIME?
Says Landon: “A lot of it is luck, honestly. There have been a lot of points over the last eight years where one of us has been like, ‘This is probably my last tour’. Something always seems to happen at the right moment to where it keeps us grounded enough to say, ‘Okay, I can at least do the next thing’.
“I’ve been at that many times, where I’ve said this is absolutely my last time. Something just happens at the right time to keep me around and keep me hopeful that it’s not all for nothing.
“We’ve seen a lot of bands come and go. That’s the craziest thing for me, though, to see how long we’ve been keeping it going. More than anything, it’s the friendship between all of us. We all really love and enjoy playing music together. At this point we’ve been doing it for so long that it’s like, ‘What else would we even do?’ We’ve been very fortunate with opportunity and especially now with a new label that sees eye to eye with us and has the same vision as us. It’s been a crazy journey for sure. If you’d told me at 21 years old that I’d still be doing this at almost 30, I wouldn’t believe it.”
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE FEELING WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT WAS THE END?
“There have been many points where I felt like the band had ruined my life. I’ve missed out on tonnes of family events and events with people I was in relationships with. All of those things really hit you hard in the moment.
“I’ve had a few friends die of drug overdoses while I’m on the road and I’ve missed weddings as well. I’ve often felt disconnected from my home life, but for whatever reason something always happened at the right time to remind me that it’s worth it and that it’s something that I need to stick to.
“I’ve invested so much into it already and now we’re seeing the fruits of that labour which is really cool. It’s very satisfying. These last few months especially have made me think, ‘Yeah, it was all worth it’. It’s been rough, though. We’ve all missed out on a lot but when you’re a touring musician that’s kind of the lifestyle you have to live.”
WHAT LED YOU TO MAKE AN ALBUM LIKE ‘DISPOSE’?
“This record was a lot different from a lot of our previous ones. Our past records were kind of me reflecting on the past and taking that and turning it in to a journal of thoughts and emotions. This record was very much what I was feeling in the moment. I was going through a really bad relationship situation and everything that I was writing about was very fresh in my mind. I was in the studio while everything at home was kind of falling apart. I think that’s why it’s the most relatable, I guess. I wasn’t just grabbing for things like in the past, it was all happening in the moment.
“It was a painful part of my life, but looking back I’m very thankful that I was able to go through that and that I was able to document it. It’s something that people can latch onto a little bit more than our previous records. Our previous records were more about violence and drugs and things that only a very specific audience could relate to. I think pretty much anyone can relate to relationship problems.”
WAS THERE ANYTHING IN PARTICULAR YOU WERE TRYING TO DO DIFFERENTLY WITH THIS ALBUM MUSICALLY?
“I wrote about 20 songs for the record in total and when we went in to record we had six very heavy songs. We pretty much decided while we were in the studio that we don’t care if there’s a single heavy song as long as it’s a cohesive tool and one that speaks its message clearly.
“It’s funny to see a few kids say that we’re selling out because we’ve pretty much dropped the heavy side. For me, I think we would have sold out had we put a heavy song on ‘Dispose’. None of us listen to heavy music anymore. We’ve grown up. I’m not saying that it’s immature, but it’s just how we have evolved as musicians. We’re not angry 20 year old guys anymore. I’m not going to scream about something unless I have something to scream about.
“We wanted to take a different approach and make sure that it was an honest record and there were no songs there just for the sake of appeasing a certain audience. So it ended up being rock songs, slow songs and weird songs.
“Drew (Fulk, producer) challenged us to explore our sound, especially with my voice and my lyrical content. He was able to guide us and give us good advice. When it comes to me with lyrics I tend to be a little too vulgar and he kept me grounded. Taking a different approach means that people can understand me a bit more. Drew had a lot of really unique ideas. He used to work with really heavy bands, so we’re the first band to come in - maybe in his whole career - who didn’t want heavy stuff on their record. He was able to have fun and go crazy with production and stuff.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE PLOT IN YOU FITS IN 2018?
“For me personally, I’d love to explore touring with different bands and artists that are way outside of the scene that we have been in for a long time. I want to tour with artists who are kind of doing the same thing as us and working outside of the mould that they’ve been stuck in for so many years.
“That’s a very challenging thing to do. Once you’re born into a certain scene you’re kind of stuck or attached to it in some way for most of your career, even with some of the big breakout bands like Bring Me The Horizon. Now they are almost a pop-rock band, yet they are still clumped into the metal community, which is fine and I’m sure they are fine with it too. I’d really just like to see us tour with bands and artists who are completely removed from this. Kind of maybe even become a pioneer for artists to really push themselves and stop allowing themselves to be clumped into genres and scenes. To expand more and play with bands that are completely outside of what they’re used to.”
AWAY FROM THE BAND YOU’VE ALSO BEEN DOING SOME CO-WRITING. HOW’S THAT GOING?
“I’ve been doing that for a few years. More recently I did some co-writes with Crown The Empire and I’ve been writing instrumental tracks for other bands, too. It’s more of a side thing because I’ve been too busy.
“It’s something I want to delve into a little more, though. It’s kind of a playground creatively. Even if it’s a sound that I don’t really care for, I do my homework and then challenge myself. It’s always a challenge but it’s always so rewarding afterwards. Even if it’s something I wouldn’t typically listen to or enjoy, it’s cool to know that if I push myself I’m capable of achieving those goals.”
WHAT’S THE ULTIMATE GOAL FOR THIS BAND IN 2018?
“The past few years, the goal has been to just keep it going. Now things are starting to turn around it’s a bit more hopeful. Not only do we want to keep it going, but we also want to expand creatively and push ourselves. We want to evolve and be ourselves even more.
“We want to do something proactive about the current state of where our scene is and ultimately help the sound progress. I want to push other artists to experiment more and not get stuck, which I feel is what happens to a lot of bands.
“I feel like creativity needs to skyrocket and people need to start challenging each other.”
‘Dispose’ is out now via Fearless Records.
The Plot In You tour the UK in May alongside We Came As Romans, Alazka and Polaris.
02 - NOTTINGHAM Rescue Rooms
03 - BRISTOL Fleece
04 - GLASGOW Cathouse
05 - MANCHESTER Night People
06 - LEEDS Key Club
08 - LONDON Underworld