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This week marks the one-month anniversary of most COVID-19 lock downs in the US and everything that came along with that. Mass amounts of tour cancellations have ushered in a new world of consistent live streaming on social media. While most bands are still adapting to this new quarantined way of being, NYC-based synth dance punk duo The Fantastic Plastics are about to celebrate their one year anniversary of live streaming on Twitch. Self-described as “the future of the future,” the Fantastic Plastics are heavily influenced by Orwell and sci-fi movies, so maybe they knew this particular dystopian fate was coming all along. Their visually stimulating live show includes matching outfits, backing projections, Moog synths and a theremin and is guaranteed to captivate your attention, whether in person or from the comfort of your phone screen.
The Fantastic Plastics’ interactive Twitch stream is tonight goes live every Wednesday and Friday at 9pm EST, with occasional bonus shows on Sundays and Mondays – your next opportunity to tune in is tonight, April 17th! We chatted with The Fantastic Plastics about some of their live stream effects, their sci-fi movie favorites and their advice for starting your own Twitch channel.
AF: You were in the live streaming boat far before quarantine started. Coming up on your one year anniversary on Twitch, how has your performance style grown over the year? How has your fan base changed?
FP: Our performance style over the last year on Twitch has evolved to become more interactive with our audience. Before we started live streaming, we were accustomed to jumping on stage to play a quick 30-45 minute set and then tearing our stuff down off of the stage as quickly as possible. Now with streaming, we stretch our performance out over 3-4 hours with lots of chatting with our audience between songs. Our fan base has changed in that we spent years touring and trying to find our audience, whereas with live streaming, most of our audience has found us instead. We are also able to reach people in parts of the country and world that we’ve never toured.
AF: What goals do you have for streaming in the year to come?
FP: Streaming more often, making our stream more interactive, and branching out with a variety of content.
AF: Have you noticed a change in your audience since the quarantine began? Has the quarantine affected your creative process in any way?
FP: Since the quarantine began we have noticed that our audience, as well that of many other musicians on Twitch, has grown quite a bit as people are searching for new ways to see live music. As far as our creative process goes, we’ve been putting more energy into ways to make the stream more interactive and visually stimulating, and of course there’s always the pressure to keep writing new music.
AF: How do you make your outfits change pattern during your set?
FP: We are misusing the chroma key effect, haha! We actually used this same effect in a music video we filmed for our song “Teleport” in 2017 and thought it could work really well with our video projection show in the background on Twitch.
AF: What are your favorite sci-fi movies? What movies have had the most influence on your sound?
FP: Most sci-fi movies that we like, such as Barbarella, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Blade Runner, influence more of our aesthetic vs. our sound. Musically and lyrically, we have always been really inspired by William Gibson novels and of course 1984 by George Orwell.
AF: How do you think an extended quarantine is going to affect musicians’ (and humans’ in general) relationship with technology and live music?
FP: There has definitely been a shift and more of an appreciation for watching live music performances via streaming, and it seems like people are making a switch from passively watching Netflix to enjoying the chance to have more interaction with the musicians and bands they like via streaming. Hopefully after things start opening up again, this will be beneficial for both streaming and live, in-person gigs as we know everyone really misses the energy of being in live concert venues and is looking forward to seeing those rescheduled concerts.
AF: What advice would you give someone starting their twitch channel?
FP: The best thing to do if you are thinking about starting a Twitch channel is to just watch as many other streamers on Twitch music as you can – most importantly to learn the culture. Once you start streaming, just be consistent, and don’t give up.
AF: What are your plans for the rest of 2020 & beyond?
FP: We have a remix album, MLFNCTN, coming out at the end of the Spring/early Summer this year, and we just plan to keep writing new music, releasing more videos on our YouTube channel and streaming on Twitch as much as we can.
RSVP HERE for The Fantastic Plastics live stream on Twitch 4/17 9pm est.
More great live streams this week…