Mustard had the pleasure of speaking with the newest members of the Ska Punk International roster, Plastic Presidents. Together we discussed Presidents, partying, signing with SPI, and so much more!

1. Mustard is grateful to have Plastic Presidents join them. How is everyone?

Alex: Fan-dang-tastic. I am literally getting ready to go to Disneyland as I’m typing this.
Chance: I’m doing great as well! Down in Long Beach getting some vegan Korean BBQ!
Carol: Stressy but hopeful.
Jacob: Caught in the dystopian morass that is the public school education system. So ok I guess. 
Nik: I’m great, just boolin’ over here. 
Dani: Livin’ the dream. Somebody’s dream, anyway.

2. Presidents are important humans who make decisions on behalf of humans within the United States of America. Collectively, you are Plastic Presidents. Could you share more about your name? Is your name commentary on the position of the President? Are you recyclable?

Alex: Basically, we collectively view the US government as an entity that’s molded by the highest bidder.
Chance: The best part about us is that we’re recyclable at best and compostable at the very least. 
Earl: Usually you relate fake people to plastic (think Mean Girls). All presidents and all politicians are fake. In a sense, you could say the name was derived from Mean Girls. 
Carol: Refer to Earl, but no presidential imagery is allowed please!
Dani: To build on Carol’s comment- we don’t want to be associated with any American President or government imagery. That’s the whole point of “plastic.” Most of us are pretty anti-government.

3. Plastic Presidents are starting a campaign. What would be a part of your platform? What ideas would you run on?

Alex: I’d ideally like to get a D&D campaign together to run sessions every Friday, but that’s a pipe dream. Don’t use this answer for the love of God
Chance: Anti-racist, Anti-fascist, Pro LGBTQIA+, Pro The People, Anti-Corporation, Anti-Billionaire, Abolish prisons, Pro Choice and Pro Women’s Rights. Basically anti-shit people
Earl: Total Animal and Human Liberation. Free Healthcare. Abolish ICE and Police. Give back to communities. Burn every prison and focus on rehabilitation rather than detention. More food co-ops. 
Carol: promoting intersectionality and improving equalized rights for disabled, low-income, immigrant, LGBT+, and other marginalized communities; smashing anti-Blackness, obliterating Indigenous erasure, #LandBack
jacob: the only way we can get strong enough to take on the end boss is through side quests. #vote #localorganizing #organizedlabor

4. According to your Spotify profile, you party. What is everyone’s favorite type of party? 

Alex: Motherfuckin’ Mario Party baybeeeeee!
Chance: My favorite type of party is a vegan potluck with tons of games and music, alcohol and drugs optional of course.
Earl: Pizza Party!
Carol: Costume parties or game nights! 
jacob: I like a party that has a good balance of melee and ranged DPS, Heals, support and an absolute unit of a tank.
Nik: I’m all about that Xbox live party and dropping in on a game of Halo Reach.
Dani: If free food is involved I’m in.

5. Humans love a good origin story. What is the origin of Plastic Presidents?

Earl: Dani came to me saying, “I want to start a ska band.” I said, “Okay.” Dani is to blame for this monstrosity.
Carol: I joined because I was told there would be vegan pizza. There hasn’t been, yet, but I’ve been showing up for years anyway. 
Dani: I knew Earl through my partner, and he had already been playing in bands for multiple years. I knew he loved ska, and I liked ska, and I could play trumpet, so we just started recruiting people. Most of us have known each other for 4 or more years.

6. Who (or what) influences Plastic Presidents?

Alex: I am personally influenced by video game music from the 80s and 90s, particularly Koji Kondo and Takashi Tateishi. As far as bands, I’ve drawn influence from Foo Fighters, Code Orange, Cliff era Metallica, Aquabats, Toasters, and RBF. I’m basic. 
Chance: Personally, my influences are punk/hardcore/ska/Jpop music wise, heavily influenced by Jpop bass lines from artists like LiSA and Polkadot Stingray.
Earl: Against All Authority, Bombs Blast, Streetlight Manifesto, Snoop Dogg, Aqua, Enya, Green Day, Kill Lincoln, Chilled Monkey Brains, The Muffs, Blind Justice, Hans Gruber and the Die Hards!
Carol: Our wretched state of affairs—an outlet to cope was necessary. Musically, I’ve been bumping ska, punk, and oldies since I was a kid and I never ever stopped. Main influences are heavy, weird, hollow, poppy, surfy, synthy, and/or video game OSTs. 
jacob: I did like a whole master’s degree in advanced doot-eronemy so like classical doot music and jazz doots. But these people let me ska doots and that is my favorite doots.
Nik: I’m mainly influenced by pop punk, reggae, hardcore, Hip-hop and a little bit of new wave.  
Dani: All of us are influenced by the state of the world. The band is kind of an escape and an outlet. Musically, for me: Big band, 60s/70s pop, new wave and late 90s/early 2000s pop-punk. 

7. What is Plastic President’s creative process?

Alex: Most of the time, Earl will have a song structure plotted out, and the rest of us will kinda dogpile ideas on like a heap of clay on a potter’s wheel; then we’ll spin that shit a few dozen times until we get something structured out, I’ll take it home and make a MIDI track with horn sheet music, and that’ll basically be it aside from some revisions here and there. There’s been a few times where I’ve taken a little nugget from an older song or an idea someone else does and just barf out the music end of a whole ass song based on that (as is the case with our single Ends Meat), but that doesn’t happen as often because my brain is growing mold.
Chance: We pretty much just all just get together and literally throw shit at a wall until something sticks.

8. It was announced on Ska Punk International’s Fall Direct that you signed with the label. What was everyone’s reaction? How did it all come together?

Dani: I run the band’s Twitter, and ska Twitter is really active and tight-knit. Ska Punk International is well-respected and we’re all super super stoked to be a part of the fam. Lots of good friends playing great music! We played a show with Hans Gruber and the Die Hards a few months ago- Carol already kind of knew their sax player- and just became buddies, I guess. They talked us up to Chris, and we were connected with Chris/SPI on Twitter, and things just kind of started happening. After we put our single out at the beginning of September Chris talked to us about joining SPI.
Carol: Everyone was big hyped! Many of my favorite current ska bands that I follow are w/SPI; it’s so rad to be on with them ❤ ! Was chatting with the amazing Rosey (of Hans Grueber and the Die Hards) the day after our Lincoln show and she put out the feeler to Chris at SPI—things then started happening organically in time. 

9.Your first single with SPI is “Ends Meat.” Could you share more about this single?

Alex: So musically, it stemmed from a song we used to play when a few of us were in a different band. I took the main horn line and feel of the song and made it xXxEDGIERxXx in concept, and it just kinda vibed with everyone else, so it stuck. Earl, being a vegan, had some anti-meat industry lyrics cooked up, and that’s what we got.
Chance: It’s an animal rights song, I’ll let Earl tell you more but we both feel very strongly about animal rights. 
Earl: It’s a message about factory farming and how human comfort often outweighs the lives of other living beings. Humans are selfish. Myself included. 

10. Going off the album art for “Ends Meat” it looks like Plastic Presidents wants to remove meat. Is this single a commentary on the meat industry?

Chance: Yes. The meat industry has long been a grossly abusive and self-destructive nonessential fight over who can produce the most for the least, at the expense of a living being’s life.
Earl: The art is kind of an inside joke in the band when we were trying to think of song title ideas. But yes, end the meat and dairy industry. 
Dani: Even though not everyone in the band is vegan we’re all invested in bettering the world and treating the other living things that share this planet with respect. Not only is the meat industry destroying the environment but it’s built on exploitation. It’s our duty to do better, for everyone!

11. What does a Plastic Presidents show look like?

Alex: A very cramped stage. It takes a lot to get 8 bodies on there! 
Chance: Way too many people on a stage trying to not knock each other out as we dance and scream and jump and play, the crowd is there to both lay witness to our self-assault and join in on the literal song and dance we’re there to provide.
Earl: 8 weirdos on a cramped stage kicking the shit out of each other. 
Carol: It’s pretty fun, we get down hard. A lot of spontaneity happens when we try to fit everyone on stage and/or figure out mics. People come to the ska show not sure what to expect and it’s fun to blow away perceptions of what the genre “should” be.
Nik: A little bit of anxiety but a whole lot of fun. 

12. Now that you are signed with Ska Punk International, what can fans expect from Plastic Presidents?

Alex: We have plans to release an album in 2023!
Chance: Expect more of us, this is now allowing us to reach more people. We’ll be in your living room, sleeping on your couches, eating your leftover pizza, taking your kids to school.
Earl: Multi-platinum records, mansions, cars, and drug problems. Just kidding about the mansions. Everything else is still expected though. 
Carol: Pure chaos, duh.

13. Where can readers listen to your music?

Alex: Our single Ends Meat is available on every streaming service under the sun (Bandcamp, Spotify, Apple Music, etc.) and the music video for the song is on Ska Punk International’s YouTube Page.
Chance: Check us out wherever you like to stream music, from Spotify to Bandcamp and YouTube for our new music video for Ends Meat!
Carol: All streaming platforms but most preferably: at our shows!
Jake: Rent free in yo brain.


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