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Introducing Plexi Stad: Hot Wired, Primal Focused Post-Punk That's Brimming with Bite

Belgian post-punks Plexi Stad have just unveiled their anticipated debut 7" Probation Baby and to celebrate the release, we caught up with frontman Sean Peleman to discuss the band's origins, how the four tracks came together, and getting kicked out of their rehearsal space during the recording process of it all.

Photo by Sem Beerens

Plexi Stad are a newly-formed four-piece punk outfit based out of Antwerp, Belgium who've just unveiled their anticipated debut 7" Probation Baby, co-released by Belly Button Records and the band's own label ALAS!. Composed of vocalist Sean Peleman, guitarist Bjorn Schoeters, bassist Daan Van Nunen, and drummer Wolf Van Hooydonck, Plexi Stad play circular-driven, acerbic post-punk that's filtered through a street-level rock 'n' roll swagger and remnants of Zamrock. Following the early single "Action and Joy" from last fall, Probation Baby takes listeners on a wild voyage between unbridled energy and angular extravagance loaded with swarming hooks, tightly wound rhythms, and Peleman's poetic punk prowess. To dive further, we caught up with Peleman to discuss the band's origins, how the four tracks came together, and getting kicked out of their rehearsal space during the recording process of it all.

Paperface Zine: Congrats on the debut EP! What's it like to finally have it out in the world?

Sean Peleman: We are relieved to finally share it with others, this seems to be the only way to get things out of our system and to move forward. We think we chewed on it long enough, lost our appetite, and had to spit it out eventually.

PZ: It seems like some of the go-to DIY punk institutions are catching onto you guys. The popular punk YouTube channel TegosluchamPL uploaded it and I also hear that Goodbye Boozy is interested in distributing copies of it, is that right?

SP: Yeah I got to appreciate that and I came across Goodbye Boozy by mistake. I loved the output and decided to mail Gabriele for a possible distro deal.

Photo by Sem Beerens

PZ: So when did you start putting this release together and what was the writing and recording process like for it?

SP: We started writing the first material for Plexi Stad exactly a year ago. The title track on the debut was written in the first month of working together and all the rest came soon after. Back in December '22, we went into recording it at Tooth Mountain Studios, which is owned by our good friend Rafael Valles Hilario. A total of ten songs were recorded live that day. Four of these are now featured on this 7".

PZ: What are the plans for the other six tracks?

SP: We're gatekeeping those for the time being. One or two might see the light of day on a compilation tape for our own label ALAS! in the future, but who knows.

PZ: You know I haven't been able to stop listening to the second track "Stockhausen" since it was released as the lead cut back in February. I really dig the discordant guitar riffs coinciding with the nervous-itch bassline. How did that track come together?

SP: That one started out as a joke really. Our drummer Wolf [Van Hooydonck] was pretty intoxicated that night and started playing off-beat. It made things more complex to the others, but sounded fresh so we embraced it. The track is easy to digest and energetic, but the narrative contradicts the instrumentals — it's all very bittersweet and tongue-in-cheek.

Photo by Sem Beerens

PZ: What are some of your favorite moments associated with this release?

SP: While working on this release we got kicked out of our rehearsal space in Antwerp. An old lady moved in next door and didn't appreciate our sound. After threatening to file some lawsuit and close the place down, we kissed our moldy cave goodbye. Soon after that, we wrote the lyrics for "Tammy Whim," loosely inspired by our lovely neighbor. Not really your typical favorite moment, but definitely something to remember.

PZ: What's your overall songwriting process like? Aside from dreadful neighbors, what other topics usually come to mind when prepping a song?

SP: There's no formula to the writing process and I hope there never will be. As with other bodies of work there's no clear beginning or ending, only an intense "doing." We stop working on a song when we feel there's nothing more worth adding to it. This, or when we get distracted with new stuff. Current lyrics focus on the misfortune of things, a city full of clichés, mocking the weekend sirens, and dancing on the death of the individual.

Photo by Sem Beerens

PZ: Tell me a bit about the origins of Plexi Stad. How did you all meet and decide to start a band?

SP: Daan [Van Nunen] and I used to fiddle around with old drum computers a lot. The occasional trip to Berlin fueled our needs to start a full band. With the current lineup already in mind, I made some phone calls with false promises. We still get along to this day.

PZ: There's an overall anxious post-punk edge to your music. Lay on me some of your main influences.

SP: Belgian groups like TC Matic and De Brassers left a lifetime imprint on us for sure. Power pop and funk obscurities seem to keep us afloat. There is a communal taste for music in the band, but we learn from each other's extremes, this makes the outcome unpredictable for every song.

Photo by Sem Beerens

PZ: How has it been navigating the Belgian punk scene? I see you co-released the single on the Antwerp DIY label Belly Button Records.

SP: Well the scene appears small, there only seems to be a few acts in the broad sense of the word "punk." There is a rising anticipation for a counter reaction to the club scene which seems to be the only eminent things going on here in recent years. We don't feel like navigating anything, but ourselves. It's nice to see people get into it, but that's nothing we can take credit for. Belly Button Records is owned by Rafael [Valles Hilario]. When the sessions for the single were mastered, he proposed to put it out on his label. We were planning on releases it ourselves, but went for a co-release instead.

PZ: How's the rest of the year looking for Plexi Stad?

SP: A world tour is in the making as we speak, the only thing we still need are gigs. We keep working on new material at all times. Looking forward to upcoming shows and playing in every McDonalds around the globe.

Photo by Sem Beerens

Probation Baby is out now on ALAS! and Belly Button Records. Order a copy of the 7" here.


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