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More Plum Tree
- Subject: More Plum Tree
- From: Adam S Rodenhiser <ac768\!/ccn.cs.dal.ca>
- Date: Thu, 14 Mar 1996 18:38:55 -0400
This article is from the Halifax Hearld
DON'T CALL THEM CUTE:
PLUMTREE BAND MEMBERS GROW UP AND ROCK OUT
By STEPHEN COOKE
The beauty of Plumtree can be summed up in one word: enthusiasm.
That may sound corny, but it's true. Not many bands can get as excited
about every single aspect of the music biz as Plumtree, whether
they're stepping into a recording studio or flagging down a towtruck
to rescue their car while on tour.
Now it's the biggest step yet; the release of their first full-length
record, Mass Teen Fainting, which the band celebrates with a show
tonight at Birdland.
Now in their late teens, the members of Plumtree are practically
veterans of the local scene, since they first stepped on a stage four
years ago. One cassette, two singles, two tours and a YTV Achievement
Award later, the group's playing and songwriting abilities have
sharpened considerably, while their feelings about making music have
``I think these songs (on Mass Teen Fainting) definitely reflect our
attitude right now,'' says guitarist Amanda Braden. ``As much as I
hate when people say we're cute, there is something young about it.
We're not really jaded, and we're still having fun, and that's in our
Drummer Lynette Gillis, who was barely 15 when the seeds of Plumtree
were first planted, can't believe how quickly their formative years
have passed since starting the band, which also includes her
guitar-wielding sister Carla and a new bassist, Catriona Sturton, who
replaces co-founder Nina Martin, now studying at McGill.
``I saw an old video tape of us, and we looked sooo young,'' says
Gillis, ``My sister taped our first or second bar show, it was at the
Double Deuce, and we all had pony tails.''
The pony tails are gone, but Plumtree are still trying to erase the
``cuteteen-girl-band'' label that may have helped them gain attention
at first, but now seems more like a millstone.
The new album will ease the way ahead. Mass Teen Fainting, it's title
taken from a Bay City Rollers disc's liner notes contrasting with
cover art inspired by Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, seems to sum up the
painful and absurd process of passing from one stage of life to
another; part ecstacy, part horror.
Musically, the album hovers somewhere between the Beach Boys and the
Sex Pistols, as the do-it-yourself guitars blend with anxious
The vocals may be sugar-coated, but the lyrics are bittersweet,
describing the exchange of childhood fears for a whole new set of
``Our songs have matured, and our confidence has increased; we're not
shy teens anymore,'' says Braden. ``Basically we're all adults; I feel
like people are treating us differently.''
Not that they're above taking advantage of benefits their age allows.
Plumtree was a recent winner of a YTV Achievement Award for their
efforts, an honor previously bestowed on the Barenaked Ladies. It
makes up for being runners-up last year (although they did recieve a
complementary set of encyclopedias). This time they get $3,000, a free
week in Toronto and maybe, just maybe, a chance to meet veejay Tarzan
``It's really helpful,'' says Braden. ``Some people hear YTV and think
of little kids, but it's so great they have something like that
because they're actually recognzing us and supporting us.''
Support also grows in other ways.
Two tours, with another planned for this summer, have enlarged their
fan base, while independentlyproduced fanzines continue to sing the
band's praises Canadawide. With Denon's national release of Mass Teen
Fainting and the eventual video, Plumtree mania seems all but certain.
Still, for the four women of Plumtree, it's important not to lose
perspective. Their priority continues to be having fun, although they
manage to make the most of the creative dividends. They laugh at the
suggestion they'll be vengeful Alanis Morrissette-types in a few
years; they're the anti-Alanis, refreshingly uncalculated, with no
illusions about a life in showbiz.
``Forty years from now, if I look back, Plumtree would definitely
stand out as part of my life,'' says Gillis. ``Especially when we
released our first single, or this album.''
"It was a pleasure to burn. Adam Rodenhiser
The system was simple. Everyone understood it. ac768\!/ccn.cs.dal.ca
Books were for burning... along with the houses dWIGHT fRY
in which they were hidden." - Fahrenheit 451 SIX by NINE=FORTY-TWO
Fans From Hell - http://www.ccn.cs.dal.ca/~ac768/Profile.html