1. Who are the members of your band and what are their musical backgrounds?
I’m Em Baker and Plike is my solo project, although I often include collaborations with other artists on my albums. My old bandmate ASH collaborated with me on two of the tracks from my second EP, Empathetic Apathy, and he’s also worked with me on several of the tracks from my upcoming album De Anima. My musical background began with piano lessons starting at age 5, and then in my early teens, I fell in love with rock music and talked my parents into guitar lessons, which is how I eventually wound up playing bass for my first band, Bishop Buzzkill. ASH was the lead singer and rhythm guitar player for the project, and he was the one who first introduced me to electronic music production. He also started out playing piano and guitar when he was very young, and he was in his early teens when he fell in love with electronic music and started teaching himself how to build synths and program drum machines.
2. How w long have you been in the music industry?
I’d have to say forming Bishop Buzzkill in 2003 was when I truly began in the music industry. I’d been in a few bands already, an Alice in Chains cover band and a few jam bands, but I didn’t take it seriously until Bishop Buzzkill. That was the first time that I had real creative freedom, and it was a total adrenaline rush. ASH and I continued to write material for Buzzkill until late 2010 when I first had the idea of forming my solo project.
3. How long have you been performing under your present name?
I’ve been performing as Plike since November of 2014. It’s hard to believe it was that long ago!
4. What genre would you call your music? Answer: I always struggle with this one! There are so many modern genres and sub-genres that it can be daunting to find just one that you fit into. I think of Plike as a gothic concoction of trip-hop and dream-pop with a little witch house and trap sprinkled on top.
5. Who are your major influences?
Thee type of music that I create, I have some rather strange influences! There are elements of so many musical styles that I love. I tend to cherry-pick those elements for Plike - for example, Enya’s vocal styling has always been an enormous influence on my music, as well as the choral and vocal elements that Danny Elfman is known for as a composer. I am a huge fan of industrial music and always find a lot of inspiration in artists like Front 242 and Nine Inch Nails. And I am addicted to soundtracks! Over half of my iTunes library is soundtracks. One of my absolute favorites is the score for the video game Alice: Madness Returns, which features a ton of brilliant writing from Chris Vrenna of Nine Inch Nails
6. Where would you like to be in five years? I would love to be composing music and doing audio design for films and games full time. I hope that there will be more opportunities for female composers shortly! And of course, I hope to still be writing new music for Plike :)
7. What inspires you to write? Each day when I sit down to work in my studio, I never quite know where the music will steer me. That excitement of music having unlimited possibilities is a huge inspiration to me. Electronic music production is almost like a rabbit hole, you take a leap into the unknown and by the time your feet hit the bottom, you’ve got a new track that you might never have thought possible. Even when I have a very clear idea of what I want to express with a song, the journey to get it is always exhilarating.
8. What is your philosophy of life and how does it affect your music?
I’ve always believed that art in its many forms is something that connects us, humans, to one another more than anything else I can think of. Since I launched Plike in 2014, I’ve been very open and honest about my ongoing battle with complex-PTSD, and the reason for that is mainly because I want to see the stigma that surrounds mental illness destroyed. There are very few people I know who don’t struggle with depression or anxiety or some type of mental illness. We shouldn’t be ashamed and feel as if we need to conceal our illness from others because we are afraid that we will be shunned by society. Many, many of my songs were inspired by the trauma I’ve experienced, and I also discovered years ago that writing music is a beautiful place of healing. For me, music is a way to express things that I cannot express with words alone.
9. Please add the names of the places you have played and the city they are in?
It’s a very short list, unfortunately! In San Diego, Bishop Buzzkill opened a few shows at Brick by Brick, and we did one electronic dance gig at Club Sabbat. Hopefully, in the future, I’ll be able to add to this list! :)
10. Do you have any causes that tug at your heartstrings, or that you support? Abused pets, world peace organization, save the whales, etc…?
I’m a very proud member of The Sierra Club in Nevada (environmental advocacy), the Human Rights Campaign in Washington D.C. (LGBTQ advocacy), and the Humane Society of the United States (animal advocacy, rescue, and care). I’m also a big supporter of Plan USA and the work they are doing to end the cycle of poverty for children and their communities.
11. Do you have any new releases coming out?
Yes, I do! My upcoming album De Anima will be releasing on August 15th. I’m in the final stage of mastering the tracks right now.
12. What is your upcoming performance schedule?
Since Plike isn’t doing live performances right now, my schedule is mainly tied up with designing audio for upcoming film projects and the work I am doing with Oak Moon Games as Lead Audio Designer.
Twitter - @PlikeProject Plike Project - Emma Baker and Michaels Music Blog
Plike - SYZYGY (Official Music Video) ft. The Fair Attempts
Plike - The Clockwork Girl
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