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Interview: Pluto Return With New Album 'IV'

Interview: Pluto Return With New Album 'IV'

Chris Cudby / Wednesday 13th November, 2019 10:05AM

After a decade in the sonic wilderness, Aotearoa alt-rockers Pluto have returned with their fresh-faced new album IV and a pair of reunion headline events, happening at Tāmaki Makaurau's Hollywood Cinema and Pōneke's San Fran. Their first release since 2009's standalone single 'Snake Charmer', and the band's first studio long player since 2007's Sunken – IV ("Four or Delta, the symbol triangle, which is the fourth letter of the Greek Alphabet") sees the team of Milan Borich, Tim Arnold, Matthias Jordan, Mike Hall and Michael Franklin-Browne back together on firm footing across ten infectiously hook-packed songs, including their triumphant comeback single ‘Oh My Lonely’. Dive into a stream of the long-awaited album below, join them at their launch parties this month, and scroll downwards to read Chris Cudby's conversation with Borich, detailing the many twists and turns in Pluto's journey towards IV...


Undertheradar proudly presents...

Pluto - IV album release tour

Friday 15th November - San Fran, Wellington
Saturday 23rd November - Hollywood Avondale, Auckland

Tickets for both events available via Banished Music



Chris Cudby: I'm really interested in the process of how your new album came together - your previous single came out in 2009, ‘Snake Charmer’...

Milan Borich: It would’ve started around the same time as ‘Snake Charmer’. We were at a practice room basically, working out all of these new songs for the fourth record. Then we separated as a band for a hiatus of nine or ten years but in that interim, songs got lost. In fact, the entire hard drive crashed and they were all gone... until years later I found a back up lying around from LA. It was serendipitous in the fact that we wanted to get the boys back together. Everyone wanted to mend the bridges... and we did. So we got back in the studio used some old recordings, re-recorded some new songs and did lots of over dubs...

Was the unfinished album the main catalyst to get Pluto back together live?

It was man. We wanted to finish what we started and we had quite a good record there, the songs are strong. The other catalyst was my father passing away a year ago and his last wish was for the boys to get back together, because he loved the band so much.

What a journey. Was there any specific reason that album was incomplete the first time round?

No, the main reason was because I moved to LA and the band broke up in a sense, around 2009. It was after ‘Snake Charmer’ and there was issues with myself and my own ego and immaturity at the time, it took about five years for me to evolve and grow up.


When you returned to the recordings that reemerged from beyond, did you see the songs with fresh eyes? Did you feel compelled to make some changes or steer things in a different direction?

Nick Abbott came back into the fold and we recorded ‘Alight’ and a few other songs. Jol Mulholland came on board as well.. it went through quite a few hands. With fresh ears in the studio, they were able to steer us into something that we would never have seen or heard. It was very, very rewarding and it aided us immensely. New ears and also new life was breathed into it.


What challenges were involved in getting Pluto back together as a live unit and recording again?

The main challenge was me paying penance and basically apologising profusely to my best friends and my brothers in the band. I made a massive faux pas, nearly ten years ago now and I believed the hype and I let what was so strong slide between my fingers. It was a massive amount of bridge building and getting everyone into one room and begging forgiveness. I just kept on doing that and waiting to see if I was going to be let back into the room [laughs].


So that seems to be resolved?

Yeah, it's all great now. We’re closer than ever and we realise that the main focus of the band is brotherhood, friendship and that’s what's most important to us all.


What has everyone been up to in the meantime?

We’ve all been working really hard... Mike Brown’s been with HLAH - Head Like A Hole and teaching a lot of drums and session drumming. Mike Hall is a massive session player, he’s been playing bass for Tami (Neilson) and other artists. Matthias, is a fantastic session pianist / keyboardist, he plays for a lot of people. I’m a session drummer and vocalist... I’ve got a few productions coming up. Tim went into the hospitality business. We all have side hustles.


I saw your song ‘Long White Cross’ is sitting on Spotify at about half a million streams, so you guys have successfully made the leap into the streaming era. How do you feel that the musical landscape has changed in the time since Pluto has been away?

I’ve only recently gotten on board with the whole streaming of the business. It's a different world but essentially the same game.


I was reading an interview with you where you talked about your third album (Sunken Water) and how that was released at quite a transitional time for the music industry.

It was yeah, it was when EMI was going offshore. They were downsizing and major level companies like EMI were holding onto hope that the digital realm or the streaming realm wasn’t going to go off, or that iTunes wasn't actually gonna take off. They were absolutely wrong in that theory or that want. Things change, you need to adapt or get left behind.


What can fans look forward to from you shows at San Fran and Hollywood?

Look forward to the same kind of energetic shows and the old Pluto, we're back! It's going to be fun fun fun! The album, IV has just been released this week and we have 300 limited edition vinyl records that will be on sale at the shows!


'IV' is streamable now via iTunes, Apple Music and Spotify.

Links
facebook.com/plutomusicnz

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Sat 23rd Nov
Hollywood Cinema, Auckland







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