A Sound Mind. A name that will no doubt mean little to some, and so much to the rest. Their unique brand of symphonic hard rock was something to behold live.
They toured across the country for many years, packing out venues everywhere. They released a hugely successful album, and gained international recognition, with one of their songs being played during the 2011 NFL Superbowl Highlights, among other things. They were a unique act, which was in part due to their promotional techniques.
It is largely believed that one of the only ways to gain attention and success in the Australian music industry of today is to go via the radio station, Triple J. Their offshoot program, Triple J Unearthed is dedicated to “unearthing” the talent that lies dormant around the country. Sadly however, many feel this is now the only way to achieve their desired popularity. A Sound Mind were indeed a breath of fresh air, as they turned down the popular option, and instead went straight to the fans to kickstart their career. They spent their few days before each show in all the cities interacting with the public. They sold CDs. They sold tickets to the gigs. They even busked occasionally. This method not only worked for them, but it had a lasting affect on their fans.
“I like street promotion because it’s direct to the fans. If the music is any good, then people will buy it. The day people stop buying my music on the street is the day I think about getting a job.”
After A Sound Mind officially split in December 2010, Anthony Kupinic, the lead singer of ASM, was quick to announce his solo project, curiously titled, Pludo and the debut album The Only Thing Certain Is The Future. As for the choice of the particular name?
“Well I just don’t think I have a cool enough name. I mean “Anthony Kupinic” is no Jack Black. Everybody keeps asking me what Pludo means, which is quite a valid question. In all honesty, it means nothing at all. That’s the way I wanted it. I wanted a name that was just my name. When people punch “Pludo” into Google they will find just me.”
Despite the great success story that is A Sound Mind, the spotlight is firmly on Kupinic now, and by the reaction to the new material already, he seems destined for great things once again. But, what is it like going solo after all these years?
“Everything has its pros and cons. What I have learnt from this record is that for the actual writing and putting it all together, I work far better on my own. I can do a track in three-to-four days and love it. If it’s co-written, it can take over a month and I still won’t be happy with it.”
Despite certain sonic similarities to the music of ASM, Pludo is more in the realm of electronica than before, with acts like Moby and Bjork being major influences, along with Australian acts like Pendulum and The Potbellez. So the style of music has changed, has the songwriting process?
“I think it’s more the recording process that changed than the song writing itself. Instead of writing a song (lyrics and chords) and then adding drums, guitars and orchestra with the guys, I now just instantly write and record it. Lyrically, I think my motivations have changed a bit. It hasn’t really been a conscious decision just a natural evolution. I don’t really have any rules about what I can write a song about and what I can’t. Music is still my psychologist, that’s the one thing that’s the same.”
Most who know Kupinic through A Sound Mind, would know him purely as the singer and keyboardist. However, on the new record, he plays all the instruments, in part due to his younger years performing in orchestras and symphonies. It wasn’t until much later that the frontman in him emerged.
“A family friend by the name of Ines Medica (who was a singing teacher), starting getting into me and telling me I should start singing. She was very persistent! I think one of the hardest things about becoming a singer is at some point in time you have to decide you are a singer and take it seriously. It’s a weird crossover from being the person that only belts it out in the shower, to the person that when someone asks you “are you a singer?” and you say, “yeah I am!” Medica was a huge help in getting me to take myself seriously as a singer. Besides, I wanted to start a band and there was nobody else that wanted to sing, so I got the gig.”
Pludo, for now, is a solo project, but Kupinic will be taking the music on the road in the coming months to support the album’s release, and has been hard at work finding members to perform with. However, if you think you need to just play your instrument well to tour with him, you’ll be sorely mistaken.
“They can’t have a job, they can’t have a girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/wife or kids, and they have to be free to travel a lot. I have no interest in people that do it as a hobby. I am a gypsy really, and I am married to my music, if people don’t share this mindset then it’s plagued from the start. Then of course they have to be amazing. If they can predict the future, have a time machine and know nine languages that would be a great help too. I am also very excited that I have started to play with a drummer who is going to be a permanent addition to Pludo. I met him when he was playing buckets, busking on the street. He has a phenomenal performance energy and I can’t wait to play shows with him!”
As for the not-to-distant future of Pludo, Kupinic is excited about the new opportunities that have opened up for him after all the hard work he has put in.
“I have major support from a management company, a radio promotion team and distributor and a booking agent. This is the first time I have ever had this. I have had such a good response from the industry, so it’s looking like something will stick with radio this time around and I have some tours with some more well-known artists coming up also.”
More than anything, Kupinic’s story is a reminder that success in the music world does not have to be solely determined by others, it can be controlled by the individual if the passion for their art is there, and equaled by their enthusiasm to tell the world about it.
Pludo Album Launch Party dates TBA, along with a national tour and UK and Germany tours.
‘The Only Thing Certain Is The Future’ is available at www.pludomusic.com
For “More Information with…Anthony Kupinic (Pludo)” , go to http://www.kryztoff.com/RAW/?p=5977
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