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High School Q & A: Liam Nicholls from The Plastic Attraction


Perth rockers The Plastic Attraction don’t just have a infatuation with mannequins, they’re also in love with the best of 90s rock! Their new single Holding You sees the quartet channel some seriously juicy riffs and layered vocals, while delivering a classic story of boy meets girl then boy gets dumped and is seriously heartbroken (women, are we right!?). We asked the band’s frontman Liam Nicholls about his way-too-relatable experiences in high school and what to expect from their upcoming EP!

What was the dumbest thing you did in high school?

I think the dumbest thing I ever did was to take a sick day and then come in after school had finished to jam with the guys. As I entered the music room I realised my mistake, there were a few teachers who had also planned an after school jam and they were most intrigued about my miraculous recovery from ill health. Not a good look! Detention followed…

Who did you have a crush on in high school?

Well as far as crushes on ‘real’ people, rather than movie stars etc, we each had various crushes on girls at the school and on a couple of teachers. We put our heads together to try and remember some of them.

Here are a few (in no particular order): Kate, Anita, Sarah, Rebecca, Julie, Courtney, Alexis, Amy, Jessica, Romina, Emma, Jasmine, Kirsty, Ebony, Rozanne, Danielle, and Adriana. As to why…because we were teenage boys! Thank you, it felt good to get that off our collective chest… 

What band did you love then that you can’t bear to listen to now?

That’s a tough one because a lot of the bands we listened to then are still on high rotation on our playlists! Although we can say it’s definitely cringe worthy going back and listening to some of the songs we wrote while in high school.

Which member of the band could write the better English essay?

Probably Horna (bass player), because he enjoyed talking sh*t.

What were your best and worst subjects?

I think we’ll be really unpredictable here and say music was our best subject. With assignments such as ‘Write a song’ and ‘Organise a gig’, how could it not be our favourite? Perhaps our worst subject was the year 12 Maths class we ended up in. You may be able to figure out our level of math skills based on the assignments, ‘Design, build and fly a kite’ and ‘Construct a letterbox’. As we’re answering this we’ve realised that similar tasks may have also been set for kindergartners. On reflection, this may have actually been our best subject…

What’s your most embarrassing memory of high school?

There are so many, most of which still hurt too much to talk about. One that springs to mind is when Horna (bass player) was in his final year he made it into the interschool beach volleyball finals. There were about 200 people watching, which was quite a huge crowd for any of our sports games! The crowd was going crazy and the team was on track to win.

Then, in the final set of the match, Horna jumped up to make this really dramatic spike, only to completely misjudge the ball’s trajectory and cop a full throttle volleyball hit to the groin. He keeled over in agony to the sound of 100 girls laughing and about 100 guys wincing. Horna’s face was bright red with a blend of agony and embarrassment. We can’t even remember who won the game, but Horna still remembers the pain!

What do you miss most about high school?

Probably how little there was to worry about, really. The biggest stressors were whether the Chicken Chipees would sell out before we go to the front of the canteen queue and remembering to bring our sports clothes on sports days. How things change!

How would you describe The Plastic Attraction’s sound and live show?  

I suppose our sound is very much a modern twist on the 90’s rock vibe. Although we have to admit that we all spend way too much time obsessing over sounds when recording, much to the annoyance of audio engineers we’ve worked with!

As for the live show I think we learn something new every time we play a gig and we’d like to think we continue to put on stronger and stronger live shows. Also, in recent news we’ve started throwing some keyboards and synths into the live show to really fill things out.

We’re loving your latest single Holding You, what was the inspiration behind the song?

Thank you! Holding You is our first official release and we’re really happy to show it to the world. The inspiration for the song came from randomly reading about obsessive relationships and some fairly concerning stalking incidents. We thought it would be interesting to write a song from the perspective of the obsessed person to try and get a glimpse of a breakup from the irrational/delusional side. 

Lastly, tell us three things people should know about your upcoming EP?

Mesmerising, inspirational, life-changing…well, not really. But we hope you like it!