In the evolution of popular music, there are only a few moments as dynamic, radical and unpredictable as today’s reigning electronic music. It’s the music of now, ever-present and cutting edge, and the Los Angeles-based PLUS are poised to grab it by the hilt. More than just a synthpop band, they also bring with them the creative machinery and principles often left to the past: the snarl of punk, the heart of indie and the value of true performance in good old rock & roll. PLUS is a band that takes today’s electronic moment and unravels it into the past and the future.
Formed in 2010, PLUS is David Powell (guitar), Dave Farina (drums), Cameron Gharaee (guitar) and Paul Hiller (bass), four young multi-instrumentalists from across the country that converged in Southern California to pursue music. In addition to their specialty instruments, all four band members rotate on keyboard and vocal duties, sometimes playing two instruments at once. The result is a powerful, high-energy live show that emphasizes uncanny musicianship. It recaptures the fading craft of performance, especially in today’s laptop-driven electro scene, and still gets the crowds dancing.
“How can you connect when you just trigger automatic performances?” asks Gharaee. “We want people to come and see something unique to that night.”
The maw of the Los Angeles music scene chews up and swallows young bands every day – before PLUS, the members spent years in a few of them – but it’s the challenge of this city that sharpened them into the talent that they are now. Their elaborate set up and multi-genre organic approach to dance music makes them peculiar to the scene, but as Farina puts it, “We learn and evolve.” The LA machine puts up a good fight, but PLUS is determined to stick it out with work ethic and vision.
For all their lofty ideals of making a mark in contemporary soundscapes, it’s that very old rock & roll work horse attitude that puts them on a higher level. It’s the reason that Plus is on the cusp of bigger moments.