Plaid On Flannel

Plaid On Flannel (Rock) - Toronto, Canada




Plaid On Flannel is a soulful hard rock and roll band from Toronto that plays with intensity, subtlety, and everything in between. The 4-piece have a wide range of influences that includes Funk, Blues, Metal, Prog Rock, & Alternative. Nolan Randall on lead vocals and guitar, Les Cassling on bass, Jen Doyon on keyboards and vocals, and Minas Hatzigiannatzoglou on drums completes the current lineup. With emphasis on musicianship and melody, Plaid On Flannel’s live show is filled with improvisation and memorable hooks. The band formed in early 2014 after Guitarist/Singer/Songwriter Nolan Randall recorded 2 original albums entirely by himself from 2011-2013.

The Whole Story - Plaid On Flannel started in the summer of 2011 in Peterborough, ON. Nolan Randall began solely recording music he had written over the years on Apple’s GarageBand while playing gigs with Peterborough’s High Waters Band. In July of 2012, Plaid On Flannel’s debut album “Fairbairn Meadows” was self-released to the public. With songs like “Major Minor”, “Full Moon Light”, and the lead single “Potential”, the 12-track album proved to have a diverse sound, with emphasis on guitar and hard rock elements. After a trip to a music symposium called I.M.S. in California to perform and promote the album, Randall returned to Canada to record Plaid On Flannel’s 2nd album with a slew of new songs written. Focusing primarily on recording music and performing with High Waters Band, Randall finished the second album by the next year. “Mission Of Mercy” was self-released in May of 2013. The 20-track album contains nearly 80 minutes of music, and features a more straight forward hard rock sound. Randall registered all of his works with SOCAN and songs like “Emergency”, “The Rambler”, and “Competition” received radio play in different parts of the globe. In September of 2013, Randall left High Waters Band and relocated to Toronto, ON to study music and perform. That fall, he upgraded his recording software to Logic Pro X and began composing music unrelated to Plaid On Flannel.

In early 2014, Randall decided it was time to make Plaid On Flannel a real band. After making an internet advertisement, he started jamming with bassist Les Cassling and drummer Adi Taylor. The funk-style musicians were in a band called the Potato Boat Whores years before and were eager to start playing music again. The band played several venues around Toronto that year. In 2015, Plaid On Flannel added keyboardist/vocalist Jen Doyon to the lineup. She had previously played in several bands in Western Canada. Shortly after, Adi left the band and was replaced by Minas Hatzigiannatzoglou. Minas had played in many bands in Toronto and fit in well with the Plaid sound. As far as influences go in the music, the list is practically never-ending. Randall’s taste in music is extensive but mainly geared towards classic rock and blues. To name a few, Plaid On Flannel’s music is influenced by artists like Dylan, Zeppelin, Arcade Fire, Pink Floyd, R.E.M., Beatles, Stones, Radiohead, The Who, Pearl Jam, Black Keys, RHCP, Hendrix, SRV, Doors, Nirvana, Alice In Chains, & Neil Young. Randall's 3rd album "Primitive Normative" was released at the very end of 2015. The concept album features 15 songs and was put out under the name Plaid On Randall. The band released their 6-song EP "Rising Above" in May of 2016. After playing several gigs mainly in Toronto and Randall's hometown of Peterborough, the band released the 16-song live album "Live At The Roundhouse" in October of 2016. The album (which is available for free at plaidonflannel.bandcamp.com) was recorded in August of 2016 where the band played 2 live shows at the Roundhouse Craft Beer Festival in Toronto. In August of 2017, the band released their 7-song EP titled "Get On!". Hopefully this music catches your ears.

Upcoming Shows:
More shows coming soon.







"Get On!" EP Review
Plaid On Flannel's recent seven track EP was released a few months back so let's dive in on and see what they're all about. The opening track "Switching Gears" kicks right into gear. The track features an upbeat twang and a Black Keys Influence. The riffs on the track are delightful and keeps things at a high pace throughout and the guitar solo towards the end is outstanding. It's an awesome opener overall. "Get On!" has a retro 70's feel to it. It's highly infectious and the chorus will have you chanting along in no time. The guitar solo on the track takes it to an even higher level. "Heroes & Villains" has a Southern Rock influence on it. It chugs along pretty aggressively while still maintaining some incredible melody by way of its rockin' chorus. "Something On Your Mind" seems to have a 90's Alternative Rock mindset. The upbeat, energetic track is a testament to the depths of how far their sound stretches. The track has radio play written all over it. "What You Believe" is a smooth trek through the wilderness of traditional Rock music. It's no frills and it works perfectly. "Potential" is fun as energetic. The track doesn't let up and it's full speed ahead in its delivery. It's catchy as hell! The closing track "Be Careful" is the longest track on the EP. It packs quite the punch with stellar guitar solos, awesome riffs and infectious vocals. The Rock sound on the track and EP as a whole is top notch and reminds the listener why Rock music is alive and well.

Verdict:
Every fan of Rock music needs to pick up this EP from Plaid On Flannel right now.

-Interview- (10/2/17)
1. How did you get started with music and how did you develop your sound? Who thought of the name “Plaid On Flannel” and is there any meaning behind it?

I started playing guitar in 2002. Throughout high school, I discovered classic bands like Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, & Black Sabbath. I learned to play classic songs from countless artists. I eventually taught myself how to sing and started writing my own material. After graduating college in 2010, I came up with the name Plaid On Flannel. I wrote it down while writing a song called "When Will Everything Begin?" I knew it was the name I wanted to go with. The aesthetic appeal, the way it rolls off the tongue, and what it represents were all things I felt strongly about. Plaid On Flannel rhymes with my full name (Nolan Randall). I look at the plaid design in clothing as neutral fashion, and a type of fashion that never goes out of style and represents timelessness. That's what I want Plaid On Flannel's music to represent. I've evolved as writer over the past 15 years, but since POF launched in 2011, I've taken on a new and more flourished form of development. Bringing in my own band really helped on how I write songs to be performed live. The sound has been developed into something distinctive, but it's always evolving and I think that's what's most important. Music is an infinite universe.


2. What do you want people to take away from your "Get On!" EP?

I want it to bring out the emotions and soul in people. I want people to see that rock and roll is still alive and there are people all over the world who believe that and want that in their lives. I want them to learn the lyrics and memorize the grooves in these songs. I spent a lot of time writing them and experiencing them so to speak. The "Carnival" concept for the album was something I thought of during our recording sessions. Having an album cover with instruments in front of a carnival. The presence of keyboards on the record gave it a carnival-like feel. And I thought of life being like a carnival. You walk around, you see the rides, you smell the cotton candy. You want to find out which roller coaster best suits your desires. The title track "Get On!" could be perceived as getting on with your life (Getting on a carnival ride) and not being stuck in a place you never wanted to be in to begin with. It's about courage.


3. How would you describe your sound to the average listener?

Well, Plaid On Flannel of course falls under the Rock genre. But for sub-genres, there's Retro Rock, Stoner Rock, Alternative, 70s Hard Rock, Indie Blues, & Roots Rock. I usually like to describe my main influences which includes Rush, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Wolfmother, R.E.M., Pink Floyd, Rival Sons, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Led Zeppelin, Oasis, Soundgarden/Audioslave, & Black Sabbath. Among many others.


4. Who are three bands you’d like to tour with?

Of course there are veteran bands like the Rolling Stones & Aerosmith that I think anyone would want to tour with. But as for bands that aren't as deep into their careers, I would pick Wolfmother, Rival Sons, and Monster Truck.


5. What are your three desert island albums that you'd never get tired of listening to?

The Beach Boys - "Pet Sounds" / Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Stadium Arcadium" / Nirvana - "Nevermind".


6. What’s your take on the current state of Rock?

It's a complicated issue. The general public perception is that today's rock is the worst it's ever been since it started up in the 1950s. Major record companies are controlling what people listen to. And they're generally giving them a bland and tepid product with little to no substance. They're unable to make enough revenue due to file sharing and technological developments like smartphones. Record companies seem to have lost any integrity they used to have back with the Beatles and Nirvana for example. Because major record companies will not take risks on artists that don't fit this "safe and easy" sound that is starting to become a cliche of this current decade. Therefor, you will not have artists like Guns 'N Roses and Nirvana that represented a counterculture to what was going on at that time. And it was innovative. There are artists out there capable of doing what all these bands did in the past. Millennials are the smartest and most educated generation in human history. It's not like there's nobody out there that could be the next Bob Dylan or Bruce Springsteen. But that's what people seem to think because of what they hear on the radio and on their television. There are real artists out there and they're doing it the right way. The problem is most people don't want to go to great lengths to find the kind of music that they need in their lives. They need that music, but it's easier when it's delivered to them on a mass level through major labels like it was in the 20th century. We are moving into a new era and the old era is never coming back. The way we listen to music, the way we consume and spend our money on a brand is changing. It's just taking awhile. I believe rock will come back and explode again. Once everything is figured out while trends and pop culture move in a different direction.


7. What’s the current music scene like there in Canada both locally and country wide?

The music scene in Toronto is pretty good. But venues are closing down due to increased rent prices and smaller draws. The "Netflix and chill" revolution is hurting establishments that offer entertainment. People will always love live music, but people are less patient with music they're unfamiliar with. Even if it's really good. And it's expensive to go out and pay for $10 drinks all night. Montreal is a great city for live music. I find the crowds are more enthusiastic and passionate. My hometown of Peterborough is very artistic and it's always fun playing shows there. I haven't been anywhere else in Canada and would like to tour the entire country.


8. What’s your take on legal/illegal music downloading?

I say let people download what they want. Whether it's illegal or legal, that's all up to the person. That's the way it is. Like I said earlier, we are in a new era and the old era is never coming back. Artists must find new ways to make money and offer their consumers something of value.


9. What’s next for Plaid On Flannel?

I'm putting together a new lineup of musicians that are ready to tour and record. The band I had over the last 3 and a half years did well, but weren't interested in doing music for a living. They're middle-aged and I'm looking for new guys in their 20s that are hungry for the rock. I've been working at a brewery for years now and I'm planning an exit strategy so I can do Plaid On Flannel full-time by 2018.


10. Any shoutouts?

Yes. I'd like to send a shoutout to my former bandmates Les, Jen, and Minas who played on the 2 Plaid On Flannel EPs. Without them in the mix, these recordings wouldn't exist. Which is why I'm giving them full credit on their contributions to the records.