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The best kept secret in music


"Peanuts Interview-Plasma"

May 13, 2005 +++ Are you are looking for OHIOONLINE, INC.

PEANUTS INTERVIEW - Plasma Archive / Featured Tracks / Website

Evolving from the line-up that was Mandela, Cleveland's Plasma started out as "a little side project", according to the band's bio, that grew into "Astrofanatastic", their first full-length compact disc. Cleveland Heights' vocalist Jason Blair recently took time to share his thoughts with OhioOnline music correspondent Peanuts as to why the name change and new disc have given the band an audio transfusion.

OO: What started you on the road to becoming a lead vocalist?
JB: "My high school drama teacher and Greg Dulli from the Afghan Whigs out of Cincinnati. Singing with the glee club got me started in performing, but Greg Dulli really showed me what I could do as a signer when I attended Miami University in Oxford. I was in two different bands in college, Easter Island and Picasso Shag."
OO: Describe Plasma music?
JB: "Pop, metal, punk. I just came up with that while driving to the city"
OO: Very creative (laughs) What national band would you match up with in concert?
JB: "We opened for Big Wreck. We'd love to play with Jane's Addiction or Our Lady Peace. We almost opened for Radiohead, but our guitarist, Mick Szemplak, was doing a bike trek."
OO: Any Ohio bands you've matched up with on a show?
JB: "Amps 2 Eleven and Mint 6 Ten off the top of my head. They are cool bands breaking out"
OO: Where was the new disc cut?
JB: "In Mick Szemplak's studio in Garfield Heights, Sandalwood Studios"
OO: What advantage did that have for the band?
JB: "Doing all the recordings there gave me the opportunity to be primed and ready to sing. Because of the flexibility of recording scheduling, I could go in when I wanted as opposed to going in when I was able."
OO: What's the bands favorite venue to play?
JB: "The Maple Grove in Maple Heights is our home base. The Odeon on the east side of the Flats in downtown Cleveland had the best stage. The Beachland Ballroom in the Collinwood area of Cleveland is the best club to see live music though. There's something about the crowds that go there"
OO: How did the band get its name?
JB: "It was Mick's idea, he's a Plasmatics fan. Actually, I think he was a Wendy O. Williams fan."
OO: The long term plan for Plasma is what?
JB: "Small European tour. Some regional success would be nice. We won't get signed to a big label because we're not a 'boy' band. If we do anything, it will be on an indie label."
OO: Any final thoughts you want to throw in?
JB: "I now sing with some of the best musicians with whom I've had the pleasure to perform." - Ohio Online

"Plasma Astrofantastic"

Plasma Astrofantastic ( BY JASON BRACELIN

Plasma CD release party
Details: Friday, August 13
Where: Hard Rock Café

Plasma's free-range funk takes on enough different shapes to fill a geometry textbook: Obtuse jams, head-in-the-clouds pop, even sweaty stoner metal all elbow for position on this diffuse debut. "I am so high, can't get over it," frontman Jason Blair wails early on, and true to his words, Plasma is prone to playful overindulgence. The album cover even comes adorned with a lass sporting what looks to be four breasts.
The band's sound is similarly buxom. Big, rubbery bass, sub-Yngwie guitar, and Blair's bipolar wail, which ranges from a soulful howl to a baked murmur, crowd the mix, stretching some numbers past the eight-minute mark. It makes for an overlong, overstuffed album, where wistful acoustic pop, loud blues outbursts, and heaving hard rock vie for attention. These fun-lovin' dudes are all about excess, so if Plasma's cup runneth over, all the better to get shitfaced. | originally published: August 11, 2004 - Cleveland Scene Magazine


EP - 3 Extremes
Undercurrents 98 CD
Astrofantastic 04 CD


Feeling a bit camera shy



Plasma was formed in 1997, in Cleveland, OH when the lead guitar and vocalist of Big Daddy Groove Stick decided to start an original project. Mick (guitar) & Jason (vocals) came to know Derek (bass) via mutual friends shortly after. A few drummers spontaneously combusted leading Derek to ask former college schoolmate, Jeff (Drums) to join and the present lineup was born in 1998. The original name was Mandala but after unrelenting pronunciation issues and countless times being billed as the president of South Africa, Plasmawas born.

The sound is Jason’s soulful voice, Mick’s straining sonic wails, Derek’s fluid bottom end, & Jeff’s driving rhythms. This is the tightest rhythm section in northeast Ohio. The music is alternative/pop rock with r & b styling. If Our Lady Peace, Jane’s Addiction, Queen, & Big Wreck could be placed in a blender, the concoction would be Plasma a band to watch.

The band has quite a reputation for their live performance, but now with the release of Astrofantastic, the songs will take center stage. The band is currently establishing a regional presence throughout the mid-west.