We Know, Plato!

We Know, Plato!

 Richmond, Virginia, USA
BandAlternativeRock

Imagine if members of The Shins, Death Cab for Cutie, and Coldplay were to form a band together with the lyrical genius and voice of something similar to that of Ben Gibbard. Then throw in a bit of Travis just for kicks and you might be getting close to what We Know, Plato! sounds like.

Biography

Fingers graze along the dusted black and white ivory, simultaneously striking and filling the dusked city streets with an orange luminescence. The electricity sparks in the optimistic voice of a guitar and the lamps hum low but confidently in agreement, as the rat-a-tat-tat of drums approaches from further down the road. This is surely a dream.

It is a manifestation of the dreams of Benvolio Willson and Mark Strong- two fellows who have spent their lives trying to get it right; attempting to make their most intangible dreams tangible “for the first time in years”.

Being children of Virginia, it was rather natural for both Strong and Willson to have a deep yearning to head out for the “Great City”- whether it lie in California or NY- but both had their different initial paths towards fame.

Strong actually touched on his dream, heading out to California in 2001 as a keyboardist/backing vocalist with the Richmond-born band, The Waking Hours, to play at many big name venues along the Western coast of the US with many up and coming artists such as, Maroon 5, Rooney, Say Anything, as well as shared the stage with members of Weezer. He then left the band in 2003 to form his own project as a singer, guitarist, keyboardist and bassist with fellow keyboardist Jillinda Palmer and multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Jake Gideon, entitled Edison Gower. The band hit it semi-big when they landed a song in the independent film '29 Reasons to Run', as well as in the WB show, 'Glory Days' but eventually Strong couldn’t afford California living and sadly resigned back to Richmond in 2005.

It was then that Strong browsed on Myspace.com, discovering the work and styles of local musician Benvolio’s fresh piano and lyrics quite enticing, and contacted Benvolio with a means to collaborate. Benvolio was still finishing up his “sentence” at college, recording songs semi-timidly within the concrete walls of his dorm room. His being locked away at college initially made it hard to efficiently collaborate but, by late 2006, they had shared a show together as separate musicians and the dawn of 2007 brought forth a cohesive idea as We Know, Plato!.

The duo initially enlisted the aid of a superb drummer, Richmond-newcomer Daniel Medley, fresh out of high school, to carry the rhythm with excellent discretion. WK,P! played two shows as a trio, meanwhile recruiting savvy New Zealander keyboardist and female vocalist Julia Manhire to further accommodate both Willson’s and Strong’s hallowing harmonies, and completing the WK,P! puzzle with bassist Steve Chiles, of the band Brian Bachman and the New Romancers.

In the wake of both Steve departing the band to dedicate his time to family/work, the band acquired a new bassist- Medley's brother-in-law, Todd Baker. The band are just getting back into shows, while approaching competion of their upcoming Turn On the Outside Lights EP, due to hit physical and digital stores and shows in early '09. New material and t-shirts are indubitably to be unveiled at the band's EP release concert, whenever and wherever it may be, and possibly sooner.

It’s still a goal that it won’t be long before the polaroid lyrics and hauntingly hopeful music of We Know, Plato! lights the worldly streets with orange and puts all manner of pounding hearts and aching minds at ease.

Lyrics

Aeroplanes

Written By: Benvolio Willson and Mark Strong

It came at the start of the seventh day,
Blown apart by a nuclear haze.
Was it perfect timing in the end?
When we found that death’s our medicine?

Born and raised as Aeroplanes-
They said we’d fly.
Who ever said we’d ever leave?
God knows we tried.

We were born as Aeroplanes-
They said we’d fly.
We rusted out like weather-vanes
that never touch the wind or sky.

The old hangars house many tales like ours:
Rogues carried off by some phantom power, and
We'd sit in silence wishing we’d been haunted too.
At least the dust can help us to hide the gloom

Born and raised as Aeroplanes-
They said we’d fly.
But who ever said we’d ever leave?
God knows we tried.

© 2007 Benjamin Willson and Mark Strong (ASCAP)

Lilly

Written By: Benvolio Willson and Mark Strong

Fall, 1992: just as young a boy
as the youth I see in you.
With chicken soup and hide & seek;
in bed listening to the signature of time the rain spent,
dancing at my doorstep
and whispering in my ear
the things I'd dream of

At which I’d cast the longing eye
A spy that came and crept along
out to your thoughts over several years

And you’re still trying to figure out
these brilliant thoughts, all smitten
with the question of time

As you sat down to never
finish your novel.
It’s me, the child of six.

Honey, your story’s not broken;
it’s torn, sad and worn but safety-pinned.
Lilly, you’ve already found it.
It’s up to you to make the pieces fit.

© 2007 Benjamin Willson and Mark Strong (ASCAP)

Hollow Bird

Written By: Benvolio Willson and Mark Strong

Stale crumbs to lead you home;
A certain slant of light on the cobblestone
breathes life in through your eyes
and you find the strength to sing
your own song
For the first time in years.

Rain falls; you make a humble home.
You shiver, sleep, shiver- like a palindrome.
Awake to set the weather right-
Your own slant of light.
Will you sing your own song?
Like you should’ve done for years.

Hollow Bird, filling up sweetly,
The echoes within you’re now without.
Your dimly light eyes are both gleaming;
your chest feels as light as the clouds
that you saw when you were low.

Hollow Bird, filling up sweetly,
the echoes within you’re now without.
Your dimly light eyes are both gleaming,
and your chest feels as light as the clouds
that you saw when you were low.

Sing me a glorious song
(sing, sing your song)
all day long- to the sky.
(before the fall)
You’ll be granted one more
(your time grows old)
Chance to change; one last call.

They heard your voice on the wind
and thought it was God coming through.
Now they see God in you.
Now you see Life in you.

Hollow Bird, filling up sweetly,
the echoes within you’re now without.
Your dimly light eyes are both gleaming;
your chest feels as light as the clouds.

© 2007 Benjamin Willson and Mark Strong (ASCAP)

Enemy Spies

Written By: Benvolio Willson and Mark Strong

Anger mounted on the Sergeant’s brow:
There still lay lie after lie.
A simple "yes" or "no"
would call off the enemy spies.

"So come on, be sharp my dear.
You cannot fight the fear with fear."

They found her letters folded up
inside of the wall
on which she painted roses blue,
with porcelain dolls.

And her mind was slowly dying;
burning up the tears she would’ve cried.

Cigarettes fade into her skin.
The secrets would start
when her life began:
Her husband was
an officer in British intelligence.
Their maid was Soviet-
A honey-pot to break his stance.

"So come on, be sharp my dear
You cannot fight the fear with fear."

© 2007 Benjamin Willson and Mark Strong (ASCAP)

Satellites

Written By: Benvolio Willson and Mark Strong

Satellites are looking down on us tonight.
Eyes watch constellations in the line of sight
and you are a shooting star to me

The air out here- this "atmosphere"’s an amber-gray.
The lamps are burning oil and you just drift away.
And you are a shooting star to me
Yes, you are the shooting star to me.

Satellites all gaze upon the world tonight.
Blue and greens, we’ve never seen, reflect their sight
And you are a shooting star to me

In moonlit sound, the old fairground just barely glows;
still sleeping by the railroad tracks and warning ropes.
And you are a shooting star to me
Yes you are the shooting star to me

Ooh Ooh
Ooh Ooh
Ooh Ooh
Ooh Ooh

You are a shooting star to me
You are the shooting star to me
Yes, you are a shooting star to me

Ooh Ooh

© 2007 Benjamin Willson and Mark Strong (ASCAP)

Discography

Turn On The Outside Lights - Due out early 2009
Aerospace Museum (acoustic single) - Spring 2007
In Moonlit Sound (ep) - Fall 2007
Christmas Single (2007) - December 2007

Set List

Sets usually range from 45min to 1hour.

Set Lists consist of the following:

Blue June
Mountains
There's a Well
Caution Signs
Love Song for a Drawing
Mothra
Room 328
Hollow Bird
Enemy Spies
Lilly
Sandstorm
Moon and the Sun
Aeroplanes
Satellites