Plethora out of Ontario are one of the strongest new metal bands we have heard in a looooong time. These guys kill it. Four dudes making huge sounds with enough teeth to saw down a forest and ask for more. Give these guys a shot on your play list today you will not regret it!
Plethora is Gary Walsh (vovals), Mike Nasso (guitar), Trevor Friday (bass), and Jordan Stevenson (drums)
This interview was done on October 21st 2015 with Mike and Gary.
RR: How long has Plethora been a band?
Mike: As the band is right now, we have been together for almost 3 years, and we have around 20 shows under our belt. Jordan and I have been working on this band for close to 10 years now. We had a second guitar player for a while, and we have seen a few bass players and singers come and go. We had a singer when Gary joined the band, but Gary just kept showing up to our house and jamming with us. He really wanted to join the band and was a better fit for us. Not only stylistically, but he’s into
watching UFC and football and quoting The Devil’s Rejects, so we gave the boot to the other guy.
RR: Tell me about yourselves. Who is in the band and what are your roles?
Gary: We’re all different people and we may not always agree on everything, but we have a common goal. We’re all ready to make great music and to perform. The most important part of each of our lives is music. We share a role in keeping the music alive and fresh.
RR: Do you all contribute to the writing of songs? How do you know when a song is ready to be released to the public?
Gary: We all write our own parts for the most part. Mike and I are the primary writers. We can feel when a song is ready. When we’re jamming and it feels like we could play this in front of 100,000 people, then we know it’s ready.
Mike: Sometimes Gary or I will bring in a song that’s pretty much finished and we’ll have it down in one or two practices. Sometimes it takes a few months for us before we’re happy with what we have. The best way for me to judge a tune is when I hear it recorded.
RR: What/ Who are some of your biggest inspirations?
Mike: I feel inspiration from everything. Whether it’s a great musician, an amazing athlete or sometimes an amazing woman who inspires you. Being poor sucks, but that just inspires me to succeed. I’m most inspired by greatness. I love seeing a dominant sports team like the Patriots or a great champion like Conor McGregor. I love having a discipline in my life and I can’t imagine my life without the guitar. I really feel everything that’s happened in my life, and all the things I’ve seen, good or bad, inspire me. I love seeing someone enjoying our music. I especially love seeing a crowd start a mosh-pit while we’re playing.
RR: Describe the best/ worst/ funniest feedback you have recived from listeners.
Gary: Fortunately, we have received pretty much all positive feedback. I feel like, every show we play, we make new fans. I’ve had people tell us they enjoyed our set more than the headliners. We once played a show with a company called Super Nova (who are no longer in business) and we were playing in front of a pretty traditional-looking Indian family who were there to see their kids play and they just walked out. We finished the show in front of the sound girl and a photographer.
Mike: I’ve had people say we were the best band they have ever heard. I’ve had a guy demand music from me because he needed to listen to us while he worked out. We usually get good feedback from other bands as well as the promoters. We all feel very confident in this band and the feedback we receive is a big part of that.
RR: What is the music scene like in Mississauga?
Mike: There’s not a huge music scene here really. Most bands around here, or even not from around here, look to play in Toronto. The best shows we have played were in Toronto. In Toronto, we have played with Battlecross, Mushroomhead, and we got to play at a Slipknot after-party, but not too much seems to go on in Mississauga. Toronto just has so many great venues. When a big band is looking at playing anywhere in Ontario, it’s usually in Toronto. There’s really only 3 hot spots for metal shows in all of Canada: Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. Jordan and I grew up in Oshawa, so we always get a good crowd out there.
RR: How do your friends and family react to your passion and music?
Mike: That’s not an easy question to answer. We’re still a young band. I’m the oldest member, at only 24, but sometimes it feels like it’s been a long road so far. I have baby pictures where I’m playing toy guitars. I’ve been around guitars my whole life. My parents were always very supportive of me playing. My uncle has been a big influence in my life and he played guitar in a band, I have an older brother who used to play in a band, but my father is really the one who got me into playing. I’ve been in lessons and bands since I was 12 and my parents were always there for me, driving me around and supporting me. When I turned 18, my parents got divorced and my Dad’s mental health really took a turn for the worse. I got into Metal Works Institute for the performance and technology program shortly after their divorce and my Mom really took on most of the financial burden for that. I stayed in school for the full 2 years. I absolutely loved it and learned a lot, but I was a couple credits short of graduating. The school has offered me to come back and finish, but I decided to keep my focus on the band. I think my mother was really disappointed in my decision. I have not spoken to my father too much over the last 5 years. Anyone who has a loved one with a mental illness has my sympathy. He seemed to really get himself stuck in a terrible depression. When I do talk to him, he tells me my head is in the clouds and guitar should just be a hobby. He says he wishes I could just get a normal 9-5 job, meet a nice woman and raise a family. He’s often asked me if I think I can really make it with a singer like Gary and does not think we’ll be able to make a living. Right now, I feel very detached from my Mom and Dad, but I feel very grateful to be a part of Plethora and those guys have really become like my family.
RR: Explain how you balance your artistic life with your personal life. Do you find it challenging?
Mike: I feel lucky that the guys I’m in a band with are my best friends too. It has affected relationships in a negative way, but Plethora is the most important part of my life because it’s what I truly love. The best part of my life is rehearsing every week with the guys and I’m not going to let any woman, job, party, or even my family stop me from pursuing my dreams with Plethora. When Jordan and I first started playing together, we always had our eyes on the top. Even at a young age of 14 and 15, our goals were to tour with Metallica and Slipknot, and that’s still the goal today.
RR: What do you hope to achieve as a group? Where would you like to be in 10 years?
Gary: Right at the top with 100,000 people at our shows. We want to be the reason people come out to the show, and we want to be the headliner.
Mike: I read an interview recently with Kerry King and he said “There is a lack of guitar heroes in today’s heavy metal scene.” I would have to agree with him, and I want to help fill that void. When I was a kid, I had Dimebag and Uncle Zakk to look up to. I want to be better than Dimebag! I want to inspire someone to pick up a guitar and really try and pursue a career at playing guitar. I think that would be the biggest achievement for me because that’s what Kirk Hammet, Dimebag Darrell, Randy Rhoads, and even Kerry King and Jeff Hannamen did for me. Seeing Slayer open up for Judas Priest when I was 12 years old really helped shaped me into the person I am today. 10 years from now, I’d like to be the best live band in the world, and I want to make number one albums, and be well on my way to proving my self as one of the best guitar players ever. I want to have my name mentioned with Dimebag and Jimi.
RR: What do you see as setbacks or weaknesses, if any, along your path towards reaching your goals
and what steps are you taking to overcome them?
Gary: We can talk a lot shit and were just trying to make sure we back it all up. I can’t really think of any setbacks though.
Mike: I’ve tried to tone back on the shit talk and be nicer. Doesn’t always work though.
RR: When you start touring what artist and bands would you like to accompany you on tour? Name
your dream team.
Mike: Well the dream team is Lamb of God, Slipknot, and Metallica, but it’s hard to know where these guys will be 5 or 10 years from now. I’m not saying they won’t still be loved, but Metallica has had a pretty
successful career and those guys have families now. Chris Adler sounds like he’s going to join Megadeth, and Slipknot is a band with 9 members. I imagine it’s not easy to coordinate 9 lives for as long as they have. I really dig Once Human. They’re something new and fresh in the scene and they’re really good. I’d love to tour with them. We want to tour with the best bands, and play in front of the biggest crowds. It would be a dream come true to be a headliner at something like Knot Fest, Heavy Montreal, or at Wacken. Our focus is to write great music so someday we can choose a dream team to tour with.
Visit Plethora Online
Plethora’s Official Band Page: plethorametal.com
Plethora on FaceBook: facebook.com/Plethorametal