All Around The World: Plini

Plini poses with guitar

There’s genuine amazement in Plini’s mellow, Australian drawl. “I do my own merchandise, and it’s crazy to play a show in New York and see a human being standing there in a T-shirt I posted them.” That moment came during the guitarist’s recent US tour with Toronto band Intervals. It was his first trip to the States and he got his first crowd surfer in Seattle.

It’s cool to see what people are doing with a computer and the internet.

Now 24, Plini Roessler-Holgate (he’s of Polish/English descent) originally studied for a Masters in Architecture. He released his debut EP Moonflower in 2012, and has been a full-time musician since last year, building up a strong international following online. In this alone he is of the new generation, and as a guitarist, he’s in the quantum class. Yes are his favourite golden-age prog band, but his hero as a kid wasn’t Howe, nor even Van Halen – his guys were Petrucci, Govan and Satriani, via Holdsworth and Metheny. His tech/prog metal leanings are tempered with profound lyricism and an eclectic compositional mind. His instrumental music borrows from modern electronica as well as fusion, and all delivered with a neo-age flourish. For an entrée, check out his two most downloaded tracks, Sweet Nothings and Tarred & Feathered. Incredibly, such towering sounds were recorded in his bedroom – just him, his axe, a Mac and some plugins.

“It’s cool to see what people are doing with just a computer and the internet,” he says. “Guys like Aaron [Marshall, of Intervals] and me, we don’t have labels, or financial backing, but we’re touring the world and having fun. It’s weird and crazy and excellent.”

Marco Minnemann heard and liked his work, and provided drums for The End Of Everything, while Plini has contributed guest solos to over 20 proggy projects, including Skyharbor and Lithium Dawn. He also used music sales to fund a charity that has helped Cambodian villagers threatened with enforced relocation by land developers.

In July, he’ll play his first European dates, supporting quantum guitarist par excellence Tosin Abasi and his Animals As Leaders. His full-length debut album will follow, with a plan “to play places I’d never even thought to go on holiday, with some truly great bands. It’s just surreal.” He’ll be needing more T-shirts, for sure.

See Plini’s website for more info.

Grant Moon

A music journalist for over 20 years, Grant writes regularly for titles including Prog, Classic Rock and Total Guitar, and his CV also includes stints as a radio producer/presenter and podcast host. His first book, 'Big Big Train - Between The Lines', is out now through Kingmaker Publishing.