• Michael Bugeja

5 LITTLE-KNOWN FACTS ABOUT PLATO'S DREAM MACHINE


Just days short of releasing their much-anticipated second album, Plato's Dream Machine are busy putting the final touches to this weekend's live performances to mark the official launch. A couple of weeks back, I met with the band for a chat about their latest work. Naturally, the album's marked departure from Għera's introspection towards a more upbeat, optimistic outlook took up most of the conversation but, on a lighter note, I also asked them for a few little-known facts about the band. Here they are, along with some of PDM's music - including the two tracks released off the Ġuf album so far - to put you in the mood for this coming weekend's launch concerts.

1. THE TEMENZA VIDEO

Very, very few people know (until now, that is!) that the music video for Temenza does not feature band member Samwel Grima and Justin Galea only appears for a brief moment. Apparently, Samwel was in Australia at the time and Justin could only pop in for a short time due to other commitments, so the band brought in Jeffrey Zerafa and Chris Mallia from Cable35 to stand in for them.

2. A BIT OF BRODU

Yes, we know it's no secret that Żiżża is the common factor linking Plato's Dream Machine and Brodu, but he isn't their only connection, for both bands actually rehearse in the same studio in Marsa. "You might say we've literally been living in Brodu's shadow all this time", quipped PDM bassist Samwel Grima. We're inclined to believe there must be some inside joke tied to this, if Żiżża's raucous laughter in response to this is taken into consideration.

3. GINGER BEER

Introspection, emotion, spirituality, romance - all of these have found their way into Plato's Dream Machine's songs and even inspired most of them, but there's one thing that has consistently fuelled the band's energy and stamina that has yet to figure in one of their songs, and that's ginger beer! "We always make sure we have our ginger beer whenever we meet to rehearse!"

4. FIRST THERE WERE TWO...

Yes, we know there are three people in the picture, but in the beginning, Plato's Dream Machine started out as a duo, namely Robert Farrugia Flores and il-Fre, with Ryan Abela joining them shortly after on drums. The formation kept growing with the arrival of (in no particular order) Roberta, Francesca, Andrew, Brian, Justin, Francesco, Daniel, (enter your name here if we haven't mentioned you....sorry!) and pretty soon it took on the guise of a music collective rather than just any old band. A few more line-up changes and a tangential musical shift later led to the PDM we know and love today!

5. SINGING IN ENGLISH

The Għera album consolidated PDM's position as one of the foremost contemporary bands singing in the Maltese language, alongside the likes of Brikkuni, Brodu and Xtruppaw, but back when the band started out they used to sing in English. The song Fabbrika fuq l-Għolja, off their 2010 self-titled EP, was their first Maltese language recording and proved to be a major turning point for the band.

One last thing, and this is no secret - Plato's Dream Machine will be performing live at Teatru MITP in Valletta on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 April to launch their second album Ġuf. Click here for more information and don't leave it too late as very few tickets are still available!

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