While Plague Vendor’s frontman Brandon Blaine’s stickman frame makes him the real-life anatomical equivalent to 2D of Gorillaz, it’s how he utilizes his agility that matters. In this video for “Black Sap Scriptures”, taken from their Free To Eat LP, Plague Vendor shred through the album’s less than two minute blister fest, Blaine joining in the solo by playing his femur.
Blaine’s on stage repertoire includes fancy footwork and the ever-bold splits maneuver reminiscent of James Brown, prissy struts that invoke Mick Jagger, and spastic bodily outbursts (source unknown). He’s a natural up there and as I learned in a brief correspondence, it’s been his modus operandi since elementary school talent shows.
In watching the live performance of “Black Sap Scriptures”, you’ve got some fancy footwork going. Who were some of your biggest influences when it came to being a front man and entertaining?
Brandon: James Brown, Michael Jackson, and… James Brown.
Do you have certain moves that you associate with certain songs during your set? Beyond the idols, when did you feel you came into your own as a frontman?
B: With the exception of the fact that I always find myself doing the splits during “Black Sap Scriptures”, not really. I feed off the energy in the room and move to the vibe. I’m still searching for it—I don’t feel like I’ve arrived yet.
Were you always animated, manic, and lively on stage or did it take time and comfort to become this type of performer? Any philosophies you hold dear when it comes to being a performer?
B: I’ve Always had a GO GO GO mentality. I’ve been performing since I was in elementary school. No one told me to do it. It just came natural. I remember my family being surprised the first time they saw me dance in a talent show. I was a hyperactive, lazy-eyed little kid with a passion for song and dance. I did what I wanted and didn’t care what people thought—I still don’t.
I feel most calm and in control when I’m on stage.
For all, has Brandon ever been a distraction in his antics or is he good at sharing the stage space?
Luke Perine: We all agree that Brandon’s presence motivates us. While we might be restricted by our respective instruments, Brandon’s movements and attitude, and lyrics are expressing all the things we believe in as a band. He’s expressing the things we share with each other in all those foggy late night conversations. We all know it’s real, and the truth motivates.
The splits are not a move you see many bands go for anymore. Has this particular move ever gone wrong for you?
B: Not yet. I watched a video of James brown doing the splits on repeat for about two hours one night, and I went for it.
Plague Vendors’ Free To Eat is out now on Epitaph.