THE BACKGROUND NOISE SERIES FOCUSES ON THE MUSIC THAT ARTISTS LISTEN TO WHEN THEY WORK, WHAT MUSIC INSPIRES THEM, OR JUST MUSIC THEY LIKE. THIS WEEK, IN VOLUME 76, THE FOCUS IS ON LOS ANGELES STREET ARTIST PLASTIC JESUS.
Some have called Plastic Jesus the “Banksy of LA.” I suppose it’s easy to do that these days. Anyone doing stencil-based street art with a message or intricate street installations meant to provoke thought could be called the “Bansky of (whatever).”
Plastic Jesus has gone a bit viral as of late, due to his commentary on celebrity culture in this day and age. Putting up “Kardashian Parking Only” signs all over Los Angeles got him a bit of attention, as well as his “Stop Making Stupid People Famous” campaign, which emblazons everything from walls to stickers and t-shirts. The phrase resonates so much with people, due to it’s simple, but to-the-point statement that says exactly what most of us non-reality tv-watching folks have been thinking the whole time.
He made a bit of a stir in Hollywood a couple of years back due to his life-size depiction of an Oscar statue shooting heroin outside the Oscars. The sculpture featured a placard at the bottom reading “Hollywood’s Best Kept Secret,” a not-so-subtle statement following the brilliant Philip Seymour Hoffman’s tragic drug overdose that happened a mere few weeks prior to the award ceremony.
Not all of his work is quite as heavy, but all of it does force you to stop and think for a few moments, whether it’s about celebrity culture or consumerism, which is something more people should be doing instead of sitting idly by, doing nothing.
What was your first concert? The Yellow Magic Orchestra, Hammersmith Odeon. London 1980
Last concert/show? Above and Beyond – Acoustic at the Greek LA
First album you bought? David Bowie – Scary Monsters
Last album you bought? Jean Michel Jarre – Equinox released 1978 – Changed electronic music for ever.
Was there one album that made a significant impression on you? Placebo – Without You I’m Nothing.
Who is your musical hero? David Bowie
How important is music to your creative process? Hugely. Music has been a huge part of everything I do. I taught myself to play keyboards age 12 or 13 and built a number of synths. I still write and record my own material. I think everyone needs a creative outlet, without we wither and die. I usually have Absolute radio (a London station) on in the studio, playing anything from Radiohead to The Clash.
Tender – Blur Common People – Pulp Perfect Day – Lou Reed Love Will Tear Us Apart – 2020 Remaster – Joy Division The Universal – 2012 Remaster – Blur London Calling – Remastered – The Clash Grace – Jeff Buckley The Drugs Don’t Work – The Verve Ashes to Ashes – 2017 Remaster – David Bowie Heroes – Single Version; 1990 Remaster – David Bowie Tender – Blur Common People – Pulp Perfect Day – Lou Reed Love Will Tear Us Apart – 2020 Remaster – Joy Division The Universal – 2012 Remaster – Blur London Calling – Remastered – The Clash Grace – Jeff Buckley The Drugs Don’t Work – The Verve Ashes to Ashes – 2017 Remaster – David Bowie Heroes – Single Version; 1990 Remaster – David Bowie Creep – Radiohead True Faith – New Order I Fought the Law – The Clash Loose Fit – Happy Mondays Non, je ne regrette rien – Édith Piaf The Crawl – Placebo A Long December – Counting Crows Born Slippy (Nuxx) – Underworld Mind Games – Remastered 2010 – John Lennon Walk On the Wild Side – Lou Reed Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve?) – 1996 Remastered Version – Buzzcocks Touch Me – Rui Da Silva Wires – Athlete Ziggy Stardust – 2012 Remaster – David Bowie Road Rage – Catatonia
Check out Plastic Jesus’s playlist below on Spotify. Be sure to like Background Noise on Facebook for updates on future episodes. You can browse ALL the Background Noise episodes right here.