Local Musicians Release Debut Album at JDub's Brewing



If you follow the local music scene in Sarasota, then you’ve heard the name Physical Plant. And if you follow the band Physical Plant, then you’ve heard they’re working on an album. Likely, you’ve heard that for two years now. But the long wait is finally over and the band will release its full-length album debut this Saturday, Jan. 6, at 6pm, with a free outdoor concert and CD release party at JDub’s Brewing Company. “It’s our Chinese Democracy,” jokes founding vocalist/guitarist Josh Scheible, invoking the long-awaited sixth album from the boys of Guns N’ Roses. But, for Physical Plant, this is just the beginning.

Entitled What’s Laid Down and comprising 12 tracks of material from the band’s early days, the long-gestating album has weathered a lot in the years intervening, including the departure of one of Physical Plant's three founding members, Lake Elrod, who left the country for graduate studies. But the largest delay came from the band’s “rampant perfectionism” in production and constant editing, to the point of second-guessing. “When you don’t have an outside editor to hold you back,” says Scheible, “you just keep making changes.” Now, finally satisfied, the album stands as the final word on the band’s “New College era,” and the last of the unreleased material from that period.

And the community has come out to celebrate, with JDub’s not only hosting the band’s release party and concert this Saturday, but brewing up a special beer for the occasion, called Fizzical Plant. Artist friend and former Ringling College student Matt Decker supplied the album art, taking a break from designing concert posters for the likes of Tame Impala and The Flaming Lips, not to mention his work with Dead and Company. Up on stage, local concertgoers will recognize the musicians of The Beat Down, as well as those of the Lesa Silvermore band. And, of course, Physical Plant will take the stage themselves, playing some of their old work, but largely new material from the current lineup. “You can never stop bands from wanting to play their new material all the time,” laughs Scheible. “Even to the chagrin of the people listening.”

But the album release serves not only as a celebration of the music of the band’s early days, but a “turning point” for the current band—Scheible, fellow founding member Caegan Quimby, longtime bassist Dave Baker and, the most recent addition, drummer Ryan McCarthy. “Now we can focus exclusively on brand new stuff since Ryan’s been with us,” says Scheible. “And Ryan is real hot right now and the chemistry is there with the band.” With enough material for a second album at least as long as What’s Laid Down, Scheible plans to get back into the studio for sessions this year. “Nothing makes you want to cut a record like finishing a record,” he says. “It’s Sysiphean.”

The Physical Plant concert and CD release party for What’s Laid Down begins this Saturday, Jan. 6, at JDub’s Brewing Company at 6pm. The event is free, family-friendly and open to the public, but CDs and other merchandise will be available for purchase. Fans who cannot attend can also find the album online through Spotify, iTunes, Bandcamp and SoundCloud.

Pictured, from left: Dave Baker, Caegan Quimby, Ryan McCarthy and Josh Scheible of Physical Plant commune with the Disco Egg. Photo by Shane Donglasan.

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