story by Jeremy Kohn
15 years together as a band. Tommy McCord, Hattie Danby and Nicholas Richard, known collectively as The Plurals have thrived, when most bands would have called it quits. In addition to their longevity as a group, they have a successful record label gtgrecords, which has been in existence for over a decade.
Tommy McCord, (or Tommy Plural how he is referred to on stage) and his bandmates grew up in the city of Ionia, but moved to Lansing when he turned 18.
Guitarist McCord and bassist Richard met during their high school years, they soon invited drummer Danby from nearby Portland to the group. The three of them quickly bonded over their love for punk music.
McCord said The Plurals early years consisted of mostly jamming on Pixies covers in their parent’s basement.
“We were the high school band that never stopped.” McCord said.
After playing house parties and touring Lansing for several years, the band recorded their first album ” What Ever’s Forever” in 2008.
One of the band’s biggest strength’s according to McCord, has been their cohesiveness in song writing.
“All three of us write the songs . . . whenever there is anything tied to a certain period of time it ends up having its own theme . . . ” McCord said. “Something as simple as this is what it felt like to be twenty-five and in a band . . . as opposed to now in our thirties and still being in a band.”
2006 to 2008, was also the period of time McCord decided to start his own label gtg records.
“Gtg records started as a way for people to take The Plurals more seriously,” he said. “It was initially us and two other friends.”
After existing for four years, gtg records started gaining distributors and became a launching pad for other recording artists such as The Stick Arounds, Extra-Arms, Jeremy Porter & The Tucos, and Cavalcade.
“We now put out stuff from bands all over the country.” McCord said.
“We have let it evolve very organically,” McCord added. “The biggest hoop always is promotion and distribution — there is a a good network for punk and garage rock — a lot of small labels are very supportive of each other and help promote each other’s catalogues.”
For McCord and his bandmates, they found the best way to promote their band is the hustle and grind of the live show.
“As far as physical product goes, I still sell way more at shows then I ever do online,” he said.
McCord described what he thinks is special about the music scene in Lansing.
“I think Lansing has a very unique spirit to it,” McCord said. “Lansing, even if it isn’t the biggest city — the percentage of cool music that comes out of here is way higher than that of similar sizes.
McCord said there is a good montage of hip-hop, punk, metal and folk that the city is producing.
Besides playing in the mitten, the band have had success touring the states as well.
One of the band highlights according to McCord, has been their opportunity to play Awesome Fest in San Diego for several years,
McCord has said the band has experienced a cult -like following in Trenton, New Jersey or as he likes to dub it as “Bizarro, Lansing.”
“Its sort of run down from industry leaving, but there is this really pure art scene and hometown pride thing there.”
To promote their upcoming E.P. “Mumblebee”, The Plurals will take the stage for the first time at the Robin Theatre this Saturday.
“I’m excited to be headlining a show in an all ages space,” McCord said. “I’m also really excited for the band Flatfoot opening — they have been around longer than us, they are just a great country rock band.”
The Plurals show at the Robin Theatre is Saturday, May 4 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets are $5 in advance and $10 at the door. This is an all ages show. Tickets for the show can be purchased here.