Hunter Plake made his break-out debut on The Voice Season 12 by turning the chairs of Alicia Keys and Gwen Stefani. Initially joining team Alicia but later stolen by Gwen, he made a lasting impression on Voice fans nationwide. Today we talk about his band, PLAKE, with brother Dakota and their newest track, “Bleeding Out.”
Recommendation: If you haven’t already, listen to the song NOW! Try to focus on the lyrics and the message and your overall first impression of it without context.
PLAKE On New Single “Bleeding Out”
PLAKE dropped their new emotionally transparent single “Bleeding Out” on August 2nd after a ten-month hiatus from releasing music. Upon asking about the concept and process behind the making of the song and his struggle with depression, here is what Hunter had to say:
PLAKE: “I mean, people don’t really write about it [depression] because you feel like it’s an embarrassing thing. Honestly, I think being a creative person, when I experience emotions, I don’t feel half-assed with any emotion. If I’m experiencing love, I experience it very intensely, anger, etc. When I wrote the song, it was about the feelings of depression. It’s constructed in a way where it talks about the different stages of it and where you end up mentally at the end. At the end, the reason why I switched the lyrics up is because that’s how you get out of depression. You start to care about other people instead of just yourself.”
“This is the first time that we released a song that’s so intense. I like to say that we have pretty different sides to our band: our happy side with songs like “Eden,” and then “Bleeding Out” is the most extremely sad version of our band that we have.”
Unfortunately, the music video for “Bleeding Out” was recently removed, but Hunter describes it as “very dream-like.” He explains that the video paints a picture of your average person struggling with day-to-day life and using devices as a distraction to escape depression. In the video, his brother, Dakota, is “trying to get him out of the virtual world and back to reality.” We will be on the lookout for the repost in the future!
On the Songwriting Process
PoetryDansLaRue: Can you guys talk about your songwriting process? Who does most of the writing? Who does the producing?
PLAKE: “I write my best when I’m honestly by myself. I do like writing with people too sometimes. With an emotional song like “Bleeding Out,” I wrote the song, and then after that, I had ideas of where I wanted to go with production because I’m producing as I write too. I start with a melody, and I have that melody in my head. That’s kind of how our song begins. Once we start recording it, we start picking it apart. When we’re doing that, both of us are in the studio. Dakota is playing guitar mostly and helping me get a fresh perspective on what’s inside my head.”
PDLR: So, “Eden” was the first song that you released as a band, and you released eight songs after that, correct? For some reason, I could not access “Hurricane Lovers” on Apple Music…?
PLAKE: “We released seven songs after “Eden,” including “Bleeding Out.” We released “Hurricane Lovers,” and we pulled that one down. “Scared” and “Cold Vibes” we pulled down as well. As for the songs we pulled down, there are different reasons behind each one, but we just realized it was a hard left. We see ourselves as what we’re gonna be in the future, and anything that might hurt us, we eliminate.”
PDLR: Which song do you feel represents your sound the most and the sound that you’re going for in the future?
PLAKE: “My answer is going to be the same as every artist. Whatever we just released is gonna be the answer because we just did it. But it’s a journey, and if we look back on it in twenty years, we might see a different version of ourselves. Right now, “Bleeding Out” is exactly what we want.”
On The Voice
PDLR: Can I go back a little and talk about The Voice? Do you keep in contact with any of the coaches/contestants?
PLAKE: “I stay in contact with the contestants. As far as the coaches go, the show and my relationships with the coaches are not as personal as you would think. So, I haven’t stayed in touch with them. There are a few people from the show that I stay in touch with.”
PDLR: I feel there is a little bit of a disconnect from following some of The Voice contestants throughout the years…
PLAKE: “Honestly, unless you’re an internet meme, blowing up overnight doesn’t happen. I made the decision that I was doing music full-time before I even auditioned. So, when I went there, I thought it was convenient, and I could get a little bit of attraction. Since then, it’s been making connections with people in the music industry. A lot of our connections came from the show and us just reaching out to people. It helps to be on the show to reach out to producers, etc. I think the disconnect you’re talking about is the fact that people don’t blow up overnight. They might go there and expect that they will. That’s not how it works if they don’t put in the work like every other artist, building your sound and building your image.”
PDLR: What’s next for PLAKE?
PLAKE: “We’re about to release the rest of our projects, and we are planning that out right now. There’s probably going to be a single next month and a full EP in October. The rest of the EP is more based on relationships with kind of the same sound as “Bleeding Out.”
Check out this PLAKE playlist below for more!