Plains' Jorge Graupera Talks Sebadoh, Jumping, and Shy Bandmates

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High Plains drifters.
When Plains' frontman Michael McGinnis dragged the South Florida music swamp for a band to back him, he probably just wanted dudes who could carry a tune, keep a rhythm, and wield an ax as well as he does. To his surprise and benefit, when Jorge Graupera, Jorge Rubiera, and Max Johnson joined forces with him, he also acquired a P.R. team, an editing house, and very capable assistant engineers.

The beauty of Plains lies in McGinnis' songwriting -- it was one of our best South Florida records of 2011. Sure, he would still make good music with any band backing him. Far from hired guns, the rest of the gang have embraced their roles in Plains and are helping propel the band onto every radar.

With an opening slot for indie godfathers Sebadoh this Wednesday and a headlining gig at the Green Room on Thursday, hundreds of South Florida music fans will witness Plains' sonic glory this week. We cornered Plains guitarist and minister of press relations, Jorge Graupera, and asked him a few questions. Check it out now!

New Times: It's my understanding that everything on the first record was recorded by frontman Michael McGinnis; is that true?

Graupera: Yes, that's true. With the exception of "Judy" and "Dry," where I contributed to the arrangement and recorded the guitar solos, Michael recorded pretty much everything on the album himself.

Where did he record this fine record?

It was recorded at Honor Roll studios in Little Haiti.

How did you end up in Plains?

Jared McKay of Coral Morphologic emailed me a demo of "End of the World," back in April of 2009. I listened to it, and I wrote him back right away -- "This tune is great! Let me know more." I listened to it a few more times that same night and became obsessed and wrote back again before he had a chance to answer my initial response! "Dude! Who is this guy?" I was a fan right away. We got together after that, and we hit it off.

You are a South Florida music veteran; you've been in many popular bands like the Brand, Guajiro, and Jorges -- it seems like it would have been easy for you to jump on and join this group. What was it like meeting him and playing with him the first time?

Thanks! Our first attempt at a rehearsal was with a laptop running the drums tracks, Jared on bass, Mike singing and playing the guitar, and me re-creating or expanding on some of his ideas for a second guitar. It was very easy to make the jump in. I had been playing bass with Guajiro for a long time, but I was longing for a project [where I could play] guitar. The songs were great and very well arranged. I was jumping around at rehearsal -- my enthusiasm was obvious, I think.

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