Updated: Aug 15, 2021
From zines to music to clothing, Platinum Playhouse sets sight on world domination one release at a time. What started as a name to release personal projects is now a collaborative platform for Norman Regucera and like-minded artists. The exciting part about Platinum Playhouse is seeing the early stages fully develop and transition into whatever Norm wants it to be. There are no limits. Everything created has multiple hands spinning the creative wheel. We spoke with Norman for a bit to see what's been up.
Last time we talked it was for a Raze interview over a year ago when you joined the band. What’s been going on since then?
Not much for Raze at the moment. We’ve written some new songs but everything is still on hold for the time being. My other band Friction has a new record coming out later this year though.
Is the Canadian border open again?
Not that I know of.
When it opens back up you guys should come to New York but anyway, give me a rundown of how you started Platinum Playhouse. What was the first idea you had and how did it start?
Oh yeah, we definitely should. Platinum Playhouse actually started back in 2017 and we used the platform to release zines mostly. First idea I had was a zine called “Everyday is Different” which consisted of pictures from my phone that I thought were cool and funny, super classic. Throughout the years Platinum Playhouse was only active during the summer, where we usually threw events so we could all hangout with everyone. We did some merch drops and limited artists releases, but last year during the pandemic I put work and some of my Ethereum into a collection of tangibles for sale online and it was well-received so I decided to work on Platinum Playhouse all year round.
That’s cool. Do you think Platinum Playhouse has reached a transitionary period? The brand seems to be appealing to a more diverse crowd compared to what it was before.
For sure, I do feel like it’s still transforming and I’m kind of just rolling with the punches.
You just go with what comes to you and make whatever you want pretty much.
Yeah, just making whatever I think is cool or want to wear.
Are there any obstacles you face running your own brand?
There’s been a problem with sourcing garments because of a shortage at the moment. But other than that and some small hiccups here and there it’s been fun.
I always see that you make an effort to reach out to other artists when it comes to photo, video, and design. How do you reach out to these artists and get ideas going?
At first, I asked my friends or people I have worked with before. But now I've been expanding and reaching out. I think it’s great to collaborate with different people on ideas I think would suit them and see it all come into fruition. As for getting stuff going I usually send the artist a screenshot of an idea I had on my notes app, expand on it and give a quick sketch or some references to really hone the idea in.
It’s a way to get other artists the exposure and to get Platinum Playhouse out there. Who are some of your favorite artists you have worked with or want to work with?
Honestly, It’s been a pleasure working with everyone so far. Big thank you to Seger Dow, Seb Elbourne, Dante Lupucinni, Fiona Stewart, Sarah Suresh, A. Ashmar, Auggie B, Matt Gazzola and Casketnap. I’ve also got stuff in the pipeline with @renaissance_man, Theresa Escobedo and Gabriel Menard.
Sounds like you have a lot planned already for the next release. Where do you find inspiration and what influences you the most?
Usually inspiration and influence comes from my hobbies and the stuff I am into, which do change from time to time. One of my favourite things is looking at art from various trading card game franchises or sometimes I'll pull from the video games I am currently playing. Right now I'm playing the newest Yakuza game that came out last year. I've also recently played Divinity 2 and replayed Skyrim. I delved into a lot of Pokemon ROM hacks and clones over the pandemic haha.
I think one of the struggles of running your own company would be staying relevant but also creating things you want to make. Do you ever run into that dilemma?
I do try to somewhat keep up with current trends but in all honesty, Platinum Playhouse has such a supportive community surrounding it, it’s easy to disregard those things and go for the stuff you’d rather be doing.
Is it just you running the show or do you have help?
I spearhead the whole operation but I do get a lot of help from different people. They all contribute to making the cogs turn.
Are there plans to release a skate video? It feels like that’s where it is transitioning, that’s how I see it at least.
Yeah, most likely. I am in talks with some people to make it happen.
Can you compare running Platinum Playhouse to being in a band? I think they both fall under a DIY nature especially in the early stages. Are there similarities?
Having imagery, good photos, and grade A promotional material go hand in hand. It definitely helps the listener get an understanding of what the band is about and feel more involved. Kind of like going to a show. Listening is one thing but seeing it is better.
What’s coming up for Platinum Playhouse?
New stuff for late summer/early fall, some music, pop-ups, and maybe perhaps shows. It does seem like there’s a light at the end of this Covid tunnel, so I'm hopeful. Oh yeah and world domination in general, slowly but surely.
Since we have the same background, what’s your favorite Filipino food?
Oh dude this is easy, it’s Sinigang. My mom makes it every time I go to visit.
What are some Toronto essentials?
Like stuff to bring around on the daily?
No like places.
A few good places off the top of my head is Chito’s on Bloor street, Galaxy, Loga’s Corner in Parkdale. I do like to go around and try all the coffee shops my neighborhood has to offer but sometimes I’m guilty of being a Tim’s guy.
It’s part of the culture, my mom goes to Canada sometimes and will send us photos of her at Tim’s.
It really be like that.
One last question, what is your philosophy of life?
To not be bored. To always be excited about the things I’m doing or always want to look forward to something. You know that feeling when you make an order online and you’re just waiting for a package to come in the mail? Like that feeling. That’s probably the best I can put into words.
Photos by Sarah Suresh