Melbourne’s Pretty City are preparing to take their music internationally in 2016. Having just finished recording their debut album, the locals will appear at Austin’s SXSW this March. With a busy few months ahead, Killyourstereo.com sat down with the band to discuss it all.
Hi, Kane for KYS. Thanks for the interview.
Thanks so much for having me.
As an easy starting point, how has the first month of 2016 treated you so far?
2016 has been great so far. We’ve just been organising SXSW and getting prepared for our first overseas trip as a band. We also just finished off our debut album, which is due out in April. So it’s off to a flying start.
As you just mentioned, the main topic of conversation is your upcoming SXSW shows. How’s all the planning coming along?
It’s coming along great so far. We’ve got flights and accommodation sorted. So now it’s a matter of locking in shows and building some buzz and getting people along to our showcases.
In terms of getting people along to your showcases, as much as the event is ideal for fans and the bands performing, it’s also a worthwhile networking opportunity with many labels and industry contacts present. How much of an emphasis are you going to place on spreading the band’s name while over there?
We’re going to do our best to get the band’s name out there as much as possible in the lead up to the festival. We’ve already made some good connections in the States and are really looking forward to putting some faces to names. We’re definitely going to make as many connections as we can, and just really enjoy the whole experience.
Now that you’re performing more, how are you finding balancing band commitments with outside work/family/social obligations?
All three of us are quite lucky that we have reasonably flexible jobs. Having said that, it can be really tricky to make sure you’re devoting enough time to everything. But, ultimately, you tend to gravitate to what you love best, and the three of us are loving being in band so much that it’s just a real pleasure to devote time to it.
What are some of the more challenging things you’ve experienced from being a band so far?
We face the same challenges as all bands. Things like how to finance everything you want to do as band, getting the balance between writing, recording and performing, and things like that, which all bands probably deal with daily. On a more overtly personal note, my biggest challenge is finding vegetarian meals on road trips around the country. It can be slim pickings, and I’ve learned to love egg sandwiches, I can tell you.
SXSW is a great outlet for exposing independent bands. Domestically, what would you like to see improved to help bands get a foot in the door here?
Good question. I’m not really sure. I think the domestic scene here is remarkably vibrant. I think it can be easy to get down on it when you’re inside of it, but our experience has been pretty great so far. It would obviously be nice to be able to make a more solid living off music, but I think the fact that it’s extremely difficult opens up new avenues of opportunity. For me personally, I enjoy the fact I have to work as well, it keeps my brain active in an entirely unrelated sphere, which also hopefully makes the music richer as well, as it’s coming from a place of life experience, however mundane that experience might be at times.
What are some recent influential albums that have motivated you with current band endeavours?
I’ve been listening to The Night Creeper by Uncle Acid, and I’ve been absolutely loving it. It’s such a riff heavy and dark album. I saw their Meredith side show at the Corner late last year and was really blown away. I’ve also been listening to Graveyard’s album Innocence and Decadence, which is another cracking rock album. Graveyard absolutely blew me away at Golden Plains last year. They’re just such a powerful rock band, so I find them really inspiring. Both of these bands are way heavier than Pretty City, but I’ve always loved Sabbath and the heavier end of blues rock. You’d probably get a very different picture from the other boys.
What else is planned for 2016 after returning from the US?
After we return from the US, we’ll be launching our debut LP in Melbourne and Sydney. Most likely in mid-April. We’re really exciting to get the album out and finally share it all with people. We’ve also been writing heaps of new tunes, so we’ll be getting back into the studio after April. Should be a good year!
On that good note, thanks again for the interview. Appreciate your time.
Thanks for having me, much appreciated.
Catch Pretty City at their SXSW Fundraiser this February. Details via the Facebook event page.