INTERVIEW: MELBOURNE BAND PRETTY CITY HEADS TO SXSW

Melbourne fuzz band Pretty City are heading to Austin, Texas to perform at the prestigious music conference and festival, SXSW.

Although their singer Johnny modestly says the application process wasn’t an arduous one, the band are thrilled to have been selected.

“SXSW is a simple online application. So there’s no amazing story there. Having said that, pretty citya ridiculous number of bands apply, so to be chosen is no small feat. Since getting accepted, I’ve looked up articles on how to get on SXSW and what to put in your application, but we didn’t look at any before submitting,” he says.

“In fact, I think where it said ‘Tell us in 250 words why you deserve to come to SXSW,’ we wrote a one sentence answer along the lines of, ”cause we’re the best rock band’. I guess we’ve been hard working in Australia, constantly touring and releasing music, so we had a stockpile of press clippings and evidence showing our music is getting played and written about.

“We also did a world wide publicity campaign for the Triple A Side to get our song on radio worldwide. That was like casting a large net to see if we got any bites. And we did get a few big bites from places like New York, so it’s possible all those little things added together to a pretty good application.”

Pretty City are Hugh Matthews, Johnny-Luis Moretti and Drew Schapper and they have just celebrated a huge 2015.

With the release of their Triple A Side EP, two east coast tours and even a visit to our own Grace Emily Hotel, the guys will launch into an even more exciting 2016 with the anticipated launch of their album, the venture to Austin, and their single ‘Running Around’ being released in the USA.

Johnny says they released the three singles on an EP to introduce the band and their material to fans and the industry.
 
Triple A Side was a great way for us to showcase the three personalities in the band and how we each contribute to the overall sound of the band. The upbeat poppy nature of ‘Second Hand Clothes’ is one of my favourite tracks, ‘Melt’ is a psychy, almost proggy, ride which suits Drew to a T, and ‘Running Around is straight up rock ‘n roll which Hugh enjoys smashing out,” he says.
 

“Reception to the release was very positive. Having three lead singles meant people were able to pick their favourite to play or write about. As a group, the three tracks work really well together, and I think people enjoyed the listen. Each song seemed to have a little life of its own as some radio stations championed one or the other tracks. It was fun seeing who was into what.”

 

Now that Triple A Side is in the public realm, Pretty City are gearing up to head to Texas and experience all the festival has to offer.

 

“Just being amongst it! Thousands of bands and gigs going on all the time and being able to mingle and talk with the world’s music industry and bands. I hope we see some good local US bands that we can buddy up with. We’re always keen to make new friends,” Johnny says.

 

“I think once you land in a new place you have to sort out some basic needs; food and shelter. Despite Hugh’s current diet of coffee and a slice of deli meat per day, Drew and I have ravenous appetites. So I think number one will be to find out where the best place to get food is, then a good place to hang out and make your own little base.”

 

Pretty City are holding a fundraiser gig for their overseas journey on February 27 at the Gasometer Hotel in Melbourne.

 

By Libby Parker
Photos supplied

 

***
Libby Parker
Libby Parker is a journalist, teacher and life enthusiast.
You can follow her on Twitter at @upsidenews_lib