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Interview – Pretty City

Who are you and what are you doing here? (what is your name, what is the band and what is your role in the band?)

Heya, my name is Hugh Matthews, I’m in the psych-rock group Pretty City. I dabble in most of the dark arts; lead singing, song writing, playing the guitar, keyboards occasionally.


How did the band start?

I sent some iphone demos to Johnny and Drew, we got it together and it worked on a musical and personal level. Everyone liked those demos so they ended up being the first two singles released and we just started playing shows around Melbourne. There wasn’t really a chance to overthink or drift, it was just nothing and then the band was happening full on. That ethos of immediacy and feeling our way through has remained as things have developed and gotten a little more structured around us. It’s reflective of the sound, which is quite elastic and intuitive.


How would you describe your band?

It’s a hybrid of Psych, Grunge, Indie rock and Shoegaze. I know that’s quadruple dipping but it’s our vibe, the sound is big and atmospheric, the delivery is heavy and the songs are melodic. Stadium/Garage rock and roll.


If you had to choose one song you’ve written that best defines your band which one would it be?

‘Melt’ captures mood of the band and the sound of a show. It’s really faithful to the vibe onstage, it has a big chorus and a lush ending.


In this day and age where anyone is pretty much able to pick up an instrument, what would you say sets your band apart from the rest?

I think many bands focus on textures, genres and niche scenes, but we move around different sub genres pretty freely. We’re really focused on writing good songs. There’s a unique tension that exists between the three of us when we play. It really feels like a conversation, a party, maybe even a fight sometimes. Two guitars plus drums is a rare(ish) lineup, the way the tones blend is something we’ve worked at constantly and it’s our own thing. The balance between Johnny, Drew and I is quite mysterious and delicate, I’m constantly afraid that it will just go away. But thankfully it hasn’t. We’re not a genre band, the personalities are the vibe, it’s like a rolling musical adventure cartoon.


Where are people able to hear your songs?

Our debut album ‘Colorize’ is out this April. In the meantime we have singles and Eps out through itunes, spotify, soundcloud, cd, cassette.




Are you playing any shows anytime soon (if you live outside of Australia, do you have any plans for a trip down under)? 

We are playing SXSW in Texas this March. We’re throwing a Melbourne fundraiser party on Saturday February 27th at The Gasometer Hotel with My Piranha, Plotz and a Sunbeam Sound Machine DJ set. It’s been really nice to organize, all our mates are getting involved. It’ll be a nice big psych-rock circus.


What is your proudest moment/greatest achievement as a band? 

I’m proud of the feeling everyone puts into the band, and the tunes and shows make together. It’s a real adventure. We’ve had some great moments, our last single launch at Hugs & Kisses club was raucous, it’s a cool space with a honky-tonk piano in the bathroom and the crowd were underneath a bunch of inflatable doves. Playing The Corner Hotel in Melbourne with Jesus Jones was a buzz and opening for The Hoodoo Gurus was really, really inspiring too.


Tell us 3 bands that we should be listening to/be keeping an eye out for?

Tired Lion are the real deal live, but you probably know that. They are a bit special though aren’t they. Destrends are doing amazing goth-art/rock things, they are a lot of fun to be in a room with. The Bear Hunt from Brisbane are brilliant people with some serious grungy sass.


Anything Else you’d like to add?

Thanks guys, see you at a show! Adios.

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