SXSW 2018: Q&A with Pretty City



SXSW 2018: Q&A with Pretty City

Pretty City are the only SXSW alumni on our showcase, having played the festival in 2016 for the first time, and returning again this year for a second time. Two years ago was also when we instantly became friends with Drew Schapper (drums), Hugh Matthew (vocals, guitar), and Johnny Rock (guitar, vocals). Now, the former three-piece is complemented by bassist Ken Hennessy, and it will be exciting to see what my favorite Aussie band can do live, now that they are four.

To get an idea what Pretty City looked like in 2016, check out our photos from their shows at Tellers and the Aussie BBQ.

The best visuals though are nothing without the music, and if intelligent, fuzzy guitar driven rock with cracker beats and great lyrics is your thing, then go see Pretty City live, when they play the festival in Austin, but also when they are heading over to Europe for a 27 days tour. Listen now to the single “Nothing Happens For Free” from their upcoming album “Cancel the Future”, out on March 23rd.

Then read on, to learn a bit more about Pretty City:

Q: On a long flight, what takes your fancy most: sleep, music or movies?
We all have our flying rituals, and it’s a mix of podcasts, music, movies and books. I personally, take the chance to read books or watch movies. On the way to Europe last year I actually watched the entire Lord of the Rings Trilogy back to back, which was pretty up there as one of the nerdiest things I’ve done. We then proceeded to quote the movies at every possible opportunity, which both prevented and caused us to all go a bit insane.

Q: If movies, are you more likely to rewatch old favorites or catch up on new releases?
For me, it’s usually rewatch old favourites. But that’s the kind of person I am. I’m the same with books and music actually. If I love something, I’ll read it or listen to it for the rest of my life. I don’t love much, but when I do, I do it obsessively.

Q: As for music, which album or playlist must always be on your phone/iPod?
My absolute must haves for music are all Beatles albums from Sargent Peppers’ onwards, and all Pink Floyd albums. The Beatles are one of the few bands that all four of us all agree on, so they always get a good run. But on a personal level, Floyd is definitely my safety blanket.

Q: Not only are you traveling to the United States to play SXSW 2018 and record new music in Portland, Oregon, but in April you’re heading to Europe. Are there any specific food items that you’re looking forward to?
In America, I’m really looking forward to eating some Texas BBQ. Last time I was in Austin, I was a vegetarian, which is a difficult prospect, so I can’t wait to eat some smoked meat. In Europe, I’m really looking forward to the chocolate and the beer. Both are truly wonderful in Europe.

Q. Why are you recording in Portland?
We’re recording in Portland as we really wanted to work with our agent, friend, and collaborator, Dominik Schmidt. He lives in Portland and has been a huge champion of ours. We knew he’d be the right man for the job, and we can’t wait to get cracking on album 3.

Q: Anything else you really liked while being on tour in Europe last year that you hope to repeat or expand on?
I absolutely loved Europe. I felt so at home there. I guess the thing that always shocks me when we play internationally is how warm and hospitable everyone is.

Q: How do even prepare for such a long trip? Any special tip?
Work out which days you can do laundry. It gets pretty miserable getting around in dirty clothes. Planning laundry runs is essential.

Q: You have a new album “Cancel The Future” coming out March 23rd. Which of the songs on that record do you especially enjoy to perform live?
I think our favourites to play live are definitely Nothing Happens for Free and Simone. They’re just so much fun for the band. We hope the crowds dig them as well.

Q: I hope you will play your super catchy single “Nothing Happens for Free”, which runs on repeat in my household (and if it is not on, I hum it anyway).
Haha – we’re so glad you’re enjoying that tune. It’s definitely a band favourite and we’ll most certainly be playing it at sxsw.

Q: Which of the already announced acts for SXSW 2018 do you want to see?
I’m really excited to see I am Snow Angel, Girl Skin and The Lulls, which is very convenient as they’re all playing our showcase. I’ve seen some very small clips of all bands online and they all sound fantastic, so I can’t wait to see them. I’m also looking forward to seeing Go Fever, which features friends of ours, and we haven’t had the pleasure of seeing them perform yet.

Q: If you could choose to live in a decade (music, style, etc.) which one would it be?
I think from my obsession with Pink Floyd it’s probably obvious that it would be the 1970s. I also love funk, and the 1970s were also the heyday of that genre.

Thanks so much, Drew for providing answers to all our nosy questions. We will make sure to stop by your show on 03/13/18 for the Australia House has their showcase, and are super psyched to welcome you just one day later on 03/14/18 to the Official SXSW glamglare Showcase, where you will close out a certainly spectacular night.

“Flying” is another fantastic song from the upcoming “Cancel The Future” album, and got a video treatment. Check out the video out here and stay tuned for the entire album – which we could already listen to, and fall in love with:

See Pretty City live on March 14th, at The Iron Bear in Austin, TX at 12:00 am.

Add Pretty City to your favs.

Stream Pretty City on Spotify:

Photo credit: Catherine Belanger


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