This Pretty Vicious article was written by Sarah Ebockayuk, a GIGsoup contributor. All photos were taken by Alia Smallwood Thomas
Merthyr Tydfil has always been a rich proving ground for bands, just look at Man, Midasuno and the Blackout. Now an indie quartet, Pretty Vicious, are looking to get join this illustrious group, and maybe get a couple of Blue Plaques along the way.
Having just finished a 5 date whistle stop tour of the UK, and with gigs as part of Radio X’s Road Trip and the CMS Music Marathon in New York booked in their diary, they’re taking a well-earned rest. We managed to grab a few words with Brad, Elliot, Jarvis and Tom before their set at London’s Tufnell Park Dome.
Congratualtions, you signed to Virgin earlier this year! How did you guys decide which record label to sign with?
Tom: For us, they just showed the most interest in the band and what we do. They were the first label to put an offer in. They just really showed a keen interest in our music and our fans too! They had our best interests at heart.
Cave Song is the single that brought you into the spotlight. Why did you choose that song to upload?
Brad: We had all the songs recorded, so we decided to test the waters, then it all just all kicked off!
Elliot: We made a social media account and uploaded it and waited to see if people liked it, not thinking anyone would care! We had three songs at the time recorded for the demo. At the time one song was five minutes long, the second one was four minutes long and the short one was two minutes long and it just blew up! We were like: “Fuck! What’s happening?”
National Plastics has been recently released as your new single. What was the inspiration behind that song?
B: As soon as cave song kicked off loads of people started slagging us off,
E: Yeah other musicians in the industry, because of jealousy.
B: So we thought we would write a song just to rub it in their faces!!!
What’s your favourite gig to day?
E: We all have different favourites. A favourite gig was at Leeds Festival. We had a massive sound check and a massive conference and we just had a mad crowd and everybody was just moshing about!
Where do you usually get your song writing inspiration from? Do you all write together?
B: I sort of write the song, then play it to the band and sort of feel out the song together and work out the song. Sometimes we come up with something completely different when we are together, it is getting the right feel!
What is your process of writing a song? How long does it take?
B:We wrote Cave Song in one day! We are still writing songs that have taken months! There a few songs that have taken a few years to write!
Some of you have just turned 18 how have you found still being in school and being in the band?
E: It is less stressful now. It was tough juggling school and the band, when the band is really what I wanted to do! But I couldn’t just leave school! But I am finished now and passed them all!
You have New York coming up and other exciting projects. How is your schedule looking? Is it all planned in advance?
E: We look at our calender one day and there is nothing on it, a week later and it is filled! We have a lot more gigs this year, so yeah it is looking quite busy for us…
B: In a fun way!!
This is your first mini tour. Have you got any plans to do a bigger tour?
T: This is just a mini tour to get gigging really. We don’t want to do too much really as we are really focusing on our album at the moment for our fan base who are waiting! So that kind of takes president.
When do you plan to release your album?
E: Well we aim to release to release it just before summer, just before festival season next year. We are recording it, literally at the beginning of next year.
Are you working with any noteable producers or writers for the album?
E: We are still in the process of choosing and finding a producer. We have a shortlist of people we want to use. It is a long tedious process. We are still sorting it out. It’s getting someone to understand the sound that you have in your head!
Do you guys have a lot of involvement in the creative process in terms of what gigs you do?
E: We try to play at as many gigs as we possibly can! We are told “You have to play here, here and here” and we are like “Alright!” So yeah, we try to gig as much as possible! Doesn’t matter where it is. Anywhere that will have us!
Do your family go with you to your gigs and performances?
E: My Dad and Tom’s Dad are our managers. So they are always with us!! Jarvis doesn’t let his parents anywhere near the gigs!
Jarvis: They are just embarrassing!
After the interview Pretty Vicious swaggered off for a last cigarette and a pre-gig huddle before taking to the stage in what will be triumphant gig in an iconic venue