Busy bees

Boston’s Pretty & Nice return to Dayton with new EP

By Kyle Melton

Imagine a steady stream of propulsive songs with undeniable hooks. Now, run it though unfiltered electrical current. Now filter it through the Zappa-meet-no wave sensibility. You’ve inadvertently just come face to face with the demented pop universe that is Boston’s Pretty & Nice. Although it’s been a few years since the release of their Hardly Art-released Get Young album, the group – J. Mendocino [guitar/vocals], Holden Lewis [guitar/vocals] and Roger Lussier [bass/keyboards] – remained busy writing, recording and touring incessantly. Their new EP, Us You All We (which was funded by an online campaign through pledgemusic.com), garnered attention from MTV Hive and the band are currently out on the road in support of this latest release. We caught up with the group about their new EP, the struggles of maintaining a full-time lineup and what the future holds.

It’s been a few years since the band’s last album release, Get Young, and a year or so since the Fantastic Artifact 7″. What have you all been up to in the interim? What changes have taken place within the band’s lineup?

Yikes!  Well, we’ve lost a drummer – the beloved Kevin Walsh – to a dream-job, but gained a couple new ones – Tuck from the Big Big Bucks & Dylan Ramsey formerly of You Can Be A Wesley!  Flexibility is a Must!  -J. Mendocino

Well I joined since Get Young came out and my friends have all said that the band has never been handsomer. I think that we’ve really gelled as a group live and interpersonally. We’re a well oiled machine. -Roger Lussier

Your last album was release on Hardly Art. Why did the band part ways with the label? Why the decision to self-release with this new album, Us You All We?

Working with Hardly Art and the Sub Pop team was awesome and we talked about doing the next release with them, but in the end we decided to try working with some different labels. They’re doing great work over there, but we had some ideas that they weren’t as excited about as we were, so we all figured it was best to move along. Last year we released a single with Black Bell and we’re talking with some nice folks about the next release, which you’ll likely see in early 2013.  Really, self-releasing has always been a great way for us to work, though. Obviously today it’s getting easier and easier to reach great numbers of people and connect on a direct level with anyone who’s interested in the music we’re making. -Holden Lewis

Where did you record the new album? How long did it take from writing to recording to release? What were some of the defining moments of this album cycle for the band?

We recorded the EP, as always, at our place, Esthudio (.com). I will say that we’ve recorded quite a bunch of material since Get Young. –JM

A few of these tunes we’ve been doing live for a while and had never released, so we figured it was high time to get them out to the masses. Generally it’s taken longer than we wanted between proper releases, but things should be moving much faster from here on. – HL   

You guys have earned quite a reputation with your live show, especially here in Dayton. What continues to motivate you to tour so relentlessly? As an experience, do you prefer the live or studio setting?

We love playing to people, that makes all the traveling easier. Getting a face-to-face reaction to the music is one of the most rewarding parts of the entire process. The studio is great, but we’d never want to be in the business of making live albums. Connecting with people is the real goal of both the live show and the studio recordings. -HL

With the new album, you have engaged in a fundraising campaign through PledgeMusic. How has that turned out? What advantages/disadvantages have you found with this process?

The Pledgemusic folks have been really involved in the whole process, which is nice. They’re able to give us recommendations and insights about running the campaign. It’s turned out pretty well, we’ll probably have reached our goal by the time this prints. With a lot of people pre-ordering and throwing down a bit more for extra goodies we’re able to spend a bit more on the whole release and hopefully reach more people!

I think the only possible disadvantage would be that people can get the impression that we don’t have a lot of money. And that’s true, so we don’t mind!  Hopefully most people know that indie musicians aren’t all raking in the dough, right? -HL

What continues to motivate Pretty & Nice to be a living, breathing, hyperkinetic monster?

Each time we finish a new song/project/recording it feels like it’s better than the last, so that’s a fantastic motivator to move forward. -HL

It’s pretty easy to keep making music for a project that’s as fun as P&N.  Plus, the chix are gr8.   -JM

Pretty & Nice will perform on Thursday, November 8 at Blind Bob’s, 430 E. Fifth St. Also on the bill are Oh Condor and Grenades!? Admission is $5 for 21 & up. Doors at 9 pm. For more information, visit prettyandnice.com.

Reach DCP editor Kyle Melton at editor@daytoncitypaper.com

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