Any band that throws “Yonkers” and “bonkers” in a catchy ditty while somehow fusing synths and brassy horns into an audible confection is okay by me—especially if the band is Boston’s own Pretty & Nice, and definitely if the song in question is straight off a record that hasn’t even been mastered yet. Jeremy, Roger, Holden and Kevin met up with me for some whiskey and whipped garlic at the Middle East. It had been a bit since I last saw them—CMJ 2010, to be precise—so we had some catching up to do.
Talk to me about what you’re preparing for your show next week and what it’s going to be like.
Kevin: Everything in the catalog.
Holden: You don’t want to hear some of that stuff.
Well, you’ll play “Yonkers” from the new album I’m sure. How does this upcoming album differ from Get Young?
Holden: This record is about learning to live and to be. It’s way more introspective, I guess. Not so much writing songs about girlfriends.
We had another 6 to 8 songs in various stages that we had intended on recording. We had the core of the record down. We had to prioritize more than we wanted to, I think. I think we wanted to have a lot more finished songs. But here’s the thing—we didn’t go into the record with any sort of real agenda. We had a bunch songs we wanted to record. But there’s no rule about having to have a specific number of songs. We recorded 14-15 songs—plenty of songs to pull the record from.
Jeremy: It got to the point where it was done.
Holden: Exactly. The same thing happened with Get Young—we could’ve kept working on it. There were two songs that might be on the new record and another couple songs that still haven’t been recorded. It just came down to the day when we were finished and there we were.
You guys have toured extensively over the past couple of months and you recorded the album in California. How’s it feel to return to the Boston music scene, even though you didn’t really leave it?
Roger: I like the Boston music scene as much as people do dog on it—not people here, necessarily, as much as I hear my friends in New York and people talk to me about how Austin is so much better and Portland is so much better.
Jeremy: It is exactly what it is.
Boston’s just this town of remarkable transience. And you just have to be open to the idea that a band you really like and are into in six months might not exist because half the band decided to move to Europe.
Holden: So you gotta go to the show now.
Jeremy: You gotta find a seven inch because it could be the only one, and there might not be another one for you in six months. If you find some bands’ Bandcamp page and you like it, you need to go check it out at their next show because they might just stop playing—the three guys in that band may be all about being in two other bands. And you have no way of keeping up with them because, you know, you don’t know everyone.
Well, that’s not the case with you guys, in that you play in other bands, too.
Jeremy [pointing at Roger, Kevin]: I’m in two bands. He’s in two bands. He’s in three bands.
What about Holden?
Holden: Just the one band.
Jeremy: Holden holds it down for us.
Holden: I try to hold something down.
PRETTY & NICE
WITH HUSBAND & WIFE
METAVARI AND NIGHT FRUIT