The Pretty Littles chat album number 5 and the importance of vulnerability in rock music

Later this month, Melbourne’s The Pretty Littles will release their fifth album Skeleton Run… and judging by the singles we’ve heard so far, we reckon it’s gonna be pretty good.

So ahead of the album’s release, we caught up with the band to chat about writing new material, whether or not their music is emo, and what makes BAD//DREEMS such a good band.

I’d rather write something I care about than be worried about possible repercussions“: We caught up with The Pretty Littles to discuss writing new material and the importance of vulnerability in rock music.

HAPPY: Hey fellas, how’s it going? What are you up to at the moment?

THE PRETTY LITTLES: Howdy doodie, right now? All of us? Everyone is at work I reckon as it is 12:11pm on a Tuesdi.

HAPPY: We’re loving Hills Hoist… how are you feeling about it now that it’s out?

THE PRETTY LITTLES: Feel good. Always feel pretty good. Actually maybe didn’t feel much? So much planning and emailing goes into something as insignificant as a middle of the road rock band putting a song on the internet. Nah nah serenity now, feels good.

HAPPY: I’ve gotta admit, I found the track a little heartbreaking. Is it ever strange for you mixing these emotional themes with rowdy pub-rock music? Or do you think they go hand-in-hand together?

THE PRETTY LITTLES: Yeah it’s a bit of sadder one. It’s a pretty sad CD in that respect maybe but I like when pub rock is vulnerable. Not emo necessarily, but vulnerable.

Not super into the rock and roll going round at the moment devoid of that, although it is fun to watch sometimes. I think that’s why BAD//DREEMS have always appealed. They’re happy to be vulnerable and its more appealing because it can be unexpected.

Lots of bands in that world maybe need to balance brand and sound. That’s what it feels like a bit. Sometimes brand is what people are into coz they’re young and won’t care in a few years anyway.

Baddies seem to be more interested in thinking about sound and song and just write good songs most of the time. I like that better than a band that looks like they’re going to be the band that they end up sounding exactly like.

HAPPY: Going off the three singles you’ve released so far, it sounds like this new album is gonna tackle some pretty heavy themes. Are there any particular issues you wanted to discuss?

THE PRETTY LITTLES: I think songs kind of let you go right to the edge with something or as far as you want to go and maybe you need to go a bit far to recalibrate and find a happy place.

This CD tips into emo at times though for sure. Sometimes ya hear something that makes ya wanna write it down.

HAPPY: Do you ever find it difficult releasing songs that tackle such heavy themes? Do you ever worry there may be repercussions or backlash?

THE PRETTY LITTLES: Yeah but less and less. There has been a few issues with that stuff. Fairly minor in the grand scheme of things and it never ends up being that bad.

Think I’d rather write something I care about than be worried about possible repercussions. I mean ya gotta right?

Although that is hard because you change your mind or learn something to the counter or whatever and you might feel differently and you’ve got this stupid song on the internet. Dunno. Lose more sleep over the pure emo.

HAPPY: How different was it writing Skeleton Run to Soft Rock For The Anxious? Were there any changes in your methods?

THE PRETTY LITTLES: The writing was different. Goolsa was away for the first bit so initially the songs were a bit lighter and that was kinda cool. Felt really backed off.

Then Goolsa got back and it got heavy again. Not because of Goolsa but I think at that point we realised we weren’t ready to make an album with a lighter touch just yet.

Then the writing got fairly intense and we went deep into the songs and that was a good and bad thing. We were writing em right up until we were recording them.

We went and recorded with Greg from Press Club for the first time in a nice place called Woodstock. We recorded it real quick and did lots live.

Don Dale was take 1 song 1 vocals and all. Tried to keep guitar tracks to a minimum, that has always been a bit of a trap for us, just layering up. It was fun and easy… Greg got all the guitar sounds beaut and would tell us when he thought we had the take.

It was nice being way more involved in instrumentation and sounds and production than usual.

HAPPY: Any other exciting things coming up for The Pretty Littles that we should keep an eye out for?

THE PRETTY LITTLES: Nah. Just tour. Carn.