We’ve been crazy busy playing shows and recording; so we’re doing great! Excited to answer your questions.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Outside”?
Outside is the new single off our recently released EP, Live at Music City. It’s a song that we all really enjoy playing and always generates positive feedback. The song takes a look at the city of San Francisco and the social and economic turmoil that many people here find themselves in right now. Its message is about rising above false division and finding a higher perspective on who people really are and what life really is about.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
I work at a music rehearsal facility in the middle of San Francisco, and I used to work late night shifts many times a week. Each week I would get off work on Friday night and make my way to the bus. On my walk to the bus stop, I would see the most interesting combination of young, careless, and affluent people flood the streets going in and out of bars and eateries. On those same streets and street corners I would see a lot of sick, homeless, and disenfranchised people. The interaction and proximity of this disparity was really jarring for me, and I often felt like I was in the middle of chaos. I started writing this song after one of my Friday night shifts, and it’s directly inspired by what I was seeing and what I still see on those streets.
Any plans to release a video for the single?
This being a live single, we don’t plan on making a video for this release. However, we are currently in the studio recording a studio EP and will be featuring this track in its proper studio form. We would certainly hope to create a video for it when we release it in that format, a lot of cool things could be done with it.
How was the recording and writing process?
So the recording process of the EP was pretty serendipitous. We had a cool benefit show set up for a few homeless services in our community. Our plan was to get some lo-fi videos of ourselves and a friend’s band that evening. What ended up happening was Nate Bauld, a great recording engineer, showed up with his full rig and recorded the whole set for us. Nate is so good at what he does that we decided to take some tracks from the live show and put them out as an EP.
As for the writing process, this song probably took longer to write than most do for us. It was one of the first songs that Pretty in Between wrote together; it’s kind of a formative tune for us. It started as a one-lick jam, and we would play for like 10 minutes with no real structure. As we started to get a clearer idea of how we wanted it sound, I started having these experiences which led me to know exactly what I needed to write the song about. Within several months we found what we we’re aiming for.
What is it about the 80s and 90s that you find so fascinating and seek to explore with your music?
In reference to this track, there was something so unique about some of the hip-hop music that was being made around this time. I really love the sounds of A Tribe Called Quest, Geto Boys, De La Soul, and groups like that. The use of the guitar as a hip-hop instrument is far out, so I think on this one I was trying to emulate that vibe.
I also think the things that the Red Hot Chili Peppers were doing around those time periods are really inspirational. That cross over between rock, hip-hop, rap and funk; that kind of fluidity is so inspiring to me. As the decades roll on, the lines of genre and what can and can’t be done with music start to blur. In that way, it’s cool to dig into the roots of the time period that we grew up in to draw inspiration.
Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?
Absolutely. As a matter of fact, the full 4 song live EP, Live at Music City, is available now on Spotify, iTunes, Tidal, Youtube, Bandcamp, and all that jazz. Check it out!
Any plans to hit the road?
There are murmurs of a spring/summer run up the west coast of the country. We’ll have more on that later.
What else is happening next in Pretty in Between’s world?
We’ve got five live in-studio videos coming out by the end of the year. We’re working on our first studio EP at the moment as well. We’re playing shows around the Bay Area in California and working on new material all the time. We just started playing with a new keyboardist as well, so the sounds are shifting and morphing in a cool way. Other than that, we’re just continuing to make our art and spread our message. We’re very excited for the things to come!