We begin a new week with…The Pretty Greens. The Pretty Greens bring a fresh take on some very cool surf with a little bit of punk attitude. They can remind you of any number of Bands stretching from Blondie to NOTS, I think the trick has always been to make it all sound new and that is more than accomplished by The Pretty Greens. I am a big fan of this whole surf punk thing going on right now and The Pretty Greens are doing it right and if there is any justice in this rock ‘n’ roll world , The Pretty Greens will be played by a new generation all around the globe.
The Pretty Greens
Our sound is……
Carly: It’s a mixture of punk, garage, and surf. All three of us contribute to our material, so the compositions can vary, but usually it ends up sounding like us once we’ve all had a hand in editing the song or adding to it.
Julia: Kool Schmool, Carly Green & Julia Green
We are from…….
Who are some of the artists that have an influence on you….
Julia: The Slits, Bikini Kill, La Luz, Billie Holiday, Shannon & the Clams, etc.
Kool: Elvis, Link Wray, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn…
Carly: I’ve been obsessed with Trash Kit lately, and am getting back into Fifth Column (Canadian) in anticipation of their documentary: but definitely the Slits, and for me in particular: Comet Gain, Shopping, Heavenly, Minnie Ripperton, Wolf Alice, Slant 6, This Heat, Nots, Verlaines, Twin Peaks, Savages… it changes!
How old were all of you when you started to play and who plays what in the band?
Julia: I play bass; I started playing three years ago but played the violin from the age of twelve years old.
Kool: I’ve always been into music but didn’t start playing guitar seriously until two years ago.
Carly: I play drums; I started playing when I was around seventeen (late 80’s/early 90’s)? Right now, I play a Gretsch Catalina Club (red sparkle) kit.
Can you tell us about the process you use, from writing the songs all the way through getting the songs out….
Julia: Collaboration, trial and error.
Carly: There hasn’t really been any kind of formality between us in writing songs. We work really hard to collaborate and stay open to new ideas while supporting eachother.
Kool: Usually one of us has an idea: whether it be lyrics, or a lick, then we work it out at practice. If Julia has chords or Carly has a melody; we figure out the notes and turn it into a song, somehow. It’s usually a collaborative effort. Every once in a while, one of us will just birth a song from start to finish, though. We’ll bring it to practice, and be like; ‘look, this is what i got,’ and then everyone else fills in their parts. That’s kinda what happened on Elevator Eyes.
What are some of the challenges you face as musicians and how have you overcome those challenges………….
Julia: Finding balance around being a healthy functioning human being… (self-care).
Kool: It is (most definitely) still a man’s world in the music industry, and sometimes I find it hard to accept that.
Carly: I’m constantly tempted into doing too much; so I think Julia and Kool work to bring me back to earth/keep me grounded. As a musician, I am constantly looking for inspiration. I listen to a lot of podcasts and a lot of music to hear new ideas and gather my own thoughts about how I would like to play and what I like or don’t like about my own approach to either change or adapt.
First concert you went to and age….
Julia: Live, York Fairgrounds, 6th grade…
Kool: Uhhhh, maybe like NSYNC in like, 7th grade, or something.
Carly: NKOTB – I was 15/16, I guess? OMG.
Coolest band t-shirt you ever bought…
Julia: Daddy Issues “Punk is Dad”
Kool: Kool: This is kind of a “band” shirt… I have a few things from “Wacky Wacko” (Seth Bogart – Hunx & His Punx). I traded Seth for it (in exchange for mine) ’cause we both made candy shirts that were pretty cool, and realized how awesome we were for (doing) that……. Wacky Wacko.com
Carly: Hmmmm. I love my Psychic Teens t-shirt that has Lydia Deetz immortalized on it, and my R.Ring shirt with the orange and a banana on it, and my La Luz, ‘Luzers’ shirt… too many to choose from. I have a great “I’m Common” Pulp ringer t-shirt from their US tour for “Different Class” from 1995. My Savages t-shirt from their recent set of NYC shows is slowly getting washed into oblivion.
The most insane concert you ever went to or were a part of….
Carly: Way too many to choose from: I saw so many bands in Detroit in the ’90’s in the Shelter, St. Andrew’s Hall, the Magic Stick, State Theatre… Fugazi and Jawbox, Lungfish…. Daisy Chainsaw’s KatieJane Garside banging a metal teapot onto her head during “Love Your Money.” Getting lifted off the ground and having my arms pinned to my sides during Beastie Boys show in an insane mosh pit at the Silverdome…. Listening to Thom Yorke sing “Banana Co.” a capella with just an acoustic guitar and no mic at St. Andrew’s Hall in the dark after Jonny Greenwood blew out the electricity (amazing) to calm the crowd in the middle of their set. The Make-Up at the Magic Stick with people bowling in the background. Seeing Pavement with Walt Mink and the Holy Rollers at The Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, BC, and Scrawl on UBC campus right after Velvet Hammer came out…watching Red Red Meat at the Town Pump (BC), banging on a bedpan… Fawning over Mecca Normal during their tour for Jean Smith’s book, “I Can Hear Me Fine.” Watching Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci open for Lambchop at C-Pop Gallery in Detroit. The first time I saw Billy Bragg. Carbon/Silicon when I saw them in London (UK) at Inn on the Green during the first Carbon/Casino Nights and then again here in Philly at XPN where everyone jumped on stage. Savages at St. Vitus in NYC was packed/sold out and even so, Jehnny Beth kept telling people to ‘Move up! Move up!’. It was so packed and that was definitely intense. Playing with La Luz at the Make Space in Harrisburg, PA, opening for a sold out Shannon and The Clams show at Kung Fu Necktie here in Philly, or a recent favorite – playing with DC’s BRNDA in DC at Babe City – they are great folks.
If you could open for any Band right now who would that be and why?
Julia: Sleater-Kinney, no explanation needed.
Kool: There is a huge resurgence of Riot Grrrl 90’s bands on tour right now that we would be no-brainer openers for… Sleater-Kinney/L7/Babes in Toyland. Any of them would be sweet to play with.
Carly: That changes a lot, but right now; either Babes In Toyland, or Trash Kit (based in the UK). Lori Barbero (Babes) seems like she would be the coolest person to hang out with/talk to next to how nice/inspirational Patty Schemel is, and Trash Kit – I love the time signatures on their songs: they are really cool! Priests, Perfect Pu$$y, Shannon and The Clams (again, please!), Malportado Kids, Downtown Boys, Bad Canoes, WoW, Sneaks, RVIVR or Joanna Gruesome would all be rad. We are playing again with La Luz and new friends Scully coming up – they are really great live/fun people!
My youngest son is 13 and in a Band, what advice would you offer him…
Julia: Get into social justice and feminism now!
Kool: DO IT FOR YOURSELF!
Carly: ’nuff said! Find your inspiration and write every day no matter how you feel!
Your thoughts on the state of music in 2015….. DIY
Kool: There’s a really great scene happening in philly that’s pretty exciting. Lots of DIY venues and killer bands that are very inspiring to see. I’m also looking forward to our pals Shannon and The Clams’ new album…
Carly: A lot has changed, but ‘do it yourself’ is still happening all over the world and I think it’s even more important for communities that might be using it in the truest sense: for rebelling to be heard or championing social rights. If we’re talking in North America, I think it’s harder to set yourself apart because there’s a lot of noise with social media and it can be deflating and deafening, but it can also be uplifting knowing that there are others who are looking for the same connection (still) and collaboration in a world that keeps becoming more and more about the disconnect from a personal level and the disconnect on a community- and cultural- level. It’s just… different now. I listen to a lot of music because I commute a lot, so I’m always looking for new music and I don’t think that will ever change – even in 2015! Some bands that I can say I’ve gotten into this year alone, and am very excited about, are: Sneaks (DC), Flesh World (SF), Daddy Issues (NC), Ibeyi (LA), Lime Crush (UK), Shopping (UK), Malportado Kids/Downtown Boys (DC), Mercury Girls (PA), Wildhoney (MD), Chain & the Gang’s Ian Svenonius has a new project called Escape-ISM. 2015 is looking good so far. It depends on what you’re into.
Our plans for the rest of 2015…..
Julia: Rocking and recording forever!
Carly: We’re working with our friend Samantha Gurry to finish up a stop-motion video for our track, “Elevator Eyes” and we’re also super psyched to be part of the Negative Fun Records day party happening up in Raleigh, NC during the Hopscotch Festival. There was so much happening at the beginning of the year with the release of our new EP, “Lonely Hearts Club (No Jerks Allowed),” and our recent tour with Daddy Issues that we’re thrilled to be able to have some time to work on songs again and put some new material together for upcoming shows. This summer is already moving so fast though! If we can, I think we’d like to do a 7″ or full-length next. We have big plans for a day festival happening in Philly in August (Treat Y’rself Fest) around mid-month with a couple different groups of people, and we will be recording one of our covers for a compilation later this year with Negative Fun and Grey Estates blog. Lots happening (always)!
get ready to have some fun…