Pretty & Nice is set for a fun weekend here in Omaha.
Tonight, band opens for Jukebox the Ghost (read my interview with that band) at the Waiting Room Lounge. Tomorrow morning, the group will play outside Homer’s Music for Record Store Day (read my RSD picks) while those in line drink free coffee and munch on free doughnuts.
Then later this month, the band’s new album, “Golden Rules for Golden People,” will be released on April 30 on Equal Vision and Rory Records. It’s the band’s first since 2008′s lauded “Get Young.”
While the band was in Columbia, Mo., I called up bassist Roger Lussier and vocalists/guitarists Holden Lewis and Jeremy Mendicino.
Kevin Coffey: How has the tour been with Jukebox the Ghost?
Holden Lewis: Yesterday was our second day with Jukebox. We did three or four days coming out here hitting Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Ohio on the way out.
KC: How did you end up on the tour with them?
Holden: We’ve known them for probably four or five years now. A member of ours was in high school with their drummer, so we’ve been playing shows with them off and on.
KC: What are you plans for after this? More touring?
Holden: We’ve got a few regional shows in the northeast area at the start of the month and then at the end of May, we’ll be coming out this way and down to Florida and back up the coast. It’s sort of the U.S. tour.
And then we’ll be on the road more throughout the summer and the fall.
KC: The album comes out at the end of this month. Are you guys excited?
Holden: Super-excited. It’s been a long haul. We haven’t had a full-length out for three or four years, so it’s a big one for us.
KC: It’s been awhile since you put an album out. Will it be something different?
Holden: It’s definitely developed. As we grow as people, we grow as musicians and grow together.
Roger Lussier: Beautiful.
Jeremy Mendicino: That was like poetry, Holden.
Jeremy: Don’t print that. We’ll sound too serious. (laughs)
But the music is definitely older and more serious in some ways, I suppose. It’s still fun. Still 100 percent fun.
KC: I listened to “Q_Q” on Brooklyn Vegan, and I liked it a lot. How did you write that?
Jeremy: I wrote that one on Christmas break. When I say Christmas break, I don’t mean from college. I mean I was at home with my family over the holidays. I demoed it on the bed that I grew up in, so it was inspired by my crazy family, but has nothing to do with them. (laughs)
KC: Where did you record the album?
Jeremy: We run a recording studio in Brighton in Boston. It’s called Esthudio.
It’s in my domicile, which is convenient and obnoxious. But mostly convenient. We can work whenever we want and have a fairly world-class analog studio at our beck and call, which is nice.
There are days when it is less relaxing because there’s no parameters and we can work ad nauseum on anything. For the msot part, it’s excellent to flesh out anything for as long as you want.
KC: You guys are doing a Record Store Day release of “Q_Q,” right?
Roger: That’s right. It’s a single, and our first single.
KC: What’s the B side?
Roger: The B side is a B side. (laughs)
Holden: It’s a song called “On and On,” which we had waiting in the wings for awhile and decided to finish that up and put it out as the other side of “Q_Q.”
KC: What does it sound like?
Holden: I think that Max (Bemis) from Rory Records (and frontman of Say Anything) said it sounded like ELO and XKC had had an illegitimate… What did he say?
Roger: I dunno. It was something like that.
Holden: Like if they had a wallaby. Or roped a Wallaby. That’s not at all what he said. (laughs)
He mentioned ELO and that makes sense. It’s a groovier and slower tune than our usual speed. Or normal band speed.
KC: You’re playing at Record Store Day, which will be cool. It’s going to be all acoustic, so how will that translate?
Jeremy: They’re all written acoustic for the most part, so it’s like listening to a very basic rendition of the arrangement of the song. We have fun playing acoustic.
We’re big fans of acoustic music in general. We sort of had a “no stripped-down” rule for awhile just because it didn’t seem the thing to do for awhile. But it’s fun especially with the new stuff being slightly more moderately paced or more moderately anything.
Holden: They’re a little more breathable. so they translate better, I think.
Jeremy: Yeah, it’s hard to do a song that’s battering you in the face with one acoustic guitar and a book on your lap.
KC: Have you been playing a lot of the new stuff lately?
Jeremy: We’ve been doing about half of the new record. It’s been going great. We’ve been playing some of the songs for two or three years now. A lot of the record has been in the making and finished for quite a long time. We’re especially happy to be getting it out and in people’s ears because we wanted everyone to have it before. But now is the time.
Holden: Now is the time for people to have it.
Jeremy: We’ve been having a lot of fun with the new stuff. There will be more to come. We still have to learn a few of them.
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