Hello Pretty Visitors….welcome to the Clunk universe
Please introduce the band, who does what etc.
So, we’re The Pretty Visitors, and we’re an indie rock band from the south coast of the UK. We consist of Connor (vocals, guitar), Aaron (lead guitar), Sam (bass) and Jack (drums)
How did you folks get together? How did you end up with the name? A nod to The Arctic Monkeys? Were there other contender names?
Three of us met at college and one joined after coincidentally meeting on a football trip in Amsterdam. It was immediately apparent that Aaron and I (Connor) shared so many of the same musical tastes. We swapped CD’s, taught each other bits of guitar and just organically started creating things. When Jack and Sam joined something just seemed to click. It became an instinctual need to create something and comment on our lives, and each one of us complimented each other easily to make the songs the best they could be. The name was definitely a nod to Arctic Monkeys. We were just constantly going through a million ideas for names, before we just started going through our favourite artists song titles and this one stuck. I think the other top contenders were The Delmeros and The Midnight Ramblers – or something along those lines.
Tell us about the latest release ‘Head in The Sand’. What’s it all about? Was it written as a band?
Interestingly enough, the song was actually a poem written a couple of years ago on a depressed Sunday evening train from Bristol to Portsmouth. Then one band practice, Sam came in with a really energetic bassline which Jack instinctively matched with a solid driving beat and Aaron started experimenting with bends and crazy settings over the top of. As they played it it was one of those magic moments where I realised how the poem could be used, added another verse or two, and Head In The Sand just kind of naturally emerged from that. This is about the day-to-day grind that we universally feel, waking up on a gloomy Monday and going to work at a job you don’t care about. The sinking feeling when you realise the insignificance as to what you’re achieving in the grand scheme of things. I think all of us being a bit older now made this message more apparent to us. We’re out of uni, we’ve completed our apprenticeships, we’ve gained a couple of promotions, what now? Is this it? Those existential questions of ‘what am I here for’ are the real catalyst for the bitter edge that cuts through the song, but we think it still maintains a bit of dark humour at times too.
How did you cope as a band during the various restrictions over the last year? Did you swap ideas over the internet etc?
I think at first we relished the time to focus on songwriting. I ended up writing so much last year and everybody else would send stuff via GarageBand for me to work on so we managed to go back and forth that way fairly well. Then restrictions were lifted and we were able to get into the studio and record which was also great. But as time has gone on it really has dampened our spirits quite a bit. We love jamming in a room together and we love playing live so that’s really hard for us to get over at the moment. Zoom just isn’t quite cutting it anymore!
One presumes that you grew up listening to lots of music, what were you into? Can you remember the first music that you downloaded or bought on record/CD?
There are lots of different intersects in our music tastes but we’re all fairly varied in what we like too.
Connor: The first CD I ever bought with my pocket money was the ‘Lose Yourself’ single by Eminem. I remember walking around primary school at 9 or 10 with those old portable CD players that skipped every time you took a step forward, with a cap on backwards rapping along to it like an absolute goon!
Aaron: Before I had established any concept of what an album is, or even what music really means to me, I purchased ‘Elvis Presely vs JXL’ single on CD with my pocket money. I think that song was doing the rounds on some Nike football advert and I wanted to be Ronaldinho at the time. As soon as puberty started to hit, the first two albums I ever bought were ‘Faithless – Insomnia’ and ‘Led Zeppelin – Mothership’. I got a CD player for my birthday that year and needed some serious ammunition for my bedroom to piss off my parents.
Sam: Corr, I think it must’ve been Busted or Avril Lavigne, Let Go. They were all the rage when I was eight.
When I was young, I listened to a lot of Stereophonics, The Chilli’s too, because my parents played them all the time. As a young child I was also mesmerised by Meat Loaf’s album cover so always picked that out to listen to.
Jack: I had all sorts of cd’s from different genres. I can’t actually remember which was the first but could have been ‘Californication – Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ looking at the dates of releases. Other artists I was listening to were Travis, U2, Oasis, Black Eyed Peas, Green Day, Eminem and many more. I wish I had access to them all but unfortunately we are in lock down and they’re stored at my mum’s house.
Have you got any releases lined up for 2021? Are there a few dates planned for later in the year? Anything online?
Our next single is called ‘Western Skies’ and is pencilled in for release at some point in March or April. We genuinely believe it’s the best thing we’ve ever recorded and we can’t wait to release it for everyone to hear. We do have a fair few dates that unfortunately we have to keep tight to our chest, just because the pandemic will most likely cause reschedules or cancellations. As far as online goes we’ve played a couple of sets for Double Denim and Voice FM already but hopefully we can do more if this situation continues and get our tunes out there in any way we can.
Suppose we get down to your neck of the woods for a weekend. We hang out with you. You show us around. Where are we going? What are we doing? You are the Entertainments Committee!
Let’s say you’re coming down to Gosport, which is the small seaside town where two of us are from. The first thing we do is to take you on a nice coastal walk along the pebbled beach and around some of the nice parks. This I believe would be the highlight. After this we’d take you down the town centre and to the G’n’D – a local dive that charges you a quid entry to blast bad club songs to an empty dance floor and a cigarette stained pool table (this was the location of our first ever gig). Then we’d take you to the epicentre of the town which is of course the local Wetherspoons, where we’d neck as much alcohol as we needed to finally start having a good time. And then finally the crown jewel – Emma’s – Gosport’s only nightclub, where sticky floors meet your feet to the sound of a stapled and unchanging DJ set that includes highlights such as ‘Mr Brightside’ and ‘Be Faithful’ at least twice – all as Navy men snoop creepily around every girl in the club. The funny thing is, I think all of us would absolutely love every second of it.
Thanks folks, for taking the time for Clunk. If you get out on tour don’t forget Carlisle! See you out there, fingers crossed, in 2021