INTERVIEW: Pretty Awkward

How would you describe PRETTY AWKWARD’s music? Your sound seems to change a bit with each new song.

Austin Held (AH): I would definitely call our sound Alternative/Pop Rock just because we have drums, guitar, bass and vocals and that’s where we seem to land when we’re finished with a track. Nicholas and I made a promise to ourselves when we started this project that we were going to write whatever comes out that day and not let ourselves stay stuck to one genre, or sat in one lane musically. By allowing ourselves the ability to transcend genres and sounds, I feel we’ve come up with our own PRETTY AWKWARD sound. I feel music should be as dynamic as the human experience: Unique and fun, or dark and loud.

Who are your top 3 musical influences? And why have they influenced you?

Nicholas Wiggins (NW): For us as a band we pull from all our different influences. For me personally, I grew up on a lot of 90s alternative music, hip-hop, and punk rock. That’s the top three sounds that have stuck with me forever. With PRETTY AWKWARD we wanted to never put a limitation to our sound or style. I think that helps us express freely without any limitation. Always being able to tap into all our backgrounds and influences keeps it exciting!

What do you want fans to take from your latest single,Misfits’?

(AH): I genuinely hope folks just enjoy the track. Take what you will from it but I hope it inspires and reminds the audience to just have fun and to keep finding joy in all that we do.

We know you’re based in Seattle — how is the music scene there now?

It’s always been known for Rock oriented acts — but your sound tends towards more towards an Alternative and Pop direction. Have the fans their embraced your music?

(NW): We love Seattle and grateful to call this beautiful city our home. The music scene out here is very alive with so many unique artists! There are so many musicians finding awesome ways to bring shows to fans online with the current state of strange times. When venues are able to open again I encourage everyone to take in a Seattle live show! It’s always cool to play or attend a show and not have every band sound the same over and over. It keeps the night fun and inspiring. We are grateful the fans have really taken to our sound and vibe. Fans seem to really get where we are coming from and are onboard for the next adventure we take them on with the music we make. We are grateful for each person that takes the time to go on this ride with us each step of the way.

​When did you know you were destined for a career in music?

(AH): When I was maybe 14 or 15 and I learned my first Blink-182 song on guitar. I already had a grasp on writing poetry and the patterns it can involve. After I learned other bands’ songs I started to see a pattern to them that I didn’t realize was there just by listening to the song. Once I started doing it myself I never wanted to stop!

​What do you like to do in your down time, when you aren’t playing or recording music? How have you been holding up during this nation-wide quarantine?

(NW): I have been doing loads of photography recently. I don’t really have much down time, because I like to stay busy and I’m always finding a way to be creative. Austin and I find ourselves in this constant state of creating. It can be the art work, video ideas, photography, or writing songs — we just keep moving forward. If I do get a little down time — I go camping…. But I still find myself ending up writing songs in the woods. I’m pretty addicted to the creative process.

Which do you prefer: Being in a recording studio or playing live? And what do you like most about playing live?

(AH): We love both, because they’re two completely different experiences. Recording is awesome because you have this blank page of silence to write/draw/throw down on and things can start to flow really quickly and all of the sudden everyone is hearing the same thing…. But instruments have barely been played. There’s a certain high that you get when you’re creating with other people, feeding off of each other and hearing the potential of what can come from that art. Playing live is a different vibe because it’s just a constant rush of adrenaline. The excitement of playing our music in front of people is a hard thing to describe. It’s anxious and nerve-wracking sometimes — but we’re so stoked to be in front of people and feed off their response to our music. The biggest relief for me comes from stepping out on the stage and singing the first line of the first song in the set. It’s always a bonus to see people I’ve never met before singing the words to songs I wrote in my bedroom with my friends — that’s an amazing feeling!

​How have you evolved as a band over the last year –especially with not being able to tour?

(NW): It’s been a very interesting experience to say the least — like everyone else, we’re figuring out as we go along how to release our art in these strange times. We literally had just kicked off a tour when everything changed and we had to head home and quarantine. For our sanity we got together as soon as we could and escaped into the woods to be creative. I think all of this brought us closer together as a band and with our team. — because we are all trying to navigate the moment.

​If you could meet, play a gig with, co-write a song with, have dinner or have a drink with any band or artist (dead or alive) who would it be and why?

(AH): Paul McCartney for all of the above! To have the opportunity to pick his brain and to see how he works when it comes to songwriting would be an incredible one for sure. It would be really awesome to absorb the wealth of knowledge and experience he has.

​What’s next for you — are you releasing another single and video before the end of 2020?

(NW): We for sure plan on releasing new music in the fall, our next single should be out near the end of October. We are so incredibly excited and cannot wait for everyone to hear it! I believe this next tune we are going to put out in the world really captures where we are as a band, especially during these times.

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End of Interview