A Chat With…Tom Prettys

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Post-punk outfit Tom Prettys have today dropped their new single ahead of a launch show this Friday night. We had a chat to vocalist Matt Steyn.

Hi Matt, thanks for the chat! Hey! Thank you.

Tom Prettys are fairly fresh on the Melbourne scene – the project initially came together after your drummer and guitarist met online, at what point do you feel like the project developed into a band? I think you mean ‘phresh’. But yeah, quite fresh as well. The project was really just based on noisy jams and loose song structures for a few months. It became an actual project when we played a house party and from there decided we should play actual gigs.

You’ve released two tracks to date, what’s the writing process like? Is there one sole writer, or is it a more collaborative effort? The writing process is very collaborative, it all more or less happens when we’re together. Someone often has a really short, simple idea and we either build it up together. It’s also on the feeling – if something we’re working on doesn’t feel right we’ll throw it out pretty quickly.

Talk us through the recording process – did it take some time to work through / flesh out the songs before teaming up with producer Neil Gray? We’re always really eager, so we didn’t do a whole lot of preproduction and weren’t massively concerned on fleshing things out prior to recording. We’d tested everything out live and felt that was enough. We ended up having to flesh things out in the studio with Neil, but he was flexible around it so it worked out quite well.

You recently launched your own label, Queeze Records. What was the inspiration behind it? And what’s been the most challenging aspect of launching your own label? The inspiration is really the resurgence of the DIY spirit of the late 70s. Labels are still a necessity and we feel we have a role to play in music that goes further than just creating. The most challenging aspect is constantly learning and the amount of work involved. Luckily we’re a team of four as a band and as label partners, but there’s still a lot to get done.

Your bio made reference to The Simpsons, so I’ve got to ask – what’s your favourite Simpsons episode? The lemon tree episode!

Tell us about your favourite Melbourne acts? There are so many! We all went and saw Gold Class the other night and they were brilliant. We’re big fans of the bands doing well internationally, like Courtney Barnett and King Gizzard, but we’re loving local bands like The Football Club, Water Bear, Pink Harvest, Fan Girl. There seems to be a massive amount of talent coming out at the moment.

And Melbourne venues? Smaller places like Workers Club and Old Bar are still putting on awesome shows. Slightly bigger spots like Howler and Northcote Social are brill too!

What’s on the horizon for Tom Prettys? A lot. We’ve got a few more gigs coming up before the end of the year and then we’ll be heading back into the studio to record again. There’s a lot going on with the label too, which is exciting.

Tom Prettys launch their double singles on 7” vinyl this Friday October 28th at The Catfish with The Football Club and Pink Harvest. Details here.