Get to know Pretty Bleak, a band out of Melbourne who’ve just released a debut single that’s anything BUT.
On the contrary… ‘Jawline’ is a seriously impressive debut single; an ’80s-inspired explosion of synths, guitars and great pop riffs.
But what’s the story behind Pretty Bleak?
Discover for yourself with our latest ‘Get To Know’ feature. And take a look at their equally impressive music video.
1. Band name : PRETTY BLEAK.
2. Where are you based? Melbourne, Victoria.
3. Who are your members? Sam Thomas, Sanji Aneja, Brandon Gawith & Kyle Charleston.
4. And what role do they play in the band? Sam – Vocals/Guitar, Sanji – Bassist, Brandon – Drums, Kyle – Guitar.
5. How did you choose your band name? We had been trying to figure something out for months and we came up with a few different ideas, but nothing that really stuck out to everyone involved. About a week before ‘Jawline’ was supposed to be released we still hadn’t come up with anything, and I was lamenting the whole circumstance in my head and working myself up into the nihilistic internal monologue about how we’re just going to have to cancel the whole project because we can’t come up with a band name.
I started writing down what I was thinking about it so I could look back in a few years and remember what was going on, and the last sentence I wrote was “it’s all pretty bleak”. Then I was like, oh shit thats a cool name.
6. Give us five words to best describe the band. Pessimistic new wave dream rock.
7. How was the band formed? Me and Kyle met during mid-high school in another friend’s band and based on a mutually similar taste in music decided to start our own band together. Since then, the band has evolved and grown as all of us as individuals have developed musically and personally, gradually becoming what it is today.
8. Tell us a little bit about your sound. I think I would mostly describe our sound as being eclectic or un-categorisable. Every time that we try to label it with a genre it never seems to be convincing to me, so I don’t really try to anymore.
Any individual will always have a personal understanding of what each genre actually describes, so now I pretty much just accept whatever people tell me we sound like in their opinion. My opinion though, is our music sounds like an attempt to recreate what I hear in my head.
9. If you had to compare yourselves to an already established act sound-wise, who would it be? (Kyle): I personally see some stylistic similarities between us and Bring Me The Horizon’s current work.
(Sanji): I’m not really sure, but I think we adopt elements from a variety of present and past acts from styles of punk, shoe gaze and pop.
10. In what ways has the band changed from when it was formed to today? We were teenagers around 15-16 when we first formed so we were understandably rather naive then and our music/attitude demonstrated that. It was more superficial back then, based on fun as well as showing off whatever we were learning at the time – nevertheless being an invaluable foundation upon which we grew together.
Over the last few years throughout our early adulthood, our sound, as well as the whole entire artistic/business ‘brand’, has become so much more cohesive and mature – taking on a much broader point of view and establishing a more professional perspective. Also, of course the art itself has matured as well as we have developed as artists.
11. What are your members’ favourite songs of all time?
(Sam) : Favourite song as I’m answering this right at this exact second is ‘Darkness’ by Pinegrove.
(Sanji) : Right now I love ‘See Through’ by The Band CAMINO, but ‘In Between Days’ by The Cure has to be an all time favourite.
(Kyle) : A song that’s stuck with me ever since I first heard it – ‘Music For A Forgotten Future’ (The Singing Mountain) by Mogwai.
(Brandon) : ‘True Survivor’ – David Hasselhoff.
12. Which song from history do you all wish you’d written?
(Sam) : ‘If I Was Your Girlfriend’ – Prince.
(Sanji) : ‘The Middle’ – Jimmy Eat World.
(Kyle) : ‘Luminous Beings’ – Jon Hopkins.
13. What’s been the biggest highlight of your band’s journey so far? Playing our best gig to our biggest headline crowd at Old Bar where we met our manager Lachie during a previous iteration of the band, or being invited to UniSounds in Sydney and playing at Oxford Art Factory.. or a most exquisite rider provided by Melbourne Uni.
14. What’s been your strangest experience as a band? One time in like 2016, we were going to co-support a pretty cool show. Because of technical issues, they (the other band) never got their chance to play the show. Coincidentally on our drive back home the absolute madmen, in their wagon, appeared next to us on the highway – majority drunk as hell.
As we recognised each other we rolled our windows down and yelled friendly familiarities to each other. They were red-faced and jolly with beers in hand. It was funny. It was strange.
15. Who’s your most passionate groupie? We’ve had a lot of really loyal people who have followed us for years. I definitely wouldn’t call them groupies, they’re just friends who have supported us for almost as long as we’ve existed and we’re really grateful for it.
16. Are you hotel trashers, cup of tea drinkers or somewhere in between? We have a pretty even distribution of both. Me and Brandon lean towards the hotel trasher side, Sanji is a calm tea drinker, and Kyle can do either depending on which one seems more appropriate at the time.
17.If you could score the support slot for any act, who would you choose?
(Sam) The Cure.
(Kyle) Barnesy if he’d have us, or Bring Me The Horizon.
(Sanji) Weird mix but E^ST, Tame Impala or Green Day.
18. Tell us about your latest release. ‘Jawline’ is PRETTY BLEAK’s debut release so it was quite
full on since we felt pressure to make it as effective a single as we could. It was also our first release with a more complete team on board, so the journey of it developing from a demo to its final release was full of learning and pushing beyond our comfort zones. It’s been a great learning experience and the song itself is something we’re really proud of.
19. What do your plans for global superstardom involve? Live fast, die young, & various other ideas, and the result will involve (but not be limited to) the following: Festivals, massive cinematic arena shows, and hopefully creating a cohesive work of art that people will remember us for one day.
20. Where can our audience catch you live? Grace Darling Hotel, Collingwood on November 15. Come hang out with us at our single launch for ‘Jawline’, accompanied by the awesome vibes from Maz Green & Modern Opera.
WEBSITE : www.linktr.ee/prettybleak
FACEBOOK : www.facebook.com/prettybleakband
INSTAGRAM : www.instagram.com/prettybleakband
SOUNDCLOUD : https://soundcloud.com/user-518457417
YOUTUBE : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHj9Uy469xg