Pretty Vicious’ Brad Griffiths: ‘I don’t want to go to America and end up like Alex Turner – with an accent and a cowboy hat”

The Welsh four-piece share their new single ‘Move’ from their debut album

Pretty Vicious have released their brand new single ‘Move’ – the first track taken from their forthcoming debut album.

The Merthyr Tydfil group gained mass acclaim back in 2015 for their single ‘National Plastics’ and kicked off NME Awards tour back in January at the Shacklewell Arms in London.

The four-piece have now signed to Big Machine and will be releasing the as-yet-titled debut album in 2019. The LP was produced by Dan Austin who has worked with You Me At Six, Twin Atlantic and Pulled Apart By Horses. You can stream ‘Move’ below and watch the lyric video below that.

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Read below as 21-year-old frontman Brad Griffiths talks of experiencing too much too young, sinking or swimming in the music industry and why they don’t want to end up like Alex Turner.

How excited are you to be having new music coming out and coming back?

B: “It’s been a long time you know, a lot of songs that we recorded quite a while ago and these ones are all brand new that nobody’s heard. The album’s completely new and obviously we’ve grown and progressed and we’ve got better live and I’m a better songwriter – so it’s just gone really well.”

Tell us about ‘Move’…

B: “It’s just basically about when you’re young and you’re playing shows and you fancy the classic rock chicks there. It’s more than that as well, it’s about if you want to have a good time come with us you know? It’s a young youthful song about loving life.”

Do you think that’s because you took a break away?

B: “Yeah it’s like we’ve had a rebirth now and all our energy and passion is back. We had a bit of a turbulence in the past and I think we’ve all just found ourselves again and we’re all really loving it. It’s all we’ve ever wanted, to be in a band. And we’ve just found ourselves again really and found our feet. We’re all at a new chapter in our lives.”

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What have you learned from being in the music industry at such a young age?

B: “We’ve met loads of people and learnt how to read people, who’s being honest with us. I suppose we’ve seen a lot more of the downside of being in a band so we know where it can go wrong so we’re able to see stuff coming before it happens. So we can be a lot cleverer about it.”

Do you think people took advantage of you guys?

B: “Yeah to an extent, but we were young and naïve, but I mean as much as any other young band would. You’re just happy to be doing it and obviously we didn’t have jobs and had never seen money at the time and we were like ‘oh we can get money that’ll be great!’”

You worked with Dan Austin on this record, how did he influence the album?

B: “He’s like a brother to us really, he’s like my older brother. He’s amazing, he’s just on our level. He’s young, hungry for it, a fan of the music and we got amazing. We all became best friends. To this day me and Dan text nearly every day and we have chats and we talk.”

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Did he have any suggestions for the direction of the album?

B: “Yeah, he made a massive difference in preproduction weeks. He helped explain things, he’s quite good at showing us, not so much the structure of the songs because the songs are already written. But he knew how to get my message across and maybe in a quicker way. He just got the best out of us.

“There’s so many producers we work with and we never see again but we got so close with Dan and he’s like a best mate now. He’s a fabulous producer and he really is a star, he knows his crafts. And he doesn’t scare us with big technical terms, it’s quite funny because he’s so down to earth he’ll just be like “oh yeah boys press that button and it does this” he just down to earth and real so we could understand what we wanted which made us work faster in the studio also.”

What can we expect from the album as a whole?

B: “Every song is different. It’s got different emotion and it’s just a real journey as a band and you can see the ups and downs in the music and how we’ve channelled it. Especially me with songwriting, with all the turbulence last year I channelled it all into this and it was my escape. You see a lot of the aggro and the frustration in the album. For me that’s what makes an album real, so many bands release albums nowadays and they don’t really have anything to say. They’re a bit two-dimensional you know? I could probably write a book and I’m only 21, a novel on what’s happened to us. I think we’re on the second novel of our biography, what’s going to happen next!”

Do you think you guys have had to grow up quite quickly then?

B: “Yeah, we’ve been thrown in the deep end. It was kind of like sink or swim a bit but thank god we swam just about. You know, we have grown up I feel like an old man now, a little old man.”

Are your friendships stronger because of these experiences?

B: “Yea. Some days you want to smack them and other days you want to grab them and say “everything’s going to be alright” you know? We’ve grown up with each other since we were about four-years-old, so we know how to piss each other off. Especially if I’m in a bad mood, I’ll put them in a bad mood. It’s just a lot of banter in our friendship, we have so many memories and we’ve got a lot more to come. We look like a bag of monkeys when we’re together.”

Do you feel like there’s a lot of pressure on you with this album after all the attention you got before?

B: “I think because we’ve seen all that hype and everything that happened before, it doesn’t really bother us because we’ve seen the peak of it really. I think because we come from a small little town in Wales we already made the jump. So we don’t really get like that anymore, we’re more like “oh that’s cool”. It’s good to be grounded you know. I don’t want to go to America and end up like Alex Turner. You know come back with an accent and a cowboy hat. I do love Alex Turner though!”

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Would you say that it’s harder for bands especially in guitar music to be innovative and to stand out?

B: “I don’t think guitar music is dead – it’s just had a bit of a sleep that’s all. I think it’s waking back up now. Hopefully, we’ve got big aspirations and we want to be at the forefront of that and show the world it’s not. There are so many guitar bands around and people just wont give them the time or day but it’s worth it you know. I think people need to open up their eyes a little bit with guitar music, all the labels they want pop bands and indie bands and all that shit, do you know what I mean? I think hopefully we can open peoples eyes a little bit and they can give these other bands a chance. They’re working equally as hard out there.”

B: “Well I mean, I try not to look too far forward into the future because we don’t know what’s going to happen next. I’m really excited you know and with the America thing it went down really well over there.

“I don’t really watch live music to be honest with you, I’m more interested in my own music. It sounds contradictory but for me – it’s just not my thing I like playing live but I hate being stuck in big crowds. I’m only small so I find it intimidating. I’ve got bad anxiety and stuff so I hate being in crowds, it’s always during a mosh pit and I’m like ‘oh my god I’m going to get battered.’”

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Does that anxiety go away when you’re performing?

B: “Yeah it’s weird because when I’m on stage you almost put on a persona and you escape yourself because you’re in your own little bubble and your own little zone.”

Are there enough services about to help musicians with mental health issues or could they be doing better?

B: “It’s obviously on different levels and there’s different strains of stress and you can get depression which is terrible and mental illnesses. And when we’ve been on the road for weeks and weeks I can see it does weigh you down you know because it is hard work touring, you’re not sleeping properly and you hardly stop. For me, people are paying good money to come to the show, so you don’t want to spoil a show for them.”

Would you say you guys definitely look out for each other?

B: “We all love each other, we’re like brothers and we’re like Siamese twins we’re never apart. I think that’s what can weigh you down a bit as well though because it’s like a marriage in a way. We try not to take ourselves too seriously because that just means more stress and more worrying.”

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You mentioned earlier that there’s some good guitar bands coming out that you really like…

“Well I don’t know who they are, but I bet there are some! I don’t listen to too much music, I just write it! There’s no one doing music that I like so I write music that I would listen to. It’s just a good thing other people like it as well. It’s just good to keep level headed. I don’t get caught up in any of the shenanigans or the arguments. I find that I’d rather be chilled and enjoy it the right way, and slowly take over the world!”

Pretty Vicious tour dates and tickets

The band’s upcoming tour dates are below. Visit here for tickets and more information.

22 August –  Craufurd Arms, Milton Keynes
23 August – The Horn, St Albans
25 August – Reading Festival Performance
26 August – Leeds Festival Performance

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