Scene Point Blank: Would you mind introducing yourself and telling us what you play?
Leona: Sure, My name is Leona and I play keyboard; among other things.
Scene Point Blank: When I began doing my research for this interview there was a lot of press surrounding Pretty Girls earlier releases, for which you guys gained a lot of praise. There also seemed to be a lot of hype and anticipation for new record. What's your reaction to all the attention from press?
Leona: Well I'm kind of the wrong one to be asking this question cause I really haven't been in the band that long ( laughs ) sorry. I also can't really speak for them... I think there was a lot of talk about the last record then their was kind of a lull, and now people are starting to talk again.
Scene Point Blank: Based off the first single certain websites are expecting the new record to be best of 2006. How do you respond to that?
Leona: Well you mention album of the year, or others mention it, but I mean we don't really think about that. When we were recording we were just trying to write good songs.
Scene Point Blank: With your band being a lot of people's next big thing and the attention that bands from your area like the Blood Brothers have been getting, do you think Seattle is the new Seattle?
Leona: ( laughs ) Did you come up with that yourself?
Scene Point Blank: ...Yes
Leona: Aw. Well I think... that was a clever thing to say.
Scene Point Blank: Thank you. When can we expect the new material?
Leona: We just finished up in the studio. It should come up sometime near February, on Matador.
Scene Point Blank: When trying to define your sound a lot of music fans have made comparisons of Pretty Girls Make Graves to bands the other members have formerly been in, others have said you sound vaguely like certain bands from the 80's, and some have no idea how to describe it at all. How would you describe your sound?
Leona: People have said we sound vaguely like bands from the 80's? Like Who?
Scene Point Blank: Generally bands like Siouxsie, The Cure, Devo; Either the stuff with females or the more synth stuff.
Leona: I think that we would all agree that we don't, or really want to, fit into a genre. Which has it's pros and cons but I think as far as the new music goes it has a very open feel. At first glance I can see how someone might think that it sounds sort of Devo-ish or whatever, but I don't think that anyone would be able to fit all of our songs into one certain sound; especially with the new record. All of the songs are really different, and we weren't so much worried about what everyone else would think, or what labels they wanted to use.
Scene Point Blank: On The New Romance we saw the focus mainly on guitar and vocals, is the new albums sound more inclusive? What can we expect to hear?
Leona: Um, Derrek was saying that he thinks older fans might possibly turn away from the new material., but at the same time their would be a lot of room for newer fans coming in. If that makes sense? It's accessible I guess. I personally think there is a lot to the songs; elements of melodica, things that make you dance, use of different instruments. It's new, and not the same, but nothing too far.
As far as the new sound goes, um there is still focus on the guitar and vocals but I wouldn't say it's the main focus. We all sing on the record which is something new. Derek sings a song which is something he hasn't done before. As far as guitar stuff goes, there is as much as there was before but we're using a lot more instruments this time.
Scene Point Blank: Obviously going into the studio with a new band member is going to add something to the mix, what we're your experiences in the studio like?
Leona: We tried to record actually last September but a lot of things were working against us. We were recording in New York, we had a studio for a month, and there were numerous problems...not with me playing with them, or anything bad, but just lack of preparation. So, we took time off for abit. We finally recorded in July, and it was fun. We had some time to work on stuff while we were in the studio. We're all from the same area, and all friends, we've known eachother for along time. It was fun.
Scene Point Blank: You said you had difficulty the first time in the studio, how did you stay motivated the second time around?
Leona: Um....by knowing there's a deadline? ( laughs )
Scene Point Blank: How do you react to people who dislike your band because of the female presence, specifically the female vocals?
Leona: Oh, I don't give a shit. I don't know about Anna, I can't speak for her, but I don't give a shit. I really don't have time for people who won't look at music because of someone's gender. It's an obstacle for some people but.. I don't care. I hope people look at us for our music.
Scene Point Blank: Where do you think Pretty Girls fits in the indie rock scene?
Leona: Um, where do we fit? Well it's hard to speak objectively as well as subjectively but I don't think we really do? Or if we do that it's something we try for.
Scene Point Blank: Alright, thanks very much for taking the time to do think interview. Have you got any closing comments for the people who will be reading this?
Leona: Thanks a lot to anyone who comes out to the shows, listens to our music, or supports us in any way possible.
Interviewer's Note: For anyone interested, there is also an interview of PGMG member Anna, done by my dear friend Daria at www.upforsaleradio.com
Interview by Graham
Graphics by Matt