New York pop-punk band Die Pretty played a show at Tammany Hall this past Saturday (8/6). The band released a new EP, Battle Over Brooklyn, earlier this year, as well as two videos for the songs “Voices” and “Medicated Nation.”
I had a chance to sit down with Die Pretty’s singer/ bassist Sarah, and guitarists Skip and Tommy before their show to talk about the band, their music, and being a part of the New York music scene.
How did the band form?
Skip: Sarah and I are brother and sister…
Skip: … and we actually met Tommy and our drummer in a coffee shop in the city, started talking, here we are.
Sarah: Yeah (haha). And we’ve been playing guitars together since we were teenagers, me and my brother.
Who are some of your musical influences?
Skip: We really grew up listening to, like, a lot of, like, 90s alternative punk rock when that kind of blew up… Southern California bands.
Sarah: Yeah, like The Offspring…
Skip: … Offspring, Green Day, No Doubt…
Sarah: …No Doubt…
Skip: … Pennywise, NoFX, Rancid… You know, the whole punk movement in the mid-90s, that kind of thing. But, I mean, I like a lot of bands today too, you know.
Sarah: Yeah, over the years, you know, like a lot of newer bands as well.
Where do you find the inspiration to write your songs/ lyrics?
Sarah: Just our lifetime experiences, everyday things that happen to us, and people around us. That’s really what inspires me.
Skip: Yeah, I’d say, uh, wherever and whatever makes you think of something inspirational, it could happen at any point. So, it kind of, anything around us.
You released an EP four months ago. How did that come together?
Skip: Well… we went in the studio, we started doing some new songs, and they started to sound good, and we decided, let’s put these out. We called it, the EP’s called Battle Over Brooklyn. Uh, yeah, that’s pretty much it.
You had one previous full-length album…
Skip: We had a full length released in Europe in ’09, and then we did an EP last year, which is, like, three or four songs, and we just did this new one too. So, yeah, we have, like, almost 20 songs with this band out.
…And the self-titled EP, that, that has some of the same songs that are on Bittersweet. I was looking at iTunes…
Skip: Yeah, we put a couple on there to make it a five song.
Skip: so we took a couple off that one, because, again, it wasn’t released in the United States, so no one really heard it yet.
Sarah: yeah, so we put some strong songs from that, including the new one.
You released a video for the song “Voices” (off of Battle Over Brooklyn) last year, and more recently you released a video for “Medicated Nation” (off of the self-titled EP).
Skip: We added “Medicated Nation” as a bonus track.
Sarah: …on the new one…
Skip: Yeah, it’s actually a bonus track from now on
Sarah: …on Battle Over Brooklyn…
Do you have any plans to do another full-length album?
Skip: We would love to. Um, we actually are, hopefully, going back into the studio this month to do a couple more songs. So, yeah, absolutely, just, the time has to be right and.
Sarah: We’re working on songs right now.
You already have a sizable audience in Europe. Do you think it is more complicated to get a following at home in New York?
Skip: Overseas, in Europe, they really embrace rock, like, rock more. So we find that they are more open to rock bands, where in the United States, like pop and hip-hop and stuff. So, I would say, yeah, probably overseas is a little more open to rock and roll.
Do you think that living in New York has affected your music?
Skip: Yeah. We’ve written about it.
Sarah: Yeah, different songs about experiences here, certain parts of the city.
What do you enjoy most about playing in New York and being a part of the New York music scene?
Skip: the clubs are cool. They’re small, but they’re intimate, and they got some great places.
Battle Over Brooklyn is available now. Videos for the singles “Voices” and “Medicated Nation” can be seen on Die Pretty’s YouTube channel. To read a review of their show at Tammany Hall, click here.