Melbourne trio Pearls have just released their debut album Pretend Your Mine via Remote Control/ Dot Dash Records. We had a chat to Pearls’ Ryan Cesar (guitar/vocals) to learn more about the new record from one of Australia’s next big things.
Your new single “Pretend You’re Mine” came out this week. How’s the response been so far?
Yeah, good so far. I wasn’t sure about it. It’s a song that changed so much while we were recording that I kind of lost track of what it was. So it’s good to actually like play it to somebody I’m not related to for once, or that’s in the band. And yeah, people seem to like it.
When did the album all come together?
Well, it took about a year to record over days off and stuff like that. But um, it sort of came together- we started out with a set of songs and then we went in and started recording, the songs changed a lot. We worked on them a lot in the studio and stuff like “Big Shot”, the last single, I literally wrote while we were recording. So it came together as we were recording.
What made you choose “Big Shot” as your first single release?
It was like the easier song on the whole album. It didn’t change too much from the demo so it felt easy to record and to write.
It’s kind of blown up…
Yeah, I know, well I just didn’t know what to do because it’s- like I said, we worked on everything on the album. You know, things changed. The album was very different at the start of the process as to what it ended up, we spent so much time on it. “Big Shot”, because it was so different to what we’d been doing in the first place, it was kind of happy, everybody liked it, ’cause it felt like we were taking a chance on something different.
Well, it must make you guys feel pretty confident about the tour coming up because there’s gonna be a lot of people who will know the lyrics to your songs.
Yeah, we did “Big Shot” and we haven’t really played that much since “Big Shot” came out . Like, we’d done a couple of things here and there but like in Beechworth and things like that, so we’ve tried to keep it sort of until we did the album tour before we played. So yeah, it’s exciting, very exciting.
So what’s the creative dynamic between you guys, how does your music come together?
I screw around with a lot of stuff and then the girls are kind of the executives. They make the big calls, like if something’s good or not. I just come out with a lot of crap and they tell me what’s good.
So did joining a major label, did you feel differently going into the studio this time around compared to past releases?
Well we actually recorded the album before we signed the deal which was cool. Yeah, so that was really good like that was great to be able to sort of like do the album and go, “oh my gosh, who’s gonna put this out?” We didn’t play to anyone, and our first choice was Remote Control, and we played it to them and thank god, they said yes. So it was great, it was pretty seamless from the time we went, “okay, we’ve finished the album, let’s play it to somebody”, and we played it Steve at Remote Control and he liked it, so it’s really good. Stuff like that, anybody in any band- you know, it feels good to have somebody put their faith in something that you’re doing.
Your artwork is so great for everything, especially the video for “Big Shot.” How involved are you guys with the concepts behind the art?
Very much so. Especially the album. Benny Montero did the “Big Shot” film clip. We just wanted Benny Montero to do what Benny Montero does for the film clip. You just look at his stuff and it sort of looks like “Big Shot” sounds, you know. So he literally just did that by himself. Which is amazing because you can imagine the amount of work that goes into doing that many drawings. Like I have trouble writing name more than four or five times a day. Like, imagine actually doing what he did. With the album cover, the girls sort of came up with that, and our friend Michelle Tran shot the photos one night, and a guy Luke Brown sort of put everything together. So yeah, we’re good. The girls definitely know what they like, you know.
So there’s a pretty diverse range of sounds in your music – what did you listen to growing up?
Well my dad is like the world’s biggest Pink Floyd fan, so lots of Pink Floyd, lots of Neil Young and The Beatles, really. Nothing outrageous. Sort of your staple stuff. Although my dad really does like 80’s (?- 5:58) Pink Floyd as well, and Genesis too.
What do you listen to in your down time?
Um, I’ve been listening to a lot of this guy called William- I don’t know how to say it, because I’ve never really talked to that many people about him, but I’m sure lots of people know who he is. William Oneyeabor, I think. And he’s kind of this elusive guy from… I’m not even sure when he was around, like late 60’s maybe. So I’ve been listening to a lot of him.
So you guys have supported some really great acts like Kurt Vile, do you have a stand out gig that you’ve played so far?
There’s been a lot, we’ve played a lot of gigs. Playing with Kurt Vile was cool. Like, I loved all the stuff he’d released. I got really into the Hunchback EP that came out a few years ago. So that was pretty cool. My favourite gig, I don’t know. Hopefully the launch. Don’t want to put too much pressure on it! Yeah, but there’s been a lot of really good ones. We used to play a lot at this place- the Liberty Social on Flinders Lane. We had some really good ones there, in fact I think probably our EP launch there about two years ago was maybe my favourite gig, I think.
So is there anywhere in particular on the tour that you’re looking forward to playing?
Sydney, I guess. We haven’t had to opportunity, like we’ve done a few supports in Sydney, but we’ve never headlined up there, so it will be interesting to see how that goes.
And you’re also playing a festival as well. Will that be the first festival that you guys have played?
Uh yeah. Well no, we played this one in Beechworth about two weeks ago. But that was the first one, but it’s just like, first camping festival.
How did the festival show go?
It was good- yeah, it was really good. I mean, it’s cool because Beechworth isn’t that far away so it was kind of an easy drive. But it was boiling, so we just got covered in flies and drank VB.
So how did people respond to the new material?
I think they liked it. Cause that’s the thing, like we’ve almost just started playing the album. So there’s only been a couple of gigs that we’ve really been playing stuff off the album. So yeah, I hope people liked it.
After the tour, what else is coming up this year that you’re excited about?
Well, I’m still writing a lot of stuff. So hopefully there’ll be more tours and hopefully recording a new album. I don’t know when. Hopefully it won’t take a year this time.
Pretend You’re Mine is out February 20 via Remote Control/Dot Dash Records.
PEARLS TOUR DATES
FRI 27TH FEBRUARY
Camp Casual, Gippsland
Tickets & details HERE
THU 19TH MARCH
with Special Guests
Tickets & details HERE
SAT 21ST MARCH
The Curtin, Melbourne
with Special Guests
Tickets & details HERE