Pacific RadioPacific Radio – “Pretty, but Killing Me”
By Dave Schwartz

 LA based alternative rock band Pacific Radio released their debut, “Pretty, but Killing Me,” on December 8th.  Their sound is an infectious mix of energetic garage rock.  Pacific Radio is best known on the West Coast where they have been touring for several years. I had a chance to speak with guitarist Kyle Biane to learn more about Pacific Radio’s new release…

DB:  Congrats on the new record, “Pretty, but Killing Me,"  I would like to hear all about it, what can you tell me?

KB:  Thank you.  It’s kind of been a labor of love and a detail-oriented process but we’re really excited about it.  We’re excited to finally get it out.  Some of the songs have been kicking around our singer’s head for almost 10 years now.  We started working on them with this band and we got with our producer Eric Weaver and we’ve been in the studio almost 2 years now putting them all together.  We’ve recorded everywhere from California to Austin, Texas and in every random studio in Los Angeles.  It feels like we’ve dotted all the "i’s” and crossed all of the “t’s” and we finally got to put it out. 

DB:  That’s kind of cool – the young band and the labor of love.  I understand completely what you guys go through as far as getting your music out.  That can be a real challenge.  How did you go about selecting the songs that made the record?  You must have more than the handful that made it on the album.

KB:  Yeah, that all kind of started out of necessity and then grew over the course of the record.  It became more difficult as we cut new songs and started adding other songs in.  I would say it was a mix of the style of production that we wanted to do along with crowd reaction.  And then there was also if the band liked the songs.  That made a difference if they were added in.  And then at one point we had to draw a line in the sand and say no more new songs have a shot of being on this record. 

DB:  There’s always a challenge of being in the studio and you never really want to draw the line in the sand but in the end, it’s a complete necessity.

KB:  Our main songwriter, JR – our singer, he’s so prolific.  He just keeps coming with these demos and it really was a point where we said stop because we had so many songs and we knew that we could be working on this record for the next 10 years. 

DB:  Well that would be expensive. 

KB:  Exactly.

DB:  How did you come to work with your producer Eric Weaver?

KB: It came up working in recording studios.  Eric Weaver was the head engineer at one of the recording studios I worked at.  He’s one of the most talented mixers that I’ve ever met and his musicality and attention to detail was astounding to me.  And, as both of our careers evolved, we hooked back up a couple of years ago and worked on another indie project.  So when I came to Pacific Radio and we started talking about recording Eric was the first person that popped into my head.  I introduced him to the rest f the band and he had a pretty good vibe with the guys.  It was a pretty simple selection process.  I can’t say that there was a wide assortment of people we were considering.  Eric is a guy that, well I don’t do much recording without to be honest. 

DB:  It’s cool to have that kind of name in your pocket and be about to go to and have him understand where you’re coming from.  That’s pretty invaluable.  A producer has a pretty significant effect on records.

KB:  Yeah, big time.  And he draws an awesome kind of connection between incredible sense of detail and not quitting until we get it right.  He’s not a haphazard whatever kind of happens, happens kind of guy.  So we’re never really wasting time but at the same time we don’t feel like we’ve got our hands tied.  And like any record, there are occasionally things that sound a little broken but they sound broken in the coolest way because we put a lot of effort into creating that sound. 

DB:  You guys put together a video for “Camaro,” tell me a little about doing the video.

KB:  That is kind of what we deemed the “found footage” video.  The whole summer I guess, like most of 2017 of us touring we brought a camera with us.  We had been all over the place and up to the Napa Valley Bottlerock Festival.  We went up there and had a blast and we wanted to do something with the footage.  We had pressure from all kinds of places to get more video out so we got with our editor who is a close friend of mine and we started cutting together this road video.  It turned into the official “Camaro” video because it had a lot of energy and we thought it reflected the antics of being on the road or the spirit of the band.  We had filmed ourselves for weeks on end. 

DB:  That can be a really daunting to have such a large amount of video and trying to focus it down to a 3-5 minute clip.  It’s cool that you guys took such a strong hand and put it all together.

KB:  Yeah, that was the hardest task of it.  There was a lot of hours of sitting around and convince each other that the footage was cool enough to include in a video.  So finally we boiled it down to the 2 minutes or whatever it is for “Camaro”. 

DB:  Exactly.  You’re hinting that there may be more videos on the horizon.  Do you have anything else in the works?

KB:  Well yes, there isn’t anything that I can announce but there is talk of doing a couple more videos actually.  We love all the fun but doing videos for songs is a challenge.  I think maybe there’s a video for “Katie” kicking around in the near future but you didn’t hear that from me.

DB:  I know the band spends a great deal of time on the road.  What are the touring plans for 2018?

KB:  We’re talking about doing a west coast run.  We’ve got a lot of friends there and I’m from Northern California so that route will definitely get retraced.  And we want to get to the middle of the country too.   

I want to thank Kyle Biane and Pacific Radio for sharing a moment with us here at DaBelly.  Be sure to check out the new record and see this band when they come to your area!

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