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