Interview with, Wesley Hitson (Lead Guitarist), Josh Wells (Cajon/Percussionist) and Mackenzie Pelton Malibu Mac (Rhythm Guitarist/Vocalist) of Pretty Odd and Pete Devine of Pete’s Rock News and Views (http://petesrocknewsandviews.com)
PD: How would you describe yourself or your band as an artist?
Wesley: Neo classic rock.
Josh: Well, as a band you definitely can see how all five personalities and backgrounds come together we are all around a vibe from our off the wall shenanigans with the bands we hang with (Dr. Bacon, TreeHouse! and Vibes Alive) down to the time when the curtains close. All of us together play a unique part of Pretty Odd. Our style works well all things considered.
PD: Can you tell us briefly about your background – i.e. where you’re from, how you came to make music, etc.
Wesley: I grew up in Raleigh, I played piano for 7 years before I switched to guitar, which I have been playing for 14 years now.
Josh: I was born and raised in Swansboro NC “The city by the sea.” It’s just a small town place in the USA. I served in the US Army for four years, starting at the age of 19. The band (Pretty Odd) has provided me a nonstop life of adventures and gnarly events.
PD: Who and what inspires you to make music, both in terms of musical and other influences? What do you like to write about in your songs?
Wesley: My first inspiration was Eddie Van Halen, because you certainly couldn’t get a piano to sound like that! He is still one of my favorite players to this day. I like my songs to be about feeling good, freedom, happiness, positive emotions and experiences. Music helped get me through rough parts of my teenage years, and any tough times in my adult years too.
PD: What are your aspirations as an artist?
Mackenzie: My aspirations as an artist artist are to spread peace and love throughout society and to bring back the 70s 80s and 90s nostalgia.
Wesley: To write songs that make people happy.
PD: What is the proudest moment in your music career so far?
Mackenzie: Before I met Pretty Odd. I was only focusing on my solo career and although I was enjoying every moment, I still felt like something was missing until I met Pretty Odd. My proudest moment so far is joining the band because once I found them, I felt like I had my own musical family that I could share my thoughts and ideas with. When I am with them, I feel like I can be myself without feeling judged or mistreated.
Wesley: My proudest moment was when Pretty Odd released our first full length album, just because of how much work it took. We had been a band for quite some time and it felt like a culmination of those formative years in a lot of ways.
PD: Promoting one’s music is such a challenge these days, especially with so many new artists emerging from bedrooms in the day of the home studio. How is that going?
Wesley: Promoting is tough for me because I’m not a big sharer, especially on social media. I’m more technically minded. Thankfully other members of the group are good at that, but it is another thing to have to think about on top of everything else.
Mackenzie: We work together as a band to find new ways to promote our band, including being involved with our community through festivals we have started, making merchandise (t-shirts, hats, etc.), business cards and artwork.
(Pretty Odd recently were added to a list of artists featured by the press company, Rogue PR and have recently teamed up with Happy Nomad Booking.)
PD: And how do you book and promote your live shows and tours? Any performances coming up?
Wesley: I don’t handle any booking, with maybe a few exceptions. I just show up and collect the check. 😉
PD: What do you think about downloading music online? What about streaming sites like Spotify?
Wesley: As a music fan, it’s so convenient to have steaming services. As an artist, it’s really hard to sell CDs when all your music is also online for “free.” I try to support bands I like by buying merch, because of how little I pay for their music. We have been brainstorming how to expand our merch offerings with an online store. We have also been very fortunate to sell most of our existing merch to some awesome fans!
PD: What song do you wish you had written and why?
Wesley: I wish I had written Something by The Beatles. It sounds simple but it has great guitar lines, a tasteful guitar solo, and some awesome harmonies.
PD: Is there anything you don’t like about the music industry, which you would change if you could?
Wesley: I kind of talked about this already but it’s tough to make money from streaming, and live gigs don’t always pay great. I would love to make more money from merch when we play shows.
PD: So, what are you working on at the moment?
Wesley: We are working on our first home recorded album. Watch out Mutt Lange, there are new producers in town!
PD: Where can we learn more about you and buy your music/merch online?
Wesley: The best place right now is our Bandcamp page https://prettyoddnc.bandcamp.com or our Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/prettyoddnc but, stay tuned for our website!