The Pressure Kids
The Pressure Kids have pushed through a whole lot of pressure during their years as a band since 2013. However, that didn’t stop them from making the best music they can make. The end product is pretty darn good. We were able to talk with them about their new self titled EP, which are nonstop beats. Read below!
What was the idea behind the scrapbook like cover for this EP and promotional artwork for this EP?
I wrote most of the songs for this EP in this big black notebook. When it came time to make art for the EP, I wanted the concept to center around the cover of that notebook - it had this really nice texture and feel to it, all the songs were contained inside of it. We wanted the artwork to match the colorful, arts and craftsy patchwork style of the music and when we did a mock-up of that cover it just immediately clicked. This whole process for us was really homespun and hands-on, and we wanted the artwork to tell that story as well. This EP really sort of functions as a sonic scrapbook for us, the songs cover a pretty sprawling history of our band, so having the cover be scrapbook-esque seemed like a nice way to tie things all together.
What did your writing process look like for these few but mighty songs?
The writing of this record took place over a span of 5 years. We formed this band our freshman year of college and started tracking this project during our senior year. Even though our lineup has shifted shape and we have all developed musically and relationally, our songwriting process has more or less remained consistent. We’ll be jamming together, someone will start the wheels spinning on a riff or a chord progression, I’ll start singing words and melodies and getting a landscape of the song, and we will all sort of lego it out from there, democratically deciding how the thing should look, feel and breathe. “Untitled (Pick Me Up),” one of the first songs we ever wrote, and “Mint,” which we wrote only a few months ago to close out the EP, essentially followed that same songwriting sequence.
What is your favorite part about working with each other?
We have developed a strong sense of musical trust over these past few years; writing music together is a gratifyingly democratic process for us. There isn’t a lot of ego or pride involved. A real premium placed on sharing and listening. Ideas are tossed around, voted on, tried, kept only if we all agree, abandoned if we don’t. We have worked really hard to develop a space where everyone is heard and valued. The product is always wholly, uniquely us, the sound of five hearts, five brains, ten hands working in unison.
Did you have an overarching theme for the EP or did the songs just work well together naturally?
We’ve lived a lot of lives as a band, have made a lot of music together with a lot of different folks. Our self-titled EP is the first collection of songs we've released. The EP is meant to be a mission statement of sorts, to highlight each shade of what we do, to tell our long story in a few compact bites. There is big, brash indie rock, moments more ambient and tender, some songs textural and groove-oriented. A lot of thought went in to how to sequence this EP so it functions as these six snapshots of our wider catalogue.
What song off this release are you most excited to play live and why?
Maybe it’s just because they are two of the newest tracks for us, but “White Room” and “Mint” have felt especially electric lately. Singing “White Room” for me is a real rewarding workout, like riding a mechanical bull. Katy takes control on “Mint” and melts the entire room. We played that live to a packed room in Nashville last month and it was like she stole the air from everyone’s lungs and didn’t give it back until the song was over.
Nashville is a predominantly country genre labeled location. What has it been like to be an indie rock band maneuvering through that community?
I grew up in Seattle, Washington, and when I was moving to Nashville I had a pretty narrow idea of what it would be like down here. I was so far off. The city is way more eclectic than people give it credit for. We immediately fell into an incredibly supportive and like-minded community of people that were into the doing the same thing we were doing. There was always a platform for us to create and perform the art that we felt like was most true to our spirit. The country presence is definitely strong in Nashville, but I think that the “Music City” moniker is more appropriate, this is a town that loves good songs, regardless of genre.
What inspires you? Do you have any places around town that you go for musical inspiration?
Like I mentioned earlier, this is a town that was built on and around and for musicians. We are constantly going out to see music. I saw four shows last week, going to another one tomorrow. Nashville being “southern” is sort of a misnomer, geographically it is more central than south. Since it's smack dab in the middle of the country, you get a ton of touring acts that come through town. You are able to see some of your heroes and new favorites in intimate clubs - it’s a great town to be a music fan in. Our band came up with a bunch of other bands and artists that are making incredible music, we live together and work together and eat and drink and go see music and films and art together, it’s a phenomenally inspiring community to be a part of. There is an immense amount of inspiration to be derived from going out to see your friend communicating their art and being noticed and recognized for it.
In this media dominated society, how do you want people to see you in their first impressions of you through their screens?
We want the first impression of our band to be that we are doing this together. This whole process, our new EP, every show, it’s one big love letter to each other. We’ve spent half a decade together and have been there for all the breakups and makeouts and graduations and bullshit and vacations and celebrations and getting to play with one another is an incredible gift that we hope translates through the music, the social media, the content. Most importantly we want people to know that we are doing it for them, that’s the whole reason we’re still here.
What can fans expect in the future?
We have so much music to make, so many shows to play, so many things we want to do as a band. The party is just getting started and we're in this for the long haul. We hope you stick around.