With the current Covid-19 pandemic making it difficult for bands/musicians to carry on as they were, we are on a mission to continue to share the talent as much as we can. So, we decided to speak to an amazing multi genre band called Pretty Pain. They are on the road to great success and were kind enough to answer a few questions for us. Here is their story:
Would you like to introduce yourselves?
I am Tico Souza (band leader, vocals and keys) from Brazil. On bass we have Zica Silva from Brazil, and on drums we have Marito Marques from Portugal.
Tell us about Pretty Pain... When did you form? How did you get together?
We met each other playing gigs with other artists who hired us as session musicians in Toronto, Canada, but the 3 of us had never actually played together. Until one day during the sound check of one of my gigs, Zica started playing some Dream Theater lines and I just joined in and started playing with him. We were both surprised because we thought that the other was a jazz guy, since we had always only seen each other playing jazz during session gigs. So, after lots of talking, I mentioned to him that I had received a grant and wasn't quite sure what to record yet. I was trying to do something different from my last album (Latin Jazz), and Zica mentioned that he knew a great drummer who could play rock. I knew Marito already, but didn't know he was a rock guy as well (turns out he started out by playing Dream Theater just like the both of us). We went to Marito's place to jam and we all clicked right away. I had already finished writing all of the songs, so we started to get together from Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm (like a normal job) and we recorded the full album of 11 songs. After that, the COVID-19 lockdown took over, so we still haven't had a chance to play live. We had plans to hold an album release show, but ended up having to cancel!
Is there any story behind the name of the band?
I had a list of oxymorons--thought of even calling the band Oxymoron but I think it was taken. I surveyed people to find the best name out of the list, BUT I was really drawn to that oxymoron idea; more of a ying-yang or good and evil... I guess I could say that the Pain is inspired by Pain of Salvation, which also plays with this idea and is one of my favorite bands. There is also a play on words with Pretty in Pain (name of the album) and Pretty in Pink (famous movie). There is also some inspiration from Stan Lee (I love comics); he plays with phonetics (Peter Parker, Lois Lane, etc).
For people that haven't heard your music before, how would you describe it? Do you have any influences?
This is a hard one because I don't even know for sure what genre to categorize ourselves in. I'm not big on labels anyway, but I've searched a lot trying to find a category to put us in and I couldn't really find anything that fits perfectly. Every song on the album sounds too different from one another and we have so many different influences. We've tried to glue those influences together by having consistency with the sounds; the synthesizers work almost as a glue. ELP is one of our main influences, a progressive rock band without a guitar that combines jazz and classical influences. I guess prog-rock is usually very versatile which is probably one of the reasons why I was always more drawn to it, ever since I was a kid. I would love to say that we are the sons of ELP, Haha!
So, you have the singles Honey Bee and Run Away out at the moment... What messages did you want to portray with these songs?
I don't typically like to give straight answers to this kind of question. I prefer to leave it open for people to gather their own meaning from it and interpret it in their own way. Each song is about something specific that happened in my life, but I use metaphors for everything so people can relate it to their own lives as well. I tried to create an underlying connection between all the songs; it was my best attempt at a concept album where every song connects to the next in one way or the other. This connects to the name of the band and the album cover art which will be half black and white and half colorful.
Is music your full time career?
Yes. For all of us 3, we've always only worked full-time with music; mainly as performers, session musicians for recordings and live gigs as freelancers. Marito and I both have our own recording studios and work with audio production. We also teach music.
Do you have any advice for people wanting to follow in your footsteps?
This is a hard one...I could write a book about my music career; the good, the bad and the ugly. But for the sake of keeping it short and sweet, don't neglect the technology and business sides of music--it's an essential know-how today for independent musicians. The rest is working hard, working smart and perseverance.
Has the Covid-19 pandemic had an affect on you guys at all? If so, How?
Yes for sure. Music has probably been one of the highest impacted jobs--no gigs anymore, with the exception of some online lessons and recordings. Otherwise, there's almost nothing. It's been a tough year for everyone though. We are trying to figure things out still and see what's going to happen.
Are you working on anything at the moment? And what are your plans for Pretty Pain in the future?
Most of our plans with the band were postponed due to Covid-19, but we have been recording some new video clips here and there and are working on building our online presence. We will also soon be releasing the full album and, hopefully, next year we can actually do a tour.
Do you have any messages you would like to share?
I am not much one for messages, so just love and peace! But maybe don't take things for granted, especially family and friends, focus on health and balance, and stay positive and persevere.
Finally, where can people find you?
You can find our music by visiting https://linktr.ee/PrettyPain (this links to all our music, and our website!)
All our social media profiles can be found here: https://compiled.social/PrettyPain
As always we'd love to hear from talented individuals, bands and generally interesting people who want to share their story! You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and you can now support our new podcast on Patreon.