Think Pretty are your new favourite punk duo from Cardiff: Laura and Mikee. They are playing with us 29 September at The Unicorn in Camden and we couldn’t wait to find out more about them, so we asked them 10 questions …
1. Who would you most like to cover your songs?
Laura: I’d say our friends Salt Bath. They’re another amazing two-piece from South Wales and would definitely give it an insane makeover. In terms of more well-known bands, maybe Against Me! I’d love our tracks to get the Laura Jane Grace treatment.
2. Choose: Cat or dog?
Laura: This is impossible. A couple of years ago I would have easily said I was a cat person as I had a cat, Frankie, since I was in my last year of Junior School and I loved him dearly. Sadly, he died a few years ago and about two years ago we rehomed a French Bulldog called Frank – we thought it was a sign- so I’ve got to be lame and say both. I really can’t choose. Though my boss does say I have a bit of Miss Havisham about me, which I think leans more towards cats.
Mikee: Dog, because I’ve always been a dog person and I’ve never known the love of a cat and I’ll stick with what I know. And also I feel like dogs put up with more of my shit. I miss my dogs.
3. Choose one of your songs to be played on Strictly Come Dancing. What dance would you like to be performed to it?
Laura: I think it would have to be ‘Shroud’ and the charleston. It would be bonkers and my mum’s head would probably explode. She loves her Strictly!
Mikee: Maybe our song Sex Pest, And a Pagan dance ritual. It really would not work.
4. Choose: Pixies or Breeders?
Laura: I think I’d have to say Breeders, even though I am quite indifferent towards both. I know they’re both massively influential bands and lots of people are scared to say they don’t know them that well or like them that much, but I’m not! I don’t hate them, I don’t love them. Make of that what you will.
Mikee: Pixies. But I woulda said The Breeders if Kristin Hersh could be the front person. That woulda been fun to mix it up like that.
5. Recommend a record and a book that you think our readers might not have heard of.
Laura: There are so many wonderful books it’s so difficult! The one that popped into my head first was The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I think it may have been one of the only books I’ve read that made me gasp out loud. My record recommendation would be Queenadreena – ‘Drink Me’. It was a game changer for me and sent me down a completely different musical path.
Mikee: Book I’d recommend is Louise Lawrence – Children Of The Dust. It’s a really brilliant post-apocalyptic survival novel from the 80s, wherein three generations of a family is explored and their story is told. It’s pretty cool and has very strong female roles. Record: Everyone probably knows this, but incase they don’t, ‘Taxidermy’ by the now defunct band Queen Adreena. I think that’s as close to heroin as you’ll ever get without using. It’s a beautiful album. Everything is perfect. Probably why I’m in bands now, haha!
6. Bikini Kill or Fugazi?
Laura: Bikini Kill. Kathleen Hanna was and continues to be a huge inspiration. If I say anymore I’m sure I’ll end up doing her a disservice so I’ll leave it at that.
Mikee: Bikini Kill. I also love Fugazi, but Bikini Kill has been a bigger inspiration to me and Kathleen’s other bands continue to do so. I remember finding the first demo LP by Fugazi and hearing them for the first time. Dancing around to ‘Waiting Room’ in my room at a squat I lived in when I was younger. I really like that memory.
7. What’s the most difficult thing about being in your band?
Laura: I’d say trying to balance it with everything else, work, partners, life. It’s always a huge priority for me but it gets frustrating when you have to put it on the backburner. ‘Cos we all need to pay the bills! Money is also an issue, or the lack of it. By the time you pay for practice rooms, petrol to gigs, merch etc you’re lucky if you break even. Saying that I’d rather be spending my last penny on this band than something frivolous.
Mikee: I definitely would struggle to find anything to see that would be deemed as “difficult”. I guess if I had to, maybe not having more time and resources to focus more on writing and recording! We are getting better at that though. Slowly but surely wins the race. Even though it’s not a race and we’re not competitive haha. Life certainly gets in the way though. I’d play everyday if I could. Will play for beer and vegan food.
8. What are your band goals?
Laura: To play our music to as many people around the world as possible, everywhere from squats in Berlin to DIY venues in the US. I also just want to improve musically and lyrically and continue to push the envelope in terms of what Think Pretty can do. Oh and record more, much more! I should also stop giving Mikee as much of a hard time as I do haha.
Mikee: Definitely to tour. I would absolutely love to get over to Germany and play some squats and social centre type venues and spaces. Hit the dusty trail and don’t look back. haha. Also maybe split release EPs with other like-minded folks. That would be cool.
9. What’s the most important thing we need to know about your band right now?
Laura: I really feel like we have something different to offer. We’re not perfect and we’re firm believers that passion triumphs over technical prowess every time. Each time we play we give everything we have and lay ourselves bare. Even if you don’t like us, I hope you’ll leave a Think Pretty show feeling something.
Mikee: We’re fatter in real life. Just kiddin. So when we play live it’s a whole different beast. I feel that any studio stuff can only capture so much. We definitely up the intensity when we’re on stage. Like GG Allin but without the poo and blood.
10. Give your top 5 contemporary bands
Laura: This is so hard, so I’m just going to put what I’ve been listening to recently. This list will definitely have changed by next week. Worriers – The band as a whole is amazing, but it’s Lauren Denitzio’s lyric writing that keeps me coming back. Beach Slang – my boyfriend introduced me to this band. I was very late to the party! They write sing-a-long punk anthems but there is a poetry to James Alex’s lyrics and I love that. Sense a theme yet? I’m all about the lyrics! Mikee focuses more on the music, so we complement each other beautifully. Against Me! – this band can do no wrong in my eyes. They continue to evolve while also staying true to their punk roots. I’ve seen them live a number of times and they’ve smashed it on every occasion! St. Vincent – She’s brilliantly bonkers and pushes boundaries. She’s a true innovator, even designing her own guitars and using the cover story about that on Guitar World to call out the inherent bullshit sexism that runs throughout that magazine and others like it. Limp Wrist – I saw Jo from Salt Bath post that this band had a new album out so had to listen to them. They’re amazing! Brilliantly intense, yet still sneak in the hooks.
Mikee: Chelsea Wolfe – Because it’s the perfect balance of heavy and gorgeously gothic. Dead Cross – Because sometimes you just need to go nuts and smash things up. This is perfect music to do that to. Max Richter – Everything that he makes/composes is just insanely beautiful and it makes me want to cry. Myrkur – Because Amalie’s music is magically beautiful and crushingly heavy. Last but not least Rose Kemp, however I think she maybe no longer performs? But she’s brilliant. I actually didn’t like her the first time I met her. But I think she had a bit of a bad gig. But my opinion has since changed. She has released some amazing music that really spans some impressive style and influence. It’s all very clever.