|The Wig's Q & A with Nick Dewitt of Pretty Girls Make Graves|
|TW: When did you start playing your instrument?
ND: I started playing on friends' drums at around 14 until I bought my own kit when I was 15.
TW: At what point did you know that music was "it," what you were meant to do?
ND: I go through intense phases that tend to last a very long time. Maybe in five years when my own music begins to make me crazy I will take up something very different like clowning, or filmmaking.
TW: All of you, at one point, have lived in Seattle. First of all, are you a native to the area? If not, where are you from?
ND: I am from Calabasas, California. That's about twenty miles east of Malibu.
TW: When you had time to have fun in Seattle, what were some of your favorite places? What is your favorite Seattle tourist attraction? Favorite venue?
ND: I love the Japanese Gardens and the Pacific Science Center. Top Pot Donuts is a great place too. The band is actually compiling a guide for tourists (no shit). The best venue was the Velvet Elvis. It was closed about 3 years ago and still nothing compares.
|March 4, 2004|
|TW: It seems that many bands formed and began making music in an effort to create something new because they somehow disapproved of what the current style was. Did/Do you feel this way?
ND: There will always be something lousy playing on the radio. If nothing else, it helps me understand what not to do.
TW: What, do you feel, about your music sets it apart from what else is being made?
ND: I don't know if we are as unique as everyone thinks we are. A lot of it is luck. How does a band like the Glands, for instance, get overlooked by a larger audience? How much attention the media is willing to give you is one of the hundreds of details that dictate a band's trajectory. People are obsessed with mediocrity and image. Just look at the people and things we celebrate. I think we could captivate a twelve year old as easily as Britney Spears if only our image was inescapable. However, I would never want that kind of attention. Why are we different? I don't know. I am just being myself. I feel like we are more of an inspired group than a derivative one. By this I mean that Gang of Four gave me a feeling not a blueprint of how we should sound.
|Pretty Girls Make Graves'
Nick Dewitt at Neumo's in Seattle, WA, February 27, 2004
|TW: At this point in your career, do you read reviews? Do they matter to you, or is making the music and getting out there the final step in the process for you?
ND: Every once in a while I read something.
TW: Follow-up to that: How do you measure your own success? By the critics? Record sales? The fans?
ND: There are people's opinions I hold in high regard and most of them are my family and friends. And if they can't say something nice they won't say anything. But that is just the icing on the cake. Personal satisfaction comes first.
TW: Who do you find yourselves drawing from when you make music? Are there certain albums/artists that have inspired you?
ND: Right now, Andre Popp, the Chantelles, Deerhoof, Debbie Dovale, too many.
TW: What kind of anxieties go into your live show? Do you still get nervous, if you ever did, upon taking the stage?
ND: If shows in general didn't feel so contrived, I would feel less nervous. But the whole approach where everyone knows what to expect I am beginning to really dislike. Get up together, play, leave the stage together, encore, etc... I would like to implement an element of surprise, but I think I am alone on this one as far as the band is concerned.
|TW: Are there any songs that you LOVE to play live?
TW: Are there any bands that you have toured with that stand out to you? Perhaps, made an impression on you or your music?
ND: Mahjongg, the Unicorns, many I can't think of right now.
TW: Finally, if you could tour with any band, who would it be, and why would you choose to tour with them?
ND: Mens Recovery Project, the Chantelles, The Monorchid, Royal Trux, Pavement, the Silver Jews, Andre Popp, Sam Mcpheeters doing something, this would be a package tour. Why? The backstage antics alone would be worthy of a movie.
|Pretty Girls Make Graves: Andrea Zollo, Nick Dewitt, Derek Fudesco, Nathan Thelen, J Clark|
|interview by Ashley Graham|