An Interview with Lulu Landolfi of The Prettiots
By Madison Killian
Sucker: Am I just talking to Lulu?
Prettiots: Yeah, yeah. Kay had brain surgery not too long ago.
Sucker: Oh my god! Is she gonna be okay?!
Prettiots: Yeah she’s gonna be good! She’s going back to the doctor so she’s gonna be good.
Sucker: Tell her we wish her well…
Prettiots: I will for sure.
Sucker: How long have the two of you known each other?
Prettiots: We’ve known each other for like… 3 years. I think? The band started like a year and a half ago. We met through people we both played with. Kay was looking for a bass player so I ended up playing bass for her. About a year and a half ago is when we started writing music together and recording the album, and we started performing as the duo.
Sucker: Are you both originally from NYC?
Prettiots: Yeah. Kay’s from the village, so like lower Manhattan… and I’m from Brooklyn.
Sucker: What was the recording process for your upcoming album Funs Cool like?
Prettiots: We recorded it upstate, in this cabin… Like in the middle of nowhere, like a farm! We finished it a little under a year ago in a studio in Brooklyn. It was so nice. We hung out upstate for like a week and just cooked burgers and swam in the pool and we built a studio in the guesthouse.
Sucker: When did you realize that The Prettiots had a following?
Prettiots: We were at SXSW last year, and our manager mentioned that we might get to talk to a few labels- a few of them were coming out to our show. Geoff Travis from Rough Trade came to a show that was earlier in the day and we met him right afterwards for a late lunch/ early dinner. We talked about music, what we liked and what we wanted to accomplish. We just clicked to such an extent. Towards the end of the meeting he was just like, really stoked on us and what we were doing. When they said they wanted to work with us was kind of the “holy shit” moment. Another time was when we finished our last tour in November. We were all kind of bummed because tour was ending- our manager came up to us in London and told us that they had booked the February tour, which is like 3 weeks in Europe, 4 weeks in the United States, and back to Europe and then back to New York for festivals, and possibly Japan and Australia in July… and we were like.. “What!” You don’t realize it until you have a year practically planned out in front of you of just straight touring. It’s just like “Wow, we are actually doing this for real. This isn’t just some shit we do on the weekends.”
Sucker: Do you think that your band is at an advantage or disadvantage being from New York? As far as not being the typical “New York” band, and being surrounded by other bands trying to get noticed? Do you think it sets you apart?
Prettiots: New York is like a metropolis for a bunch of different music, especially nowadays. I think both, kind of. Being more mainstream and poppy, that sort of music typically comes out of California. I do also feel like here, there are a lot of bands playing in the same vein as us though. New York music is kind of labeled as having a grittier sound, but I think that’s kind of because people that want to listen to those bands come to New York, whereas Burger Records is based out of California, so they’re gonna deal with a lot of the dreamier pop stuff.
Sucker: What are your influences?
Prettiots: It’s kind of hard because we did the album so long ago. We were all so new to recording and writing pop music. Kay did a lot of drum and bass and electronic music growing up, I always played in punk bands and stuff like that. With the album, it’s so broken down and raw. Nowadays we’re influenced by a lot of electronic and computer stuff, mixed with 60’s girl groups. Kind of that doo-wop type music. I think that’s the direction we’re moving to. As far as our personal tastes, we both listen to a lot of Caribbean and Bossanova and Samba music. I listen to a lot of BB and punk and stuff like that. Kay listens to a lot of metal… *laughs* I don’t’ know our tastes are kind of all over the place. We also both love old country. Hank Williams and shit like that. We have a bunch of different songs about a variety of things. We have a song about Klaus Kinski and SVU. Moving pictures are very influential to us. Kay went to art school so I think she’s also very visual. Like with the album preorder- it comes with a bunch of temporary tattoos that Kay drew.
Sucker: What were both of your musical beginnings?
Prettiots: I did a lot of studio musician work when I was super young. So I was touring in a few different bands when I was in 8th/9th grade. I was in this philly garage surf-punk band when I was like 18. Then I was in a BB band. Kay did a lot of electronic music throughout college- that was her first endeavor where she was playing live shows and whatnot. So, our first tour was actually her first actual tour.
Sucker: What’s the coolest feedback you’ve gotten on your music?
Prettiots: Some guy emailed us and said he was really depressed and that our song “Suicide Hotline” had saved him from killing himself. That’s what the song is kind of about. Kind of poking fun and making light of being incredibly depressed and how to get through it and make fun of yourself instead of moping about it. But hearing that it got him through a tough time was sick. Some girl got lyrics tattooed on her arm- and some other stuff like when I find people doing covers- that blows my mind. It’s so crazy.
Sucker: Do you get compared to any other bands?
Prettiots: We don’t get compared to a lot, it’s a ukulele and bass driven band. We have a very harmony driven melodic vocal aspect on top of being self deprecating and kind of morbid in the lyrics. Most bands that sound similar to us like that are singing about things in a very positive way. We used to get Moldy Peaches, but nowadays we don’t really get many comparisons.
Sucker: Dream collab?
Prettiots: Prince would be sick.
Sucker: Are the songs autobiographical?
Prettiots: 100% autobiographical. Very unfiltered, sometimes too unfiltered. Did not change the name to “Boys (I Dated In Highschool),” definitely was at a point of crippling depression when “Suicide Hotline” was written, definitely was binge watching SVU when “Stabler” got written.
Check out their cover of The Strokes “Someday”
Their video for “Boys (I Dated in Highschool)”