Interview: The Pits
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What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Mitch: I think I speak for everyone, we were pushed into music by our over baring parents. Forcing us to learn a musical instrument. We might have fell in love with it later, but that's not the point.
Matt: Our singer saw a musical and new that the stage was going to be for him, our guitarist heard someone shred and wanted to be the fastest guitarist ever and, our drummer was playing bass in a band that needed a drummer and picked up the sticks and never looked back.
Mitch: It's hard to imagine what it would be like to not have music in our lives, but either modelling or a sports star ha-ha.
What do you like to do when you're not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Matt: When we aren’t playing music we are normally watching/playing sport or in and around the water. It isn’t very influential on our music writing but it helps us unwind and get into the process of writing.
How long has your band been around?
Matt: We have been around since early 2017, so around 3 and a half years.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
Mitch: We’re based in Newcastle Australia. Newcastle has a very strong music scene with a lot of great bands and venues. The advantage of that is that there is a very high standard for music so you really need to hone your craft to be heard.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Mitch: We took the band name from an album I really like, but since our beginning, we like to think it has evolved to reflect the style and image of the band. Pretentious much?
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
Matt: Our best show was either the second night playing with Papa Roach in 2018 or opening the Drop Festival in Newcastle earlier this year. Both shows were amazing and gave us the opportunity to play with some amazing acts on a big stage.
Mitch: We have had a few sub-par gigs, who hasn’t, but most of the time we like to sink a few tins and forget about how the gig went and it usually turns into a great, loose night.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you haven't already?
Matt: One of our favourite venues is The Cambridge Hotel in Newcastle, but any venue with a bigger stage is going to be favourite with us as it is hard to cram half an orchestra onto the stage.
If you could play any show with any lineup who would be on the ticket?
Mitch: Our ideal gig would be to open for Queen in the early 70’s while they were gaining traction, a smaller venue with a couple hundred to one thousand people. If it had to be today, it would be more of a festival with Queen, Bowie, Elton John etc. I could probably go on and on with bands we would love to play with.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band?
Mitch: Get out there and do it! You get to hang out with your mates, play music you like and listen to tons of other awesome local bands you would never have met without it. It does come with some boring bits, but you don’t focus too hard on that.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Mitch: Stay motivated, we all have times we feel uninspired and don’t want to do things or want to give up but sticking with it will make it worth it in the end. We’re not "good looking" enough to get famous doing nothing.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Mitch: The Greatest Show on Earth is probably my favourite because the final product delivered on my initial concept (which doesn't happen very often). I love the development of the song; building from a simple, pretty song to an uplifting chorus before a crazy, circus beatdown and falling apart at the end.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Matt: I think if you asked all seven members of the band you could get seven different answers but, I think Killers would be high on everyone’s list. It has been the closer to our show since the beginning and is one of our most loved songs, it is also so fun to play.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Mitch: A song by The Pits start off with a simple idea (a riff, a beat, a feel, etc). Then i try to cram as many genres into the one song as possible. When the song is approx 70% done, I'll bring it to the band then everyone sprinkles their magic on it.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Matt: I wouldn't say there's a profound meaning to be found in a song by The Pits. But i'd like to think we put on a show! So when people listen to our music or come along to a show, they can forget out their shitty lives for a moment.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Matt: All the time, it’s a bit hard to have 7 members and not have disagreements. We get past them by majority rules mostly, and it has worked in the past. We get along really well so if someone is a bit more adamant on their position we will back down or talk it out and everyone is usually happy in the end.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that's coming up?
Matt: At the moment we are planning on going back into the studio soon to hopefully release some new music in the next 6-9 months. We are also booking shows and we have been writing for most of the time we were locked away during COVID so we have almost an entirely new set.