A Bullet For Pretty Boy

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An email interview with Chris Johnston (guitarist) of A Bullet For Pretty Boy. Read on to get to know the band and their upcoming plans. Also don’t forget the free download here!

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First off, since you’ll be new to most of our readers, can you give a short back story of the band.

We started out coming from different bands and formed to play just for fun. As we played more and more we came to the realization that we wanted to do the band more seriously. After a few member changes we self-released our EP Beauty in the Eyes of the Beholder and toured up to play Cornerstone. Within the past year we have released some demos showcasing the progress we have made as a band and as individual musicians. Now with two of our youngest members graduating high school we are ready to do the band full-time and tour non-stop.

Where are you guys from? How is the music scene there?

We are from Longview, Texas a few hours east of Dallas. For being somewhat of a small city the scene here is really great. We have been lucky enough to see it grow into what it is today. When we first started playing shows the scene was lacking, but in the last few years it has really expanded to the point where we now have big bands come through at least once a month and a large amount of people coming to every show for the music and not just to hang out.

You guys have a rather interesting band name. Where did it come from and is there any significance to it?

It came from a classic movie about famous gangster Charles “Pretty Boy” Floyd. We really liked the moral of the story (Even though the plot didn’t really follow the true story of “Pretty Boy” Floyd). In the movie Floyd seeks revenge for something he could have easily let go and ends up changing his entire life for the worst. If he would have just ignored the thing that made him seek revenge then he could of lived a long happy life, but instead he gets killed at a young age by the police. I’m glad you asked that. We always get misconceptions about the name. When we first posted a blog about the true meaning a few people told us that they actually thought that since we were a Christian band that we hated homosexuals and that was what our name stood for. Haha.

Describe your overall sound.

We are a mix of hardcore breakdowns, progressive / ambience, and catchy choruses.

Who are your bands biggest influences?

That is hard to say because each member listens to different music but a few bands we can all relate to include Underoath, (Old) As Cities Burn, August Burns Red, and Circa Survive

You self-released Beauty In The Eyes Of The Beholder back in March of 2008. How did that album do for you guys?

It went really well. We weren’t expecting the reaction we received. It was really weird because we were having signed bands approach us and tell us that they really liked what we were doing. It was a turning point for us to become serious as a band and not do it just for fun anymore.

You guys recently recorded some new material, will the tracks be on a new album or are these just demos?

We honestly aren’t sure but sometime in the near future we plan on releasing either these recordings or updated versions of these recordings on either an ep or full length. We will most likely be releasing them through a label that is right now undecided.

Did you record with the same person that did your debut EP? Can you share a little about the recording process?

Yes we have recorded everything with the same guy, Cris Marshall at Tonal Records, except for “Only Time Will Tell” where we recorded in Florida at Starlight Studios. We usually pre-produce at a home studio so when we go into the final studio we basically just track it out and add a few small details.

How does the song writing process work for ABFPB? Is there a main songwriter musically and lyrically or is it all a group process?

Usually our guitarist, Derrick, will put together a skeleton of a song and we will all come in add our stuff and rework it until we are pleased with the outcome. Lyrically a few of us work on a song and then present it to the rest of the band and we rework it.

Have you guys done much touring? Are there any upcoming tours or tour dates we should take note of?

Due to a couple of our members recently graduating high school we have been limited on touring to a few mini tours over the summer, but we are planning on touring the US full time from now on. We have toured throughout this summer which included Cornerstone. We are currently on tour with To Speak of Wolves (Tragic Hero Records) and are going on tour with Four Letter Lie, Take it Back, and Corpus Christi in November.

Pick 3 current bands that you’d really like to tour with.

Underoath
Circa Survive
August Burns Red

You guys are very outspoken about your faith. Do you view ABFPB as a ministry or just a band made up of Christians?

We definitely see it as a ministry. Our faith has helped us through a ton of stuff in our lives. We really want to offer the kids who feel like they have nothing or no one the love that we feel through our faith. We understand that some people don’t believe in the same things as us and that is totally fine. We respect all other faiths or lack thereof and don’t want to shove anything down people’s throats. We just want to offer it to our generation and hope that they would feel more comfortable talking to us then they would around traditional church leaders.

What would you like your listeners to take away from your music?

Love. When we write we strive towards more than just sounds but emotion transformed into the artistic form of music. Evoking the emotions and feelings of love and peace is what we would really like listeners to take away from our music. We want people to FEEL the passion we have towards our faith, the struggles we have, and most importantly the love of Jesus that overwhelms us.

Do you have any goals (outside of ministry) that you’d like to achieve with the band?

We would really like to make enough money to support ourselves financially through music. Money is definitely not the main reason we do what we do, but we would like to be able to do this full-time and the only way to do that is to have enough money for food, gas, etc.

Anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

We have a lot of big things coming up in the near future so keep checking up on us for some awesome updates and BIG news!

Before we wrap up, do your best salesman impression and sell our readers on checking your music out.

If you like passionate music with brutal breakdowns and spacey ambience check out “A Bullet for Pretty Boy”!

Don’t forget to check out the exclusive free download of “I Will Destroy The Wisdom Of The Wise” (unreleased track) right here on IVM!

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