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“The weirdos are what make the world beautiful. ” – Austin Held- Pretty Awkward

Austin Held sat down recently for an interview to talk about Pretty Awkward’s new single Misfits and many other random things.

Admittedly, I’m not a morning person, so coffee in hand and droopy eyes, I opened up my recorder and tried to get up for the game, so to speak. Austin, on the other hand, was bright and cheerful. While most people in the music industry sleep in, Austin, by his own admission is up around 7AM daily. We chatted briefly about the ritual of morning coffee just to get going.

“There’s something about morning coffee. I’ve been trying for the last two years to try to limit my caffeine, but there’s something about the taste. ‘ I agreed saying I can drink anything else with caffeine, but it doesn’t feel the same. I admitted that it might be a little early for me yet. “Oh, not too early for me, I’m up early nearly every day.” Which many would admit is not normal for the music industry.

What is normal though? I asked do you think being a misfit makes someone more normal than what the common definition would lend itself to, more true to themselves? “I totally agree! The weirdos are what make the world beautiful. Normal is abnormal. I know a lot more freaks and geeks than I do ‘normal” people.”

Misfits’, written in 2018, was just looking for a moment in time to make it perfect. Originally a ballad, the song was eventually given a more up-tempo, fun vibe by two Los Angeles based producers (HEAVY) who fatefully crossed paths with the band in late 2019.  ‘Misfits’ is something everyone can relate to – much like people can relate to the name Pretty Awkward. We’ve all been there. You think you have it all figured out and something comes along that completely derails the plan. Much like how the name came about. 

Originally named GoldN Wolf, the band began focusing on writing. Their first single was written and completed in only a day. Austin said they were not playing live at the time and recorded without the added responsibility of a ridgid tour. Instead they began playing open mic nights and coffee shops  – a true grass roots way of developing a following. Eventually they began playing full-fledged shows, and crossed paths with an A and R person at a show in their home town of Seattle and landed a recording contract shortly thereafter. It was then they realized they had a small problem. The name GoldN Wolf (in other spelling configurations) was already claimed by more than one artist and the unique spelling was not enough to satisfy legal requirements. They were a band with no name. On a particularly long road trip, Austin had a laughing fit and exclaimed “Let’s just come out and say ‘Hey, we’re PRETTY AWKWARD! If it makes me laugh I go with it.” I have to say truth in advertising is refreshing.

Austin really does not have a too many times he is not thinking about music. “Even when I’m doing something else, my mind always wanders to music. I’m always writing in my head, it’s just always there. I’d have to say that I love photography, gardening, and traveling – but music is my calling.”

Once they get the green light to resume live music his dream list of places to play is “Anywhere. I will go anywhere. England, France, Florida (chuckles). Put me in coach – we just want to play! I know once we get back to doing live shows I’ll appreciate it 10 times more. When we get in those moments , we just get into a groove and get in sync with the audience”. I asked him how he thought the atmosphere might be when he gets back out there. He thinks “there will be renewed spirits on both sides. I feel like audiences will appreciate coming back. I know I’m missing concerts. People have pent up energy and they are ready to release it. The response to the single has been positive – my parents like it. 😉 I’m very happy with the response.”  The band were able to get together recently after being apart for almost 6 months, and they recorded a video for a stripped-down version of  ‘Misfits”.

The band will be releasing another new song and video in late October, and then an EP will be released in the first quarter of 2021 – just in time for (hopefully) the Spring touring season. I’m keeping my ears open for it and my eyes open for them.

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