Q&A with Newlywed, TRISTAN PRETTYMAN – Talks Getting Married In South Africa, Her Upcoming Album, + Her Tour Which Kicks Off This Monday!
Posted On 24 Oct 2014
Tag: 23, All Access, All Access Music, All Access Music Group, Ani Difranco, Anya Marina, Avett Brothers, Banta, Ben Taylor, Beyonce, Billboard, Billboard's Top Heatseekers, Bora Bora, Butch Walker, Cary Brothers, Cedar + Gold, Charlie Mars, Chris Isaak, City & Sand Tour, Ed Sheeran, Eric Hutchinson, Fancy, G. Love, G. Love & Special Sauce, Greece, Greek Theatre, Hawaii, Hello, Iggy Azalea, John Legend, Josh Duhamel, Joshua Radin, Julianne Hough, Kruger National Park in South Africa, Let Em In, London, Nicholas Sparks, Nicole DeRosa, One Republic, Out Of Habit, Paul McCartney, Pharrell, Ray LaMontagne, Robert Anton Wilson, Safe Haven, Sam Smith, Santa Cruz, Say Anything, Sir. Paul McCartney, SoCal, South Africa, The Greek Theatre, The Money, The Notebook, The Script, Tristan Prettyman, Twentythree, Wings, www.icecreamisbetterwithafork.com
Tristan Prettyman (now Maris) is a singer-songwriter and former Roxy model. She was born and raised in the town of Del Mar located in San Diego County, California.
Taking advantage of the town’s proximity to the ocean, she began surfing at the age of 12. She competed in the National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) High School Division and earned fifth place in the state title while still in middle school.
At 15, she was given a cassette of Ani DiFranco‘s 1993 Puddle Dive by her brother’s friend. She played the album constantly and it still has great sentimental value to her. It serves as a reminder of when her musical ambitions started to blossom.
She began playing in front of friends at their homes and they encouraged her to begin writing her own material. One night, while performing for some friends, an employee of the production company The Moonshine Conspiracy, run by surf filmmaker Taylor Steele and professional surfer Chris Malloy, heard her and asked Tristan to appear in the film the company was working on at the time entitled Shelter. Tristan’s song, “Anything at All,” was chosen to be on the soundtrack.
Read more about Tristan in All Access Music writer, Nicole DeRosa‘s exclusive interview with her fresh back from her honeymoon in Bora Bora and just a few days before she releases her new EP, Back To Home and hits the road for her City & Sand Tour!
So, Mrs. Newlywed , first things first…word on the street is that you and your love got hitched just a few weeks ago and you’re just coming back from your honeymoon in Bora Bora. Congrats to you both! You guys got married in Kruger National Park in South Africa. That sounds amazing and that is totally something I would do! What made you decide on that location of all places? And if you would, please tell our readers a bit about Bora Bora (and please try to keep it clean! haha)
Last year, my then boyfriend, Bill and I went to Greece, and then were headed to Hawaii to meet my parents, but we had about 10 days in between.
So Bill was like, “ Why don’t you spin a globe and just point..and that’s where we will go.” So I did, and my finger landed on the Africa. I said, “I have never been on a Safari, have you?” So we picked South Africa, and we went, and it was magical. It changed my life.
I have been around the globe a zillion times, but this was just unlike anything i had ever experienced. When we returned home, we were trying to explain the trip to our friends and family but having the hardest time. When we started planning our wedding, it was a no brainer. 25 of our closest friends and family, in South Africa.
“I’m pretty sure it was there, that I knew I was going to marry this guy. Seriously, have you ever traveled with someone? It can be a complete NIGHTMARE…with Bill it was so easy. I just knew then, he was it.”
We choose Bora Bora for our honeymoon spot, cause when ever else are you going to go there? It’s a total honeymooners paradise! It was great, but we both agreed, it’s really hard to top Africa. I just released the wedding video and its on my blog if you want to check it out here .
You began your career playing locally in clubs and bars throughout California’s San Diego County. How do you think your SoCal location and roots influenced you?
I grew up in San Diego, born and raised, Southern California is in my roots. It will always be. I started surfing when I was 11, I was practically raised at the beach. My parents are totally laid back hippies, they grew up in the mountains, hiking and riding horses. We spent a lot of time in nature as a family. I guess its the reason for my laziness??? I can get pretty lazy when I am home. I just space out. I guess its made me not take anything too serious. I mean I still am totally hard on myself as an artist, when I am in the studio, or when I see live performances, but i would say the thing it mostly influences is to let things live in the moment. Try not to over analyze and pick things apart, life goes on, you get constant second chances to re-invent yourself, do better, try harder, choose a new path, etc.. I think thats how So Cal has influenced me: Don’t take yourself too seriously. And, there is always tomorrow.
Your first album, Twentythree, was released back in August, 2005 when you were a mere 23 years old! The album peaked at number 24 on Billboard’s Top Heatseekers chart. That is pretty darn impressive! What was that whole process like for you with the writing and release of the album?
I love that you just pulled those stats out of nowhere! That makes me feel so much better! Honestly I never remember stats or how albums did. I think i imagine things to be worse then they were or really are. Ha. So that is comforting. I have made 4 records and I am currently in the studio making a new EP in LA as we speak.
As far as the process goes, all the records have been so different. It really is bizarre to think about them all. Some I have been super in Love, or twenty-three’s case: in the stages of a new relationship, others I have been pissed off and heartbroken, I made Hello…x in London and was pretty much drinking pints of beer, rolling cigarettes and partying the whole time..and I am not even a partier or a smoker.
“I think I just like to try on different versions of myself and see what happens. I never know what to expect, I don’t like to hype myself up, or get to in my head about it.”
Is there anything you did differently or learned from the recording of your other albums that you applied to this album?
One thing I do now, is I start working with a vocal coach before any tour or recording. I guess it goes back to my So Cal ways, I just get lazy, If I don’t schedule in those kinds of things. This EP I am recording right now is the first record in 10 years without any sort of management or record label, so its really liberating. I get to just do what I want, follow my gut, sing the songs how I want to sing em, and just put em out and hope people like it. I’m really excited. It feels good to be able to follow my gut 100%.
Besides your age at the time, why does the number 23 resonant so much with you?
It was a thing my brother pointed out to me, and my brother is full of all sorts of weird, random, fantastic facts. He was living in Santa Cruz, and had befriended this author Robert Anton Wilson. He told me about the 23 phenomenon and it just sort of went from there. You can read about it here . I was born May 23rd, I got signed and made my first album at 23.
I named my first album after the whole thing. 23 became a good omen for me. I would see it, and it would be staring back at me like, “You’re right where you are supposed to be…wink.” It appears everywhere. Like I am literally in room 1223 in the hotel right now. Things like that. Its my good luck charm. When it shows up, Its like a little voice from the universe saying: Everything in its right place.
You have toured with some pretty awesome bands and musicians like, The Script, Anya Marina, Chris Isaak, G. Love & Special Sauce, Charlie Mars, Joshua Radin, Ray Lamontagne, Cary Brothers, Ben Taylor, etc. What musicians or bands would you love to tour with in the future?
I am really excited to be touring this Fall with Eric Hutchinson. I haven’t really been on the road in almost a year and a half. I love playing shows right before the holidays. Its all hectic, the weather gets colder, the music is like the glue that brings us all together.
I would love to tour with the Avett Brothers, Ed Sheeran, One Republic, Sam Smith, John Legend, Butch Walker. Those would be dream tours for sure. I feel really lucky cause I feel like I always get to tour with artists or bands that I am a big fan of.
Your song, “Say Anything” from Cedar + Gold was featured in the film adaptation and accompanying soundtrack Nicholas Sparks’s novel “Safe Haven ” (the movie stars Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel). Are you a fan of Nicholas Sparks and did you read the book before getting the offer? What do you think of it’s placement in the film?
Of course I weeped my way through The Notebook with the rest of the world! I remember when we got the call for Safe Haven, I couldn’t believe it. If I am being honest, I feel like we get a lot of requests for music in things, but only 75% of the time do they work out. I think I have sort of trained myself to not get to psyched until I see it with my own eyes, so for this… I think we were in the middle of touring and it was completely off my radar. When I did see the movie, I was totally floored. It was the opening song of the movie. I wasn’t expecting that.
I didn’t want to be selfish and hog all questions to you from me, so I opened it up to some fans of yours. Carly in OZ, asks: “I loved your cover of Iggy Azalea’s song, “Fancy”. Is there a track of yours that you’d love to see covered by a particular artist?
Oh wow. I mean, I get excited just seeing fans cover my songs!
What was the first song you fell in love with growing up and why?
What was it about that song that resonated with you? Ani Difranco – Out Of Habit. My brother’s friend gave me a mixed tape of her when I was 15. It was life changing. I mean the opening of the song is about watching the butter melt. I just loved her honesty, the story telling, it was just real, it like a rant in real time, a conversation…its brilliant.
I grew up on mainstream radio, pop music… which I totally love also, but Ani is just in a category of her own. She will forever be my number 1. Im listening to that song now. I still get chills. She’s such a bad ass.
Who is in your current playlist?
I am totally loving this band that my booking agent just signed: Banta. I love Charlie Mars new album: The Money. Sam Smith is insane. I just saw him at the Greek Theatre here in LA, he was flawless.
Speaking of flawless, I love Beyonce. I also love Ed Sheeran. There is so much good music out right now.
If you had the opportunity to work with any musician or artist from the past, present or future, who would it be and why? If you could spend the day with them, where would you go and what would you do?
I would love to hang out in the studio with Beyonce, or Pharrell. Fuck yeah. I love hip hop so much. Rhythm, movement, and groove. I would love to work with some hip hop people. When it comes to other musicians, the studio is the only place I really feel comfortable. I feel like its the quickest way to get real, bond, and get on the same page.
“Like I was on the elliptical machine at the hotel gym a couple days ago and I looked over and its Paul McCartney. Paul. Fricking. McCartney. What do you say? Where do you go with that? Of course you want to talk to him. He asked to borrow the exercise ball, to which I said, “Sure!” It’s not everyday Sir Paul asks to borrow the exercise ball…Lame…In the studio I would have been like, I love the way the tape bounces on “Let Em In” (From the Wings album). Lets jam a track like that.”
What’s on tap next for you, Tristan? What are you most excited about for this year?
I’m really excited to go on tour this fall and release this new EP, Back To Home. It was supposed to be 5 songs, and it turned into 7. I love the songs so much. All of them are so different. I don’t even know if they are “good” or not, but they sound good to me. Some of them make me dance in my seat, others give me goosebumps. In a way its very full circle for me, because the first kind of album I made when I was starting out was a 7 song EP, called The Love EP.
I’m pretty proud of myself, I didn’t sit around and wait for someone else more important to make a decision for me. I booked the studio time, moved to LA and just dove in. I’m looking at this little EP as a stepping stone for whats to come. The possibilities and direction are endless. I think being dropped by my record label, might have been the best thing to ever happen to me. I was getting comfortable, ya know? I’m an artist. We don’t do well being “comfortable”. My husband is always telling me what a rockstar I am, I don’t know if he is right… But its fun pretending like I am!
To learn more about Tristan Prettyman, including upcoming tour dates,
Visit her website here !