Interview: Newcastle local act THE PITS

Ahead of their debut performance at The Drop Festival, we caught up with Mitch from The Pits to find out what to expect and what they’re looking forward to when they take to the stage of Empire Park in Newcastle on March 7th!

You have “mad scientist blend” of musical styles and are known to put on quite the live performance, where did this style and sound come from? 

Like most people, we all like to think we have a wide range of music tastes. Probably where The Pits differ from other artists is that I actively try to cram as many genres into a "pop" song as possible. I pretentiously describe my song writing process as "trying to write the next Bohemian Rhapsody". Where the song is super catchy, but you have no idea where it is going. Having a "big band" horn section as well often surprises people...even if we get called a ska band every now and then.

I like to describe our live show as a cabaret show that's not funny, there's no burlesque dancers or magic tricks...just a bunch of guys that like rock/punk but at the same time argue about which is their favourite song from musical theatre.

What are you most looking forward to at The Drop Festival? 

Apart from performing, the line up! Prior to The Pits joining the show, a few of us had considered buying tickets. To later find out we were going to share the stage with such a strong Australian line up, we were over the moon. 

Where did you all meet and how did The Pits start out? 

The Pits are based in Newcastle and we started approximately 3 years ago. I had been working on some "new material" and wanted to put a band together to start playing live. I hit up a few guys that I had worked with in previous bands and we started gigging. For our first show, we had a traditional rock band set up - drums, bass, guitar - and played with a backing track of horns, strings etc. After a few of gigs, Josh our bass player, mentioned he knew a trumpet player and thought it'd be cool addition to the band. That way we could also do away with some of the backing tracks. Matt (trumpet) slotted into the band seamlessly and shortly after, Matt's friend Boyd (trombone) also joined. We always wanted to get a saxophone player to round out a 3 piece horn section. After playing as a 6 piece for a couple of years we found our man in Hayden (Saxophone).

You’re at a music festival and have lost everyone, where are they most likely to find each of you? 

We may not all be together, but if you draw a line from the stage directly to the bar, you will be able to find every member of The Pits. 

You are all Newcastle locals - give us some hot tips on where to go and what to do when we get to town.

If you're after some craft beers and a good feed, Foghorn or The Grain Store is where it's at. Outside of that, hit up Darby or Beaumont street. There's some awesome pubs, bars and restaurants along there.

If you want to go for a dip, Newcastle Beach is your place. If you like your live sport, head to "Marathon Stadium" and see the mighty Knights play!

Photo credit: Phoebe Metcalfe Photography

Catch The Pits at The Drop Festival Newcastle on March 7th, 2020.