Amongst the wave of guitar strumming, flip-flop wearing, singer-songwriters to grace the music scene over the past few years, Tristan Prettyman is certainly one to keep your eye on. With the release of her new album ‘Hello…x’ Tristan Prettyman unleashes a more grown up, confident sound to that of her debut album and promises to go from strength to strength as life continues to provide her with inspiration and the confidence to stand out from the rest.

R13: First and foremost, how’s it going?
TP: Its going good. I’m in the van!!!!

R13: I read your blog ‘A Bout of Realization and Inspiration’ you seem to really have taken a hit from the constant touring, is it hard to stay positive when you’re feeling burnt out?
TP: Not really, about once a tour I have a little meltdown, its usually a sign that things are right on track…haha…its easy to get burnt out when you are dedicating all your energy to something for a long extended period of time. In a perfect world, I would do 3 weeks on 3 weeks off; so that I could always take a breather and come back to music with a fresh mind.

R13: You come across as very honest throughout everything, whether it is song writing, blogging or interviews • is this a conscious decision not to sugar coat anything?
TP: How I am on stage, when I meet people, when I blog, when I write songs is how I am in person. I guess for me it’s just easier to be me all the time. I hope to always be able to relate to my fans and be in the moment with the world and the community. I think as you gain popularity it’s easy to loose touch and become disconnected. I think the reason people connect so well with my music is because there is a real connection.

I’m pretty down to earth, I always have been and though I am on a much different path than most 25 year olds, I feel like I have a bit of a double life. We will go on tour for weeks at a time, but when I come home, I feel like I am picking up where I left off. Me and my friends get together all the time for girls night, or watch rock of love on the couch. I end up going out to a lot of shows, and surfing with my folks is always high on the priority list. I love being home, reading the paper in the morning and having a cup of coffee, doing laundry, going grocery shopping and running daily errands. For me, it’s important to have that balance in my life.

R13: Music is a love, but the business is essential. How do you cope with juggling the two?
TP: I got a manager! It’s great; he deals with the biz so all I have to do is play music. I am pretty involved with everything that goes on, and overtime have learned a lot about the business side of things. I have an amazing manager, who understands the business really well, so he is a great teacher. I think it’s important to make sure you learn and understand the business that you are in, but it’s also important to not let that get in the way of your main focus. For me I want to know everything that goes on with my business but at the end of the day I just want to live, experience, be inspired and create music.

R13: Your new album ‘Hello…x’ has just been released; how you feeling about its release?
TP: Feeling good. I’m just glad it’s finally out. It seems like I made it a year ago… oh wait I did!

R13: There’s been a few years between your debut album ‘Twentythree’ and ‘Hello…x’- what have you been up to?
TP: Well I toured for about 2 1/2 years on twentythree and then I took about a year off. I really just spent some good quality time by myself at my house, cooking, watching movies, hanging with my friends, and family. I just really needed a chance to get away from the music for a minute and decompress. On tour I feel like it’s always so go go…you’re always just taking in and storing information and feelings and things. So for me I need time off to let all those things come out and settle. A year later we started thinking about the plans for making a 2nd record. So that was my time to start getting back into creative mode, writing and demo-ing, and mentally just getting back into the swing of things.

R13: You’ve mentioned before in previous interviews that you’ve made decisions on gut feelings, has that ever backfired?
TP: Not really, things always have a way of working out .Even if they seem like that are backfiring at the time there is always a reason that everything happens when it does. It’s sort of always been my motto… It always works out the way it’s meant to be.

R13: Has anyone given you any advice that has stayed with you?
TP: My good friend Anya Marina said to me once: Never apologize on stage. Most people never notice when you make a mistake or if you are having a bad show. We are our own worst critics. I used to apologize for making mistakes during songs, forgetting lyrics, or for being out of it on stage. And Anya said to me after a show once, “if you tell people you are giving them a plate of crap they are gonna be like this is lame, she is giving us a plate of crap. But if you say, ‘I am giving you a plate of pearls on fine china’ they are gonna be like amazing, pearls on fine china”.

Over the years I have realized that the mistakes and forgetfulness is what makes live shows more endearing. If you want perfection or close to it…listen to the record. I’m not so hard on myself anymore, and I think in return makes the show more fun for everyone involved. Nowadays, I am feeling pretty blessed to have this job and my main goal, is to just have fun and bring a great show to where we go.

R13: You have toured with some amazing artists in the past; what has been you most memorable collaboration?
TP:When I was making my record in London, I got to meet Yusif (Cat Stevens). That was pretty awesome, I sang on this project he was working on and then the next day he came and sang with me on one of my songs. That was a pretty surreal moment, meeting him. But then to sing with him, was just over the top.

R13: What do you enjoy more; playing to an audience that you have to win over or to an audience who already know and support you?
TP: Both are very different. Being an opener is all about warming up the audience for the main band. That is always fun, pretty easy; there isn’t a lot of pressure. I definitely feel a bit of pressure going into tour where we are the headliner. But at the end of the day, like I said before… it’s just about playing some music, having a good time, and connecting with the fans :)

R13: Reaching out to fans has been made so much easier with the internet. Is it important to you to use it to your advantage?
TP: Honestly I think that the internet is one of the most amazing promotional tools out there. And I think it promotes music getting heard in a grass roots way, where people aren’t being force fed to listen to something. They can discover it, and spread the word. Its pretty rad, cause this way, good music will speak for itself. I also love myspace and sites like that, cause its allowed me to stay connected to my fans. The personal connection remains the same, but as I’ve grown, it never gets to be too overwhelming. It allows the artist to be as involved as they want to be.

R13: In the past 10 years you have gone from Roxy model to a successful female solo act; where do you see yourself in another 10 years?
TP:Still writing music, still making records, and still touring, but most likely married and with kids. I can’t wait to be a mom and a wife, and explore that phase of life. And also see how it affects and influences my song writing and creativity.

R13: There seems to be a growing association between surfing and music, with surfers dipping their toes into the music world. Why do you think this is?
TP: I think people in general that don’t surf, have a fascination with it. Its definitely much more than a sport or activity, its a way of life. There is a culture that surrounds it and I think people are intrigued by that. Somewhere along the line, someone realized a profit could be made. And thus you see people capitalizing on it. For me though, surfing is just something that I love to do. I grew up surfing, is sort of like a family requirement. I can’t imagine my life without it. But I am not defined by it, nor is my music. They are very separate. So I don’t like to use it to get my music out there, or set me apart from other artists. Where I grew up, surfing was a way for people to celebrate their love and respect for the ocean. There’s a much bigger picture beyond surfing, its part of an ocean culture. Everything comes back to Mother Nature. Surfing is a way of connecting, and saying thanks.

R13: A lot of people compare you to the likes of Jack Johnson, and the surf thing seems to come up a lot too, do you ever feel daunted by these comparisons?
TP: I actually just talked to Jack yesterday, I’ve known him for about 8 years now, before I even played music. He was an inspiration very early on, someone that demonstrated simplicity, honesty and just created his own path as he went. He’s an amazing person and does amazing things for his community. I don’t really mind the comparison; I think humans in general, make associations and feel the need to group things together to have a better understanding of them. Though I would say my music is more country in a lot of ways, than it is surfy, at least the new stuff. It’s more along the lines of Sheryl Crow or Bonnie Raitt.

R13: If Burt and Ernie were to have a fight to the death, who do you think would win?
TP: Ernie would kick his ass, cause Bert would wear himself out and have a heart attack in about 5 minutes.