FLYER Q&A: Little Rock-to-Fayetteville pipeline continues with PETT at Smoke & Barrel Tavern

PETT (Courtesy photo)

The music scenes of Little Rock and Fayetteville have always had a symbiotic relationship.

Little Rock bands often break up when members move to Fayetteville for college, while Fayetteville graduates move to Little Rock for work or family. Each town operates as the second hometown for the other. There’s a friendly rivalry and a shared interest between the indefinite construction.

Right now, the punk/indie/hardcore scene in Little Rock is experiencing a Towncraft-era level of growth and excitement. That growth has been spilling into Fayetteville as well with Little Rock bands playing in town with increased regularity and even setting up shows as well.

Little Rock bands Colour Design and Terminal Nation have played to enthusiastic crowds here recently. Keep an eye out for them in the future.

The Little Rock-to-Fayetteville pipeline continues this Wednesday, Dec. 14 when PETT joins Nashville band Twen at Smoke & Barrel Tavern. This show is highly recommended if you enjoy dynamic indie pop.

I talked to PETT guitarist Pat McGill about his band, Little Rock and the movie Die Hard and here it goes.

On The Map Presents:

Who: Twen / PETT
When: 9 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 14
Where: Smoke & Barrel Tavern
Tickets: $10-$12 at

Hi Pat. Can you give us a brief history of PETT?

Yeah, so PETT kind of formed from some of the guys in Headcold, (Me and Ted) and I Was Afraid. (Me, Ty, & Eric who played drums before I did) Ty and I had been getting together with Eric playing guitar for a while to work out something new to jam on outside of I Was Afraid. Then Headcold and I Was Afraid went on hiatus, and we recruited Ted to jump on bass. So thus, our side project P.E.T turned into a main project, P.E.T.T.

How would you describe PETT to a stranger?

We’re fond of the genre title, Laser-Jazz. Or at least I am. But I would also describe it as a Math/Pop Emo/Rock band. You know, not to get too specific.

Little Rock has had a great punk/indie/metal/etc scene for decades but there’s definitely a resurgence happening now. How does it feel to be a part of all that?

Little Rock has always had really great locals and a super supportive DIY scene and venue scene. It ebbs and flows like any scene would, but I think Covid really took the wind out of the sails here, naturally. It’s been amazing to see it pick itself back up these past few years. It seems every scene has a whole new lineup of awesome bands just popping off, and I see them all playing gigs together from time to time. I’m just happy to be a part of it still, and I’m proud to see everyone pumping out cool and creative music in this town.

Who are the Little Rock bands and artists we should be on the lookout for?

I think there is something about Little Rock, and maybe just Arkansas in general, but I feel like every band that sticks around long enough here garners their own unique style and sound. I don’t see a lot of cookie cutter groups that sound like every other band on that one popular label from California or New York. I’d like to give a big shout out to Zilla and Peach Blush. We share members with those guys and they are amazing. Colour Design is an amazingly raw Shoegaze band from LR. Morbid Visions are the homies in the metal/hardcore scene here, which has a ton of great locals. Terminal Nation, Second Life, B.L.A.S.T., Moon Mane, Lap is this super cool 90’s era screamo band that’s doing big things. Seriously, so many talented locals.

Have you played Fayetteville before? What do you look forward to doing when you’re here?

Oh yeah, we all have, in different bands, up at Backspace plenty of times while that was still around. Most recently though, PETT played Sweat Fest at the The Hop-Out up there in Fayetteville a few months back. But this will be our first show at Smoke & Barrel, which is a spot we’d go to after shows at Backspace quite often. so we’re pretty stoked on that. They’ve been having awesome shows there lately! Other than that probably just seeing the good NWA buddies.

What are you listening to lately?

Personally, I’ve been listening to a lot of Built to Spill, their new album is really good. I’ve been following this great band Spiritual Cramp for a while now and they absolutely rule. Other than that I’m on a British/Irish kick, lots of Gang of Four and Wire, and on the newer side of things I love Fontains D.C. and Dry Cleaning. Such cool bands. Also The Chills from NZ!

Favorite seasonal drink and/or dessert?

Hmmm. I don’t think I have a favorite seasonal bev. Love a pecan pie though, and that seems like a late fall/winter exclusive.

What are your plans for 2023? Any new music or shows in the works?

No big plans set in stone as of now, but I do think we’ll be getting back in the studio to record a few more songs fairly soon! I’d say about half of our set is unrecorded material right now. We do have a couple shows in the works but our next one is Jan. 28 at Full Moon Records in Conway with Sonic Fuzz and Makeshift Tapedeck.

Do you have any end-of-the-year or holiday traditions?

Nothing really, I love a New Years show/party though, those usually go off.

Time for a divisive question: Is Die Hard an Xmas movie?

Absolutely it is, and so is Batman Returns.