Interview by Tracey Moyle – Music Maven Events
Sydney born indie-rock-pop-dance-funk outfit Bad Pony have recently dropped their long awaited new single Villain and keeping true to their ‘something unique and wonderful’ charm, have given the fans a track that sucks you in from the first note, along with a video that is a as entertaining as the song feels. Tracey Moyle recently had a chat to lead vocalist and founding member Jarred Young about the busy few years the boys have had, delved into the message behind the lyrics, the fun they had creating a ‘C grade horror’ style video and the up coming tour of the east coast in January.
It’s all happening for Bad Pony at the moment, you’ve just released your new single, Villain and will be heading off to tour that single in the New Year. You must be pretty excited to get the new song out there?
“We are pretty excited, it’s been a while, can’t wait!”
You guys always seem to be on the go – touring or recording and even some overseas gigs in there as well. It’s like you have hit the ground running since you first came together, was it 2015?
“It was actually 2013. Most of us played in another band before Bad Pony. We all grew up in Sydney together. I was a drummer, Sam (Thomlinson), guitarist in Bad Pony also played in that band. Sam had heard me sing and I wasn’t really a singer at that time but he’d heard me sing a couple of times and was like, ‘hey man, you come and sing on a track I’ve written’ and he sort of sent that around to a whole bunch of people and it ended up in the hands of a touring company. We ended up doing this program called Rock the Schools which is a tour around the whole country, played at high schools, taking music workshops, performing everyday so that was my first gig as a singer.”
That sounds fun!
“Yeah it was so fun. It was really good. I got to shake off my vocal cobwebs pretty early on, which was cool. They asked us to do this gig from this one song. They were like, ‘can you send us a video of your band playing and a bunch of others songs?’ and we didn’t have any of those things. (laughs)”
Talk about being thrown into the deep end!
“Yeah totally. I was on a trip in Mexico at the time, we heard about it so I bought a guitar over there and wrote a whole bunch on songs and came back, recorded them and got a whole bunch of our friends together who sing a heaps of harmonies on them and yeah, Bad Pony was born.”
In 2018 you played SXSW (South By South West) in Austin Texas. I bet that was a totally different experience? I can’t imagine how much of a sensory overload that would have been.
“Yeah it was pretty intense. It was cool, it’s just that whole showcase environment is really fast paced and a little bit stressful you have these really short sets with really fast change over time. So it’s over a quick as you prepare yourself for it. But they’re really good showcases. We got to play with a bunch of cool bands and got a good response over there, which was great.”
Have you got any bucket list festivals you’d like to add to the calendar?
“Yeah, I’d really like to play Leeds and Reading Festivals in the UK. Also Panama in Tassie and Falls. Yeah there’re heaps. There are lots I’d love to play.”
I’m loving the new track, Villain. It’s almost theatrical in it’s sound. It definitely draws you in right from the start. The sound is such a great combination of different genres and different music styles all coming together, that you couldn’t really put it in a category. That seems to be something that you guys have done well. Created your own sound?
“Thank you. I think with this next batch of songs, we’ve been working on an album for about a year. We’ve been quiet in terms of gigs but we’ve just been writing a lot. And we’ve been refining production techniques so this next bunch of songs we’re really trying to hone in on both visual and sonic aesthetic of like a 70’s and 80’s horror theme. There’s lots of that in the production, like old cinema string sounds, and quite distant harmony and I think we’re just trying to have a more realised product before we start putting stuff out because in the past I think we’ve gotten a bit ahead of ourselves. We’d get really exciting and we be like, lets get this thing out and we can tour it. So we’re being a little bit more methodical about how we’re approaching releasing which is cool, it’s been a really good way to do it, it’s been fun and we’ve been sitting with these songs for a long time so also very excited to bring more out.”
The song itself, I believe, is about how you view people as villains when it’s really a case of not understanding them, which can inevitably turn full circle to having them see you as the villain. Did I get that right? Lol.
“Yeah, that’s exactly right. The video kind of showcases that as well.”
The video is brilliant c grade horror like you were talking about. Must have been a hell of lot of fun to make?
“Yeah it was ridiculous, it was fun. I feel like, for this whole next batch of stuff I’ve been styling everything, so in the latest press shots we’ve got out, I styled the whole band and the new video clip, I styled that as well. So that was going to a whole bunch of op-shops and finding the most ludicrous clothes I could find. We just did it on the cheap as well, we made a whole bunch of fake blood for the clip and there’re some really shitty old special effects things like making things fly with fishing wire and stuff like that.”
That was my favourite part, I loved it.
“(laughs) Yeah it was cool. And we got some help from some really amazing friends of ours so we had to be a vampire and we got James (Seymour) from Feelds and Hannah Blackburn who are all amazing Melbourne musicians. And then also we had Nick McKinlay who’s a pretty renowned music photographer, and Rick Clifford from RCSTILLS who directed the video as well. So yeah, an all-star cast of lovely humans. It was great. And I also choreographed the whole dance routine for it and we don’t get to show all of it because there was so much else going on.”
Do you have a favourite horror movie? Are you a horror fan?
“I’m actually not, to be honest (laughs). I actually feel like they put me too on edge (laughs) so I don’t watch a lot of them.”
You mentioned before you have a whole heap of tracks ready to bring a new album out. Is that something coming out in early 2020 or is there still a bit of work on that?
“We’re going to release another tune early next year and then see how it goes from there. But the idea is to release an album next year for sure.”
You are embarking on a tour in January playing Sydney and Melbourne but no Brisbane dates yet?
“Yes, not this time unfortunately. Just the logistics of having five people in a band that don’t live in the same place can be tricky for us to tour. When we do release the album we’ll definitely get up to Brissy. I’ve been dying to get back.”
So, Bad Pony is based in both Melbourne and Sydney?
“We are in Melbourne and we are all originally from Sydney so the other three guys are in Sydney.”
I suppose you can do most things via skype and live streaming?
“Yeah, apart from the whole rehearsal thing. We just do a big stint of rehearsals before we tour. It’s not ideal but it’s still fine, it’s a good way to do it. I moved down here two years ago. ”
I have spoken to other bands that have members spread out interstate so its probably more common than people think?
“Yeah, I think that it’s getting more and more common, you know, we’re all so connected so its not the end of the world. And there’s so much history there as well. In terms of us playing together I think that we can slot in with each other pretty easily because we’ve been doing it for a really long time.”
What do you think is the biggest challenge for artists today? What do you see as your biggest challenge to getting your music out there?
“I think maybe the challenge is that your music isn’t received well or isn’t really received at all. You know people aren’t really listening as much as you would like them to but I don’t know. I tend not to concentrate on the challenges these days. I’ve found a pretty amazing community of musicians in Melbourne that are really supportive and lovely and I think that’s the point of this whole thing. It’s a pretty tough industry to be in but if you’ve got a really supportive community around you, you feel loved and supported all of the time and none of that really matters.”
It is all about the music!
Bad Pony’s Australian tour dates are set to re-introduce the element of the band’s musicality that made them one of Sydney’s most exciting exports in the last handful of years. They’re naturals on stage and with their brand of rock and roll primed for release, the new era of Bad Pony is well and truly here.
BAD PONY TOUR DATES
Friday, January 24th The Lansdowne Sydney Tickets
Sunday, January 26th North Wollongong Hotel Wollongong Free Entry
Thursday, February 20th The Grace Darling Melbourne Tickets
Friday, February 21st Northern Republic Euroa Tickets
Saturday, February 22nd Westernport Hotel San Remo Free Entry