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Q & A with Ghetto Pony

Posted by Jer / April 4, 2007

20070404ghettopony.jpgAlthough they're getting plenty of kudos from KEXP, an ultra-cool Seattle-based radio station, Ghetto Pony are still having a tough time cracking into the Montreal music market. It's not for lack of trying. The band plays around town regularly and they're off on a two month tour of the U.S. next week.

Maybe it's because Ghetto Pony's laptop-infused fuzzed-out funky tunes are a bit tough to classify. Some say the band has a "weird" sound, but as band member/producer Peter Jarecki points out, the band's unique stylings are the result of a crash of musical influences and differences. These tensions show up in most Ghetto Pony tracks, but the driving keyboards, electro-rock backbeats, and dirty guitars always smooth things over.

Before Ghetto Pony saddle up and rock Barfly this Friday, Apr. 6, I spent a bit of time chatting with the band about their sound and their place in the Montreal scene.

How would you describe what Ghetto Pony is up to?

Our underlying goal is to make music we want to hear and that's not always the same thing for all three of us. Many a band have split up because of their musical differences, but that's what defines G.P. - the differences between our musical preferences. People say that we have a weird sound, but to us this is not really "out-there" music. We can make some far-out noise if we please, but we'd rather not get too artsy-fartsy. We wanna Rock! in our own electro-funk way.

From Guelph to Montreal, how has Ghetto Pony's relocation process been?

G.P. galloped it's way to Montreal in September 2002. The hot city for music at that point was T.O. but Montreal can sure charm your pants off, plus it's cheap for rent. We got a lease on an apartment that we didn't get to see until we moved in. It's been the G.P. stable for almost 5 years now.

How Ghetto is your Pony?

Right now things are pretty Ghetto for this Pony. The apartment next to ours got rented out to a few street-punks, who invite just about every other street-punk in Montreal to come and stay at their place or squat in the empty apartments beside. Hence our balcony and back area is completely covered in dog-shit, everything smells, and new holes in walls and the police appear frequently. We've got this game now, where whoever runs accross the pathway without stepping in dog-shit is declared 'champion of the universe'.

You have a new album coming out soon. Tell me about it.

The record that we're tirelessly working on right now is gonna be our second full-length and it's shaping up pretty mean. We're using a lot more distortion, something we were avoiding before since the 90's are still fresh in people's minds, but now I figure 'it's all been done" so I'm putting my keyboard through overdrive and everything seems to sound more what you'd think a band named Ghetto Pony would sound like.

You guys have attracted the attention of John Richards, host of the morning show at Seattle's KEXP radio. How has this worked out for you?

It's helping us spread the G.P. Gospel more than anything before. We get lots of friend requests from people on Myspace who say that's where they heard us and our internet record sales have jumped.

What's the best and worst thing about playing live shows in Montreal?

Montreal is a hard town for trying to break through. First of all you've got the language barrier, and a lot of venues want you to rent the place up-front. There's all this talk about a Montreal scene but it doesn't seem that friendly to me. Maybe I'm too much of a recluse to find it. Having said all that, G.P. has more than a few good memories of our Montreal performances.

What's your favourite kind of Poutine?

I myself like the LBP the best. It's a staple in any good G.P.'s diet and there's nothing sweeter than hearing cheese curds squishing through your veins.

Ghetto Pony play a FREE show at Barfly on Fri. Apr. 6 at 9pm (4062A St. Laurent). Discover for yourself which band member is champion of the universe.

For more on Ghetto Pony's sound, check them out at Zebox, SonicBids or in this week's podcast to prepare.



Charlie / May 24, 2012 at 10:30 am
I want to get in touch with these guys but I am having trouble finding a link online. Met them in Springfield, MO at the outland several years ago and just wanted to see about trying to hook up sometime.
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