Interview: Sydney’s Bad Pony on the making of “Half Blood” and moving forward into 2018

Bad Pony have been lapping up the response their latest single, “Half Blood” has brought them over recent weeks; the song has come dripping in soul and rich musicality from the group, a great indicator of where they’re heading into the new year with new music. As a live band, Bad Pony have been dominating as a tight unit who are only getting better with each tread of the stage and now, with SXSW calling in early 2018, the boys are in a position where the only way is up.

Jarred Young takes us through the release of the band’s new single, SXSW, and how a lot of shit can throw you, but you can definitely still come out the other side alright.

What has the release of this single meant for you as a band moving forward in this new creative direction?

It’s pretty freeing. I was particularly nervous about “Half Blood”, as it’s quite a bit darker and heavier than any of our previous releases but so far the reception has been super positive and it’s definitely one of my favourites we’ve released. We’ve never really ones to pigeon-hole ourselves stylistically, so our creative direction is pretty malleable and changes all the time.

Do you think the sound is properly representative of where Bad Pony sits currently as a band?

The last batch of Pony tunes have been particularly dark – It’s been a pretty taxing year for us personally and also as a band so I think that has started come out more recently. I don’t think we sit anywhere for too long though, we get restless.

Were there any significant influences that you think have worked their way into your music (or the music you’re making) so far this year?

I started the year off having a particularly grim time. Everything has come up majorly Milhouse since then but within a few weeks the last of my family moved out of Sydney, my girlfriend of six years left me and I found my beloved cat Clancy dead on the side of the road (He has since been forever immortalised in the form of a tattoo on my shoulder). I dealt with that trifecta shit storm by writing a barrage of songs and words during that period.

Lyrically, some of that stuff has crept in and I think that’s where a lot of the darkness and heaviness has come from too. I think Sam and I (who are the main songwriters) ebb and flow stylistically but we seem to gravitate towards the same styles at the same time, so we’ve both been writing darker tunes as of late.

You guys are playing SXSW next year – how did it feel to have that festival locked in and confirmed?

Absolutely mind blowing! We’re all over the moon. I’ve always wanted to go and still can’t believe we’re ACTUALLY playing there.  I was staying with Sam (Guitar) at the time we found out and recieved a message from our managers at 7am telling us we got the slot. I immediately ran into his room, jumped on his bed like a child and screamed the news at him.

The band hails from Sydney – how would you describe the music community there at the moment for the sort of music you make?

It’s no secret that Sydney’s live music scene has taken a massive nose dive since the lock out laws kicked in, but lately it feels like there’s been a bit of a resurgence. There’s  heaps going on around Newtown and the inner west and it feels like there’s a really supportive live music community. I’ve been fairly negative about Sydney’s scene in the past but in the last few months I’ve been to some amazing gigs and festivals that have been PACKED with humans and good vibes. It’s really awesome and encouraging to see Sydney coming alive again.

Do you think more international touring would be a feasible goal for 2018 for the band? What would be something that would entice you out to the international markets for longer bouts of touring?

Yes, absolutely. We’re working our hardest to get over to the UK and to America a couple of times in 2018. We’re also considering  Canada and Asia again. We’d love to be on the road non stop! The only thing holding us back from long international touring stints is the dollarydoos.

You’re also the recipients of the 301 Music Prize – what has winning that meant for the group?

Yes, we’re absolutely stoked! Being a band that usually self produces, this will give us a chance to work with a world-class producer and have a full release team and strategy behind us for the next single, all without cost so we can add our pennies to our SXSW & 2018 touring fund. HiFi Days will be a great time too, we’ve got a bunch of new material to play so looking forward to seeing how it all goes down!

Stay up to date with Bad Pony online, here!

Photo by Ashley Mar.