Bad Pony doesn’t know the meaning of rest. They’ve been balls-to-the-wall since getting together in 2013, somehow slotting studio time into a seriously harsh touring schedule.
They’ve barely finished up their latest tour, but the eager musos announced a new set of dates last week. Their Bottles tour will celebrate a single of the same name, out Monday. Today, we’re stoked to give you a sneak preview of the tune as we interview Jarred Young from the band.
It’s a hectic month for Bad Pony. They’ve finished up one tour, announced another and their new single Bottles will drop Tuesday. Slow down, boys.
HAPPY: You guys have a really strong work ethic, touring constantly yet still finding the time to record plenty too. Where does this ethos stem from? Do you feel this is an essential path for any young band hoping to break through the mould?
JARRED: I think it’s important to work hard at anything you want to succeed at. We bloody love touring, writing and recording so it makes sense to do a lot of it. We’re also pretty aware of the sheer amount of awesome bands that Australia produces, if you want to stand out from the rest you need to work your ass off. I can’t say we’ve really stopped since about March last year. If we haven’t been touring, we’ve been preparing the next release.
HAPPY: Where do you feel more comfortable? On the road or in the studio?
JARRED: I think both have their merits. Being in the studio is relaxing, we have time to flesh out ideas, play around with sounds and it’s productive. Touring isn’t so relaxing, but it is amazingly fun and there’s honestly nothing better than getting on stage with your best mates and playing your own tunes. The way we play live is really different than a normal band set up, it’s much more involved and intimate. We’re often completing each other’s parts, interlocking percussion grooves and harmonising.
HAPPY: The massive Sideways tour that just wrapped took you to places that most bands tend to bypass. How was it playing those more regional shows? Is there anywhere you really dug that surprised you?
JARRED: The regional shows were really cool. I’ve always felt like a bit of a shit Australian because I had never been to anywhere you would consider to be “The Outback”. One leg we did was Mildura and Broken Hill, the landscape out there was just amazing and everybody out there was so relaxed, it was really refreshing. Forster was a standout for the regional shows, we played in a friendly little Mexican joint and had an awesome bunch of humans come out to that particular show from all up and down the coast.
HAPPY: Your new single Bottles is the first time you’ve collaborated together on lyrics. How do you feel this affected the emotional mood of the song?
JARRED: I really enjoyed writing from somebody else’s perspective for once. Sam had ideas for a first verse and pieces of phrases for a chorus. It’s all about a really intense relationship Sam had. I saw him go through the relationship and we are very close anyway so I think together we were able to capture the moods of frustration, infatuation, intoxication and the hopelessness of it all much better than either of us could have by ourselves.
HAPPY: Is this the first time you’ve produced your own work?
JARRED: No. We self produce everything. It’s half the fun!
HAPPY: There are definitely touches of Foals and Two Door Cinema Club throughout Bottles – In terms of production, who are some of your influences? (At this point Sam Thomlinson jumps into the conversation).
SAM: Not so much two door. Well not really at all. But a little bit of new Foals with songs like What Went Down. To be honest, most of the sonic influence came from producer Steven Schram’s stuff. Some of those comparisons come up because we are an indie rock band with synthesisers. It’s nearly inevitable. Not that that’s a bad thing, they’re rad.
HAPPY: Do you feel that recording yourselves limited or opened up your creative potential?
JARRED: It definitely opened up our creative potential. Because we had so long to tinker with the demos, we got to be more experimental with the sounds as well as the structure of the song. This tune took so many shapes and forms to get where it is now and has been revised, re-arranged and re-recorded several times.
HAPPY: You guys returned from playing in Singapore too. We’ve seen a few Aussie bands have a solid impact there. How was the festival?
JARRED: The festival was amazing. The stand out for us was playing at Sounds Australia’s Aussie BBQ. The line up was unreal, the stage was unbelievably huge and it was just run really well with a legendary crew. We had two other shows over the four days too.
HAPPY: Why Singapore?
JARRED: I came across Music Matters festival and noticed it was a fairly similar set up to BIGSOUND. I’ve attended BIGSOUND over the last couple of years and it’s just bloody awesome, it’s such a good way to showcase with short sets and it provides so many opportunities to meet more people in the industry and everybody always seems to be in high spirits. I also saw a bunch of Aussie artists I dig (Cub Sport, Hey Geronimo, Morgan Bain) had all played there too.
HAPPY: Tell us a bit about the shows you played.
JARRED: The first one was the Aussie BBQ as I mentioned before. We had to leg it straight off stage into a van to the next venue which was a cool little beer garden. I feel like we’re pretty gig-fit since we’ve been touring for the last five months but that definitely didn’t prepare us for playing a second gig outside at 85% humidity. The last show was the next night in a cocktail bar next to the art museum of Singapore. We had a few people come out to see us that had seen us the previous night which was awesome. And The Cure were in town for the GrandPrix and we could hear them sound checking from outside the venue which was amazing.
HAPPY: Having toured so frequently, do you feel your ability to write as a band has been fragmented, or does touring help conduct creativity in Bad Pony?
JARRED: The writing process is fairly fragmented for us anyway. Sam and I write the bulk of the material and then bring it in to rehearsals for everybody to have their input and implement their flavours and wisdoms. Touring does take a toll in terms of time to write though so we are looking forward to having a solid chunk of time off to create, record and produce a solid body of work.
HAPPY: What are your plans following the Bottles tour?
JARRED: We are going to spend some time in the studio and will have some sort of larger release together and ready to go for next year.