“We have a very small room on the first floor of Dustin’s house where we practice and write. It doesn’t really have any windows, so it’s very intimate and has a couple of old lamps in there. It’s never been cleaned and the walls and floors are covered in things we’ve collected over the years: our posters, notes to us from bands, stickers holding up drawings, old drum heads, a tiny American flag and foam that has been tacked up. We have some extra gear here that we play around with, but we usually set up facing each other in four corners. It’s a very good space to get immersed in writing, but it gets very hot.
In the room we have Jeremy’s drums, which are a collage of different makes and models, including a Roto tom and two cowbells. He also has a sampler that’s run into a 2 X 10” Jazz Chorus. That amp is stacked on a homemade bass amp/cabinet that Molly sings out of at practice. On the other wall are our two guitar amps. We also have our guitars, pedals, a drum machine (which we don’t really use), a mixer or two lying around, lots of cables, boxes, adapters, two small extra amps, Dustin’s girlfriend’s violin, two old unused keyboards, bells and some small hand drums from India and Morocco. It’s sort of overflowing.
We typically have a schedule, and we always practice before shows or tours which involves us spending two or three hours in here at a time. We’ll take breaks and sit on the sidewalk outside and get some fresh air. Isolation is important for us – we like to have the door closed until we think a song is totally ready. Then we introduce it into our set.
The creative process can start in many different ways. Sometimes it starts as a verbal idea, but typically it begins with a melody or beat that sounds appealing and we’ll all build on that in a way that we feel excites and challenges us personally. Once we have many different parts, we begin to piece them together. For us, there is no other space like this one in the world.”
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Ponytail are a four-piece multi-style Baltimore rock act that have drawn comparisons to Deerhoof and Ecstatic Sunshine. They released their first slab of infectious sugar-fueled two-guitar trad punk (Kamehameha on Creative Capitalism) in January of 2007. Winning critical praise for their hyper noisy live show that evokes elements of heavy-duty riffage, yells, growls, art rock, surf rock, ska, and Indian war chants, the outfit of youngsters appeared at the South by Southwest music conference in Austin, TX, in the early part of 2008. Their second album, Ice Cream Spiritual, was released in Ireland last month on We Are Free Records. For more information visit www.myspace.com/jreamteam.
Ponytail play Whelan’s, on Wednesday September 10th. Tickets €14 from WAV, Road, City Discs, Tickets.ie. Support from Gentle Friendly (London), R.S.A.G (Kilkenny), and The Vinny Club (Dublin).