Gold Pony: The Wavelength Interview

Purveyors of: Magic morbidity, fine meats and cheeses.
File next to: Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Hole, Vivian Girls, Bikini Kill

Gold Pony are made up of Maggie Smith (lead vocals), Dan DeMaria (guitar and vocals), Liz Keston (bass and vocals), and Andrew Heule (drums and vocals). You know those kids at your high school who were listening to killer garage bands long before you? The ones who were always going to shows, but never flaunted it and kept mostly to themselves? If they made a band, it would sound something like Gold Pony. Refreshing rock‘n’roll that does not try to be anything but itself.

How did Gold Pony come to be?

Dan: Gold Pony started as a songwriting project with an old friend of mine. I was looking to start playing music again after taking a few years to focus on raising my two daughters. My four-year-old thought up the band name.

Andrew and I live in the same building and we have a blast playing together. So it was only natural to ask him to join this group.

Liz and I have kids together and first met playing music years ago. She offered to sit in on a practice when another bass player couldn’t make it. She brought this great dark element to the sound and a bunch of her tunes and made everyone laugh. Gold Pony was a full band!

After our first few gigs though, things with our first vocalist turned sour. It was bad for everyone involved. We knew Maggie from the band Mesa Mesa and asked her to join after our old singer left. Maggie learned the songs with barely any rehearsal and we got a great response at our first show. People loved her ethereal voice, and we all gelled together as friends. The line up stuck.

You claim that all things are beautiful. However, are all things beautiful?

Dan: My daughter gave me a granola bar yesterday, but when I took a bite it was covered in sand. That was not very
beautiful. 😉

“All Things Are Beautiful” is a lyric that our previous singer wrote that we no longer use. The song is still online though; only she has the password to remove it. Until recently this was the only Gold Pony recording online. We finally have some rough new recordings with Maggie online.

Parting ways with our old friend was not a beautiful moment for anyone involved. But in the long run, it allowed both parties to do things their own way. So no, not ALL things are beautiful, but great things often come from dark moments. “She moves in mysterious ways!”

What is beauty?

Liz: Beauty is a noun. It’s also overrated.

What is right with rock’n’roll these days?

Andrew: What’s right is accessibility. Anyone can make music and record using any equipment they like — the best or the shittiest — and get it out there. And as
a listener, you can find bands (or loner musicians recording all by themselves in the dark while crying into their beers) from all over the world. Of course, this might be a bad thing, but I’d like to think it’s mostly good.

Liz: I agree with Andrew on accessibility. Everyone has tools to create, and now there’s lots of great music out there.

What is wrong with rock’n’roll these days?

Andrew: Too much musical masturbation.

Liz: I prefer to dwell on what’s working!

Dan: I find it hard to keep up. Bands get forgotten so fast. But really, forgetting is my problem, not music’s problem.

You guys have a really timeless sound. Who have been some of your inspirations?

Liz:What a lovely compliment! I like T. Rex, Reigning Sound, Nina Simone, Bo Diddley… also a good book can influence my music. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, T.S. Eliot.

Dan:We want our songs to be simple, straightforward, and have a pretty universal appeal. I’m pretty obsessed with Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, and Michael Jackson, because they are so fun and entertaining, but do it with such artistry. On the rock spectrum, I like Weezer, the Pixies, Bad Religion, and The Clash for the same reasons. Can’t touch the songwriting there.

When can everyone expect your first release?

Dan: This summer!

If Gold Pony were a movie, which movie would you be?

Dan:Evil Dead. Kinda dark and intense, but really it’s just fun.

Liz: I can get behind that. Why not?

Gold Pony play Wavelength 599 a.k.a. A Madcap Night of Royal Debauchery this Saturday (May 17) at Handlebar, 159 Augusta Ave.

Interview by Joe Modzelewski