Made up of Jackie (vocals), Potter (bass), Garth (guitar), Andrew (guitar), and Joey (drums) Pit Pony are making a big name for themselves in the northern parts of England. After signing to Leeds record label Clue Records the band have shared two cracking singles and a full length album is on its way later this year. We caught up with the band to find out the what, why and where.
Can you give us a potted history of you the band
Most of us knew each other from various bands we’ve been part of in Newcastle (Retriever, Cheap Lunch, Tissue Culture etc.) but initially, we started in 2017 and wrote/released Osaka fairly quickly which made it onto the 6 Music Playlist. Our next singles followed and when the pandemic hit we managed to secure some PRS funding to record the album. Since last year being able to gig again we’ve supported Idles and most recently finished an April tour.
Who inspired you to start making music
Jackie: Growing up I was really into 60s music but it was mostly all-male bands so I wanted to be them. I think what changed it for me was listening to Grace Slick and Mama Cass belting out songs and being up there with the men. When I was older it was definitely seeing Liela Moss in the Duke Spirit and Alison Mosshart in The Kills when I realised there wasn’t a certain way to be as a female singer, you could be yourself.
Andrew: Miserlou by Dick Dale (Pulp Fiction version) came on the radio and I’d never heard anything like it. My dad bet me £100 I couldn’t play it so I borrowed a guitar from a friend and it went from there. I never did get the money, but I’ve loved that sound ever since.
And the one or maybe two records that inspired you artistically
Andrew: That’s a really tough question, but at a push would say Playing with Fire by Spacemen 3 for its use of atmospherics and minimalism, and Songs the Lord Taught Us by The Cramps for its pure, raw power. I don’t think there’s ever been a cooler yet terrifying band than them.
Jackie: I’m A Good Woman by Barbara Lynn. I loved the lyrics, the story it tells, the delivery and that it’s not over-complicated in composition, it’s direct. I danced to that at many a night out in Glasgow.
Potter: Pixies – Doolittle. The changing dynamics really appeal to me. I love how the mood and feel of the tracks can change so quickly, taking songs in a different direction but still sound like the same song but still sounding like the same song.
Garth: The Jam – Sound Affects. Traditional songwriting/storytelling is something I’ve always loved, especially the quintessentially English way the likes of Weller do it, but Sound Affects couples that with the post-punk and new wave sounds he was into at the time. Musically it sits with the likes of Gang of Four, Wire, magazine etc and it put me onto so many new sounds and artists like them.
If you’re trying to explain who you sound like to someone that’s never heard you, what do you say
North-East Fuzz Rock. But a recent (google translated) review from Europe described us as “Delicious baking noise!” and it’s hard to disagree.
Tell us about your new single ‘Supermarket’
Jackie: This one is a bit more of a storytelling exercise. Spliced experience to make a bit of narrative about two people with unfinished business or perhaps things unsaid but not to be resolved, or are they? Andrew (guitarist) brought the basis of the song which has a very strong krautrock vibe with the motorik beat and same bass throughout.
The monotonous start and heavy repetition really lent itself to that kind of everyday kitchen sink narrative. It then slowly gets more frenetic over time and wild towards the end, like most tumultuous relationships do.
Andrew: The track started as a kind of tribute to Can’s ‘Mother Sky’. As Jackie said, very krautrock and limited to one chord. However, once the lyrics & melody were provided it took on a different meaning. We recorded it at Blank Studios as part of our album and It was really important we captured that build-up and tension. There are a lot of subtle details and overdubs which gradually reveal as the track goes on, from extra guitar layers and subtle sounds to crazy samples of pure feedback by the end. It was certainly one we were looking forward to.
Where can we get hold of it
You can watch the video and access all the streaming links via our site at www.pitponyband.com
or alternatively, you can purchase it from our Bandcamp
Tell us how you write
Andrew: Initially we would start with a simple riff or phone demo, usually from myself or Garth, and then Jackie would add the melody & lyrics which give a song its structure and meaning. Recently (and particularly over lockdown) I got into home recording, so we could sketch a more skeletal structure to an idea before bringing it to the others. Jamming together will always be an important part of the process though, it’s where we can work out details and where the song starts to sound like “us”. Also a big shout out to Garth for being an absolute admin machine. It turns out that when you’re well organised and have good communication; things get done!
Tell us about your live show and how much have you been missing it recently
We’ve just concluded an April tour and honestly, It’s been a breath of fresh air. We’ve met so many friendly, lovely people (both fans and staff) during it that it’s really put into perspective how much we’ve missed it. We’ve been working hard on our set & performance so hope that it shows!
What can we expect from you in the near future
We have our debut album coming out on July 1st 2022 via Clue Records and we couldn’t be more excited. We’ve pressed 2 limited edition vinyl versions of this, one a red and black galaxy smoke vinyl version which is available from us and the band. The other is a transparent gold vinyl which is exclusive to Indie record shops, and places we love and want to support. You can find the link(s) for pre-orders here at www.pitponyband.com
The album itself explores themes of identity, isolation, anxiety, motherhood and although not intentionally, the impact of the pandemic on us all. Songs like ‘Tide of Doubt’ and ‘Black Tar’ are quite visceral which Jackie describes as an “outlet for the pent up anxiety of isolation and the what seems like constant bad news coming at us from all angles”. ‘World To Me’ and ‘See Me Be’ explore the experience of having a baby and navigating life after that. ‘Best Is Yet’ is more of a love letter to Jackie’s younger self, with ‘Supermarket’ and ‘Cold’ exploring themes of complex relationships and self-preservation.
Tell us your favourite records that’s rocking your headphones/tour bus/stereo
We made a playlist of the songs that inspired our singles Supermarket & Black Tar. Some influences are more obvious than others, but they’re all bangers.
You can find it here:
Pre order the album here