Interview: Pony Boy
One of the many perks of being a Kraphter is getting the chance to talk to the talented people who make the music we so proudly feature every day. A few short weeks ago, I wrote about Marchelle Bradanini who creates music under the name Pony Boy. “Happy Ever After” was showcased as a Daily Krapht, and to be honest, the song has been stuck in my head ever since. I was instantly impressed with her “Junkyard Country” style, and was delighted to have the chance to ask a few questions. What follows is the interview, so take a second and get to know Pony Boy before she becomes a household name.
Hello and welcome to Wordkrapht Marchelle! Tell the readers a little bit about yourself and why you chose Pony Boy as your stage name:
Thank you for having me. My full name is Marchelle Bradanini. I make music under the moniker, Pony Boy. I chose the name in reference and reverence to S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders.
You recently relocated to Nashville from California. What inspired the move? Was it for more musical opportunities?
So many of my favorite records and artists have come out of Nashville. It’s an endless list from Patsy Cline to Hank Williams and all those timeless Roy Orbison and Elvis records tracked in RCA Studio B. There is music in the city’s bones and you can feel it much like in Memphis, Muscle Shoals, or New Orleans. Plus it’s nice to walk into a bar and chances are the person standing next to you knows the words to every John Prine song.
How did you get the chance to work with John Would and how was it working with him?
I met John after seeing a band he worked with and we just hit it off. His musicianship, feel, and recording aesthetic were right up my alley. I could reference anything sonically from Captain Beefheart to a live Karen Dalton record and he would know exactly what I was going for. It also wasn’t a typical studio situation where you book out 1 or 2 days and record 10 songs under a ticking clock. He allowed the time to try out different sounds and ideas. Sometimes I think you need to give yourself the space to fail and make bad decisions to have those magical unplanned moments arrive. We also took a lot of breaks to eat Mexican food.
Tell us a little bit about the making of ‘The Devil in Me’, and what readers can expect to hear from it.
The Devil In Me was recorded solely on an 8 track tape machine in Nashville by Cosmic Thug, the production team of Adam Landry & Justin Collins. Like John, they are all about capturing performance over technical perfection. As a result, I think there’s a rawness that fits the tone of the songwriting on this record. One of my favorite tracks, Easy Money, was a first-take performance with Robbie Crowell (Deer Tick) on keys and myself on vocals. It was a pretty visceral experience as there was no hiding behind a lot of production.
I just heard you are going to be at SXSW this year, congratulations on a great opportunity! Do you have any details on when and where specifically you will be playing at yet?
My official SXSW showcase is at Creekside at Hilton Garden Inn on Friday, March 14th at 11pm. I’ll be backed by a talented bunch of Nashville folks so it should be a fun show.
Lastly, I see that you are signed to Odd Man Out Records. Can you tell us some of the benefits you have found to being signed to a label as opposed to being a completely independent artist?
I started my own label, Odd Man Out Records. We’ll be releasing The Devil In Me and also a series of upcoming 7’’splits featuring different artists doing covers of classic songs. There are a lot of opportunities outside the traditional label system and I’ve enjoyed the ability to have some creative autonomy thus far.
Thanks so much for taking the time and letting the readers get to know you a little bit better. Any parting words for future fans reading this?
Of course. I suppose I’ll say, Thanks for reading this and hope to see you all in a dim barroom or on your record players soon…
The Devil in Me will be released March 4th. Check the links at the bottom to connect with Pony Boy, and stay tuned for more great music!
Artist Name: Pony Boy
Location: Nashvile, TN
Genre: Southern Gothic Junkyard Country Soul Wop Blues
Members: Pony Boy – Vocals, Guitar, Harp, Banjitar, Resonator, Etc
John Would – Guitars, Heartbreak Slide, Myriad of other sweet analogue instruments
Yogi Boo – Drums, Magic Touch
Micky DryMend – Keys (B3, Wurlitzer, Rhodes, Accordion Apprentice, etc)
Barney Cousins: Accordion
Nervous Fuller: Bass
Skeeter Montgomery: Mandolin, Banjo, other hill people instruments
Record Label: Odd Man Out Records