HOT VOX POP QUIZ WITH PONYBOY & THE GOLDENSOUND
Who is Ponyboy & the GoldenSound?
PonyBoy & the GoldenSound is the creative love child of myself Jake Lawson.
I’m originally from Carlisle, Cumbria, I also spent 7 years in Houston, Texas and 4 years in Edinburgh before settling down in London where I have been since 2015.
I started out taking guitar lessons in school at age 12 but I dropped out of doing those to play football on my lunch breaks instead haha. I kept it up in my spare time and taught myself how to play guitar and my uncles old SG style bass guitar at the age of 14. The bass took the forefront at the time due to my naive belief it would be easier to play as it has less strings.
I hit the drums which I took to far more naturally than the bass or guitar when I got a kit for my 15th birthday and instantly joined my first band (counter current we were naively political and very bad.) We basically just learned our instruments by playing together and hoping for the best. After that the rest is history I suppose.
Who came up with your stage name and does it have a story or any meaning behind it?
I came up with the name ironically whilst having a Skype conversation with an old band mate (who I still collaborate with to this day) after I had died my hair blonde and was reciting to said friend how my mother had been taking the mick out of me for doing so and had referred to me as PonyBoy ( a reference to the outsiders book/film we used to watch together)
Then after leaving a band due to mass musical differences and starting my first real solo project I needed a band name. Then whammy I adopted PonyBoy & the GoldenSound as I feel it matched the indie pop rock music I found myself writing.
If you had to describe your sound using just five words, what would they be?
Sexy Anglo-Texan pop rock (weirdest string of random words ever to describe anything ever.
Who are your biggest influences musically?
This I get asked quite often and I honestly have broken it down into like three categories. What Mum used to listen to, what Dad used to listen to and what I myself listened to. From back in the day and as far back as I can remember I have been subjected to musical influencing by my family. So mums list the biggest influences were the likes of DuranDuran, Bon Jovi, Marc Bolan.
From my dad it was all 70’s rock and New wave British heavy metal so his influences were all the heavier side of my music which were people like Thin Lizzy, Status Quo, Guns n Roses, and The Sweet (glam rock was cool too)
I obviously love the greats; The Beatles, Zeppelin, Bowie, sabbath, Floyd, Kings of Leon, Arctic Monkeys but my influences were the bands that influenced me into the genre I’m on now who are those I’d like to pay alongside. Blossoms, Sundara Karma, Catfish and the Bottlemen, hippo campus, the Amazons.
I know that’s such a cheat of a lost but it’s so hard to just pick one or two!
What’s your songwriting process?
Honestly, I write a lot of songs on the tube or on walks to work. I hear something in a tv show or music or even in a conversation I’ve had and something sticks out to me like a term or a phrase and I write about that. I form the lyrics and then make some music that (I hope) fits with those lyrics. I revisit the lyrics and edit most of not all of them into personal experiences I’ve had and I then take anything that would be a name or something out of the lyrics and make them about fictional characters. So I can sing with emotion and connect to the song but without making it too personal especially when the aim of the game is to get the masses to hear!
When you were younger, what was the first album that blew you away and you remember putting on repeat non-stop?
When moving to the states I had a CD player (yes I’m old) and that was it. My house had been packed up and I packed up all my cd’s. My uncle who had bought me the bass had my family over for dinner and had a record on in the background.
That record I later went out and bought myself realising I wanted something to listen to on my travels. That album is and was the most influential album to my music and the way i write and structure my songs etc etc. That album is Youth and Young Manhood by the Kings of Leon. Their debut album.
As a performer, what’s your biggest claim to fame so far?
I headlined King Tuts Wah Wah hut in 2014 in Glasgow, whilst drumming for a band and we sold it out with a band called Crash Club. (Unfortunately that band I was in spontaneously combusted) but I still have the videos of the set and on occasion it gets watched when I wanna feel nostalgic!
If you could go on tour with any current band or artist, who would it be and why?
Catfish and the Bottlemen. Hands down. They’re one of the most electric live bands I’ve seen (and keep going to seeJune 1st in Victoria Park) the music is brilliant. The show is brilliant the fans are brilliant. Whats not to love?I think getting to know Van and the boys and touring with them would be a right laugh and we have a similar sound to them so there would be some fan sharing... hopefully.
If you could put your dream team band together consisting of any musicians from the past or present who would the band members be?
Freddy Mercury singing. There just isn’t a better vocalist out there nor will there be.
I’d put John Bonham on drums as he was just immense and I’d LOVE to see him play.
Prince on lead guitar. He was short and funky and just fab at what he did.
Phil Lynott on bass. Enough said there.
John Lennon on rhythm guitar
I’d put Bowie in there on keys just and backing vocals.
This band is ridiculous. It just simply wouldn’t work haha. No matter how much it would be super cool and defy genres I’m simply unconvinced by my own choices here. Individually and in their own band they’re all epic but together I just, i don’t know. I’m standing by it. Hahaha
How would you describe your live show to someone who has never seen you perform before?
If I’m playing solo it’s a really cheeky show and a very fun happy event. A nice Acoustic gig with a good bit of chatting with the crowd.
If it’s with a band it’s high octane high energy. We give it all we can and leave our hearts out there on the stage for everyone who came to see us. It’s worth a watch
Do any of you have any pre-gig or post gig rituals? If so, what and why?
I always wears a specific pair of pink socks (his lucky gig socks)
After that it’s try and stay as calm as possible and don’t drink too much before you go on. Meet as many people as you can after and say thank you to everyone who came to support.
They’re more rules than rituals but I’d say they count.
What would your ultimate rider be if you could have anything without being accused of being a diva?
I haven’t a clue. Green rooms are always pretty chill and every venue I’ve played has been really really nice and supportive.
I dont know... let’s go big if I can have anything.
I would always want to have a really nice pep talk from someone super cool like Barack Obama. I think that would be epic However massively outrageous not always in person but maybe like a Skype call or a FaceTime or something.
At the moment I’d just like a band
If we were to browse your music library what is the most embarrassing song we might find? Or who is your guilty pleasure artist?
I like all my music. I do have eclectic tastes but I’m not really embarrassed by anything on their. I think given all the aforementioned music influence bands it may be surprising to know I’ve a few Adele and Katie perry tracks. Oh and naturally the spice girls and Britney Spears make appearances.
Tell us one thing your fans would be really shocked or surprised to hear or learn about you
I’m really quite an open person so this is a hard one!
Oh! I know. I actually used to make JK Rowlings decaf soy lattes when I worked for Harvey Nichols in Edinburgh!
Which was totally not cool because I fan-girled super hard when she first came in.
If people want to check you out online where is the best place to go?
Instagram gives you a real good behind the scenes look at what I get myself up to via the band at @PBatGS and my personal account. I post random covers I do in my music room and sometimes have a few mates on there too.
If not we are about to release our first single from our debut album on YouTube pretty soon. Hopefully the major sites and social media places will be soon to follow!
Finally, What does the future hold for you as an artist?
You mean if the zombie apocalypse doesn’t happen?
I feel it’s obvious that Cataclysmic global Fame, fortune and a wide devoted loving fan base.
Nah in all honestly It’ll just be on to
Album two once the first is released later this year. Get a touring band together and go out and cause a scene in the music industry. What more can we hope for!
HOXTON UNDERBELLY,16 November
The Old Queens Head,28 November
HOXTON UNDERBELLY,29 November
93 Feet East,30 November
The Jazz Cafe,03 December
THE GRACE ,06 December