If you haven’t had at least one mental breakdown in quarantine yet, wow, good for you. For the rest of the world, turn punk rock duo Phono Pony up, let your anxiety melt away, and transform your quarantine zone into a party zone.
After meeting at a Vancouver Weiner dog race track, Phono Pony became a Canada-based duo pumping out 1970’s NYC street punk-style music with a fresh take on garage rock. They say if they’re not having a good time, then something is “horribly wrong.”
“You just gotta relax and try and have a good time,” Shay Hayashi (drums/vocals/synth) tells BTRtoday. “Just focus on the music.” The first few tours Hayashi and Michael Kenyon (guitar/vocals/theremin) went on were a real test on their psyche. Things were stolen, snags kept happening, but everything turned out alright in the end and the only thing they regretted was worrying.
Even this year, the now-seasoned touring band had to cancel their North American tour due to COVID-19, but they’re still grateful to be alive and kickin’. They even decided to build a studio in their home to keep things flowin’ and record as much new music as they can during quarantine. “We got two feet and a heartbeat, so we can’t complain,” Hayashi says.
Last month they released the single “Back to School Special” along with a trippy, “Yellow Submarine”-inspired video. The song slaps you in the face with vocal distortion while it soothes your mind with fuzzy guitar.
Phono Pony, “Back to School Special”
Phono Pony isn’t new to combining in-your-face punk rock with melodic garage rock. Their last LP/debut album, 2018’s Monkey Paw, is the perfect foundation of tracks to introduce you to the duo. Each song is an earworm that lingers in your mind for days after first hearing it. The title track shows off a darker side to Phono Pony, while others like “Tattoo Of My Face” and “Losing the Spark” provide classic fast and fun punk riffs. Then there are tracks like “00100” and “500 Matches” that still keep things gritty, but in a sweet and dreamy way.
Though their tour is postponed indefinitely, the duo intend to keep working on their creativity. “If this [quarantine] lasts longer than we thought, then yes, we will have a lot of [new] music,” Hayashi says. Tune in to this week’s episode of The Music Meetup to hear the entire interview with Phono Pony, along with the newest single and all of their debut album, Monkey Paw.