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Pony Bwoy: It's hard to be a musician and not feel like a whore

Pony Bwoy: It's hard to be a musician and not feel like a whoreEXPAND
Photo via Michael E. Pierce

Pony Bwoy are currently crashing in a tiny, cramped studio space packed with gear. This spot serves as their think tank, and keeps the focus primarily on the integrity of their art. "The main ups in this situation is that we're making really good music. Other than that, we're homeless," says vocalist Jeremy Nutzman.

After finishing sixth in the 2013 Picked to Click poll, and releasing a well-received debut album, Nutzman and creative partner Hunter Morley will close out the year with a party at 7th Street Entry. This New Year's Eve show will also feature buzzworthy locals Night Moves, Carroll, and Fatty Acids. Here are some highlights from a conversation with two guys who "have our periods at the same time," according to Morley.

See Also:  The best New Year's Eve shows in the Twin Cities


Since the release of their self-titled album earlier this year, Pony Bwoy have played only a couple of shows at home in Minneapolis, along with performances in New York and San Francisco. The New Year's show will be their third at home.

As the group emerged, Nutzman has shown a noticeable departure from his rap persona, Spyder Baybie Raw Dog. On Pony Bwoy tracks, Nutzman is heard slipping effortlessly from sultry vocals to slick tongued rapping.

"Spyder Baybie was just me being a loudmouth, and just trying to be everything that Minneapolis hip-hop was not willing to say," he says. "Basically I just wanted attention, and I got it, and I'm more interested in creating real good music than real good jokes right now."

So far, it has been basically impossible to concisely describe Pony Bwoy's sound. Morley and Nutzman themselves shy from using any genre words to categorize their creations, and rightly so. There seems to be no place in the Minneapolis music "scene" where Pony Bwoy fits comfortably. Yes, they incorporate elements of hip-hop and R&B, but overall their sound is more experimental than anything else, which makes sense considering their influences.

Pony Bwoy at Totally Gross National Party 2013 at Icehouse
Pony Bwoy at Totally Gross National Party 2013 at Icehouse
Photo by Anna Gulbrandsen

"Not only can we not come up with a genre, or a list of genres, that's a point of pride in our music. I mean, its pretty sexy," says Nutzman. Morley calls it "when beauty meets abuse."

Their creative synergy is so close that Nutzman "hangs out" inside of Morley's mind. "Its a snowstorm," Nutzman says. "Like that moment that you're late for work and you're waiting for your car to warm up, and your hands are cold, and you're scraping your windshield. That's what its like in Hunter's mind every day."

Taking into account their struggles, including the aforementioned homelessness and their recent road trip troubles -- their rental car was hit by a semi truck on the way to their last show -- Pony Bwoy appears to be somewhat cursed. The two are taking it in stride, though. Nutzman denies the curse altogether. For Morley, these real-life trials add to the books -- including Rimbaud, Naked Lunch, and The Basketball Diaries -- that inspire their material. Plus, they want to create on their own terms.

"I don't want to be a whore. Its so hard to be a musician and not feel like a fucking whore all the time," says Morley.

 

They are currently working on their second album, which is slated for release in spring of 2014. "When we work, we work for like 24 to 48 hours, and there's still not enough hours in the day to do all the shit that we want to do," Morley says. At least 80 tracks have been created so far, they say.

"Its different every time, but we always write as we go along," Nutzman says. "We write little pieces of little things all over pieces of trash and our computers, and the notes in our cell phones, and once it's crunch time they all find a place." Their studio space is a testament to this. Notebooks are strewn about the room, as are bits of paper scrawled with song lyrics and ideas.

All Pony Bwoy really want is for people to listen to their music, and then decide for themselves whether or not they like it. "It's not a party jam, where you're at a party and you're like, oh want to hear my song? Let's go out to the Suburban and listen to it," Nutzman says. "Nobody can tell you to like Pony Bwoy. You have to go and decide if you like it yourself."

New Year's Eve with Night Moves. With Pony Bwoy, Carroll, and Fatty Acids. 18+, $10-$12, Tuesday, December 31 at First Avenue. Info here.


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