Artist Interview: 1-on-1 with Matt Pond PA

I am hanging out today with a group of guys that I have been listening to for as long as I can remember. Having more albums you can count and an incredible set of lyrics, vocals, and instruments to back them up, Matt Pond PA always impresses me. Their Indie attitude and vibe is evident in their sound alone and their live shows just bleed passion and dedication. I have had the chance to see Matt Pond PA a few times in concert and they are a sight to see. Sit back and hang out with me today as I introduce to you Matt Pond PA.

Where did the name Matt Pond PA come from?

It comes from my misguided attempt at cleverness. I do not love the name. I’d prefer something with a little more rock and roll girth to it. Meat Hammer? Smash Mouth?

Where did you guys all meet?

The band was from Philly. Then I relocated. So it reformed in Brooklyn with Dan Crowell. Right now it’ me and Chris and Dan. With appearances from Eve.

How long have you been playing music?

Of and on, my whole life. But I hated it until it somehow showed up as the center of my life.

When did you first realize that you wanted to make this a career choice?

No. Never. This is a pleasant mistake. Sometimes unpleasant. But mostly pleasant.

Any other jobs besides music?

Many, many jobs. I am an excellent furniture mover.

What is the largest crowd you have played for?

The largest of our own was selling out the 9:30 Club in DC. We’ve done a few larger shows opening for other bands. The more people there are, the more electric it is. All that murmuring. That said, we’ve never under-played for any under-sized audience.

The smallest?

I mean. We’ve played to no one. I’m sure. There’s a lot of humility being handed out in rock and roll.

Any tattoos in the group?

Yes. Eve has some beautiful tattoos from an amazing artist in Maine. I have one. It is the only one I’ll ever get. And it’s a secret.

Who has the most?


Tell me what it is like working with Altitude Records.

Altitude, Polyvinyl, File-13. They’re all great little labels. Just trying to figure out how to make it work in the strange evolution of the music business. But all of them have stood behind me, let me do whatever I want.

Who are some of your biggest influences?

John Lennon, Jarvis Cocker, Neil Young, and Walker Percy.

If you could meet anyone alive or dead who would it be and why?

Neil Young. Because he’s always stayed true to his ethics of what it is to create music. And yet he’d never pretend to be perfect.

Any thoughts on a tour this winter?

Nothing for a bit. We’ve got to get this darn record done.

What is one song you guys play in every set?

There’s nothing that’s always been there. Too many songs. I like KC, Measure 3, Halloween. People tend to know those.

Who does all your album cover art work?

Julie Ruiz did the last few. She’s both a genius and an angel.

Let’s get some pizza. What toppings?

In these vegetarian times, I stay a purest and have my pizza plain.

PC or Mac?

Mac. But I’m not a computer discriminator. They all do the same things. To argue about the vehicle would be to obscure the journey and the purpose.

Why do you guys release so many EPs?

I’m not sure. Maybe because they reduce the unwanted scrutiny of a full-on album. Sometimes we’d like to let the music speak for itself. As they are species of thoughts unto to themselves. Maybe I’d like to leave them wild and undisturbed.

Tell me what it was like filming the video for People Have A Way.

We stayed up all night having beers and talking about the way nobody really listens to Pete Doherty without coming down on his persona and drug addiction. Then went out at dawn, with white outfits and angel wings, and walked around Brooklyn with peacefully wielded weapons.

Where do you see yourselves in five years?

Peacefully farming apricots.

If you could be any cartoon character which one would you be?

Meg Griffin. So that I could be voiced by Mila Kunis. Or anyone from Metalocalypse.

What is your favorite venue to play?

I love the Bowery. But I don’t really discriminate against venues. It is the people at the shows that make them worthwhile. (for real and word)

If you could play only one cover song for the rest of your career what one would you choose?

Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands. Yep.

You have a very polished image that matches your sound perfectly. Did that come before or after the music?

I am what I am. We are what we are. I can neither take credit or criticism for that.

What do you want to be remembered for when this is all said and done?

It is part of the human condition that’s swelled over time — worrying about what goes on in other people’s minds, wondering about our legacy. Personally, I wouldn’t ever want to dictate what people think. And when all is said and truly done, I will be too far away to care.

I always let the artist get the last word. Go.

I won’t be uttering my last words for at least a few hours. Not until after lunch.