Lardpony are the Derby-based crafters of excellent indie-synthy-pop-type-songs. Are they on the verge of something huge? Like an angry, yet geometrically unconventional, seal?
We sent The Robot Luke Elliott to track down the band's leader, Tom Morton, and find out.
Goaste: Who are Lardpony, and when did they form?
Tom Morton: Lardpony are currently Tom Morton (me), Kristian Podhorodecki, Nathan Wilson and Mandy McKirdy. But once, long ago, Lardpony was just me. Tom.
It all began some time in 1998. I used to write songs or - more frequently - turn a tape recorder on and make them up as I went along. I used the name Lardpony based on a doodled horse I'd done in maths. Five years later, I decided to book a gig, then realised I'd need help, so I seduced three other musicians, and blackmailed them into joining me. Later, one of them left and was replaced, but that's not really very important.
G: Who are your influences, and what sort of stuff did you grow up on?
TM: When I first started writing songs, I think I was too shit to have influences. Nowadays it's probably things like The Shins, Hefner, The Flaming Lips and various indie-pop sort of stuff, although that doesn't always show up too much in our songs. I grew up listening exclusively to The Boo Radleys after a short, ill-advised love affair with Meat Loaf
I'm not really sure who influences Mandy and Nathan, but Pod [Drummer Kristian Podhorodecki] is 80% Brian May of Queen and 20% Jimmy Chamberlain of The Smashing Pumpkins. He's a guitarist turned drummer, possibly slightly against his will.
G: JJ72, Sonic Youth, The Zutons, all helped by an attractive female member. C'mon, you're using Mandy as a marketing tool, aren't you?
TM: Yes! Technically, she's the only person I really know who can play the keyboard to any level of excellence...
G: ...whilst simultaniously being a bit hot
TM: Well, it can't hurt, but I was hoping more that the three unconventionally attractive male members would attract a vast army of young female fans. It doesn't seem to be happening... yet. I've got a beard, is that not enough?
G: Sadly not, it would seem. How much material have you got recorded so far?
TM: As a band, an album's worth (16 tracks) plus a couple of demos - Robbie from Plans and Apologies recorded our album, and they are the best band. On my own, probably enough to release about 16 "Beatles anthology" style retrospective compilations. Or about one fairly good one.
G: Any record labels sniffing around yet?
TM: Well, we should be putting the album out with the help of our friend Moo, who's in an excellent band called Twinkie, and his wife Anne-Marie, so that should happen around the start of next year, hopefully. Apart from that, somebody at Sony asked for a demo, but I think the chances of them signing us are actually less than zero. Maybe he was drunk or confused in some way.
G: Most of your gigs seem to be centred around the East Midlands, are you planning to branch out further?
TM: We've played Leeds, Liverpool and Sheffield which are a bit more northern, but hopefully we'll be properly trying to head out further once we have the album ready, so we can attempt to sell enough to pay for petrol money. There have been vague mentions of possible gigs in more southern parts so we should be able to string together some kind of tour, if we're lucky - it should be fairly cheap to do as long as we can find floors to sleep on.
G: Have you encountered any ripping off at gigs yet?
TM: We've played lots of gigs for free, but I don't think we've ever been promised money but not received it. It's more about getting more people to hear the band than getting paid at this point, although obviously enough money to drive fast and live young is a bonus. I've heard some horror stories from other bands about gig rip-offs, almost exclusively London-based... so that's something to look forward to.
[at this point the interview rapidly and unexpectedly descents into remarks about Lardpony standing in for Blur, and no one noticing]
G: Finally, I got some lard, and I tried to make a pony, but I started off too big, so I ran out of lard, and the rest is a very precarious positioning of lego and bread. If I take a photo, will you use it as a cd cover?
TM: I think we would, you know. If we ever get to make a second CD after this first one (which already has a cover).
|You can find out more about Lardpony and download MP3s from their debut 'This Is Lardcore' from their website. Do it. Do it now.|