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

Categories: Interview
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.

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

"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.

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