A Few Minutes With… Glass Pony

ALBANY – Throughout the past years, prior to the pandemic, I’d heard of a band that was curiously called Glass Pony. At one point, we were in talks of hosting a show together, and while that never came to light, I was happy to get the chance to finally sit down with the band over the weekend. During the course of our conversation, we touched on several topics, most importantly of which being what we can expect in the near future from these folks!

A band that has stuck together through these unprecedented times, all while managing to keep pushing forward and developing their sound; please continue reading on for the interview. To catch this excitingly tight band performing live, you can do just that on New Year’s Eve at the Waterhole in Saranac Lake, where they’ll be performing alongside Raisinhead, as well two sets – that are sure to be riveting – at Parish Public House in Albany on January 8th!

For more information, please view the links at the end of this article.

Lucas Garrett: Well, you guys, thank you for stopping by tonight to chat for a little bit! I’ve heard of you guys for quite some time. Now, I get to finally chat with you. How the hell are you guys doing? What’s new?

Greg Pittz: I mean, we’re good! Haha.

Chanda Dewey: We just got out of rehearsal, so that was good. Greg wrote a new song, so we’re working on that.

GP: In two weeks we’re doing New Year’s Eve with Raisinhead up in Saranac Lake at the Waterhole; we’ve never played there before.

Jeff Picarazzi: The first weekend in January we’re playing at Parish (Public House)… two sets at Parish on the 8th of January. So, that should be fun.

GP: We actually have a few gigs in January.

JP: Yeah, then two weeks after that, I think, is at Unihog.

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Glass Pony, from left-to-right: Eddie Hotaling, Greg Pittz, Chanda Dewey, Jeff Picarazzi.

LG: Oh, that’s a really nice place.

JP: Yeah, you been there?

CD: I haven’t been there.

LG: Yes, it has a really cool vibe.

CD: It seemed cool.

LG: When I played there it was packed with people ranging from hippie women to motorcycle folks, you know?

GP: Sounds like our element.

LG: Little bit of everything there. I, first, Chanda, started talking to you a few years ago; before the pandemic. We were trying to line up something, but it’s really nice to see you guys getting bigger in the area. In that time, I’ve been meaning to try to catch you, but with the pandemic and everything…

CD: Everything’s been up in the air.

LG: It’s nice to see you folks are still around – it’s not been that way for a lot of guys. It’s nice to see that you guys are hanging in there. I heard your newest single! A lot of different things going on in “Daydream.”

GP: Haha.

LG: Tell us a bit about that tune.

GP: Well, that’s a tune that Eddie wrote a long time ago.

Eddie Hotaling: I wrote it right here on this couch; I remember that. We were doing some post-punk, new wave kind of stuff. It’s sort of influenced by that with the real repetitive motif over a basic chord progression. There’s not a lot to it… we take that song and usually go pretty deep into improv when we recreate it live. The recording, we spent some time really working on the vocal arrangement. So, that was fun.

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Glass Pony’s single, Daydream, cover art.

LG: Nice. Now, I have to ask you, and maybe I’m way off base. Eddie, are you a fan of Joni Mitchell? Because, a lot of the lyrical content in that song heavily reminded me of Joni.

EH? Really? Actually, no, I’m not that familiar with Joni. Not as much as I should be.

LG: Correct me if I’m wrong, but there’s the line “dreams and schemes and circus themes,” right?

EH: Yeah, yep.

LG: That is from one of her songs, “Both Sides Now.”

CD: Oh, that’s funny. It’s strictly coincidence.

LG: When I heard that, I was like, “Wow, I wonder if…” Well, if you don’t know her, I highly recommend it.

EH: I know a little bit of her stuff. I’m not familiar with that one, though. I’ll have to check it out, thanks.

GP: What’s the one with Jaco on bass? Is that “Coyote?”

LG: “Coyote,” that’s a hell of a song.

GP: Dude, that’s the one that I like a lot.

LG: So, is this song, “Daydream,” part of an upcoming album? What’s going on with that?

EH: Yes, it is. The version that we put out with the video is a shortened version. The one on the album has another minute; instrumental, guitar solo, basically.

GP: Little bit of a guitar jam that has a bit of a climax. Then, we come back to the A section of the song. It’s cool, though, Jeff went to high school with his friend, Raelynn, who works for Infrasonic Mastering in Nashville.

LG: Yeah, I saw that on the liner notes. I was going to ask how you knew her.

JP: Yeah, I went to grade school with her. We went to St. Thomas, actually, together, when were in pre-school. I knew her when we were almost still in diapers, really. She grew up in Selkirk, which is where I’m from, too. She went to RIT in Rochester and her and I’ve just stayed in touch because her and I have always liked similar music. We’ve always just been the few people that went to the same high school that pursued music.

LG: It’s nice when it happens like that.

JP: She was just as happy to take on the opportunity to master for us as we were to give it to her. It was a very mutual takeaway from it.

EH: And, she’ll be mastering the whole album. It’s cool, too, that her company uses a lot of analog gear for the mastering. So, it’s like literal stuff that they’re running the tracks through. Not just a computer program.

LG: That’s the way to do it if you can.

GP: Yeah, man! It sounded incredible when we got it back. I couldn’t believe how much better it made the track sounded.

LG: It sounds extremely well-polished.

GP: Thanks, man. Eddie spent a lot of time when we recorded it down at his sister’s house.

CD: And, then mixing! He spent a lot of time mixing. Eddie does a lot of work on our stuff.

LG: Ha, yeah, I know all about that!

CD: Ha, it sounds good because of him.

GP: We rented a bunch of mics from Blue Sky Studios and just tried to get the best gear and the best ingredients at the start to make it sound good.

LG: The better it sounds in the beginning the easier it is to make it sound amazing at the end of it. You guys seem to be doing a lot of stuff in-house, and I know a lot of artists – definitely for myself – seem to be doing it themselves; the mixing and the recording. Do you guys enjoy doing that?

GP: Yeah. It can be a headache a little bit! It’s a lot, but also for a band our age, we can afford it, ya know? We don’t have a ton of money to spend in studios. The DIY thing is good.

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Glass Pony, from left-to-right: Chanda Dewey, Eddie Hotaling, Jeff Picarazzi, Greg Pittz

LG: The only time I don’t like doing it in-house is when I keep listening to the same four measures for a half hour to get the EQ just right.

GP: Ha, right!

LG: It’s very affordable doing it that way, though! What else have you guys been up to?

GP: We had a great show, what is it, two weeks ago, now? A week and a half ago?

CD: A week ago this past Friday. We were with Dogs in a Pile at Cohoes Music Hall. They’re a killer band; they’re just awesome. It was really cool to play with them and play at that venue. What a cool room that was, and the stage sounded great. It was a really fun show. I just had a fun play; it was a blast.

EH: There was a lot of people there; close to three hundred, I think Greg said, if not more.

CD: We’ve just been playing shows here and there. We had to cancel a few due to COVID; like up in Plattsburgh and Burlington. It’s all moving pieces right now, but we did have that show recently, which was awesome. The next one coming up is the Waterhole on New Year’s Eve. No one’s allowed to get COVID before that!

LG: It’s great that you guys are sticking through it, though. One thing, even though we haven’t hung out, or really know each other, one thing I can say is: even though you guys have always been tight, one thing I’ve noticed is that it keeps getting tighter, and more refined. A lot more interesting arrangements from what I’ve heard lately; it’s really great. You guys are doing great.

(everyone): Thanks so much!

CD: It’s hard to keep the original thing going. We put a lot of work into it.

LG: Is there anything else you’d like to discuss that I may have missed?

CD: We’re planning on having the album done in spring time. We don’t have a date, yet, but we’re shooting for spring. How many songs are on it?

EH, GP: Nine.

CD: We’ll have nine new songs coming out on that; we have the single, “Daydream.”

GP: We’ve been playing all the tunes, so if you’ve caught us a few times you’ll probably recognize most of them.

CD: Yeah, there’s nothing that’s going to be brand new that we haven’t played that’s not on the album. Everything’s in our rotation right now.

GP: We’re going to keep playing and keep practicing. Like Chanda said earlier, we just worked on a new song today.

LG: Well, thank you guys!

EH, GP: Yeah!

EH: Thanks for having us!

CD: Thanks for doing this!

GP: Great to meet you, man.

JP: Great to meet you, for sure!

CD: Take care, Lucas, have a great day!

EH: See you, man, thanks.

_

Relevant links:

https://www.glassponyband.com/

https://glasspony.bandcamp.com/track/daydream-single-version

https://www.facebook.com/GlassPonyBand

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