Tuesday, September 11, 2012

We Interview LFK's Ponyboy: "Our shows are loud with a lot of cursing...".

One could make a case for Ponyboy as LFK's most interesting band of the moment and here are three reasons why:

1) They have a loud and proud gay sensibility.
2) They have a terrifying new concept album called Pussy Killer about the Canadian killer Luka Magnotta.
3) They recorded the soundtrack for an "adult" film/documentary by the porn star Buck Angel called Sexing the Transman

How many of those can your band claim?

We spoke with Ponyboy's Charles McVey prior to this Saturday's show at Wonder Fair (8:00 pm, Sept. 15) which also includes Plains and Theo's Mystic Robot Orchestra.  Check Ponyboy out on FB here and find all of their tunes, including the new Pussy Killer album, via Bandcamp.  Visit the FB event page for Saturday's show here.

And enjoy this interview that touches on media violence, masculinity issues, and awkward boners!

Chip:  Normally I find anything with “Pussy” in the title to be a pleasant experience, but Pussy Killer is intense, man!  The first words we hear on the album are “Fair warning: you might find this next story disturbing,” and I certainly did!  Tell our readers about the inspiration for the title and the album.
MCVEY: "Pussy Killer" is a concept album about violence and how the media sensationalizes violent crime using the recent case of Canadian Luka Magnotta as a platform.  If you're not familiar with the case, he is a accused of murdering a 33 year old Chinese student, dismembering the body, and video taping the whole thing.  The video was uploaded to some gore sites and went viral, all the while body parts start showing up all over Canada via the mail.  Luka Magnotta, a failed model and porn actor,  was accused of the crime and I became a bit obsessed with the case while he was on the run.  It appears that this crime was motivated by Magnotta's quest for fame. He had previously been accused of making videos of killing cats and posting them online as well. That is where the title, "Pussy Killer" comes from, however I feel like it could have multiple interpretations in this case.   In the record I tried to examine some of the motifs that appeared while the case unfolded, as well as explore some  internal dialogue associated with psychopathic narcissism. 

Richard:  Ponyboy’s FB page describes your sound as “gayass 2-piece rock” and we’ve seen you called “art fag grunge rockers.”  How important is the gay activist aesthetic to your music and other projects, such as doing the score for the Buck Angel documentary?

MCVEY:  We're a hard rock band more than something like queercore, and I think that the bulk of the lyrical angst in Ponyboy is  related to masculinity issues more than gay issues. However, when I was younger I yearned for artists I could fully relate to in terms of sexuality and attitude, but was often left wanting. So I think that's probably why I'm so upfront about it now.  But it's more of a middle finger than a limp-wristed handshake.  Working with Buck has been really cool, and I think that our work corresponds well with Buck's ideas about questioning perceptions of masculinity and trying to be comfortable in one's own skin. And also we love porno, of course.
Richard:  The video for “Luka” gave me nightmares for a week.  Tell us about the imagery and how the “Director’s Cut” differs from the YouTube version.

I was really intrigued by the online fan base that sprung up around this crime after Magnotta was caught in Berlin and, while I was working on "Pussy Killer," I watched documentaries about famous serial killers looking for similarities and ideas I could consider while working on the lyrics.  It seems that much of the time the serial killer's desire or craving to kill starts as an obsessive fantasy, so I wanted the video to work with an element of fantasy and role play leading to an eventual crime.   The video for "Luka" is like a video response to or fan letter where the fan recreates the crime on a new victim.  We've had some problems with our videos on YouTube in the past, so I removed two shots to comply with their policy, but there is a link on the YouTube post to the uncut version on Daily Motion if you are into dirty shit.
Check out the Youtube version here (and we're sure that you pervs will follow the necessary links to the uncut version):

Chip:  My favorite Ponyboy song has got to be "Bro is the New Word For Faggot."  Sidenote: I was telling some bros about the tune recently outside Brother's and they totally called me a faggot.  Can you tell us about the title and meaning behind the song.

MCVEY: "Bro is the New Word for Faggot" is a lament of one's life seeming to consist of only failures and unfulfilled conquests. It's about trying to fit in when you've never fit in, and also about going to the gym. So, it's not really about being gay, but being a skinny loser.  It was actually the first Ponyboy song we wrote and I think we've played it at every show.  It's sort of the definitive Ponyboy track.

 Richard:  So what’s a Ponyboy show like?  Tell our readers what to expect at Wonder Fair on the 15th?

MCVEY: Our shows are loud with a lot of cursing, but there are usually a ton of drunk sluts at our gigs, so it's always fun for everyone.  I've never been to a gig at Wonder Fair, so I am not sure what to expect.  There are two other great acts that night as well, Plains and Theo's Mystic Robot, which is gonna be super cool.

Chip :   One final question:  I totally dig the score for “Sexing the Transman” but, as a VERY straight man, how uncomfortable do you think I’ll be if I actually watch the film and do you think it will end up giving me some very awkward boners?

MCVEY: Well, if your boners tend to be awkward, then yes.  There are actually two versions of Buck's "Sexing the Transman" films.  One is an adult film,  "Sexing the Transman XXX"; and the other, "Sexing the Transman" (no XXX) is a documentary with mainly just interviews.  The documentary has been shown at different film festivals all over the world this year and I am in the process of setting up a screening in Lawrence in November.  Only one of the interviews in the documentary gave me a boner, but it's been pulled from the film I hear, so you should be safe.

Here's Ponyboy's Charles and David and a flyer for Saturday's show:


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