Bringin’ it Backwards: Interview with Ryan and Pony

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We had the pleasure of interviewing Ryan and Pony over Zoom video! 

Ryan And Pony is a brand-new project from two indie-rockers who have been kicking around the much-vaunted Minneapolis music scene for years.  Their debut album Moshi Moshi was recorded at a variety of Minneapolis studios including Flight Simulator, Flowers, Master Mix, and The Kill Room with Ryan producing.  John Fields mixed and Greg Reierson mastered the album.  Moshi Moshi is available on 12” blue vinyl LP, CD, digital download, and streaming services through Chicago’s Pravda Records. 

Ryan is a workaholic multi-instrumentalist who has been playing lead guitar in Soul Asylum since 2016. Pony is a flamboyant performer and artist raised by deaf parents.  Together they have made numerous albums and toured internationally leading The Melismatics.  On Moshi Moshi they fuse Dream-Pop, post-Punk, Brit-rock, EDM, and good ol’ fashioned Rock ‘n’ Roll into a sound all their own;  irony, weirdness, and melody are at its heart.  Peter Anderson (The Ocean Blue, Run Westy Run, The Honeydogs) adds his killer drum skills to the mix.

Ryan Smith and Pony (AKA Kathie Hixon-Smith) first met touring the U.S. in a minivan as indie-rocker Mark Mallman’s back-up band.  Both Ryan’s newly launched group The Melismatics and Pony’s band Hundred Flowers started making waves in the Minneapolis scene. Before long, they joined creative forces and Pony became co-front person in The Melismatics.

The Melismatics went on to release seven studio albums and several singles, play Lollapalooza, have their music used in numerous TV shows, tour internationally, and build a devoted fanbase.  They also shared the stage with the likes of MGMT, The Von Bondies, Joan Jett, Plain White Tees, Shiny Toy Guns, The Jayhawks, and Soul Asylum.  

After the Melismatics released their most recent album Rising Tide in 2013, the group started to slow down their rigorous touring schedule.  With this break in the action, the idea for a new project took shape and Ryan and Pony began working on new material.  The first track to come into fruition was “First Night,” a weirdly relevant song about rebirth. The duo continued recording songs for their debut album and playing local shows…

Then Soul Asylum called.  Ryan joined the legendary alternative rock group as their new lead guitarist and in 2016 and became very busy touring and recording.  Soul Asylum released a new album in 2020, Hurry Up And Wait which quickly became their third highest charting album to date.  After that album was in the can, Ryan was able to focus on putting the finishing touches on “Moshi Moshi” and finally turning it in to Pravda – now here it comes!

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