It is always encouraged to think outside the box. And no, this has nothing do with the ongoing stream of Jack in the Box commercials, but rather the creative and unconventional efforts of an up-and-coming Seattle, WA-based band.

Meet PonyHomie.

The silly band name that was derived from no particular idea was on Brandon Feist’s mind for a while.  The name works well for them – it’s a little ridiculous, but phonetically funny, too.  The band also covers their faces with bandannas in order to take on different personas while performing.

Feist, and his band mates Ramon Salumbides (bass), and Mike West (drums), comprises the electronic/dance/rock trio.  A fascinating thing to note about PonyHomie is more than just their unique sound.  What attracts me to them is their undying and loyal support from their friends and colleagues in the Seattle community.  The band remains humble, friendly, and unaware of the buzz that they are creating.

Before performing as part of PonyHomie, Feist exercised his musical talents via the singer-songwriter route.  After realizing that it wasn’t the best path to follow, he shifted his full attention to something else – a Nord G2X, to be exact.  It is a modular keyboard that the band lovingly refers to as “the beast.”

“I bought this keyboard and started to write music that was outside the box.  I don’t know much about it.  Our drummer doesn’t really dictate the beats.  It’s not like playing a piano.  It’s almost like a video game.  If things aren’t done at the exact time, it’s like you’re losing points,” said Feist.

Sounds complicated.  Feist doesn’t like to take credit for the music.  He’d rather shift the attention to the keyboard itself – the Nord G2X is able to build voices and sounds on top of each other.  There is a built-in vocal patch.  With the ability to create weird sound effects, the songwriting process is like a new experience every time.  Feist said that it’s like “starting from scratch.”

With an instrument like that, PonyHomie has been able to play and entertain at various venues in the Seattle area.  Fortunately, many of the band’s friends have even doubled as technical help, booking agents, and poster designers. Their connections have been supportive since the get-go.  Feist is fortunate to be able to work with individuals that are already involved musically in the community.

“We have trustworthy friends that have helped us run shows.  One of our best shows was at Neumos on January 19.  We had friends help us with lighting and fog effects,” said Feist.

He owes the earlier drum beat credit to PonyHomie’s original drummer – now an honorary fourth member of the band.  Feist’s longtime friend, Chris Dalman, had relocated to Ohio after PonyHomie played their first show in July 2009.  That day, July 27, 2009 to be exact, was also the hottest day ever in Seattle.

After Dalman relocated, Feist and Salumbides panicked.  Fortunately, they found a replacement in Mike West.

“We’ve known each other for a long time and could not be happier.  He’s a great drummer and an integral part of the band,” said Feist.

The three members and good friends are constantly experimenting when developing their material.  In addition to West’s beats and the Nord G2X, Salumbides sometimes swaps the bass guitar with an actual upright bass.  The results are interesting and innovative.

They will be bringing their talents to Austin, TX.  Hitting the road with friends in other indie bands, PonyHomie will be playing as part of a non-sanctioned showcase during the famous South by Southwest conferences and festivals.  The showcase, aptly called “Nearby Southby,” is scheduled to occur on St. Patrick’s Day at The Elysium.

PonyHomie will be bringing the buzz to Austin and the rest of the music world.  They are hitting the road hard, complete with drums, an upright bass and a Nord G2X.  Put on that bandanna and join them… outside the box.

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