PONCÉ – To Us, a Good Song is a Good Song

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What’s more adorable than twin brothers getting together to write tunes and make music? Probably not much, which is why I’m so into PONCÉ right now. The duo based in Nashville are a Americana-rock band creating lovely lyrics and catchy beats. They’ve been busy creating tunes for their new EP but I was lucky enough to get a chance to chat with them.

PONCÉ gives us an insight into what it’s like writing music with your twin brother, who they’d love to open for and how Nashville influences their sound.

Creative Control: Being twins, people probably think that you’re always on the same page when it comes to creating music. Is this true?
It’s true like, 90% of the time. We’re both opinionated people and can definitely dig our heels in if one of us feels strongly about how the song should be built – its style, etc. Like I said, the majority of the time it’s smooth sailing but every now and then you’ll have a ‘twin fight’ (as our friends dub it) to flesh out the song. We usually put our engineer or producer in the uncomfortable situation of trying to mediate the whole thing.

Creative Control: What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of working and performing with a close family member?
I think at the end of the day it’s an advantage. I think it’s an advantage to be able to have very frank and honest conversations – whether that’s about music or life. Our mom probably thought we’d end up killing each other growing up but we’ve always been able to share our opinions, speak our minds and move on from a disagreement. However, I think a disadvantage (especially being twins) is the idea you don’t have to compromise because after all, he’s JUST your brother and his opinion or stance isn’t any more valid than mine. But we’re extremely close and make it work.

Creative Control: Do you guys have similar taste in music or does it differ?
It’s pretty similar. I can’t think of any bands one of us loves and the other absolutely despises. We’re both Spotify subscribers and I know our ‘Discover Weekly’ playlists are similar in style but not necessarily artists. We’ll often ask each other, “Who’s this? Where’d you hear them?”

Creative Control: So your single Moving to Los Angeles, why LA? Why not moving to NYC or Vegas or some other place?
The song’s story is how this girl moves away to LA and leaves her boyfriend in New York. Even with the sun and the beaches, the boyfriend sees LA as a soulless place where his girlfriend is trading it all in to seek glamorous fame. I think the two cities, the stereotypes of people who live in each, the distance between, etc. provide good contrast for a breakup song. Also, “I don’t know if my heart can handle this, my baby’s moving to Los Angeles,” just rolls of the tongue, right?

Creative Control: Have other cities influenced your sound? Like Nashville, perhaps?
Absolutely. In general, growing up in East-Central Indiana, we listened to a lot of Petty, Springsteen, Mellencamp, CCR, etc. That definitely inspired our early writing and musicianship. As far as Nashville, the influence is more of the people and talent you’re around. Before moving down here the question was sort of, “do you want to try and be the biggest band in Indianapolis or go cut your teeth in Nashville, LA, New York?” Being in Nashville with so many incredibly talented writers, musicians and industry folk really makes you step up your game and push yourself to be better.

Creative Control: Nashville has become known for country and rock music. Living there, have you ever felt pressure to stick to a certain type of genre? Not really. When we first moved here the Americana thing was really exploding so we maybe catered to that a little bit, but we’re also a band that loves to write all types of music. Carson could write a pop song you’d wish BANKS would cut, then the next day write a country murder ballad. To us, a good song is a good song.

Creative Control: I love when a song has some unexpected piano in it like Moving to Los Angeles! I read that your mom taught you how to play piano. Is it important to you to keep that family-touch in your music?
Absolutely. We grew up in a very musical household and our mom, her students or one of our sisters was always playing the piano. While neither of us are as proficient, the piano also opened up a different array of artists that influenced us like Elton John, Jackson Browne, etc. We’ve always said we want our mom to play on a record of ours so hopefully that can happen soon!

Creative Control: Some of my favourite bands are listed as your musical-influences like Tom Petty, HAIM and Bruce Springsteen. If you could open for one of your musical influences who would it be and why?
That’s an insanely hard question to answer. Both Petty and Springsteen would be surreal. I think we’d say Springsteen. He, his band and his songs have had such a profound impact on us getting into music at a young age and to keep pursuing it. He also seems like the kind of dude who would be more than happy to kick it back stage and hang with some twenty-somethings. Not that we’d turn Petty down… Call us, Tom.

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