Often recited as being reminiscent of The Beatles, the Chicago based duo, The Pondhawks are quickly rising as one of the biggest Indie factions in the world. Their vocals and harmonies continue to bend genres and delight fans. Their newest song, “Afraid of Love” continues to create a buzz and fans are anxiously awaiting to see what’s next.
I spoke to Jorie and Mario regarding a psychedelic, fluorescent 50 year anniversary festival celebrating Woodstock as well as exactly what they were up to….Mario is a jokester while Jorie just seems to entertain his comedy. Together they make an incredible sound that touches the hearts of fans and listeners..
So, what have you guys been up to since we last spoke?
Mario: Just making it happen. We did a radio show this morning. It was called CRIS, and it was interesting because they were blind.
Jorie: They are in Chicago and it’s with Lighthouse for the Blind. They are really into PondHawks music. We had to bring all of our albums in, they wanted to be able to hear all of our music.
What did you talk about?
Jorie: Basically, what we went over with you, the beginnings of the band, and about our music, and songs that they talked about, were they hard to do or easy….
Mario: Our favorite amphibians and reptiles….the usual, you know…
You just came off doing a festival of some sort?
Jorie: We did the Woodstock tour. That was actually pretty good. Everyone was dressed up like hippies…..
Mario: They told me to come dressed the way I always do…the thing is Eileen, I pick a decade and I stick to it.
Well you picked a pretty cool decade.
Jorie: Oh yeah, he did.
Are you writing or recording anything new?
Mario: Oh yeah! We were on our way to the interview this morning and I was playing our new demo for Jorie. Our new song. We’ve got about 25 songs in the queue. So it’s like “what do we want to do next?”
I’ve been reading your reviews, and the consensus is thinking you sound like The Beatles.
Mario: It’s A misnomer but God bless him for that. We’re into the John and Paul formula, but that’s what it is.
Jorie: I love it, but nobody can beat The Beatles. I think it’s doing the more pure harmonies stuff where you’re not using all these effects to make your voice sound better or to have some sort of weirdness to it, auto tune and stuff like that.
Mario: I’ve got enough weirdness.
Jorie: He’s weird altogether. ….But I don’t think you need all that gimmicky stuff if you can sing.
Mario: Just a paisley tie and that’s good enough.
Well you two can sing!
Mario: I make dogs cringe.
Jorie: Yeah they howl.
Do you you do covers or only your own originals?
Mario: We do covers, yeah. The last show we did was almost a five hour show, so you know we’re doing at least 3 1/2 hours of covers. We were doing our originals at the end for the people that were fortunate enough, wait I mean unfortunate enough to miss our first set. That was a long day. It’s was a groovy thing.
Jorie: We had like six encores or something. They just wanted more. It was like a marathon.
Mario: Picture this, it was outside Chicago….have you ever seen Billy Madison? Remember every time he graduated kindergarten his dad would throw him this huge elaborate party. That’s what it was like except the pinada didn’t have any Rolexes in them. They didn’t give out any bad ant- acid.
Jorie: It was Woodstock alright. People really got into it. They had wigs on, all the tie-dye. That’s it 50 years later.
Mario: They had all the psychedelic lights and they tried to make it as groovy as they could, within the realm of legality. They called it Woodstock Festival 2019.
Jorie: It was A private party with only invited guests, but a lot of invited guests. It was on this Estate. There was a sound system and everything. There was food and you could just walk around, that’s how big it was.
Mario: I hit the pinada but I didn’t get a Rolex. We were rolling with the punches. We thrive on the humor of the situation. Because you know that’s what life is all about anyway. If you don’t have humor in life you’re just missing the boat.
Jorie: The audience was entertaining for us to watch while we were singing.
Mario: Life in general they are going to be thunderstorms and lightning but you got to laugh in between….
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