Grab a brew with... Lead Pony

Many folks in the world would describe the golden age of rock-and-roll as the time between the mid-to-late 1960s through the ‘70s. A time when the desire for liberation and freedom of expression were at an all-time high. Local rockers Lead Pony, however, showcase that the time we are in now is also one where rock can save, help to express, provide an outlet and overall simply make your ears and legs happy as you dance along.

The San Diego natives have been making waves with their sound that takes you back, brings you forward and allows room to release emotions, thoughts and feelings as you dance to the drum-thumping, guitar-rift-filled tunes.

PACIFIC sat down with Dylan Stallard, Hillary Laughery, Izzie Zarick and Jesse Hofstee to chat about their upcoming album, tour plans and why San Diego may not be their perfect match, music-wise.

PACIFIC: How did you get started as a San Diego band?

Jesse: Me and Hillary had been playing music for awhile. We were in a band called Sparrow and were just getting used to writing music. It’s been about two years ago that I met Dylan in the San Diego State University art program and we just immediately became really good friends and just started playing together. Izzy has been friends with Hillary forever, so eventually we got to a point where Hillary and I wanted to do something different. This band is really everyone bringing something to the table, it’s not one of us writing something. Everyone puts in their two cents. It’s fun and it’s challenging.

PACIFIC: Describe your sound going forward and live show.

Dylan: The direction we are heading is big, brash and unapologetic. We are holding nothing back. It’s us grabbing on with absolute might to everything we’ve listened to, and every aspect we have aspired to be of that old late ‘60s rock stuff. It was directionless, but it was hopeful. This is us paying testament to them, but also we know it’s important to progress, show who you are in this era. We are not a novelty, but appreciate the old stuff too much. This is everything that was and is. If you’re writing what you know, as who you are, then that is what will come out. It’s important for every band that exists to create a phantom image on stage of yourself.

Izzy: I would describe our live show as kind of getting lost in what we are doing on stage. We work off of each others energy and we make that speak louder than trying to have a “feel” that we are going for on stage. We worry about what we create and our energy to have fun.

Hillary: The stage is a place for us to let go of any aggressions we have, or whatever is in us. We are all pretty mellow people in everyday life. We use it as a place to let go of everything.

PACIFIC: What are your plans once you release some new tunes?

Jesse: Our last thing we put out is called Eclipse. We also have some new songs coming out soon that we recorded two weeks ago. These new songs are the direction we are going. We have a tour coming up in two weeks, a South West tour. We’ll be stopping by Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma City, New Mexico and kicking off here. It’ll be good for us to get out there.

Izzy: We’ve never done anything this big and long for three weeks. We really want to hammer away at getting our names and music heard. It’s been an adjustment getting used to the idea of touring big, but in San Diego even, it’s a little challenging to become well-known because there’s a lot of different music here and we are also different.

Jesse: We have always been a bit of an outcast band, I guess. We love San Diego, but we all want to go and do more. We like calling this our home, but we don’t necessarily want to be a local band. We have more of a direction now.

PACIFIC: There is a wide variety of music in San Diego. You have something a little different.

Hillary: When you don’t particularly meet what is happening in abundance in the area, you feel it and not always in a good way. You can see that there’s something different happening with us. I think maybe it’s different influences from when we were younger that created that. We each four have different influences, how we were raised, what inspired us. For me, I was secluded on top of a mountain like my entire childhood. So I can get kind of weird, and kind of like, dark.

PACIFIC: What city do you feel like you belong in?

Hillary: We love Nashville. We recorded our last album out near there, and spent a lot of time out there. Maybe the country-feel isn’t just us, but still, it seems to embrace that bluesy rock a little bit better.

Jesse: The goal for us, though, with our music and with us playing it’s almost like we are playing to be like, “Hey! Listen to this.” In my head, live, I’m always thinking what can we do to get the room to stop and listen? If you’re in a bar, people are listening cause it’s small. We just want to be right there in your face no matter where we are. Like it or not, you’re going to like it.

Upcoming shows:

Black Cat, San Diego - Friday, June 2.

OB Chili Cook-off - Saturday, June 24.

About the brew: We grabbed a cold one over at Burning Beard Brewing Co. in El Cajon. The brewery offers 20 rotating taps in the tasting room, which opened its doors in 2015. The place also offers a stellar jukebox with a great music selection, for those interested in music and beer...

Burning Beard Brewing Company
785 Vernon Way, El Cajon