Van, Lane and Jennings Carney are the three brothers who make up Pontiak. They’re loud, they’re organic, and they’re playing in London next week. This made it a pretty reasonable time to catch up with them and ask them about life on the road .
With five albums in four years, you have a prolific output. How do you achieve such a high productivity?
“We are constantly writing and we love the process of recording so we keep on releasing albums.”
What do you do to achieve inspiration during the writing and recording process? It all seems rather psychedelic…
“We stay very focused quite easily and for some reason the inspiration occurs in abundance naturally. Contrary to some suggestions, drugs don’t play a part.”
Your lyrics appear very spiritual on the surface of things. What inspires your lyrics?
“Van writes the lyrics all together as one large piece for each album. There is a narrative arch but usually the lyrics are image driven. Inspiration comes from many places.”
Your albums seem to be full pieces of music rather than collections of songs. Is this something you’re conscious of creating?
“Yes, for sure. So far all of our albums are meant to work as one piece. We have intentionally written the albums this way. We tend not be ‘singles’ driven, preferring the benefits of a larger composition.”
The recordings often seem improvised at times. Do you ever struggle to recreate your songs live?
“We have developed a writing process in the studio where we arrange a piece of music with specific parts intentionally left open. This allows for immediate spontaneity while still having an intentional direction. It is not difficult to play them live and we have found that they develop in different ways the more we play them.”
What is the biggest fight you’ve had and how long did it take for your mum to sort it out?
“We don’t really fight much. Unless it’s over dividing up food and beverage. Then everyone is suspected of conspiracy.”
What has been the best thing about being in a band with your brothers?
“We will never need to post an ad to fill a rythym section postion or audition a lead singer.”
What’s your favourite food to eat whilst on the road?
“Anything whole and fresh. We garden at home and love to cook. We all love food.”
What aspect of touring Europe do you look forward to the most?
“Touring Europe is incredible. We love just about every single aspect of it. The food, wine, beer, coffee, landscape, history, culture, even the rest stops. Touring the US is a beautiful way to see the country, but it is a very nice change to be able to eat real food at all times. In the US food is treated as something that can be reduced to it’s sweetest, saltiest components, preserved for eternity, and used as a replacement for real food. It is nearly impossible to eat well if you are not on the East or West Coast.”
And the least?