Curtis Anderson - Baloney Ponyz

September 29, 2003

You guys are the Baloney Ponyz. I like that. Where did it come from?

We've all been playing together forever as the Baloney Ponyz back in '95 or '96. They basically slotted us off a night and said they wanted us here and what were we going to call it. We just couldn't decide on anything until it was the day before press. Before all the print ads were to go out, they needed a name for the slot. Nobody could agree and it just got down to the last night. We decided to go out that night, party it up, and we have to have a name good, bad, or ugly. We actually went into the bar that we were starting this band out at and I asked a buddy of mine and he said "baloney ponyz." I was like oh my God, that's it. Yeah, that's a friend of mine. He drinks a lot. It just came right out. He said call it the Baloney Ponyz. I think he was just kidding but it was perfect to me because then at the time we were just throwing it together and playing some rock around here. For better or for worse, that's just the name now. People can't always remember what it is or if it's Faloney Baloney. It's not the easiest one to remember until you know it. Most people around here just call us the Ponyz or the Baloney Faloney whatever you guys are. It was just too late. After that the CD came out. Now it's got wings of its own and we're stuck with it. We just never really grew up. We just kept doing what we're doing and it just embraces the whole concept anyway. That's why we picked it.

It's hard to find a good name these days because they're all taken already.

Yeah, you want something that sounds cool but everything that sounds cool has already been thought of. Everything either sounds cliche or it's so off the wall that you can't remember what it means anyway. When Puddle Of Mudd got signed, I thought there was no way they're going to keep that name. It's what stuck with them. They just kept it and that's what it was.

Your name sounds rather tongue in cheek.

We're serious. There's no joke about what we do but we're still more on the positive rock tip. Just trying to keep it exciting and fun and energetic which is what it's really supposed to be all about anyway. I don't really have too many anger issues I've got to deal with in my music. I usually try to whatever.

It's get old listening to everyone getting pissed off.

I have issues too. I'm pissed off about a lot of things but generally it comes out in a song or two but it's not the entire focus of my life. We just started out playing together because there wasn't a lot going on here live music wise for a couple of years. It was just whatever. We came out smack in the middle of the '90s. Just bust out playing straight rock and roll. People will love it. They'll eat it up. I think it's even worse now. They were angst ridden issue reruns in the late '90s. I kept thinking something cool was going to come out and it just hasn't yet. Come on. Here's something a little different. Try this.

You guys have basically known each other for quite some time.

I pretty much go all the way back to high school with Tommy, the drummer. I went to high school with Doug but we were actually in different bands. We had been together off and on and then we all pulled back together in about '93 and played together for a couple of years. We had pretty good success for being a rock band. We just capitalized on the lack of a music scene. We weren't getting any real offers from record labels just because at that time the style of music we were playing was just forget about it. Nobody was even listening to us. We played for a couple of years and then took a year or so off and then back in about '95 or '96, we said hell, let's put it together again because you know people will love it and we basically just did it at the bar that I was hanging out at. The Hurricane at the time. It just went like gangbusters. It just proves that people love it. Everybody here, especially in the Midwest, are just getting denied a good rock experience. We're the whole thing. It's not just the music. It's the whole live show and the energy and what makes it exciting.

Some of you had moved to Los Angeles for a while the late '80s.

Yeah, Tommy and I went. I was barely out of high school in '88 or '89 and we moved out there for a year and a half and we actually had some pretty good fortunes out there for just being some kids from Kansas City. By '89 that stuff was really dying out. After Warrant got signed, then Skid Row, and then you could just tell it was fizzling. You could tell it was coming to an end. I knew back then and it was just hard for a couple of years. From '90 to '92 it was like what are we going to do? This sucks. There's no good music. There's nothing going on. We still played and played out. We just kept on keeping on. I watched all my friends cut their hair and grow goatees and try to be alternative. I never really said "you know, you should try to do something to adapt" but I never really did. None of us really did because that's just not what we are. We would just be faking. We'd be faking it. We just kept doing it.

I think you should do what you like.

The whole point was that this is what we know best even if nobody is going to even look at us for 10 years. At least we'll be damned good at it by the time it comes back around. Really honestly, when people see us and we're not just really clowning it out, we're authentic. We don't look silly doing it because it's what we do. I see all the videos now, even all the kiddy punk bands have all these dudes with mullets and they're all wearing their Ratt shirts. Obviously we look a little bit cooler than that but you can just smell the reality of it on us. You can see it on us. We've pretty much lived it. Now we're trying to balance. Still trying to be rock stars and get the kids to school and earning a decent living while you're trying to be a star. It's just harder to juggle it, man. As you go on you just have to juggle everything and keep it together. Keep it going. That's my intention. To try to help spearhead it just because the industry sucks now. Everything they're putting out there is all just rehash, not to sound like a bitter guy. There are some great new bands. Even some of the new Roadrunner bands. I like Rebus and I like some of the new radio rock but it's all gotten so homogenized. It's time for somebody to break out. Just break the formula, whatever that is.

It's time for a change. Something new.

If you think of the bands now, you can name a bunch of bands that are playing right now but you can't really say who the drummer is or who the guitar player is. Like who is the drummer for Motley Crue. Well, I know that. Who's the guitar player for this? Now you wouldn't even really recognize most of them unless they're getting MTV play. You recognize the name, you recognize the single, and that's about it. That's about all you know about the band until they give you the next. That usually signals when everything just gets to that point, you can sense they're looking for something new and different. Now what we're doing that used to be old and outdated, we're the only ones still doing it and doing it well. Even some of my heroes are still touring but they ain't really kicking it like they used to do. They don't care. They already made their money and they're not hungry. I've seen plenty of guys come back through the clubs. Guys that were my fucking heroes. They were my total heroes. I got to meet them but they totally disappointed as far as their desire to put on a good show. That's understandable.

I've been lucky in that regard. Some of the bands I really like still put on good shows. Cinderella never disappoints me.

Yeah, Cinderella fucking rock.

Great White never disappointed me. I feel bad for them because of what happened in Rhode Island.

That's something you'll never be able to shake for your entire life. I'm sure a lot of people are pissed about that but that's something those guys are never going to shake. That's something that would almost put you...it would put me in the fucking funny farm.

That would definitely freak me out.

I think it really would. There's not enough fucking Xenix on the planet. That many people dead at your show. Of course it really wasn't anybody's fault. They probably shouldn't have been blowing off pyro in a bar and I'm sure it just smelled like a huge dustbin. There should have been a fire extinguisher all the way to the doormen not letting people out the back.

I think it was an accident waiting to happen.

Yeah, that's for sure. Especially in a bar that old. You walk into these bars that have been a bar for 50 years and you can see an inch of dust on everything and it looks like it could go fucking poof. I saw a thing today on AOL about that.

Their drummer got hurt in a car wreck up that way too.

Drama just tends to follow some people. It just sucks. It's probably self-induced at times but you know how it is. Certain people crave their own drama. Certain people are just unlucky enough to have it all the time. We're here. We're lucky. We've been kicking it. All the stations here are with us. Everybody's kind of with us. Everybody's pulling for us and it seems to me in the industry, there is sort of this sense of somebody different needs to break and big. I know they're all toying with the idea of a cool rock band in the back of their head. Nobody's ready to commit to it yet it seems like. Like they still want to melt the last few of their bands that they've got out there and then try to break it. Nobody's better than us at what we do as far as just being a classic American sort of west coast maybe-ish rock band.

I think the music industry has become a lot more about money and not really quality.

That even happened back in the day. When glam went real big and then towards the end of glam, you just saw bands that were just getting their song or two just because they had hair and a guy who could sing high. You could see it coming. And some good bands with good tunes. Danger Danger was kind of on the cheesy side but good tunes and a smoking band. You just knew that they were the wrong place at the wrong time. They were a little bit too late. By '92 Nirvana had hit and Alice In Chains had reinvented itself in a whole different light. They were borderline in the late '80s. They were getting video play at the same time Warrant was because they still looked like a hair band but they were a little darker and they were a little more serious and they rocked just a little bit harder. They weren't just quite so foofy. You just knew they were cooler and cooler than a grunge band. I like STP a lot. I hate to just lump the whole decade as shit but there are some bands like STP and Alice In Chains. Bands like that. There are even some of the rap rock stuff I was a little bit into once I discovered it. Just through some other people. There was some good stuff but more or less it was just like when does it end? It's almost 2004.

Linkin Park caught my interest.

Linkin Park I love. The first time I saw them was at Ozzfest. I wound up winning some really great seats to Ozzfest here locally and "Crawling" was just their first single that was released. I saw them live and thought those guys smoke. Then I saw them again a couple of years ago and they totally sealed the deal for me not just as a good production studio band, but just a smoking live band too. Those guys really do it and they give me something that I want. They give me funky riffs, good hooky riffs, big guitars, and fat beats. One guy rapping and one guy screaming. I'm into that.

You guys put out a self-titled CD. Tell me about some of the tracks that you think people should really notice.

The single is "Get Off" and that got designated the single I think because it's the best of both what we are. It has a little bit of that '80s feel to it like Motley Crue style but then it's kind of rap rock. I just like that song because I think it's one of the songs that just sticks in your head. "Trash" is actually one of my favorites. That's actually one of Doug's songs and we worked that up. The "Crack" song I like a lot. Most of the stuff I have lyrically is about an experience or people I know or a place in my life. That song really just sums it up and anybody who's been around anybody screwed up on any kind of hard drugs, they just instantly relate to that song because everybody knows somebody or had a boyfriend or a cousin. Everybody had somebody that was just totally fucked up on drugs at one time and it's frustrating because you just do everything you can to help them and it just doesn't matter. It's just like nothing you can do. I think people relate to that song. Everybody's got somebody in their lives that that song is about. I think that's kind of funny. "Human Nature" I like. It's that track that's got that Great White basic bluesy deal. I'm proud of that song lyrically because it states that whole you always want the one you can't have. It just makes you retarded. When you're trying to have somebody you can't have or the things that you'll do. Everybody's a sucker for somebody sometimes. The girls tend to relate to that song. I don't know if the guys really hear it. I think the guys do because the guys all had somebody like that in their lives. The girls love that song I think just because it's got that bobby rock beat but I think they all just tend to relate to that song more emotionally. I think the guys just listen to it on the surface and the girls are all about "I love that song!" They don't really say why. Nobody ever tells me "I had this guy. He's a dick. Blah, blah, blah." You just know they love it because they get up plus it's got something about it like you think you've heard it before somewhere. I don't know if it's just a blend of a lot of different songs that I've heard in my life but it just tends to perk your ear up. The only two tunes I just really don't love on that album are the last couple. It started out really just to be a demo and then we decided to throw on there just to see. "Thirst" and "Choke" I like. I'm not really a super Green Peace activist guy but it was actually after I had my kid and I really realized how bad we were just fucking up the planet. Everything from changing the oil in my car and what do I do? Dump it down the drain? Then I started thinking and that was right about the time of the Valdez spill. The guy's drunk and he's driving 200 million gallons of oil through pristine fucking water. That is just insane. I'm not a real super activist guy but I was just hyped up at the time because that's just stupid. I'll be long gone while my kid's still here and he won't be able to drink the water or eat the fish.

That's something that concerns me right now. Global warming and pollution. I'm Choctaw and I believe in respecting the Mother Earth. She feeds you, she gives you air to breathe, and water to drink. If you fuck her up, you die.

It's true. It took me a while to wake up to that. I'm a Midwestern middle class guy. When you're 20 you don't give a shit about anything especially when you're a guy. You're just stupid. After I had my kid and I started to think more about what I'm leaving here. I made a kid now and what am I leaving here? Cruddy water. We have to come up with something.

I'm not into extremes. I can't deal with people who are really extreme. But you can't screw everything up just because you don't care. That's not fair to your kids.

That's true. I can't remember what cartoon it was. It was either Super Friends or Yogi Bear. They found this island and they could have 100 banana splits. They would just take one bite and throw the whole banana split away. I remember seeing that as a kid and I didn't really understand that until later on in life. I'm one guy. I take out the trash every week. Look how much trash I create. I'm one guy. Where is all this trash going? I started really thinking about it. All that stuff has to go somewhere. You have to recycle. I live in Kansas City and we don't have a recycling plant here. Some communities do or some communities have voluntary recycling. Some communities have recycling that you have to pay for. That's ridiculous. They should be able to find a way to get it to pay for itself. In the bigger cities, it's mandatory. San Francisco you have to. There's no room. It's all good. I like all the tracks on that album. It started out as something we were going to demo out. Then things just started snowballing and now we have distribution for it. Dave decided to take us on and we decided to do it. It's time. We waited long enough. Let's do it again and see what happens. We're just going to plug away and play. Hopefully something will play on the radio. We're just going to go everywhere we can. Anywhere they'll have us.

Have you guys been thinking about touring?

Ideally you would get on a cool tour with a similar type of band. Hopefully we would get on a cool opening tour with some kind of cool rock band like Warrant or Motley Crue. If something hits on the radio first, we'll just go. We'll basically load up our van and our trailer and we'll probably go where ever we're getting radio play. Just take it to the people.

Are you people doing a lot of local gigs?

Yeah, we're out and about everywhere around here a couple of times a month. We usually pick up a lot of the cool openers like if Ratt or somebody comes through. I think I've done Cinderella. The guy I actually met when I was hanging out with Warrant for a couple of days wound up working for Cinderella for a while. We've done the Poison tour a couple of times and we did Vince Neil and Tesla. Just as they come through town because they're looking for an opener and we're just a shoo-in for that kind of band. Who else are you going to call? Who else are you going to call to open that because everybody else is whatever. Everything here is real heavy cookie monster. Everything here is cookie monster now. It's just gotten annoying. I just keep bringing it out there. We are what we are and it's what we do.

In Dallas one of our DJs here has what he calls the local show and he plays all local bands. Do you have something similar?

Yeah, we do. The new afternoon guy at The Rock has done a local show or he'll do a local show on Sunday. They have the 10 o'clock news. Usually he'll feature local stuff on Sunday. Kansas City counts Lawrence and almost Topeka. Anything within 50 or 60 minutes of here is local because you have to reach out and get as many guys as you can. We are still a small market. There are only a couple of million people here. You run out of playable bands really fast. Some you actually want to put on your station. We're doing that and The Rock has been super helpful here. They've been as helpful as corporate radio can be. We have another station here. It used to be the old KY102. It's now 99.7 and they've taken on more as The Rock has taken more of the new rock. 99.7 has taken more of that Van Halen '80s type stuff. They've been real good to us. Everybody that is helping us is helping us. I just want to bring it back. I just want to be the guy standing in the front of the line saying "I told you. Here it is. I'm exactly what you need." They just need a new Guns N' Roses or a new Motley Crue. Just something to stir the excitement. Not just hearing a song on the radio but going to see the band and seeing the drummer on Celebrities Gone Wild Part 6. Just a little bit of excitement. A little bit of hoohaw. Something. It's time. It's our time so we're going to keep at it and keep doing what we're doing and we never really tried to adapt. We are what we are and it's either going to make us or it's going to kill us. For a while it was just killing us because nobody was even considering. Then it got to be like we were a semi-novelty because we still kick ass. Look at us. We look like Motley Crue or something. Now we've outlasted our novelty status. We've finally reached for real status. Hopefully it goes. We're already starting in on our second batch of songs. Hopefully we'll get a song or two to hit and then tour when we do it. Take it to people and have another album ready when it's time to go. That's what we're going to do. We'll try really hard for a couple of years and then I'm just going to go into investment banking.

Sounds good. Any other thoughts or comments?

We are the savior of rock and roll. That's my mission in life.

Bringing the music to the people.

Something. Give me a rock band. Give me a real rock band. Let it be me.

Baloney Ponyz