Liam Gale & The Ponytails impressed us with the two tracks he has up on Soundcloud and there mix of blues, folk, Celtic and swampy rock vibes so it was only natural we wanted to dive in deeper and find out some of what makes Gale tick, in a musical sense. He seems to be playing frequently around Sydney so check his Facebook page or stay tuned and we’ll let you know what he has coming up in terms of releases and gigs.
What was the album that first led you down the dusty path of americana music?
It was probably Led Zeppelin III, an awesome combination of tasty blues rock and country/folk song writing.
What’s been your favourite gig you’ve played?
So far, probably our EP launch at Hibernian House. The place was full of friendly faces, plenty of beers and I think me and the Ponytails had a really good laugh. My mate made a little film about it which will go online soon I think.
How did you learn to play your instrument?
I’ve had a few teachers over the years, punctuated by personal experimentation and jamming with friends. Once I delved into the crazy world of open tuned guitars and other more traditional instruments (resonators and banjos are my favourites!) my ears got a bit better and picking up other bands’ songs and jamming became easier.
Do you feel there is a strong country/folk music community in Australia?
I suppose there is. I wouldn’t call myself a folk musician by any stretch, but playing the music I do and having a band of now seven other people, I’ve noticed there are a lot of people picking up all sorts of instruments (particularly more traditional or obscure stringed ones) and making some awesome music, playing on other people’s songs or just jamming. I think it’s simply the love of music and having a crack on some crazy piece of wood with strings on it that brings these like-minded people together.
What has been your favourite americana release this year?
To be fair, I’m terrible at keeping on top of new material being released. This year I’ve been a bit self-indulgent and mainly focused on my own stuff – that and delving into the past (blasting a lot of Pink Floyd, again – David Gilmour is a boss guitar player, and has some awesome acoustic stuff on some Floyd albums. He plays some banjo on his solo album On An Island too. I’ve been searching out some old blues music as well. And I’ve arrived late on the Iron & Wine train. The album Shepherd’s Dog is a new love of mine. Laura Marling’s new one A Creature I Don’t Know was good with some cool country waltzes. I’m yet to hear Andrew Bird’s new one, but his last release (2009’s Noble Beast) was a crazy mish-mash of alt-country-type-stuff so I’d be keen to hear where his new one has gone. And Johnny Flynn did the soundtrack to the American film A Bag of Hammers, the single/free download Flowers in My Garden was awesome. The album isn’t out yet in Australia (I don’t think), but the movie was on late one night on TV and I caught most of it. The music was boss. Flynn is a boss.
What are your aspirations for you/your band over the next 12 months?
I’ll release a solo EP, and a full band album with some singles which I’d like to couple with some B-side stuff. And tour. And record more.