$12 – $15

Girlfriend Material + PONY

19+

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Mills Hardware

95 King Street East

Hamilton, ON L8N1A9

Canada

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Girlfriend Material + PONY — Live at Mills Hardware!

About this Event

Composed of members from Tokyo Police Club and Hollerado, Girlfriend Material is the most anticipated supergroup since the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles teamed up with the Power Rangers From Space, only featuring more Canadians with electric guitars.

In 2017, Graham Wright took a break from playing keyboards for Tokyo Police Club to write and direct Clean, a horror movie about a killer Roomba. The project called for frenetic rock music to be played in the background of one scene. Wright’s own solo projects tended towards the mellower, but on a deadline, he decided it would be easier to trade in his acoustic guitar for an electric one and write the songs himself. After listening to lots of PUP, Pkew Pkew Pkew, Guided by Voices, and The Slits, Wright sat down with the objective of writing four quick songs. “They didn’t have to matter, they just had to be loud and in the background,” he says. Unfortunately for his auteur ambitions, the songs ended up being good, and his filmmaking career was pushed aside so he could focus on the more rational day job of rock star.

Deciding it was time to assemble a crack team of musicians, Wright called on Tokyo Police Club bandmate Josh Hook to play guitar, and recruited Hollerado’s Jake Boyd on drums. He met bassist Joseph Garand the old fashioned way: after overhearing him in a bar talking about buying a new house, Wright befriended him in hopes of getting his old apartment. They later realized they shared similar music tastes.

They’re indie rock songs for adults; crushes felt by people who have already experienced several relationships, performatively indifferent musings after running into an ex, juvenile feelings crashing up against the realities of life.

That such conflicting feelings translate to a cohesive album comes out of the natural intimacy between four people playing music together in some capacity for years. “We’re friends first,” says Wright. “We’re a really rambunctious group chat second. Drinking buddies third. Then we’re a band, probably at a distant fourth.” Each musician brings their own interpretation to the tracks, informed in no small part by their own life experiences; listeners are invited to do the same.

PONY began in 2014 as an idea hatched by singer/guitarist Sam Bielanski and a friend in her Toronto bedroom. "We were both dating dudes in the same shitty band at the time" she says, "and they were really shitty dudes, so we started writing songs about how our boyfriends sucked and eventually that turned into us starting band." As the pair wrote more songs they began recruiting additional members to round out the line up and after a few early changes settled on a four piece arrangement of Bielanski, bass player Eva Link, drummer Matt Sandrin and guitarist Stephen Giroux.

The band rapidly attracted attention as they refined their sound - a strain of punk-inflected guitar pop that sits in a lineage with 80s UK acts like Talulah Gosh and the Dolly Mixture, '90s groups like The Breeders and Veruca Salt, and their Canadian powerpop forebears Cub - and began appearing on bills with their eventual Buzz Records labelmates Casper Skulls and Greys, as well as acts like Colleen Green, the Coathangers, Chastity Belt and Nicole Dollanganger. For her part Bielanski is excited about what the future holds for her and her bandmates, and despite the band's almost accidental origins, has a clear vision of what PONY means to her.

"I wanna see the world with my three best friends, but that’s not all of it," she says. "A few times younger girls have come up to me at our shows and said “that was really cool, what you did, I’ve always wanted to do something like that” and it’s just like then go, go and do it! Pick up a guitar and make some noise and scream about your feelings, and just do it. That’s the goal of the band to me: to show people, primarily women who maybe haven’t been exposed to enough other women playing music, that it’s not easy by any means but its definitely attainable."

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Mills Hardware

95 King Street East

Hamilton, ON L8N1A9

Canada

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No Refunds

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