Eight crazy friends from South Philadelphia play in a band together called Dangerous Ponies. They’re known for their colorful clothing, crowd interaction and ability to make people have fun.
The woman behind it all, Chrissy Tashjian, started playing music as a young child.
“I played the violin in third and fourth grade,” Tashjian said after the band’s recent performance at the Ox, in Fishtown. “I quit because I wanted to play guitar.”
She started writing music in high school with different bands, none of which stuck together.
“I don’t know how to read music at all. I know almost nothing about music theory,” Tashijian said. But she’s confident, and this lack of knowledge does not get in her way.
When she got a group of people together for Dangerous Ponies a little more than two years ago, she took on the task of writing the “jams” to get things started. However, after a little while, she began to share that role with the other members of the group.
“I write most of my songs about girls and ideas that come along with that,” she said. She also credits a wide range of artists as influences from The Beatles to M.I.A to Of Montreal to The Zombies. Each one shines through her music in its own way.
A live experience with Dangerous Ponies defines the band as who they are. With three guitarists, a bassist, a keyboardist, drummer and someone on tambourine, they are a fun, energetic group to watch in their bright outfits. They also have coordinated dance moves that every band member performs.
During the breakdown of the song “Honey Trap,” three members hop down from the stage and choose three lucky members of the audience to waltz to the tunes. Immediately after the breakdown, they hop back on stage and jump right back into the song.
The band recently took its live performance to Austin, Texas, for the annual South by Southwest Festival, where 2,000-plus bands take over the city for five days.
“It was our second year there, and it was crazy as usual,” Tashjian said. “But regardless of the craziness, it was fun.”
Now that Dangerous Ponies have returned home, they will start to work on their debut full-length record, which will be released by South Philadelphia-based record company, Punk Rock Payroll. They already have a bunch of song ideas floating around. The record is set to release this fall.
Colin Kerrigan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.