Woody Pond Interview
This exclusive Music Mondays interview highlights a great conversation we had with Woody Pond over the last week. We discussed everything from the notorious American Trilogy as well as the finer details of American Noir, the latest Woody Pond full length release.
Zomb: First things first it’s been a long time since we’ve spoken, probably 2019 or so. Tell us what Woody Pond has been up to in the last 3 years and introduce yourself for those who may not be up to date with your career.
Woody: Yeah it has been a while man, great to catch back up with you! I’m an artist from West Virginia currently living in Los Angeles for the past couple of years making pop and hip-hop music and co-writing a few other artist’s songs as well. I just released my third album which has been coming together over the course of almost two years now, it’s called “American Noir” and it concludes my unofficial American trilogy following my last two albums of similar titles. I’ve been experimenting a lot with hyperpop production but trying to maintain a catchy, lyrical pop sound.
Zomb: Definitely super dope to catch up, I’m very excited to get into detail with everything. So let’s dive into it, you mentioned you’ve released your 3rd album in your American trilogy titled American Noir. Tell us about the concept behind your American trilogy, how was this concept born and what was the original motivation behind it? Did you plan on making it a trilogy originally?
Woody: I definitely didn’t. I like to describe my music as “nostalgia pop.” And American Denim the song encapsulated that perfectly and so I shaped my album around that. And then when I packaged together my singles for American Western, I saw the heavy LA influence over that record and the west coast in general and so it kind of clicked for me. When I started working on American Noir though I knew I wanted to close out this era with a more distorted; darker sounding pop record than I usually do. But I knew it would feel like a follow up to the last two albums and end it with a bang, I’ve always liked trilogies so it just felt right. Huge Star Wars fan haha.
Zomb: I vividly remember our conversation about films in our last interview so it’s definitely on brand with everything you’ve built thus far. How long did American Noir take to create compared to the previous two installments? Would you say this album is a good closer for the trilogy?
Woody: I feel like it’s a good closer. It went through several iterations so it took about a year of tinkering before it was done and then months of mixing and visualizing the videos and album cover. A lot of my music is about heartbreak or romance, and I think although I still talk about it on this album I mainly tried to examine the conflicts I cause for myself. How I’m the one to blame not her or them or whatever, and so it has a full circle feeling to it. And both of the visuals that I released for songs on this album, “West Virginia” and “take a picture it’ll last longer,” they both exemplify that my real enemy is me, I make the problems for myself and I always end up right where I started again. Hopefully I can learn from that. This one definitely took the longest though.
Zomb: That’s such a great concept and one that truly comes from pure emotion. I’m glad you could explain that a bit more, besides yourself there are a few other artists featuring on this project. Could you explain why you chose these features and what you think they add to American Noir?
Woody: For sure! I got some awesome artists on this album. I was really stoked to have them. John Wolf got on my girl friday back in like 2020 honestly, I dropped it spring 2021 which is crazy to think about. He’s been a good friend of mine for years and we have collaborated in the past and were due for a new song. Coop is the homie I’m always going to try and get him on any song I can; and that refrain section on “TWIN FLAME” felt like the perfect place for him. Loud and distorted and catchy as hell. The title of the song came from his contribution to the song. Brevin Kim is one of my favorite artists and I’ve always dreamt of working with them after I met them here in LA through coop and others from the Boston area. I reached out to them at the beginning of this year to get them on a verse for my album. I’ve been sitting on it just dying to release it. I’m a huge fan so this was exciting for me haha.
Zomb: All of those names are so important to this album, I’d definitely say this was a perfect mix of voices for a final send off in the American trilogy. Do you have a favorite track from the album? Are there some with bittersweet feelings? Tell us about a favorite if you have one and if you don’t tell us which you think stands out the most personally to you.
Woody: “Freckles” is probably my favorite song I’ve ever made. I love how it came out, and it expressed something that I had held onto for a while and helped me let go of it. The beat and melodies in that song just really inspired me in making the rest of the album
Zomb: Freckles is definitely one that stands out for sure. So much replay ability on American Noir I don’t know if I could pick myself. You mentioned earlier that American Noir was accompanied by a few visuals. Tell us about your visuals and music video experiences with American Noir as it’s easily one of the most interesting parts of the Woody Pond aesthetic.
Woody: They are definitely the key to unlocking the concept of this album. That and the album cover. Both videos start and end with the same shots, going back to the full circle thing i mentioned, to show that I never really learn anything I always end up f*cking up again. “West Virginia” was more abstract, a sort of romantic odyssey through the forest in WV like 10 mins down the road from where I grew up. I’m all beat up following this fairy girl finding pieces of my suit trying to piece my life back together. Shows how we fall in love sometimes to heal ourselves from the last heartbreak. Vicious cycle. Take a picture was much more of a narrative, I wanted to do the whole private eye Noir thing to tie in with the album coming out. Pseudo from Spaced visuals reached out to me about doing a video and my idea was just me looking at a criminal lineup of a bunch of other versions of me. Their team came up with the rest of the story from there and absolutely killed it. Ends with me once again running away from my problems right back into more trouble. I’m definitely hoping to make a couple other videos for the album too. Sorry that was long winded but I’m super proud of my videos hahaha.
Zomb: Definitely not long winded, the visuals are absolutely an essential part of this project’s lore. So following a well detailed analysis about the visuals, would you say you have a favorite? Or are they all playing their part in the album?
Woody: Honestly I love them both and think they show both sides of me and of this album. One is bright and magical, and the other is dark and gritty. Both let me do a little acting and show some personality. Like you said, they build on the project’s lore. My boy Anderson refers to my music videos as the GOF cinematic universe and I like that.
Zomb: Absolutely, I couldn’t agree with that reference more. American Noir is officially live on all platforms, you’ve got banger visuals out for the album, what comes next for American Noir? You’ve mentioned more visuals, is there anything else you have in store following the release of American Noir?
Woody: I’m still brainstorming some ideas. Maybe a “directors cut” with some extra songs on it. Hopefully I can do a live show at some point to play some new songs, it’s been years since I performed pre-pandemic. Probably going to have to dive into tik tok and try to start some fire over there haha. But yeah I’m just going to push this album as my primary thing right now and try to get it out there to as many people as I can. Break into a few more circles within the genre.
Zomb: A director's cut would be so fire and literally fit perfectly into the theme of the trilogy. Let’s talk about the cover art for a moment, what was your thought process behind picking final cover art for American Noir?
Woody: I knew I wanted it to be something from the second video so I was holding out for that. And that shot is so good because I’m looking in on one version of myself that’s staring at my reflection inside the cell with him. Hammering home the image of trapping myself in the same old situations and blaming it on the old me or somebody else. It’s always inevitably on you to change and try to break out and find something new. Oh and obviously it had to be black and white haha.
Zomb: Such a good backstory, very well thought out. It just makes sense for American Noir. I can see why you went in this direction. One of the last questions I had for you before we log off is, what is the main message behind American Noir that you want the average new listener to grasp on to? What is your message from American Noir?
Woody: We all make our own messes. Sometimes you have to let go to clean it up and move on.
Zomb: Simple but yet very effective way to end the American trilogy one hundred percent. Before we log off do you have any last words of motivation or shoutouts? The floor is yours, feel free to tell us what’s coming up next for Woody Pond.
Woody: Shout out to Neek and Tito who mixed the majority of this album. Shout out to Anderson aka Haydon Havoc, a great producer and a GOF partner. As well as Paxton of course my right hand man in bouncing ideas off of and GOF for life. I think next year I’m going to try and find a way to change music videos. Do something nobody has ever done and inspire a new wave. I want to make some really cinematic stuff and hopefully even movies someday. Looking forward to creating more art and sharing it with the world.
Zomb: Massive shoutout and love to everyone involved in American Noir and huge shout out Woody for taking the time out to speak with us about your album! We can’t wait to dive into more Woody Pond details on the Music Mondays Podcast, much love for sitting down with us and everyone go stream American Noir on your favorite platform!
Follow Woody Pond: www.instagram.com/woodypond/?hl=en
Stream American Noir: open.spotify.com/album/1G0fwAqktyUs2uAZFHlCi3?si=6zLzU3wKSEelJvOxgdJDyw
Written By Zomb Slays: linktr.ee/ZombSlays