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BEECHWOOD
NYC

Beechwood is a young, super-stylish rock’n’roll band that has dominated the downtown New York City scene as of late. Pretty boys, they are far from all show. This trio of musicians have both the talent and balls to kick you in the gut with their sound and musical abilities.

SUNSHINE & THE RAIN

  • Musician Ashley Anderson Morey wears a vintage Courreges dress for Ponyboy magazine. Photographed by Alexander Thompson in New York City.
  • Musician Ashley Anderson Morey photographed in a vintage dress by Alexander Thompson for Ponyboy magazine in New York City.
  • Musician Ashley Anderson Morey, from band Sunshine & The Rain, photographed in a vintage sweater for Ponyboy magazine NY by Alexander Thompson.
  • Musician Ashley Anderson Morey, from Sunshine & The Rain, photographed in Polo by Ralph Lauren & J. Crew. Photography by Alexander Thompson for Ponyboy magazine New York.
  • From Sunshine & The Rain, musician Ashley Anderson Morey wears a vintage Bill Blass trapeze dress. Photographed by Alexander Thompson for Ponyboy magazine New York.
  • Musician Ashley Anderson Morey, from Sunshine & The Rain, photographed in New York by Alexander Thompson for Ponyboy magazine.
  • Musician Ashley Anderson Morey, from Sunshine & The Rain, photographed in a vintage Lilli Ann jacket. Photography by Alexander Thompson for Ponyboy magazine New York.
  • Ashley Anderson Morey, from Sunshine & The Rain, photographed for Ponyboy magazine in New York City by Alexander Thompson
  • Musician Ashley Anderson Morey, from musical duo Sunshine & The Rain, photographed for Ponyboy magazine by Alexander Thompson in New York City.
  • Musician Ashley Anderson Morey photographed at downtown club Berlin in New York City by Alexander Thompson for Ponyboy magazine.
  • Bass Weejuns photographed on musician Ashley Anderson Morey at Berlin in New York City. Photography by Alexander Thompson for Ponyboy magazine New York.
  • Musicians Justin Angelo Morey and Ashley Anderson Morey from the duo Sunshine & The Rain. Photographed in New York City by Alexander Thompson for Ponyboy magazine.

SUNSHINE & THE RAIN

DUO

Musicians Justin Angelo Morey and Ashley Anderson Morey, also known as Sunshine & The Rain, are the cool husband and wife duo playing the New York City downtown rock ‘n’ roll scene. We first saw them open for our friends, The Stompin’ Riffraffs, and knew that we had to feature them on Ponyboy! With their distorted, feedback 60s sound, these Jersey City residents turn heads with their super stylish look. Ashley, who goes by ‘Ash’, sings strong lead vocals and unknowingly demands your attention with her early 60s preppy outfits, long red hair and gorgeous features. Check them out! Debut album, In The Darkness Of My Night, releases May 12, 2017Photography Alexander Thompson https://sunshineandtherain.bandcamp.com/ https://www.instagram.com/sunshineandtherainduo/?hl=en

PONYBOY:  Sunshine & The Rain, an interesting name for the band.

ASH:  That’s not a question! [Laughs] I take the band name as a balance between good and evil; the things we as humans struggle with every day. People will constantly ask us, “which one is sunshine and which one is the rain?” But both of us are both things. It’s part of what reminds us we’re alive. You can’t know happiness without pain. You can’t have sunshine without rain.

JUSTIN:  [Laughs] Actually, our name is more or less a shout-out to this old garage-rock group called Richard and the Young Lions. However, it was also directly drawn from the obvious lyrical content from that Frankie Beverly and Maze song, “Joy and Pain”. I said to Ash, “We should just call ourselves Sunshine & the Rain, because it will be funny when people come to the realization that it’s just the two of us and not a singer named “Sunshine” backed by an ensemble performing under the monicker, “The Rain”.

PONYBOY:   You’re a husband and wife duo from Jersey City. How did the two of you meet?

JUSTIN:   I’ll never forget that moment when our eyes locked in for the first time. I instantly fell in love with Ash.

ASH:   Just like that, huh? We first met at the Empty Bottle in Chicago, near where I grew up. Justin was on tour with his band at the time, The Black Hollies, and I was a lowly 17-year-old shy, creative loner. I had heard of The Black Hollies through some other band friends who had played in their circle, and I was intrigued by their obvious ‘60s garage-psych inspiration. I didn’t know of anyone else doing that stuff at the time. Fast-forward a couple years, and every band was doing it! Typical, right? Needless to say, Empty Bottle is 21+ so I begged my parents to take me into the city to go with me so I’d get let in. The rest is history, I guess!

PONYBOY:   And how did the band form?

JUSTIN:   Spending the Christmas and New Years’ holidays with Ash and her parents, I woke up on the morning of New Year’s Eve with a song idea in my head. After many hours of persuading, I finally managed to convince Ash to collaborate with me. Much to my surprise, it wasn’t as challenging as I had initially thought it might be. I could see our chemistry right from the very start. Ash held her own, and her contributions to this little idea turned out to be massive on many levels. I knew right then and there we were both on the same page and would be able to work very well together. Later on that evening, we recorded that song by using both of our iPhones as multi-track recorders. [Laughs]

ASH:   I remember the song idea vividly. I was so surprised; I thought it sounded different than the songs Justin released with The Black Hollies. It was sweet and poppy. My first reaction was “Oh my god, this sounds just like Paul McCartney!” [Laughs] I guess maybe we should’ve actually released that one, huh?

PONYBOY:  What instruments do the two of you play?

ASH:  Well, in Sunshine & the Rain I play fuzz bass, but I started off by playing guitar. Somehow I got transfixed by it and started taking guitar lessons when I was 12. So I play both of those instruments – badly, mind you. [Laughs] But I’ve always had a fascination with different instruments and a drive to learn them all. My dad was a drummer and I begged him for a drum set when I was a teenager. He would give me lessons, but without other musician friends, he ended up playing the kit more frequently than I did! At the moment, I’m totally enamored by the piano. Probably because it’s something I can’t play. I had a keyboard as a kid and messed around with it, but I never spent enough time with it. That’s my next goal!

JUSTIN:  I play all different types of instruments. Sometimes I really just like to get behind the drum kit and kick out fat beats. In Sunshine & the Rain, I’m the one playing guitar, adding backup vocals when required, and operating our drum machine. Occasionally I’ll put our Farfisa Mini Compact to use. On recordings, we both utilize other instruments that we feel will serve the compositions best. We love the less-is-more aesthetic; however, there are times when you feel like having a kitchen-sink production instead of a bologna and cheese sandwich. But trust me, I love a bologna and cheese sandwich as much as the next person!

PONYBOY:  In The Darkness of My Night is your first full release. Tell us about the recording process.

JUSTIN:   For starters, being able to work with Jon [Spencer], someone I always admired and respected, was fucking mind-blowing to me. Early on, I thought somebody was playing a trick on us and I thought somebody was gonna pull the rug out from underneath us! We had acquired all these songs leading up to the recording, and we had sessions booked for April 2016. We had planned to cut like 3, maybe 5 songs tops, and we were hoping to walk out with an EP. On the evening before the scheduled start date, we received word that the Studer tape deck wasn’t functioning properly and needed to be repaired. Unfortunately, for us, the repair was going to take awhile and we had to reschedule for the time all parties involved were available, which ended up being June 2016. As awful as it sounds, it actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The night we received that news, we ended up rehearsing and, for some reason, something magical occurred where we started playing our songs at different tempos and approached them all differently. I’d like to believe that was the night when we finally figured out our sound.

ASH:   For lack of a better term, the recording process was rad as hell! Honestly it was the best studio experience I’ve ever had. Jon had all of these ideas and this whole vision, which was different than what I’d experienced previously. It was honestly amazing. He was so invested in making sure our songs would sound as good as they possibly could. It’s really surreal to see anyone else standing by your art that you’ve kept private for so long, and taking care of it as if it’s their own, but let alone a legend like he is! We also had the best ever engineer, Ted [Young], who was just super funny and made the whole experience feel comfortable and natural. He’s a true pro with analog tape recording. Plus, the fact that we were surrounded by Sonic Youth’s gear didn’t hurt. On some nights when we were tracking the guitars, we would drive back to the apartment and be like “oh my god, this is probably the first time Lee Renaldo’s guitars have ever been in standard tuning!!” P.S. Don’t tell Lee! [Laughs]

PONYBOY:   Do you write the songs together?

ASH:   It really varies. The completion of a song idea is done separately. I’m very private when I write. It’s usually something I prefer to do alone in our bedroom. As far as where a new song blossoms from, it goes back and forth. We’re lucky since both of us are songwriters, so it’s not left to one person to create the composition. A lot of times, I’ll work on songs when I’m by myself at home and I’ll demo the idea with just bass, vocals, and drum machine. When I first began writing for this project, I would demo all my songs on guitar, but after a point I’d be like, I’m gonna be playing bass to these live, why don’t I just write the song over the bass line to make sure it’s something I can sing to? However, I think our secret comes from the fact that Justin’s a great musician and amazing arranger, so he can really make the songs come to life. He’s a good drummer, which really helps in his ability to program the drum beats. I’m more of a lyricist, but he makes the songs interesting. Being a bass player, it’s easy to find the vocal rhythms within the drum parts. For example, “I’m Not Your Girl”, the first single from our album, is actually a song he started. He had the whole instrumental composition and even some lyrical ideas. Then one day by myself, I was practicing it and just blew through the whole song writing the lyrics. It didn’t end up being anything topically what it started as, but I find it interesting to witness the changes in those situations.

JUSTIN:   What she said.

PONYBOY:   We’re enamored with the raw, lo-fi sound. How would you describe it?

JUSTIN:   We rehearse using our old Ampeg amplifiers and old fuzzboxes. We run our drum machine through an old guitar amp that’s probably not designed to handle the beats so it sounds fucked up to begin with. Ash runs her vocals through a tape echo to a guitar amplifier. More or less, we use what we have, and we’ve found a way to balance that sound where we can be noisy and dirty enough, but we’re also audible. When we rehearse, we really like the way we sound, and we move things around in the space so we’re comfortable. Well, either we like the way it sounds, or we’ve just become used to it! [Laughs] We like having a noisy, pop type sound. We feel like it’s just an extension of us and our personalities. We appreciate sugary-pop hooks, but we also like heavy, dirtier content.

ASH:  Yeah, I think our sound is just a crazy amalgamation of everything we listen to.

PONYBOY:  What bands/musicians would you say inspire you?

JUSTIN:  I’m a sponge, always listening to different types of music and trying to soak up the little bits that strike my heart. I tend to gravitate more towards raw, obscure records and recordings. They always tend to sound way more genuine and sincere. I love old ‘60s garage-rock, ‘60s R&B, soul, early rock ‘n’ roll, punk rock, hardcore, ‘60s girl group sounds, etc. Some of my most favorites are, but not limited to, the following: The Stooges, Velvet Underground, MC5, The Kinks, Rolling Stones, Shangri-Las, The Ramones, New York Dolls, The Ronettes, Sex Pistols, The Sonics, Germs, Black Flag, Pussy Galore, Generation X, 13th Floor Elevators, The Dead Boys, Suicide, Boss Hog, the Misfits, Lou Reed…bottom line being, Ash is my constant muse!

ASH:  Oh my god, so many! Like Justin said, we’re all products of our environment, so I absorb and take to heart everything I listen to. I feel like music affects me in a way it doesn’t to everyone. If a song hits me the right way, I’m really feeling it. Justin and I are both shy, introverted people. Music is something I used to communicate with others. It’s kind of safe and innocent in that way. Like, here’s this song, how does it make YOU feel when you listen to it? One of the many reasons I feel like it’s the true universal language. Justin and I share a lot of the same artists we both love, but I’m also drawn to traditional songwriters and folk music in an extreme way. It seems easy to write a basic story-song, but let me tell you, have you ever tried to duplicate “For the Sake of the Song” by Townes Van Zandt? One of the all-time best songs ever written. And don’t even get me started on Dylan. Geniuses.

PONYBOY:  Who would be your dream band to open or tour with?

JUSTIN:  If we could go back in time, it would be amazing to open for 13th Floor Elevators at the show Ash’s dad, Richard A., saw them at in Corpus Christi, Texas back in the day. With that being said, it might not have been a good combination because people would probably boo us off the stage! Otherwise, it might be nice to open up for the Foo Fighters because I could reconnect with old friends; but most importantly, I’d finally get to meet Pat Smear!

ASH:  My constant dream is to open for other female-fronted bands who have been heroes to me in my musical exploration, like Mary Timony, or Boss Hog, to name a few.

PONYBOY:  Ashley, your style is extraordinarily unique. Do you wear vintage? Are there any designers/labels that you favor?

ASH:  Thanks! You know and have seen it all, so it means a lot coming from you! I do wear vintage but don’t necessarily limit myself to one particular designer. I love the classic ivy/trad styles from the early to mid-60s that inspired the mods. I’m a fan of keeping things clean and classic. That way it never goes out of style! I incorporate vintage pieces with modern pieces: Ralph Lauren, Tori Burch, Brooks Brothers, Bass Weejuns, Chanel ballet flats, and so on. A perfect easy outfit for me would be a classic Ralph Lauren oxford button-down paired with skinny jeans and my penny-loafers. But those button-downs are great, because you can also dress them up with a skirt. And who doesn’t like a classic, old school cable-knit sweater? One day, I’d love to get a custom-made pair of Stubbs & Wootton loafers, where one loafer is a sun emblem and the other is an umbrella with raindrops on top. If you’re reading this, Justin… *wink wink*. Justin and I both believe that fashion is an expression of one’s inner self. Just because you listen to punk rock doesn’t mean you have to have a dyed Mohawk. Justin used to tell me about going to all ages punk rock shows at ABC NO RIO in high school, and there were all walks of life coming together in that venue. They were just there to support the music. That’s what we’re all about.

PONYBOY:  You’re a fairly new band, with a sprinkle of live performances in the New York City area. Do you plan on taking it on the road? What’s next?

ASH:  We would love to continue to play live shows, but it’s most important for us to go where the interest is. We’re trying to get our name out their through other avenues first, whether it be radio or what, to generate interest and then go play. We both have day jobs, so we can’t just pack it up and go on tour. It has to be calculated. We’re hoping to play more regional shows around the release of our record, and then maybe hit L.A. with some people we’ve been talking to out there. We haven’t been to California in years and it would be an interesting change of pace. We’re also trying to get the word out a bit in the U.K., and it would be a dream to play over there!

JUSTIN:  We plan to play as often as possible, provided that the interest is there. With all my past experience when it comes to touring and performing, I have zero desire to embark on any tour just for the sake of touring. I’d like for us to do it when people are psyched for us to come perform. If it don’t make dollars, it don’t make sense!

THE LEMON TWIGS

  • Brothers Brian & Michael D'Addario photographed in New York City by Alexander Thompson for Ponyboy magazine NY.
  • A portrait of Lemon Twigs musician Brian D'Addario by Alexander Thompson, for Ponyboy magazine New York.
  • Michael D'Addario on guitar, from New York City band The Lemon Twigs. Photographed by Alexander Thompson for Ponyboy magazine New York.
  • Lemon Twigs musician Brian D'Addario photographed by Alexander Thompson for Ponyboy magazine New York.
  • Musician Michael D'Addario, from New York City band The Lemon Twigs, photographed by Alexander Thompson for Ponyboy magazine New York.
  • A detail shot of Lemon Twigs musician Brian D'Addario's checkerboard Van sneakers. Photographed by Alexander Thompson for Ponyboy magazine New York.
  • Brian D'Addario on drums, from New York City band The Lemon Twigs. Photographed by Alexander Thompson for Ponyboy magazine New York.
  • A portrait of Lemon Twigs musician Michael D'Addario by Alexander Thompson, for Ponyboy magazine New York.
  • Musicians Michael & Brian D'Addario, from New York City band The Lemon Twigs, photographed by Alexander Thompson for Ponyboy magazine New York.
  • Michael D'Addario on drums, from New York City band The Lemon Twigs. Photographed by Alexander Thompson for Ponyboy magazine New York.
  • Guitarist Brian D'Addario, from New York City band The Lemon Twigs, onstage. Photographed by Alexander Thompson for Ponyboy magazine New York.
  • Musician Brian D'Addario, from New York City band The Lemon Twigs, photographed by Alexander Thompson for Ponyboy magazine New York.
  • B&W portraits of Lemon Twigs musician Michael D'Addario. Photographed in New York City by Alexander Thompson for Ponyboy magazine NY.
  • A close-up shot of Lemon Twigs musician Brian D'Addario at the mic, photographed by Alexander Thompson for Ponyboy magazine New York.
  • Lemon Twigs musician Brian D'Addario photographed before taking the stage in New York City. Photographed by Alexander Thompson for Ponyboy magazine New York.
  • A close-up shot of Lemon Twigs musician Michael D'Addario at the mic, photographed by Alexander Thompson for Ponyboy magazine New York.
  • B&W portraits of Lemon Twigs musician Brian D'Addario. Photographed in New York City by Alexander Thompson for Ponyboy magazine NY.
  • The Lemon Twigs photographed by Alexander Thompson, for Ponyboy magazine in New York.

THE LEMON TWIGS

LOOKOUT WORLD!

The Lemon Twigs are the fantastic new band from Long Island, New York, made up of young brothers Brian and Michael D’Addario. While very young, they’ve been playing some sort of instrument or another since they’ve been wee tykes! You may have seen them recently on TV with stints on The Tonight Show and CBS This Morning, or in a magazine with multiple photoshoots. Theres is a very hectic life indeed; constantly on the road touring, they are busy, incredibly busy. But these talented two took the time out of their crazy schedules for a quickie photoshoot and interview with Ponyboy. We are just nuts for the two of them and are glad we entered their stratosphere even for just a brief moment, on their path to taking over the rock ‘n’ roll world. Get ready for this band. We get the feeling that there’s no stopping them! Photography Alexander Thompson  http://thelemontwigs.com/

PONYBOY:  Hello, Brian and Michael. We first saw your band at a July 4th Vice music event in New York City and knew immediately that we had to feature the fantastic Lemon Twigs on our Ponyboy site! You’re brothers from Long Island. Tell us how you both started playing music at such a young age.

THE LEMON TWIGS:  Our parents were constantly playing music in the house, and it was only a matter of time before we started playing. We were never interested in anything else.

PONYBOY:   We read that your father, Ronnie D’Addario, was a musician in the 70s. That obviously affected your musical upbringing. Did he encourage you to play instruments and listen to music?

THE LEMON TWIGS:   Our father has made records at home since the 70s and still does. Both of our parents encouraged us to listen and play music. They influenced the way we play our instruments, write our songs, and our general view of music.

PONYBOY:   What was life like for you growing up in Long Island, and in high school?

THE LEMON TWIGS:   I’d imagine it’s very similar to growing up in any other suburb. In high school we weren’t really outcasts or anything, just the music kids. All of our friends from school are pretty normal. I think a normal town like ours can bore you into making music that somebody who lives somewhere exciting couldn’t make.

PONYBOY:  While other 17 and 19 year olds might be in high school or college partying with no care in the world, the two of you seem so focused and dedicated to your music. Is it hard staying on this path? Are there distractions for the both of you at such a young age?

THE LEMON TWIGS:  That was the thing about our town, there really weren’t many distractions. I know I wasn’t invited to many parties, and if I was, I usually didn’t wanna go because I’d rather be making music. The partiers didn’t like the music I liked and I didn’t want to talk about anything else. Maybe when we really enter the music business, more distractions will come; but for now, somebody just books us shows and we play them. We’re constantly just waiting to make another album.

PONYBOY:  We asked who your favorite band was during our shoot and your response was The Beach Boys. Great answer! Was that the music that was played in your household when younger? What other favorites do you have?

THE LEMON TWIGS:   The Beach Boys and The Beatles were mostly what we listened to when we were kids. I guess our all time favorites include those two bands, Big Star, Leonard Cohen, Harry Nilsson, Lou Reed, Badfinger and Procol Harum. There are plenty of others, I guess. We just know the most about these groups.

PONYBOY:   Your debut album, Do Hollywood, was recently released on 4AD Records. What was the recording process like for this record?

THE LEMON TWIGS:   We went to Jonathan Rado’s house in LA and recorded it in his garage over a week and a half. After that, Brian did the strings and brass at home and mixed it.

PONYBOY:   Jonathan Rado, from the band Foxygen, produced this record; and we also read that he discovered your band on Twitter. What was it like working with Rado on this release?

THE LEMON TWIGS:   It was totally great. We’ve worked with him quite a bit since then. He’s one of our best friends.

PONYBOY:  The harmonies are terrific, and there’s so much strength and layers in your music. How would you describe the music that you play in the Lemon Twigs to someone who has never seen or heard your band before? Is it pop? Is it rock?

THE LEMON TWIGS:  Pop/Rock.

PONYBOY:  The band has received very strong reviews from several publications. That must make you feel good.

THE LEMON TWIGS:  Well,  as of late I’ve heard the reception is more positive than negative and that makes me happy, but when it comes down to it I really only care about certain people’s opinions. If my musician friends like it, then that’s really all I need to be confident about it.

PONYBOY:  We grew up listening to the best bands on the 4AD label. How’s it been so far being on such an impressive label?

THE LEMON TWIGS:  They’ve treated us very well. I have no complaints.

PONYBOY:  Seeing The Lemon Twigs perform live is quite an explosive experience – just really exhilarating and very unique. Halfway through your set the two of you switch playing drums and guitar, and the level of energy is just so extraordinary, with the high kicks.  Are you inspired by any rock ‘n’ roll acts from the past while on stage? Or are you just feeling the music?

THE LEMON TWIGS:  I’ve taken a lot of things from The Who in terms of moves, but the truth is our favorite musicians don’t usually move as much as we do onstage. Sometimes I just get self-conscious and think that people might be bored if I just stand there, but I’m becoming confident enough in my playing to tone it down a little. That being said, it all comes from a natural place; nothing is forced. We just can move like that, feel like moving like that, and so sometimes we do.

PONYBOY:  People see that you’re both so young and stylish, and might think this early success has come easy for the both of you. Being young adds a mystique and makes people very inquisitive. Yet we’re sure this must have been somewhat of a process, with a lot of hard work, and that you’ve endured a fair amount of obstacles along the way. What’s been frustrating to you as musicians in the tough world of rock ‘n’ roll music? Do some people not want to take you seriously because of your age?

THE LEMON TWIGS:  The only thing that frustrates me about the world of rock is that I can’t record as often as I used to. I personally don’t read much of the press that comes out about us and so anything anybody says about our ages doesn’t really make its way to me. The biggest change being a sort of serious musician has brought is that our schedules are way fuller and we have a lot less time to actually write and record songs.

PONYBOY:  What would you say has been the high point in your career so far?

THE LEMON TWIGS:  Every time we get recognition from artists we love it becomes a high point.

PONYBOY:  Visually, the two of you have strong looks in your manner of dress. It’s reminiscent, back to an early 70s Bay City Roller/Bowie era. We just love it! Tell us a bit about your wonderful Glam look.

THE LEMON TWIGS:  Well, we just go through phases. Currently I’ve actually stopped wearing stuff that was too flashy, because I thought it was distracting too much from the music. I’m sure after a while I’ll change it up again.

PONYBOY:  Do you find your clothing at vintage shops? Have designer’s and clothing labels started sending you clothing yet?

THE LEMON TWIGS:  Most of our clothes are vintage. We’ve gotten some free clothes.

PONYBOY:  What do the two of you like to do in your downtime? Or is it all music, 24/7? Do you have any other interests?

THE LEMON TWIGS:  Pretty much, we just listen to music. Sometimes we go over to our friend’s house and watch wrestling.

PONYBOY:  Do you still reside in Long Island? Do you have any thoughts of relocating to New York City or Los Angeles?

THE LEMON TWIGS:  We still live on the Island. Right now we spend so much time away from home, it just doesn’t make sense to live anywhere else.

PONYBOY:  At such a young age and with a fantastic debut album, we are super excited to see and hear the evolution of not just The Lemon Twigs, but the two of you as musicians, as well. What do you expect for the future? And do you have any other aspirations besides the band?

THE LEMON TWIGS:  We just wanna make as many albums as we can. Right now we are very inspired and we just hope we can keep our excitement about writing songs as long as our heroes have.