Metro Weekly

Pond Farewell: Matt Pond PA’s goodbye tour

The band Matt Pond PA is gearing up for its final tour

Matt Pond and Chris Hansen: The Lowlifes - Photo: Sean Hansen
Matt Pond and Chris Hansen: The Lowlifes – Photo: Sean Hansen

“Ugh, I sound like a hippie,” Matt Pond sighs, his frustration with the current state of the music industry evident. “I feel like I’m allowing myself to be swallowed by negativity. I don’t want to do that. I’d like to have positive thoughts, you know?”

The band’s current label, Doghouse Records, is trying “to crush us,” he explains, adding, “I’m not exaggerating.” As a result of a “full-on brawl” with the label Pond and bandmate Chris Hansen don’t expect to see a dime from album The State of Gold, released earlier this year, and have completely soured on doing anything more. After years of throwing their all into their music — “a full-time job even if you’re just barely scraping by in a part-time way” — it’s over for the band Matt Pond PA.

“I’d rather…focus on something more in my community to build something tangible,” he says. “I love music more than anything, but I think we have to break up.”

Currently, Pond is ignoring the negativity, as he gears up to tour the country with his band of 17 years. It’s a last hurrah before an indefinite hiatus and it kicks off next Wednesday, Oct. 14, at D.C.’s Rock and Roll Hotel. “These may be the last times we see these places. And there are people that come to see us play — and that’s amazing! I don’t take it for granted,” he says.

After the tour, Pond will focus on opening “an equity-based distillery/restaurant and bar” in Kingston, N.Y., the town in the Catskills that has become the Pennsylvania native’s refuge. Yet music is still likely to factor into his future. For one, he would like to perform live at his prospective Kingston establishment, and he says fans from all over can come “have a free drink or more, or they could stay on my floor.”

Pond also hopes to mentor budding musicians, such as his tour’s opening acts, cellist Shawn Alpay, also a member of Matt Pond PA, and fellow New York-based singer-songwriter Laura Stevenson. “Anything I can do to help anyone else who I care about or whose music I love I would do in a second,” Pond says. “I mean, that’s the point — the point of not only music but living.”

Matt Pond PA performs Wednesday, Oct. 14, at 7:30 p.m., at the Rock and Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. NE. Tickets are $16. Call 202-388-ROCK or visit rockandrollhoteldc.com.

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