Formed in 2018 by four high school friends, including brothers Mack and Sam Riddell, along with Matty Mclaren and Avery John Shoesmith, Black Pontiac first emerged from Vancouver’s underground music scene with the release of their debut EP Ponyboy in 2020 after signing with Vancouver-based independent music label, Crank Music.
A year later, with Soda Pop Rock, the first single from their upcoming album From Bad to Worse (And Back Again), about to hit the airwaves, the foursome has released their debut music video.
Shot in their hometown of Vancouver by director Al Marenco, the video has already racked up thousands of views as it shows off the band’s lively performance style and quirky humour.
In this Q&A with the Black Pontiac members, both individually and as a group, we find out more.
This interview has been edited.
What first got you into music?
Mack & Sam Riddell: Our dad has been a musician for a long time, playing in bands and touring since he was in his 20s. He’s been a huge inspiration to us, and music came really naturally to us through him. –
How did the four of you come together?
Matty Mclaren: We were all more or less in the same circle of friends, then one night a few summers ago, we’re sitting around this bonfire, and Mack was playing guitar. I started singing along, and we instantly realized we had this chemistry, so we started writing songs together, then Sam got on the drums, and Avery eventually joined us on the bass. We started playing shows in the local DIY scene pretty quickly, and frequently after that, we really hit the ground running.
How would you describe your music?
Black Pontiac: Big, loud and obnoxious.
Who are your biggest influences?
Black Pontiac: The Clash, The Hives, Kanye West, Arctic Monkeys, and the iCarly Theme Song.
Where did the name Black Pontiac come from?
Mack Riddell: I used to drive a beat-up Pontiac Sunfire we’d all pile into on weekends and drive around in. It broke down, and I had to sell it for parts, but we kept the name.
If you could open a show for any artist, who would it be?
Black Pontiac: Anderson .Paak or the Red Hot Chili Peppers. That’d be pretty tight.
What is one message you would give to your fans?
Sam Riddell: Live, laugh, love.
Why did you choose Soda Pop Rock as your latest single?
Black Pontiac: It’s probably the song that best encapsulates all the other sounds that our upcoming album From Bad to Worse (and Back Again) is going to contain.
What was the inspiration for the video?
Avery John Shoesmith: That briefcase that Jules and Vincent give to Marcellus Wallace in Pulp Fiction. It drives the plot forward in the film, but you never really know what’s in it; We thought it’d be funny to spoof that.
What’s next for Black Pontiac?
Black Pontiac: World domination. But first, we have our debut album From Bad to Worse (and Back Again) coming out. There is no official release date yet, but we have some live streams and singles on the way. We’ve got a livestream on March 19 from The Roxy in Vancouver happening, so be sure to check it.