1) What are the origins of The Well Pennies and where does the name come from?
The origins of the band come from Boston, we used play and sing back up on each other’s solo stuff in clubs around town. We started writing together, fell in love, and ran away to LA and started The Well Pennies. The name comes from an old Tom Waits song called The Fall of Troy where he goes…’my legs ache, my heart is sore, the well is full of pennies’. We loved the idea of a gritty old penny attached to something beautiful, like a wish or a dream.
2) What are your biggest influences?
Our parents, the Boston folk music scene, Shel Silverstein poetry, Tom Waits, Iron & Wine, Radiohead, Paul Newman movies, and Seinfeld.
3) How would you describe your sound?
Pop music with all roots instrumentation. Coldplay with an upright bass, banjo and a fiddle…well maybe not exactly… but you get the idea!
4) If you weren’t based in Southern California, where would you live?
Boston, we love the sunshine but we miss the snow… sometimes
5) What is your favorite venue in Los Angeles?
Our favorite clubs to play would have to be either The Bootleg Theater or Amplyfi, which is really tucked away: down an alleyway over in the Mid-Wilshire area. It has no sign, no parking and the coolest vibe of any place we’ve been.
6) What is your favorite music store in LA?
Probably Amoeba Records but I’m sure everyone says that because it’s so awesome. Our second choice would be the Pasadena Flea Market, you can find anything there! It’s a sea of vinyl.
7) What artist or album can you not stop listening to lately?
Bryan: The Wood Brothers and The Tallest Man on Earth. I’m driving Sarah crazy with those two. I must have a thing for piercing high-pitched vocals, but I can’t stop listening to them!
Sarah: Ray Charles! I got a new Korg SV-1 and I’ve been trying to channel his groove. And I’m a pretty late in discovering Vampire Weekend but I’ve had Contra on repeat for a few weeks now.
8) What is your favorite drink?
Bryan: I drink a Negroni almost exclusively. I used to be able to tolerate one anywhere, but I’ve found myself getting quite picky now at restaurants and bars, telling the waiters to make sure they stir it and not shake it. I’m like a snobby reverse James Bond.
Sarah: Most bitters taste like jet fuel to me so I like the stereotypical girlie drinks… give me something sweet and I’m happy.
9) If you could live in any decade, when would it be?
This one! No one showered in the 70’s and 90’s, we all know what was wrong with the 80’s, the 60’s were too volatile, the 50’s were too sexist, the 40’s had the war and we would’ve all died of tuberculosis prior to that. We love the here and now
10) What would be your last meal in Los Angeles?
Our favorite restaurant right now is Neapolis in Pasadena – delicious Italian food with amazing cocktails. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu.
BONUS: What’s next for the band?
We’ve been writing music for our next album! And we’ve got a bunch of shows lined up for the spring and summer so expect a lot of new material.
You can learn more about The Well Pennies at the website, thewellpennies.com