What we do
Pony Death Ride is a 2 piece lounge/comedy/punk outfit consisting of husband and wife team Joe and Jaye MacAskill. Our influences range from the tongue in cheek punk of Art Brut and The Dead Milkmen to piano and ukelele songs you may find in an old tyme burlesque comedy act. Our material is varied, and although we are focusing on performing in burlesque/variety/comedy shows, we're still looking to play bars and clubs, which we've both been playing in for the past 15 years.
Who we are and where we've been
Joe MacAskill was raised in the musical hotbed of Chula Vista -- the birthplace of many notable rock n’ roll bands including the Zeros, El Vez, the Dragons and more. Even as a small child, Joe could be found practicing his front man skills, singing into a vacuum tube. Thanks largely to KISS, he eventually morphed into an adolescent metal head and spent his teenage years holed up in his bedroom listening to Metallica and learning virtually every smokin’ guitar riff of the 1980s. His life changed suddenly and permanently, however, after R.E.M., the Smiths, the Cure and Sonic Youth helped him discover his more sensitive side. Finally cutting his frizzy rocker hair, he rose to prominence in the booming San Diego music scene of the 1990s as founding member of the notorious alternative acoustic rock band Skunk Drunk. Fronting Skunk Drunk and later Trophy Wife, Joe has shared bills with such highly esteemed musical outfits as the Rugburns, the National, Flogging Molly, the Farmers and TrainWreck. In addition to the album One Trick Pony Keg by Skunk Drunk, Joe has released two critically acclaimed full-length LPs as well as two EPs with Trophy Wife. Trophy Wife’s unforgettably hillarious video “Move to the Desert” was directed by Joe’s good friend Jeromy Cox – creator of the Vampyrates series and a well-known figure in the international comic book scene.
Growing up far from sunny San Diego in rural, rainy Nanaimo, B.C., Canada, Jaye MacAskill’s musical tastes solidified around age 7 after having her impressionable mind blown by Blondie, the Sex Pistols and the Ramones. Although Jaye started out learning classical piano and cello, her heart obviously belonged elsewhere. She took up playing electric bass in the Grade 6 Concert Band -- knowing that owning such an instrument would someday be her ticket into the enticingly tawdry world of rock n’ roll. As one of a very small minority of “mod”/ punk/ skater kids living in the Nanaimo region during the 1980s, she devoted a great deal of time to being a jr. and sr. high school band nerd while hiding out from intolerant head-bangers wanting to kick her ass. She was the only member of the Wellington and NDSS jazz bands to supplement her uniform with a miniskirt, fishnets and dyed jet black hair. Fortunately, as a novelty “chick bass player,” she has never been short on offers and has continued to play with rock bands since before she could drive. While most of her early efforts never got out of the basement rec room, she did in fact play in an early incarnation of the Papillomas --- a Vancouver Island favorite of the 1990s. After fulfilling her lifelong dream of escaping “No-mind-o,” Jaye’s musical career slowed down a little, taking a temporary back seat to college and life while she lived in Ottawa and later Brooklyn, NY. Much to her own surprise, she began playing bass again more frequently after moving to San Diego in 2003. Enjoying some marginal success locally with the Daffodils and Nautical Disaster (as well as very briefly with Eve White Eve Black), she has contributed to a handful of albums and EPs and has had the pleasure of opening for a number of amazing out-of-town bands including the Greenhorns, the Hold Steady, Demolition Doll Rods, the Black Lips, Flowers Forever and more.
First casting eyes upon each other a few years ago at the Casbah, the MacAskills are finally expressing their unconventional personalities and musical abilities together as Pony Death Ride. Along with Joe’s past experience leading bands, writing songs and performing standup comedy, Jaye’s associations with the Burlesque Hall of Fame Museum (formerly “Exotic World”) and the “new burlesque” movement have all had major influences on PDR’s unique and irreverent conceptual development.