As Weird As We Can — A Q+A With The Digitized Distortion Junkies of feeble little horse

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Feeble little horse are a quartet that filters compact pop music through layers of fuzz and electronic sound effects. Their April debut EP, modern tourism, contained five nuggets of bummed out bedroom fare, while their upcoming full-length album, Hayday (due out 10/22 on Julia’s War Recordings), raises the group’s sound to chaotic new heights. Guitarist Ryan Walchonski, bassist/vocalist Lydia Slocum, and guitarist/producer Sebastian Kinsler were kind enough to answer some questions for Bored In Pittsburgh. Check it out below:

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Who is/are feeble little horse? A catchphrase or tagline, if you will. 

Feeble little horse makes (mostly) lighthearted, noisy pop music. 

Cliche question out of the way early; who/what are some of your influences, musical or otherwise?

Lydia: I’ve been really influenced by Naomi Alligator, Anna McClellan, and Wednesday

Ryan: My favorite guitar bands like Hotline TNT, Women, and Slowdive, as well as ambient music by artists like Emily Sprague and Mary Lattimore.

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Sebastian: Everyone in flh loves bands like Hotline TNT, Wednesday, & Alex G. Those three are like the big mediators between us. I do the post-production & mixing for flh mostly alone in my bedroom and I get super inspired in that aspect listening to people like SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE, Jpegmafia, Sorry, Laura Les, & Sweet Trip. SOTB & Sorry are particularly pushing forward the type of overproduced indie rock sound that I love (Ryan calls it Ableton-core lol).

How did you all get started playing music together? 

Lydia: I got in the mix through a mutual BFF Renee who is good friends with Seb. We all hung out at Pitt in March and after that me and Seb made “Dog Song (Wet Jeans)” together over the phone since I was at school in Mechanicsburg. Then on summer break, me, Seb, Ryan and Renee hung out and we started creating Hayday and I was invited to be a part of the band which made me very happy.

Sebastian: My freshman year at Pitt I joined Ryan’s former band because of a mutual friend, and the two of us started writing and recording stuff on our own. I’d go to Ryan’s apartment on a Friday afternoon and leave at 2am with a finished track on my laptop. Jake was living with Ryan at the time, and they had this super shitty drum set in their living room that we’d record drums on. 

Lydia and I started making music together at kind of the same time, but under our own names. I invited her over to Ryan’s to record a feature for a flh song, and we ended up writing almost half of Hayday that weekend.

I’ve always gotten a kick out of the name feeble little horse. How did that come about?  

Ryan: Sebastian and I had our first batch of songs that became modern tourism and we were struggling to find a name for the band. I saw the phrase in a book called The Castle by Franz Kafka and ran it by Sebastian and that was our name. 

Your music comes across (to me, at least) as really chaotic, but also very meticulously put together. Is this an intentional balance? 

Sebastian: Yeah totally, the goal is always to make these songs as weird as we can without destroying what makes them cool. 

Ryan: The way we write our guitar parts (how these songs start) is inherently chaotic to begin with. We’re usually in different tunings than each other but try to write parts that complement each other while still maintaining our individual styles. 

How would you say that hayday differs from modern tourism?

Lydia: We started making Hayday the first time Ryan and Sebastian and I all hung out together in May 2021. With modern tourism, the band was just Ryan Seb and Jake. We finished like five songs within 24 hours which are on the album (“Chores,” “Termites,” “Grace,” “Kennedy,” and “Worth It”). At the time of writing the songs I was still getting over a really bad breakup which fueled a lot of the content of Hayday. “Chores,” “Termites,” and “Grace” are all about my own spite towards a very specific someone. Modern tourism is emotionally charged but in a really different way from Hayday. The EP is apathetic and subdued while Hayday is emotionally chaotic. We are all happier now and hope our next album reflects that but we’ll just have to wait and see.

Is there a song you’ve written that you’re especially proud of? If so, why?

Lydia: I’m really proud of “Picture.” It’s one of the songs off the album that we made in late summer, after our first show. We took this really sad thing I wrote in my notes app about missing the simple intimacy of cooking in the kitchen with someone I am loved by and we turned it into this darling little song that actually feels really hopeful. The instrumental is also so cool- I think it was something Ryan and Seb made a long time ago and didn’t think they even liked it but re-worked I think it’s something super special. 

Sebastian: I’m pretty happy with how “Tricks “came together sonically. It’s the only song we’ve ever written remotely, so Ryan, Lydia, and I had to just text each other files back and forth for like two weeks until it sounded right. 

Who are some other Pittsburgh artists that you’d recommend?

Gaadge, Water Trash, and Sleeping Witch & Saturn have put out some solid records. 

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What’s next for feeble little horse?

Sebastian: We’re planning on taking our time with the next album. Our EP came together pretty quickly, and Hayday was almost finished recording before the EP was even released. I want to see what happens if we’re super mindful about every single element we put into it, instead of just always working by intuition.

Ryan: We also have some shows coming up that we’re really excited about. 

Is there anything that I forgot to ask or that you’d like to let people know about you, your music, or anything in general?

We’re super grateful to everyone who has supported us so far, especially our friends in Pittsburgh and Philly.

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Many thanks to feeble little horse for taking the time to answer these questions. Make sure to follow them on Instagram for news about shows and releases, and stay tuned for Hayday!

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