Believe it or not, this song started out as a trippy, Beatlesque song with a 12/8 time signature! But of course, this didn’t fit with the Synthwave stylings of the album. So I started messing with it – so much so, that it bears no resemblance to the original song from which it originated. This is partly why the Future Memories album took so long to finish, because I just kept on experimenting and pushing the envelope…

MUSIC

So I changed the rhythm from 12/8 to 4/4 and the bassline from a Britpop sound to a 90s House music sound. I added some crazy, unexpected chord changes, some 909 drums, and created multi-layered synth parts. This formed the foundation for the verse.

As a synthpop artist, I needed to take the song somewhere and was not happy to just leave it as a piece of electronica. So I added a refreshing pop chorus with a melody I’d written years ago and using a chord progression that is quintessentially Space March.

The chorus really came to life when I added the classic synthpop sounding riff, which is probably the reason “Fly a Pony” is one of the more popular album tracks.

One of my favourite parts of the song is the outro melody where my vocal “oohs” sound like a cool synth patch due to some vocoding.

LISTEN

LYRICS

“Fly a pony into darkness” is a metaphor for taking a journey into the unknown. The lyrics were perhaps better explained in the original, verbose version. However, the original words didn’t fit with the production, so I ruthlessly edited the lyrics down to just one line.

“No one knows the feeling on the inside” as sung in the chorus, really sums up the sentiment of the song. It might seem like an obvious observation, but it is one of those truisms that calls for contemplation. From time to time, we all go through intense emotions – grief, pain and suffering, but we put on a façade so other people don’t know how we’re feeling. Sometimes people misinterpret our façade – “you’ve got it all so wrong”. Of course, one can never know how another is really feeling…

Fly a pony into darkness…

You’ve got the whole thing wrong
No one knows
The feeling on the inside
You’ve got it all so wrong
Now and then
You feel it on the inside

Where’d it all go wrong
No one knows
The feeling on the inside
You’ve got it all so wrong
In the end
You feel it on the inside

TECHNOLOGY

“Fly a Pony” features a number of sounds from the UVI Falcon libraries as well as plenty of vintage synths and the classic TR-909 drum machine.

Whilst most Synthwave tends to favour the drums of the TR-707 or TR-505 (my first drum machine), this track possessed such a House vibe, I had to use the TR-909 – my second drum machine and used on every song I produced in the 1990s :)

• Mini Moog (bass)
• Korg PS-3200 (bass)
• Oberheim Matrix 6 (bass)
• Akai AX80 (lead)

• Oberheim OBX-a (stabs)
• Moog Apollo (stabs)
• TR-909 (drums)
• Falcon (bass, pads, arpeggios, drums)

INSPIRED BY

From time to time, someone will get in touch to tell me how a Space March song has had a big impact on them. I recently learned from a fan that the song “Stronger Than Steel” from my second album got them through a very difficult time in their life. Sometimes it’s a bit closer to home – in this case, a professional Sydney based artist and art teacher, Yvonne Cleaver (aka Mum) was so taken with this song, she made a creative response in the form of this painting, which I love!

Fly a Pony painting by Yvonne Cleaver

ALBUM: FUTURE MEMORIES

TRACK 3: FLY A PONY

ALBUM PAGE