New Pond Fondle is: A. An arousing fraternity rites of passage act or B. A hip jam-rock outfit.
Ok, so either answer could essentially work, but for now the focus is on New Pond Fondle the band, right out of Fitchburg, MA. The…interesting…name actually comes from a painting a local musician gave the band and it stuck almost immediately, or so says NPF’s bassist Kyle Shattuck.
Since its inception in 1995, New Pond Fondle has built up quite the local following with a sound flavored with sweet jams, reggae influences, and a rocking vibe. They’ve played hundreds of shows throughout New England at many of the top bars, nightclubs, and venues. They also have three albums to their credit: The Blue Disc, Organic Chemistry, Anxious for Mellow, all of which you can catch at http://www.myspace.com/npfbluedisc
Although many local clubs have turned a good number of their nights towards karaoke and cover-only performers, the band doesn’t plan on ever compromising their energetic and improvisational live feel. “We differ from a lot of local bands because we often will play an entire set of original music. When we play covers we try to do them in our own style and never learn the songs note for note,” says Shattuck.
Like most jam-bands, New Pond Fondle relies on a healthy amount of improvisation from its members, especially Mat Babineau. Babineau’s guitar attack fuels the band and pushes it creatively. Shattuck adds, “Dan Cormier (keyboardist) fills in the rest of the sound around Babs which usually involves a lot of jazz style chords.”
New Pond Fondle can be found honing their ever expansive set list at Tammany Hall in Worcester, Partners Pub in Fitchburg, and frequently at The Boulder in Fitchburg – which Babineau owns.
The best time of the year for the band is definitely summer. “We throw our own party called ‘Ashby Arts & Music Festival’ in the summertime at a friend’s house….the vibe and feel outside by the pond and bonfire with the moon as a backdrop just can’t be beat.”
When asked if Shattuck and other members (the full line-up is Dan Cormier – Keyboardist/vocals, Mat Babineau – Guitar/vocals, David Harrington – Lead vocals, Greg Secino – Drums) have far-reaching touring ambitions, he made it clear that they’ve already found a rewarding niche for their upbeat sound and are quite not straying far.
“At this point NPF would like to play locally for our loyal friends and followers and occasionally branch out to other venues around Vermont, New Hampshire and maybe even a weekend warrior trip to Virginia Beach during the summer months.”
(appeared in PULSE magazine)