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Origin Blue Ridge Mountain, Virginia, USA
Genres Indie, Hard rock, stoner rock, neo-psychedelia
Years active 2004–present
Labels Thrill Jockey
Website official website
Members Jennings Carney
Van Carney
Lain Carney

Pontiak is an American neo-psychedelic rock band of three brothers from the Blue Ridge Mountain area of Virginia: Jennings Carney (bass, organ, vocals—born 1978, Washington DC), Van Carney (lead vocals, guitar—born 1980, Washington DC) and Lain Carney (drums, vocals—born 1982, Washington DC). The band officially formed in January 2004. "Pontiak - Interview," The Jitty, May 13, 2011.


Although family members played instruments, the Carney boys didn't grow up with plans to form a band. According to Van, "We haven't ever taken a lesson. Lain started playing the drums. Lain and I actually both started playing the drums together at the same time, probably around in 2000, maybe 2001, when we bought a drum set. Lain played the guitar as well. I was like 20, so Lain was about 17 or 18. This was really the first band we had ever done anything with.

"We've been playing with a bunch of different people, and we were like, 'Well, why don't we all get together and do this because we can? We know each other's sensibilities and we trust each other, so why not try that?' Jennings was living out in Colorado at the time, and it was just a very convenient time for him to move back. Then we all moved to Baltimore, where Lain was finishing his final year in college." "Pontiak Find Joy Brotherly Love, Loud Guitars -- Top 100 Acts at SXSW 2011" Spinner, Mar 3rd 2011.

They were part of the Baltimore music scene for four or five years and then moved back to Virginia. "Van, Lain, and Jennings Carney initially connected to Baltimore's growing scene as they got their start there. They are still associated with Baltimore bands, including Arbouretum with whom they shared a split release EP." "Kale." Review in Swampland.

Lain and Van both spent some time in college studying in London and now the band regularly tours in Europe. "Interview With Pontiak," Strange Glue, Feb. 6, 2009.

The band signed with Thrill Jockey in 2008. On February 6, 2012 they released their ninth album, Echo Ono, their seventh on Thrill Jockey. "Pontiak Find Joy Brotherly Love, Loud Guitars -- Top 100 Acts at SXSW 2011" Spinner, Mar 3rd 2011.

On January 28, 2014 they released their tenth album, Innocence (also on Thrill Jockey).


Their music is not easily classified. They have been compared to Harvey Milk, Black Sabbath, and Neil Young. Hopscotch Music Festival Also, My Morning Jacket, Sleep, (Psychedelic Wilderness: Pontiak and the Independent Life) Slint, Midlake, Crazy Horse, Mudhoney, and others. "Pontiak Living Review," BBC, Sept. 6, 2010. And: neo-psychedelic rock, '60s psych and acid rock, '70s progressive and proto-metal, and '90s stoner rock and indie rock. "Pontiak bio," MOG Here are more reviews: Pontiak Press.

Van Carney: “We’ve played shows with metal people, doom people, sludge people, occasionally some indie people and some folk people. And people always have a tough time categorizing us. They’re like, ‘You kind of fit here, and you kind of fit here, and you kind of fit there.’ We’re trying to do our own thing. I don’t think we can help it. It’s just what we do.” [1]



Heat Leisure (2013)


  1. ^ "DRIVING MUSIC: Pontiak". Blurt Magazine. February 27, 2014. Retrieved May 24, 2014.  External link in |publisher= (help)