Poughkeepsie, N.Y., isn’t exactly a hot bed for music, but the rock quartet Pound may change all that.
Brothers Jason (lead singer) and Jerry Terwilliger (drums), guitarist Pat Gasperini and bassist Sandy Nardone are putting the city of 40,000 along the Hudson River on the musical map with its debut Island album, “Same Old Life” (released May 11). The first single, “Upside Down,” is in the Top 20 this week on Billboard’s mainstream rock tracks chart, just as the band is in the middle of a high-profile tour with Buckcherry and Fuel.
“If there was no IBM (headquarters) here, god knows what people would be doing,” Jerry Terwilliger said recently of his hometown. “It would be like this big town with a big mall. You would drive through and wouldn’t even notice it, except for the mall.”
The Terwilligers didn’t see forming a band as their ticket out of Poughkeepsie. It was just something they wanted to do, regardless.
“My brother and I, ever since we were kids, we’ve been playing,” Jerry Terwilliger said. “I don’t think there was any question of what we wanted to do. It’s just a matter of getting older and realizing the serious side and what it takes to get here, instead of trying to be cool and be in a band just to chase girls around. The older you get, you still chase the girls, but the music comes first. I don’t think it matters where you come from, it’s how much you want to do it, if you have it within you to do it.
“We never had doubts we could make it. It was never ‘if,’ it was always ‘when,’ and I’m being dead serious. It was never like, ‘Oh, if it doesn’t work out, I could get a job at IBM.’ We never talked like that. The eight, nine years we’ve been together went by real quick; we went through a lot, but it doesn’t seem that long.”
Pound made it the hard way. The four pounded the pavement, handing out flyers, mailing demos and working on new material between rehearsals and club gigs.
“It’s weird with us,” Terwilliger said. “We were out there playing and showcasing, demoing and demoing, in the studio with producers and without producers and having lawyers and having management and not having management. Then finally in the last couple of years, it was like the heck with lawyers, to hell with management, to hell with everybody, ‘Let’s see what happens on our own.’ Pat (Gasperini), when it comes to the business end of it, we totally put it in his hands and he’s just a mother at it. We basically carried ourselves with this deal, carried it until it was the other way around, when they were wanting us.”
Terwilliger admits the band was worried after Island was eaten up by the Unigram merger.
“Even the big bands were worried,” he said, “not that they would be dropped, but just the whole thing. Jim Caparro (chairman/CEO of Island Def Jam) actually called before it switched over and said he loved the record. He said, ‘We’re gonna use you guys as an example of what we can do,’ so we actually wound up in better shape, because we’re a total priority here.”
BWF (before we forget): Hit it off with Pound on the Web @ www.pound.net.