Fort Mill, S.C.
Photo: The Terrible Two
Over the Father's Day weekend, we celebrated a very special father-son duo. You may know Spencer Pumpelly best for his driving duties in both the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge series.
What you may not know is that he also plays in a band, The Terrible Two, with his five year old son Ryder.
We sat down for an exclusive interview with Ryder. In fact, it was his first-ever interview, and if we had to guess, it’s likely the first of many.
You can find The Terrible Two performing around Atlanta and even at some race tracks on the IMSA schedule. Last year the duo played at Virginia International Raceway, and we bet they’ll come back due to fan demand.
Check out what Ryder had to tell us about his rock and roll adventures, with just a little help from Dad!
What kind of music do you play with your dad?
Ryder: Rock and roll.
Was it your dad’s idea or your idea to start a band?
Ryder: It was kind of both of our ideas to start the band.
Were you nervous the first time you performed?
Ryder: A little.
Spencer: I was a little nervous too.
What has been your best performance so far?
Ryder: At VIR last year.
What is your favorite song to perform?
Ryder: My favorite song is Living on a Prayer.
Spencer: Talk Dirty to Me is my favorite.
Ryder: I think Talk Dirty to Me is my favorite song too.
Spencer: It doesn’t have to be the same as me. I think you like Living on a Prayer.
Ryder: But I really like that song, so I have two favorites.
Spencer, would you prefer to see Ryder grow up to be a musician or a race car driver?
Spencer: I think both professions offer a lot of excitement and fun and allow you to do incredible things and see incredible places, while at the same time doing what you love to do. At the same time, it’s very difficult to get noticed and have an opportunity to become a professional. I want him to do whatever it is he wants to do, if that’s racing or rock n’ roll, I’m 100 percent supportive and if it’s something else, I’m behind that too.
Did Ryder become interested in music because you’re interested in music?
Spencer: We would listen to AC/DC, Bon Jovi and different music when we were hanging out and Ryder had a little plastic guitar, so we’d pretend to be rock stars. When I realized he knew all the words, I figured I’d make him the singer and I’d be the guitar player. That’s how it started.
Who decides when it’s time to put on a show?
Ryder: Daddy does.
Spencer: I usually decide on the weekend when it’s a nice day and we know we’ll have a big audience. Ryder decides which songs we’re going to do.
What does the crowd think of the band?
Ryder: They like it. Sometimes they give us money.
What’s the most money you’ve made?
Ryder: Over $100
What did you do with all that money?
Ryder: Gave it to the firemen.
Spencer: We donated it to Engine 19 in Virginia Highlands.
Ryder, are you training your sister [Parker, age 3] to be in the band too?
Ryder: She’s already in the band.
What does she play?
Ryder: She sings ‘I Love Rock n’ Roll.’
Will we see The Terrible Two at an IMSA event this year?
Spencer: We had so much fun at VIR we may go back with the family. You never know.
Ryder, what do you want to be when you grow up?
Ryder: I want to be a secret agent. The kind that finds spies.
We asked Ryder and Spencer if there was anything else they’d like to add…
Ryder: I want to tell you something. It’s a lot of work. We’re a band so we have to practice a lot.
Spencer: It’s great being the lead guitarist for one of Atlanta’s hottest bands. I realize at this point I’m constantly going to living in the shadow of my lead singer, like so many other guitarists of famous bands past.
You can find The Terrible Two playing along the Atlanta Beltline or in the Virginia Highlands neighborhood on a warm weekend. Follow @TerribleTwoAtlanta on Facebook for pictures/videos from previous gigs or updates on future ones!