It’s been a couple of years between drinks for WA’s favourite sons POND, but with their seventh album The Weather set for release on May 5 and a UK tour on the way (including a slot at Reading & Leeds Festival), the band had a chat to the NME about what they’ve been up to – including some bits and pieces about their recent Gizzfest appearance, the departure of Cam Avery, and a breakthrough moment with the stoic Kevin Parker.
Discussing their recent protest track ‘30000 Megatons’, frontman Nick Allbrook describes how former Tame Impala bandmate Kevin Parker’s reaction to it made them realise they were onto something, and it was at his insistence that the band stick to their guns and release it directly to SoundCloud rather than consulting their label first.
“I was in Argentina,” Nick tells the NME in a new interview. “I was like: ‘Oh, I don’t know, we’ve got a new record label, you know how these guys get.’ And he’s like: ‘Fuck it! Do it!’ Which is why Kev’s Kev. The fact he saw some pathos and he was like ‘I had a real emotional moment to it’… I was like: ‘You had emotion?! Fuck! It must be good!’”
A rare showing it seems from Kev, but the band clearly trust his judgement, and appreciate having one of the biggest names in Aussie music at their disposal when it came to putting the finishing touches on their record – although he’s kept them waiting.
“We recorded it last January,” says Joe. “So for us it was pretty much a year between albums. It took another year for Kevin [Parker] to get around to mixing it, because of the success of his other band [Tame Impala]. You may have heard of them… ”
“And we got KP to actually mix – we just actually knocked on his door, like: “Hey man, the guys are at the studio waiting for you.”
“There’s just no point in thinking about anything else,” Nick added, justifying the year-long wait. “He’s like our best buddy – it’s not often you get the opportunity that your like best, best friend and bandmate is actually one of the most significant mixing and sound people in the world.”
From one bandmate to another, Joe also explains why drummer Cam Avery stepped away from the band, aside from his simple desire to try his hand solo.
“He also played left-handed drums and when we took breaks during jam I couldn’t jam, so we had to get rid of him!” Joe says. “But yeah, his new record’s great. You know Seth Rogen and James Franco did the Kanye ripoff? I’m actually going to do one of ‘C’est Toi’, but it’s going to be the shittest car you could ever see.”
POND also recapped their recent sets at King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard’s rock bash Gizzfest, making it sound like just about the most or least appealing thing in the world, depending on your idea of a good time.
“It was great,” Nick said. “It’s all the long-haired, shit-clothed Aussie rock men all together on one tour. Which sounds fucking awful, but it was so fun. 50 friends touring around, playing, catching the same flights on an entire festival tour organised by King Gizzard. Like, actually them.”
“We also have platinum gold status when it comes to Virgin Australia,” Joe notes, “so we were able to get pretty much everyone from the tour into the lounge. We’d arrive first before like fifty bands with like fifty bits of gear. We’d like get all our shit in and just like go to the lounge and then the tour manager would come in like, “Joe, can I borrow your boarding pass to get four more people in?” So we got like everyone in.”
“All these like business men and like high-vis mining workers were just watching this endless stream of long-haired trash-bags come in just like going for the toasted sandwich meals, like ‘Awww, man, these are fucking siiiick,” Nick adds, which just sounds like plenty of fun to us.
The full interview includes plenty of details about the album, and talk of their upcoming tour, so head over to NME to check it out in full, and keep an ear out for the new album next month.