They’re a band of “water monsters from the deep” whose latest video, for the spaced out and super-danceable Zond, sees them reimagined as Siamese twins, decked out in pool toys and playing what appear to be sausages. But Pond are not here to weird you out, assures bassist, Joe Ryan.
The four piece from Perth, Australia - who in their current form are comprised of Ryan, frontman Nick Allbrook, drummer Jay Watson (also of Tame Impala) and Jamie Terry on keys – are presently relaxing in their sunny hometown in lead up to the release of their latest album, Man It Feels Like Space Again and spot on this year’s Laneway line up. “There are insane beaches all up and down the coast and my friends and family in Perth make it,” says Ryan of the remote capital city. The downside? “It’s a bit expensive.” But, if Pond are anything to go by, that’s no barrier to productivity. Man It Feels Like Space Again is their 6th album in as many years. It’s also their best yet, says Ryan.
“I think we're getting better at writing songs. You know, better chord progressions and licks,” he explains.
This bids well for the future of Pond, but Ryan says they’re keeping open minds as to what happens next.
“We'll continue to make music together as long as it remains fun and natural. The rest is up to the great magnet.”
Tell us about Man it Feels Like Space Again...
So it's our sixth record and I reckon our best to date. We recorded it mainly on one-inch tape which equates to 16 tracks per song. This meant we had to think a bit more about what instruments were really necessary to track and cut out a lot of the clutter you get in a recording when you double and triple track instruments.
What were you listening to when you recorded it?
I'm not sure, but I remember bailing from the studio one night to go and watch the Melvins. ‘Twas amazing.
Where’s the best place to listen to it?
Probably while walking somewhere. That's where I listen to it.
Where’s your favourite place in the world to perform?
That's a hard one to answer. I'm not sure. We've played amazing gigs all over the world and people everywhere are very welcoming. But if I'm to think of one I'd say I love playing in the USA. I love driving all over the US and seeing the changes in scenery, meeting people and finding strange and rare musical gear. Also from the US we can travel easily to Canada and South America.
Who’s a Perth artist or band that we should be listening to right now?
Well I'll give you two as they just released a split seven-inch record. They are Gunns and Hamjam - good mates of ours who are doing some real good music at the moment. Check them out.
I’ve seen your live shows described as “notorious”. Do you like to weird people out when you’re performing?
No. We don't go out of our way to weird people out but I guess we can't stop people weirding out on their own.
Can you tell us a little-known fact about the band (or a band member)?
Ya sure, did you know all of the band members are actually water monsters from the deep? Well, we are.
Tell us about how you all met…
I met Nick through an old mutual friend called Sam. Sam and Nick were starting a band and I was invited along to a jam one day and that's that. I met Jay around Perth at gigs. He was playing with a band called The Novocaines. Jay was actually 17 back then so had to be snuck into gigs to play. He eventually moved into mine, Kevin and Nick's share house where he lived on the living room couch for a year. Finally Jamie I met again on the Perth music scene. He played in an amazing band called The Silents. He was this tall mysterious guy up there on stage, until I met him after the show and found out he's a wally. But now he's our wally.
You’ve had some awesome cover art over the years, and Man it Feels Like Space Again is no exception. How do you track down the right artists to represent your music visually?
Well, all our cover art over the six albums has been done by friends of the band except Frond which was done by Nick. Benny Montero did MIFLSA and he was easy to find as he was Jay's housemate in Melbourne. Montero somehow captures the Pond sound in drawings. I don't know how.
Are you inspired by visual art?
Eeeehhh … Not really. I like art and creating crazy projections but I wouldn't say I was inspired by it.
What does inspire you?
Walking in the sun, BBQ in the park or at the beach, friends and having adventures. Real world experiences basically.
You’re touring with Laneway this year. What are you most looking forward to on that tour?
Seeing the other acts. The lineup is kick ass!