March 2022

Big Fish

Pond Pond Pond Pond Pond Pond Pond Text: Gabriel Knowles Images: Carine Thevenau & Pond

By the sounds of things the psychedelic revival is well and truly happening in Perth right now. Tame Impala, The Silents, These Ship Wrecks and Pond are all at the forefront of a style firmly on its way back. The fact that those bands all share common members might just have something to do with all the noise they’re making.

“We live in a pretty close community with a bunch of different bands and friends who are all really involved in each others music making. we’re all constantly in each others faces telling people what’s good and what’s not. There’s no real separation between any bands, the names shouldn’t even really be there.” Pond’s Nick Allbrook says on a typically sunny Perth day.

“Between us, Tame Impala, The Silents and These Ship Wrecks there’s this thing where everyone plays in everyone else’s band at some point. When we play something fun like Laneway we just get everyone up. There’s no sort of scene like you’d normally say there’s a scene, everyone’s got so much time to hang out and inspiration to make music.”

“We started in this band called Mink Mussel Creek and then we all moved into the same house and lived together. So we all started in the same band but them moved into different bands, we still have this great big communal thing going on.” Allbrook explains of the bigger crew that he and fellow band mates Joe Orion and Wes Goldtouch are a part of.

“The three of us write and record everything. But live there’s any number of fun folk that can pop up. Our friend Jamie plays keyboard all the time and then some other people come up and play bongos. At Laneway we had a designated dancer and confetti popper offerer.”

“It just became this big incestuous band list. It was always pretty loose.” Orion adds.

While they don’t steer away from the fact the acts are all sonically coming from roughly the same place, they do seem keen not to get pigeon holed as strictly psych.

“I bring a bit more folk, Jay brings the pop and Nick just brings the James Brown/Prince vibe. Whilst we all have that similar mind set we bring different aspects to the band. Which is why we can play pretty much any genre. We’re finding out that we can play anything, we bring influences from wherever we want and then Pondify it up.” Orion drawls with just enough effect to know he’s at least half joking.

For what it’s worth Orion’s confidence isn’t misplaced. Ponds latest release Frond may well be steeped in psychedelic and pop overtones but there’s more than just two layers at play. Distorted guitars are complimented by bouncing keys, chanted vocals, gospel choruses and epic arrangements.

“This one took us ages because our friend Sam Ford works at a studio, he also plays in The Silents and he’s a shit hot producer so he let us do it for minimal cost if we did it when the guy who owned the studio wasn’t busy. So he’d call us on the spur of the moment which was usually really late. We’d go in for a couple of hours or all night depending on how late we could stay up, so it took us a fuck load of time because we didn’t get to have good stints in there.” Allbrook explains.

“We’ve done more fucked up late night sounding things, this one we got our heads done and got all into pop and making a pop record. So we concentrated hard on that and making it the best we could so we could combat the late night demons.”

They may have conquered them but the late night lifestyle obviously isn’t the most conducive for holding down gainful employment, as illustrated by their shopping habits according to Allbrook.

“We’re all quite frugal. I just found out you can get a garbage bag full of bread from this place down the road at 12.30 every night. And you can go into Coles with a North Perth Growers Mart bag and buy a carton of milk and put all their fruit in your North Perth Growers Mart bag and say you bought it all across the road. So you get free fruit and piles of bread, all you’ve got pay for is beer, grass and milk.”

“And you can say that, I don’t think they’ll read it but I reckon the glory of the Coles police coming to my house would be worth it anyway!”

Pond’s latest album Frond is out soon, the first single Cloud City is available for purchase now.


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