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Interview: Pond on 'The Weather', Laneway Festival, and their solo projects.

Interview: Pond on 'The Weather', Laneway Festival, and their solo projects.

It’s the morning of Auckland’s Laneway Festival, and all five touring members of Pond are sleepily apologising for their tardiness, explaining they thought their interview started an hour later. Despite their unpreparedness, the band enthusiastically decide upon taking their self-portraits to the next level - with each member drawing one another, without lifting their pen off the paper for the duration of the drawing.

In between their very intense drawing session, we spoke to Pond about performing on the Laneway Festival circuit, deep cuts from their albums, and more…

...[Laneway] always look after us.

COUP DE MAIN: How are you guys enjoying New Zealand so far? It’s been so long since you were here with the Arctic Monkeys!
JAY WATSON: It’s great! Where did we go yesterday? Mission Bay beach, to have a swim. We have two days off after today, so I guess we’ll go somewhere else. Where should we go?

CDM: Have you been to Piha before?
CDM: It’s a black sand beach.
JAY: Okay, cool.

CDM: So it’s your first show on the Laneway Festival circuit for this year, but you’ve played the festival before. Do you enjoy Laneway?
JAMES IRELAND: Absolutely.
JAY: Yeah, it’s great. We’ve played almost every year, one of our bands, or solo, someone has. Is it the only travelling one? Oh no, there’s Falls Festival too, that doesn’t come to New Zealand though. We’ve known the organisers for ten years now, they always look after us.


CDM: You recently released ‘Fire In The Water’ fully, after it being a Japanese bonus track on ‘The Weather’. When you’re working on albums as Pond, are there normally many songs leftover at the end of the recording process? How does that process work of choosing what will make the album?
NICK ALLBROOK: I think you can just tell. There’s no cut and dry process. At the end, usually there’s one or two or three or whatever… If they don’t fit, or they don’t feel, they’re not giving you as much vibe, if they are noticeably shittier than the rest of them. <laughs> But then sometimes you think that at the time, and then later on you’re like, ‘Oh, this is quite good.’

CDM: Nick, I loved that you contributed to the 1800-Laneway PSA videos for the festival - is keeping live music a safe space (for people regardless of gender, race, etc) an important thing for you guys?
NICK: Yeah, of course.

CDM: I know that you said you’ve been really into cinematic soundtracks recently, if ‘The Weather’ were to be a soundtrack to a film, what do you think the plot-line of the film would be?
NICK: Fuck! It’s not very cinematic, so it would just have to be the most ADD looney film, I guess. With no dialogue, because there’s so much singing and stuff going on in the music, it would have to be-- I don’t know, a black screen or something.
JAMIE: I was just gonna say, ‘The Room’ if they ever remade it.

CDM: You guys should’ve pitched to do it for ‘The Disaster Artist’ with James Franco.
JAY: Yes! <laughs>






CDM: Jay, we interviewed Nick on the phone last year and got him to submit a question to ask you… “Ask him what the craziest thing that’s happened on tour is.”
NICK: Me?! <laughs>
JAY: First off, great question Nick.
NICK: I was gonna ask what your biggest musical influences were.
JAY: This is the question that everybody, in every interview, ever asks. I got half-arrested in Mexico for public urination, that was pretty crazy.
NICK: That is actually quite a good one.
JAY: I got taken and put in the car, and then extorted for money. It was pretty scary.
SHINY JOE: You shouldn’t have peed in the street.
JAY: I shouldn’t have peed in the street. There was lots of Mexican piss in the street though. Everyone was peeing in the street, they just knew they could get some money out of me. But I’ve stopped peeing in the street.

CDM: Joe, you put out a solo album back in 2014, and Jay told us last year I think that your two best songs from your solo album were ripped away from you and used for the last Pond album. Are you sad those releases were stolen from you?
SHINY JOE: I’m not sad!
JAMIE: People actually got to hear them.
SHINY JOE: Yeah that’s it.
JAMIE: Our office back at home is just full of copies of unsold-- Nah, I’m just kidding, there’s only a few left.

CDM: Please make sure to steal some good GUM songs for the next Pond release.
SHINY JOE: Yeah, that’s it!
JAY: You gotta be quick.

CDM: What was it like channeling your inner Santa Claus for your ‘All I Want For Christmas (Is A Tascam 388)’ music video?
SHINY JOE: It was an extremely hot day, so I had to drink a lot of fluids.
JAMIE: Don’t know how hydrating beer is.
SHINY JOE: It was great, it was fun. Just got to tool around Fremantle dressed as Santa. I think we did it in November, so there was a Santa Claus suit available. The girl at the costume shop was like, ‘When do you want it?’, and I was like, ‘Today!’ She was like, ‘What?!’ It was fun though. Everyone was busy doing their own stuff.
NICK: I didn’t even know it was happening, until you guys rocked up at my house wearing a Santa Claus costume and Jamie had a camera. I was like, ‘What are you doing?’
JAMIE: Sorry about that Nick. I thought everyone knew.
NICK: No. <laughs>

CDM: Jamie, you have a very important job of rating the following from best to worst: Pond, Gum, Nick Allbrook, The Silents, Shiny Joe Ryan, Hamjam.
JAMIE: Oh, wow! That’s a bit cruel actually. Well, Pond on top, I think. The Silents second, for sure. Then Hamjam, and then Nick and Gum, you’re last.
JAY: Joe’s not even on there.
JAMIE: Joe’s last.

CDM: James, your other band Hamjam put out a new album in August last year, and you also release music under Ginoli - how do your roles in those musical projects differ to in Pond?
JAMES: They’re pretty different. I’m pretty new to the Pond thing, I’ve just been touring around playing drums with them. The Hamjam thing is hands on from the start, the Pond thing I’ve only really been a part of the recording process for the album that’s yet to be released, so I didn’t really have anything to do with ‘The Weather’, I’ve just been touring it. So that’s the point of difference.

Pond’s album ‘The Weather’ is out now - click here to purchase.

Watch the ‘Fire In The Water’ music video below…

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