Interview by Anthony Thomas
I gave frontman, Nic, a call recently to chat about the band’s European adventures, how they approach music making and a little something we called the ‘Pond-way’.
The picture you posted at the FBI birthday was insane!
Such a blast man, it was incredible. We didn’t expect that we would pack out that room like that. It was so great to come home to.
Coming back to Australia must have been rough?
It wasn’t too bad. We finished the tour in the Netherlands, where we had a lovely time and smoking heaps of weed of weed, then came home and a week later played that FBI gig. It’s awesome being back though. Our family and friends are here in Australia, so it’s been really. It was like coming home and having a massive birthday party!
Why did you choose to tour Europe? Was it a more natural fit then say, America?
Well the producer we’ve been working with lives over there, so it made sense. We also have a lot of friends over there and it was also a good opportunity to road test new material at some festivals. I mean as well, it was a lot more exciting to be over there than just being at home not playing shows. We finished the first album tour here, so we couldn’t really play any more shows in Australia and we thought we may as well go tour it in another region.
Are you guys tour junkies?
Kind of yeah! The way we look at it, we may as well be playing shows and writing music at the same time. There’s nothing to really stopping us from doing that.
Do you find your writing is more productive on the road?
Definitely. You get an idea of and gauge what’s working and what’s not with you audiences. You also come up with new ideas by seeing the other bands you’re playing with doing stuff. Every festival you play, you’re going to go out and watch ten other bands so you just naturally find yourself talking about different things.
How does the festival circuit over there compare to down here?
It’s pretty similar but the one thing that we did notice was the festivals were a lot more chilled out. There seemed to be a less intense occupational health and safety problem. When you’re in a festival in Australia, you get this sense of that you’re being watched. The security are quite tough and everyone’s quite serious about not doing certain things. Whereas in the UK, there’s this really chilled vibe. You’re almost just being trusted to behave yourself.
Is that a reflection of the people going to the shows?
I don’t know man, people go fucking mental at those festivals. We didn’t play Reading Festivals in Leeds but apparently people set fire to trucks and stuff. It gets pretty chaotic.
You didn’t set fire to any trucks did you?
We promise we didn’t. We were probably too drunk or stoned to do something like that anyway. [laughs] We did have a lovely time at Wilderness Festival though and Lowlands Festival was definitely the highlight of the festival. We played to the biggest crowd we’ve ever played to in our lives.
Are you the type the type of band to release music when it’s ready and not to rush it?
We’re writing and recording new material and there’s been quite a lot of new material since we’ve left London, so we want to get that down as well. I’ve been really, really interested in the way pond have done stuff. I like the way Nick Albrooke will just record a song, release a song, record another song and release it. It’s kind of like you never stop writing, recording or releasing. You’re just constantly touring and writing music because you can. It’s pretty easy to do it too plus it means you’re always interacting with your supporters. It also means there’s an actual job to do. I’d hate to be in a band that just goes away for four years to write a record and have to come back and build up from scratch again. When I first noticed Pond were doing that I thought, “That’s the way of the future.” It’s what we should all doing as musicians. It’s more fun for the band, it’s more fun for the fans.
You guys have mentioned a desire to experiment quite heavily on this record. Did going overseas help you out on that?
It was a mixture of both. Going overseas was really great for getting influences and ideas. Then coming back was even better because we’d been away and suddenly we were back home and everything was really exciting. A lot of ideas came out from that (excitement). To be inspired to write music, you need to experience things to write about and if you travel out of your comfort zone. You’re going to meet people who make you excited or break your heart or you’re going to have to be sad when you say goodbye to them. All those things happen to you when you’re travelling around. We’d rather be doing that than staying in the one place and not getting stimuli.
That’s brilliant. Are you keen to get back on the road playing to Aussie audiences?
Absolutely! We’ve missed Brisbane and Adelaide. We’ve missed Perth massively. We’ve missed Melbourne and Sydney as well. Being away for six months is long enough to really miss all the friends we’ve made and also short enough to come back to who you actually are.
When is the next instalment in, let’s call it the Pond-way, for DSA?
Well we released a taster single, Black Cat, and we’ll probably put out another single in the next couple of months. Followed by another single. We’re just going to keep on doing that and hopefully the album will come out in March. Then we can start the whole process again.