They released an album two weeks ago and tonight, Pond will be playing some of it for you at St Jerome’s Laneway Festival at Hart’s Mill, Port Adelaide.
The psychedelic garage rock band from Perth has just launched their fourth studio album, Man it Feels Like Space Again the day before jet setting off to Singapore to begin the Laneway run.
Joe Ryan, one of the original members of the band known as having fairly fluid line-up, says the response so far to their new work has been positive.
“It’s been pretty good, I must say. Everyone seems to be digging it. I reckon it’s going pretty well. I’ve been waiting for it to come out so there’s no more secrets and everyone can listen to it at will,” he says.
Although Pond’s line-up has changed, their sound and style has stayed consistent since their first album, Psychedelic Mango, which they recorded with a little help from friend Kevin Parker, the maestro behind Tame Impala records.
Joe attributes this consistency in quality to the fact that the original band members write the music.
“Jay, Nick and I write all songs and we do have a pretty fluid line-up of people coming in and out, but I guess it’s consistent because it’s just the three of us writing and just the styles change,” he says.
“But at the moment we’ve gone from a five-piece to a four-piece. Cameron is no longer able to play with us so it’s just Jay, Jamie, Nick and myself, which will be quite interesting to see how it works at Laneway. Just as we get semi-relaxed, we decide to change it up again; just in case there was any chance we were going to do a good show, we threw a spanner in the works!”
Despite changes in the dynamics or membership, they guys have evolved since their early days in to working to produce their songs in a musical democracy.
“Nowadays I come to the band with fully formed songs and usually a demo track as well, so the rest of the guys can understand what I’m on about. We used to write all together a couple of albums ago, but on the last few, everyone writes songs and everyone gets a say,” Joe says.
“Maybe Jay or someone might come up with a better chord progression or something; Nick usually writes the lyrics so everyone has the ability to have their own touch on the songs. But for the most part, we all come in with fully formed songs, which makes it easier to get your point across.”
Now Man it Feels like Space Again has been released, Pond are keen to enjoy their time at St Jerome’s Laneway Festivals sharing their new stuff and getting out to see the other bands.
“I’m looking forward to catching all the other acts at Laneway. I really want to see Connan Mockasin. I’ve never seen him before but I’m a big fan of his music, so it’ll be cool to see him live. Mac DeMarco, of course, and Angel Olsen – I really want to check out as well. I heard Danny Brown’s going to be there as well, which is sick because we always miss him,” Joe says.
And as for coming to Adelaide, Joe reckons we have a great city, which the band can’t wait to hang out in, especially to eat our unique culinary offerings.
“We’ve been to Radelaide many times. We love it. It’s a wonderful, wonderful city. I reckon Adelaide’s the first place I ever had crocodile on a pizza. It was very delicious; like salty, seawater chicken,” he laughs.
As well as rocking and writing their own stuff, Pond also share members with fellow Perth guys, Tame Impala.
The two are compatible musically, but, as Joe explains, also work well as a touring act.
“It’s certainly amazing working with the Tame guys. I do their visuals at the moment. We’re all friends and have played in different bands together and shared houses together, and all that sort of business. Both bands coexist fairly harmoniously,” he says.
As well as Pond and Tame Impala, Perth has produced some exceptional Aussie bands, which Joe says is thanks to the economic climate, the distance, and inventing their own fun.
“It’s a strange town, Perth. I love it. We’ve got this mining boom, and everything is really expensive. The city is also really spread out. There’s an urban sprawl. It takes an hour or two to drive from the top to the bottom, so in that sense there’s not really much to do except music and art and having a good time,” he says.
Pond’s album, Man it Feels Like Space Again is available now, and the video for the title track, which Joe describes as ‘the Apocalypse Now of Muppet Shows’, has also dropped.
The making of the new record has been eloquently described by Nick as, “in the spirit of impulsiveness and lunacy it got shattered and scattered and pissed on and blow-dried in a small studio in Collingwood, Melbourne.”
Joe agrees completely with this description and wouldn’t have had it any other way.
“That’s actually quite articulate to describe what actually went down. We had two weeks. It was all up in the air. We were hoping it would work. It was all up to fate. Fate said, ‘Go and make an album, boys’, and we did. I can’t really add much to that, except it was a whole lot of fun,” he laughs.
By Libby Parker