Interview: Underwater with Nicholas Allbrook
Ahead of the release of his latest EP, POND frontman and psychedelic troubadour Nicholas Allbrook discusses growing gills and throwing computers out of the window with Chloe Mayne:
Hey Nicholas! Greetings from the Cambodian countryside. I’m sitting in my mosquito net cubbyhole listening to Walrus, with chanting from a nearby temple leaking over the top, looking out over a field of mango and papaya trees. It’s about thirty five degrees, it’s sticky, and I can smell something salty cooking on the fire downstairs. Where are you as you write this? What can you see, hear, smell?
I am sitting in my room in Fremantle. I can faintly hear cars, a siren, louder cars, a man cough super loud going past the front door. I can smell nothing. I don’t think my nose ever really unblocks after touring and sleeping with 16 other men in a bus with circulating air. I can see this goddam computer screen, but more importantly my front garden, lots of butterflies, the leaves moving more and more urgently as the afternoon progresses, and blue sky, all through flyscreen and glass, which I will now open.
What are your favourite things to do besides make music?
Be in the ocean or be in love, or maybe even walking long by myself. Or even sitting down to draw and putting on Radio National and knowing there’s nothing else that needs my attention for the rest of the day. In fact, anything combined with that feeling is my favorite thing to do. Sort of.
I’m going to present you with three scenarios, and I’d like you to imagine yourself into them if you wouldn’t mind. Here goes…
Situation one: Canoeing in the Amazon
How big’s your boat? Is it watertight? Do you have company?
About the size of a Persian rug – 3 by 2 metres lets say… it’s a raft. Kinda doesn’t need to be, it’s just floating along. No.
You’ve made yourself a packed lunch for the journey, in a brown paper bag. What does it consist of?
Dried fish strips.
There’s a small battery-operated boombox sitting on the tip of the boat. What song are you playing?
Prelude no.5 by Javad Ma’roufi
Situation two: Your childhood bedroom
What does the room look like? Is it big or small, tidy or messy, are there posters on the walls?
It’s small and always glowing with orange light… I have no idea why, it just does, like 4.30 in the afternoon autumnal light. It’s messy and there are no posters on the wall except my own drawing from school.
You press your face to the nearest window. What can you see outside?
A brown fence and my young neighbour Jordan and his friends drinking beers and throwing rocks at a broken clothes washing machine they’ve painted with a very poor semi-clad female with massive breasts.
You’re listening to your first favourite piece of sonica (a band/song/album/whichever). What is it? Did you get it from your parents or choose it yourself?
I’m going way back so it was probably Daryl Braithwaite, which was the only CD I had – it came in a Weetbix box. No shit.
Situation three: Underwater (you’ve grown gills)
What kind of water body are you swimming in; puddle, pond, river, ocean? Is it clear or murky?
Let’s just say murky to speed things up.
What’s your company like, do you meet any curious creatures on your adventure? Are you able to converse with them?
I see a barramundi open his/her massive mouth at me and then retreat into the murk.
If you could pick a submerged melody to soundtrack this swim, what would it be?
Rella by Odd Future.
What are you going to do once you finish writing this?
Throw my computer out the window.
Cheers, have an excellent day!
You too! I wish I was where you are (maybe).
The ‘Walrus’ EP is out on 16th October via Spinning Top Records.
Interview by Chloe Mayne.