Interview: Nicholas Allbrook

The hugely talented Nicholas Allbrook (Pond frontman, founding member of Mink Mussel Creek, ex-Tame Impala bass-player, one half of Allbrook/Avery, drummer with Peter Bibby, the list goes on!) has decided he’s still got more to give, and has just released his debut solo album. The album titled Ganough, Wallis and Fatunah is as crazy and out-there as you’d expect from Allbrook, and first single 100K’s Round Carmel is no exception. We spoke to him recently ahead of his BIGSOUND set (he’s one of our top acts to see) to talk the decision behind the solo album, CCTV, and what the hell Ganough, Wallis and Fatunah means.

So your debut solo album is coming out this Friday! Nervous?



I guess I’ll be excited when I see some physical thing in my hand, maybe?

Why the decision to release solo material?

Well, all the other guys were away from a while, and I had suddenly just finished stuff. It was pretty fun just recording by myself completely…

Does your creative process differ much writing solo stuff, as opposed to, say writing a Pond song?

Nah, nah it’s exactly the same.

Oh really?

I mean until you decide where it’s going, and then the other dudes would get involved – the other chaps in Pond. But with me, it might just get involved with just me! Or, maybe someone who’s not in Pond. Or maybe someone who is in Pond, and it just gets a different name on the iTunes download and there is no difference at all.

You said of your song Whispers in Beauty that it can, “Diminish the pains of being crushed by the horrific pointless viciousness of humankind”. What ELSE can we expect from this record?

*laughs* Well, more bloody mopey bullshit like that! *laughs* Nah, it’s full of nice stuff. It’s just me being… I don’t know, I probably had my Weet-Bix upside down that morning!

Was there any specific inspiration behind the new material, or did it just kind of come from playing around?

Oh yeah, you know, it’s a whole bunch of different songs and a whole bunch of different thoughts and feelings and stuff. I guess it’s like anybody else – it’s all lyrics and ideas. It’s just kind of a vaguely melodic diary.

I’m curious about the name of the record! Where did that come from?

I think Wallis and Fatunah are two small islands French Polynesia or something. Ganough; I don’t know what that is. I just kind of woke up and had a dream, and the first thing I thought when I got up was Ganough, Wallis and Fatunah. Eventually I looked it up on the super web and it told me that Wallis and Fatunah were these islands, which was pretty weird because I didn’t think I knew that.

And then you just went with that!

Yeah! Well, I don’t know, it seemed important in some way because it was in a dream. But I guess not because you dream about a lot of stupid shit, like going to the shops or something.

100K’s Round Carmel has some pretty interesting lyrics! Can you tell me about what’s going on there?

Yeah! I guess it’s about being guilty I suppose. Being generally guilty about everything, and making great plans to not let that happen again, and to be a good person for the rest of your born days and all that sort of stuff.

It’s got a pretty insane video clip too! Where did the idea come from for that?

Well, I just chatted a bunch with my friend, Alejandro, who’s a really good artist and he does visual stuff for MGMT which is where I met him. He’s a total nerd and legend and we just talked about stuff and had a bunch of ideas. I like those repetitive looking patterns that make your eyes hurt.

So it was a collaborative process with him?

Yeah! Of course he did all the cool, hard stuff like the animations.

That’s cool! So can we expect any more whacky film clips for any of the other songs?

No! *laughs* Nah, I haven’t made any. Maybe I’ll do something crazy whacky today and it’ll get caught on CCTV. Do they have CCTV here yet? When are they going to get that?

You could get it in your room or something to film all your whacky behaviour…

They’ve got video cameras in Coles and stuff. Maybe I’ll go to the shop and ask them if they can just give me the tape…

I’m really curious to find out your opinion on the music industry. I’m a huge fan of yours and you’ve been in the biz for a while. What are your thoughts on what’s going on at the moment?

Oh man, it’s so hard to say anything because it’s given me so much. But, you know, of course I’m constantly full of negativity and pointlessness. It’s sort of this beautiful, insane thing that’s happened. What are meant to be just pure little sing-songs to make you and people around you happy, and make your soul grow has become bureaucratic wheels that keep a lot of people alive and from doing really menial work every day. I don’t hate it, and there is nothing intrinsically wrong with it. It’s just bizarre to think how that’s happened, and how that’s something that occurs today. And people can get angry! People can get angry about music and people can HATE stuff. Hating music is like punching a bowl of cereal!

I like that! Now, with a Pond show, it’s always so incredibly energetic, and you’re pretty full on too… What can we expect from a solo Nick show?

Less energy and less people… Sorry, that’s totally just made it sound like a great big pile of turd! *laughs* Oh you know… There will be lights and there’ll be dancers; I’ve got a full troupe of dancers… On rollerskates… I got them from the roller derby crew… And I’ll have a guitar. It’ll be red and it’s got little Japanese alphabet stickers on it. I don’t know – that’s a small idea!

What will you be up to after your BIGSOUND set then?

I think I’ll come back home, and I’ll check my roster at work. Then I will keep recording stuff in my room. I think I’ve got some shows with Pete Bibby which will be awesome, as usual!

Nicholas Allbrook will be performing at BIGSOUND on Thursday September 11 at The Underdog 8:00 – 8:30pm

Originally posted to Scenewave.com