When he’s not making music with the countless bands he’s apart of – including one by the name of POND – Nick Allbrook makes some pretty outstanding music in his own right. With two EPs under his belt for his solo persona, Allbrook is set to once again unleash his own music in all of it’s frenetic, unpredictable glory and judging from what we’ve already heard, things are sounding their wildest, but best, yet.
Having just released the video for his latest single, Advance, this week, Allbrook is gearing up to jet across the country this long weekend. Kicking off today in Adelaide, he’s already sold out one show in Brisbane, and the rest are looking to do the same. Ahead of his tour, we got the chance to chat with the man himself whilst he was sipping ginger beer on his porch. Talking about everything from that time he was really sick in Brisbane, to his love of 90s RnB, we still feel like we only scratched the surface to this weird and wonderful man, but it still makes for a hilarious read nonetheless. Check out our chat below, and his tour dates below that.
Hey Nick, how’s it going?
Just went for a swim earlier on, now I’m on the front porch and it’s really beautiful weather. I’m sipping on a ginger beer.
Where are you right now?
I’m in Fremantle
I actually interviewed you two years ago, so this is like a “Where are they now” kind of situation…
I was living in Melbourne, but now I live back here.
Why the move?
I guess I just got itchy feet. It just seemed like time.
Getting back to your roots?
Not really. That had very little to do with it actually. The idea of a bit more space and quiet and heat really appealed to me. Mainly the space, lack of pace and the heat.
Do you think that’s had an affect on your music? Advance is quite different to what we’ve already heard from you…
Unfortunately nothing about Perth made it into the sort of creative part of this album, actually. I was in Paris when I wrote most of the songs for this one, and then I kind of developed them when I was in Melbourne. Then I moved to Perth, and then moved back to Melbourne to record the actual album – so it’s all pretty non-Perth actually *laughs*
How are you feeling about it now? Are you still working on it?
No, I’ve “released” it. I’ve taken it off the chain and given it to a new home and it’ll make its own way now.
I’ve been a big fan of yours for a long time, so it’s always been interesting to watch how, with each release, there is quite a drastic change in sound. It’s always another wild and wacky adventure with Nick Allbrook! Is it based on what you’re vibing at the moment, or is there a bigger picture at work that we don’t quite know about yet? A sonic tapestry, of sorts?
*laughs* I kind of feel like I’m constantly trying to catch up to all the things I want to do and want to try. There is this endless list of cool things to do, and sometimes I feel under immense pressure to get them all out before I die – or try at least.
Like a musical bucket list?
Totally! Even a general bucket list! Music, writing, art, travelling, all these things. But also, yeah that whole bucket list can get constantly rearranged depending on what I’m into at the time I suppose. It’s like the whole list gets changed because whatever is most exciting for me at that very moment, by default, shoots up to number one. Anything not number one priority is like waiting until I’ve got no more passion left in me *laughs*
Then you’ll try out this one weird sound you’ve got left
One day I won’t have anything. I’ll be too old and fuddy duddy. I would have lost my childish vigour and then I’ll just be doing all the things left on the bucket list.
A country album or something?
Yeah! Something that probably is shit but I still feel a moral obligation to do it.
Would you ever do a Christmas album, perhaps?
I’ve never thought – ah, yeah I have thought about it. That’s more just joking around with the POND chaps. I think it’s more of a Shiny Joe Ryan expedition.
I can definitely see a Shiny Joe Ryan Christmas album!
Advance is one of my favourite songs you’ve released, just getting back on track
Oh thank you! I feel very encouraged.
Can we expect more of that David Bowie, chaotic kind of sound you’ve been working with on this track?
Yeah! There’s a lot of that. That song is pretty indicative of the rest of the album, it’s got varying degrees of that minimalism/maximalism stuff. Its got the same chaos because the main difference with this album was that most of it was done with three other really admiral musicians and friends of mine on cello, piano and drums. So the instrumentation is pretty cohesive and sometimes quite minimal. I think you’ll get it when you hear it.
Can we expect to hear some of it on the upcoming tour? Is that what this is, or is it more of a refresher?
I guess it’s more of a refresher. It’s sort of like a mixed bag. A promotional show bag of songs, like a trial download where you don’t actually get the real thing but I’ll make something up on my sample pad and playing it by myself. Not really, but I am playing a bunch of songs from the new album but they will sound completely different just because of the way I’m doing it, whereas The Walrus stuff will sound pretty similar because all of that was made by myself anyway. I’ll still play them, they’re still fun.
Last time I saw you, you were playing in Brisbane with The Laurels and you were really sick!
Are you still going to be doing that whole “one-man-band” thing, because I really enjoyed that despite how sick you were.
Thank you! I will still be doing that, but just a bit longer and a bit more pressure and hopefully less sickness. I was fucked up that time, that was a horrible time to be alive. But I remember all of you – I can say “you” because you were in the crowd, right?
You all made me feel so much better! Everyone was so supportive and it was so lovely. It was one of those sicknesses it was so deep in your body that I remember a cigarette tasted truly poisonous. I know it is truly poisonous-
It revealed the true poison
I was at the point where I couldn’t do anything. At all.
It was the type of sickness that only fans’ love is the antidote for?
Yeah! That’s it. It was truly crippling.
Well I think you have a pretty loyal fan base, so you can call on them when you’re ailing
Oh man, that is so good. That is so good to know. I am going to cling onto that until I am on my death bed.
I’ll rally the troops
Sick, thank you!
So can you reveal any other crazy things that you have been up to in the last two years since we’ve last spoken?
Well there is always things. Amber [Fresh, co-author of The Vine] and I are always concocting silly little books.
Can we expect another book soon?
I would love to say yes because we’ve got so many ideas and drawings. There will be another eventually. Other than making music, there is another POND album. I’ve been making music with some really good friends in Perth, which is more RnB.
RnB? Like 90s RnB? TLC? What are we talking?
Yeah, totally. *laughs* That’s the type of music I listen to most. I consume that most. Up in the 80-90% of music listening is that stuff.
I actually read this awesome essay you did about The Love Below
Yeah! Mind you, I don’t know WHAT genre that is.
Its Outkast, they get their own genre.
Totally. They get Outkast!
Advance is out now via Spinning Top.
Nick Allbrook Tour Dates
Thurs, 24th March – Pirie & Co SC- Adelaide, SA
Sat, 26th March – Northcote Social Club – Melbourne, VIC
Sun, 27th March – Milk Factory – Brisbane, QLD
Tues, 29th March – Newtown Social Club – Sydney, NSW
Fri, 1st April – The Oddfellow – Fremantle, WA