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Back Across the Pond

Tame Impala offshoot Pond make up for their canceled U.S. tour

"I don't subscribe to a particular dogma; I don't read the Book of Mormon or Gideon's Bible or anything," Pond's Nick Allbrook said over the phone as he kneeled in front of a hotel dresser in Phoenix, Arizona, on Friday afternoon.

At the end of 2012, Allbrook, who has fronted the Australian psychedelic rock band since its inception in 2008, went on a spiritual retreat of his own making. 

"I was really burning out and getting really sick of being around people.... I decided to go on a long solo tour on a hike in Scotland. It was an intense and deep solitary thing with very dark, low and confused moments and high, magical moments," Allbrook said.

As solitary as that spiritual pilgrimage was for Allbrook, Pond has always featured a rotating cast of collaborators and musicians, including Tame Impala mastermind Kevin Parker. 

"F---, I don't know how I was able to meet a bunch of people who were so in tune with how I feel creatively and spiritually and stuff like that," Allbrook said.

"We sort of grew into each other's vision and idea of what music was going to be. We probably affected each other's visions a lot," he added.

Currently, the band consists of Allbrook, Jay Watson (also of Tame Impala), Joe Ryan and Jamie Terry, though Tame Impala's other current members -- Kevin Parker, Cam Avery and Julien Barbagallo -- have all been a part of Pond as well. Though Parker has stepped back from a performance role, he's transitioned into the band's producer.

"There's not much delineation really [between artist and producer]. The difference is we create the songs and bring them in and he [Parker] knows how to work all the s--- better than we do. Any of those roles can really be switched, depending on what album we're making," Allbrook said.

Pond's last album, "The Weather," was released a year ago, but with the addition of bonus track "Fire in the Water," the band released a digital re-issue of the album in January.

Pond were supposed to play Casbah on Jan. 23 of this year, but they ran into some problems....

"I had to re-apply and do all this f------ annoying s--- like do a medical exam. I had to do heaps of stuff. It's amazing how tangible it [the change in the visa application process] was in the last year," Allbrook said, alluding to Trump's immigration policies.

According to him, the U.S. State Department notified the band members of their visa approvals three hours before they were supposed to have embarked on their American tour. By then, of course, Pond had already been forced to cancel.

Fortunately, they've made it back into the heart of our own outback (Phoenix's Sonoran Desert) and will soon be in San Diego. It might be five months later, but it's better late than never. 

Pond headline Casbah on Sunday, May 20. The show is now sold out.

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