My dear Nicholas Allbrook, frontman of the globally-renowned Australian band Pond, congratulations on Pond’s fantastic and ninth studio album, 9. I very much enjoyed listening to it, and of course I’m completely flattered you’ve written so many of the tracks about me! On the occasion of 9’s release into the world, I hereby ask you nine questions — all totally original and of my own creation — designed to plumb the very depths of your soul, and your challenge is to find organic and never-jarring segues to talking about the new album in every answer as you go. We shall call this challenge ‘Zac’s Questionnaire’ — no! Proust’s Zac — and if you pass this test, you shall forever be a person who did. Yours forever and whenever we remember, the titular Zac
Wow, Zac — thank you! Have you considered calling this ‘Zac’s Proust’? Just a thought. I’ll try to seamlessly weave titillating morsels and personal reflections on the album into every answer. Ok, here goes.
1. On what occasion/s do you lie?
I lie to avoid hurting people’s feelings. Like if someone were to ask if their haircut makes them look like a fuckwit, and I know this person to be sensitive, I might say, “No, you do not look like a fuckwit! in fact, you look good!” or if i had missed someone’s birthday on the 3rd of October and i used, as an excuse, my enormous hangover from the night before, on which i celebrated the release of our ninth studio album 9 by drinking vast quantities of expensive champagne, when in fact the hangover was on the 2nd, the day after the actual release date, the 1st, and i’d drunk vast quantities of Spumante Prosecco from Lidl.
2. What is your greatest extravagance?
Drinking vast amounts of very expensive champagne and lying.
3. What is the quality you most like in a man?
I’d say gumption. That’s right, gumption! For example, my friend Gum possesses the most gumption of any man I know, so much so that he changed his name from whatever it was (who cares) to Gum! Gum has such Gumption, he works very hard at his job - being in a band with me - going into the studio and mixing and processing songs for our new album then going home to look after his cute baby.
4. When and where were you happiest specifically outside of the recording studio?
I remember being very happy in the tiki bar my best friend Tayo built in his backyard which was next to my backyard. He’d be sat in the backyard with a fucking massive fatty hanging out his mouth carving logs into Tiki gods whose heads we’d sit while drinking cocktails of juice and alcohol listening to Late Nights with Jeremih and D’Angelo (whose album Black Messiah is one of the greatest ever, and was an enormous influence on our previous album Tasmania, but less on 9, which was more influenced by no-wave dance music like ESG, Suicide and Liquid Liquid, as well as lo-fi synth sort of punk and Nitzer Ebb* and the idea - but only the idea - of Trent Reznor)
5. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
I’m surprisingly tolerant, for such a notorious arsehole. I don’t mind people being boring even, which a lot of people find unbearable. This is probably because I’m so terrified of being boring myself, because I talk slowly and people always lose concentration when I’m talking. That’s maybe why i enjoy solitary activities like running long distances and writing lyrics before sunrise about things like fig season and my girlfriend and Yukio Mishima and my slippers which then become songs for Pond albums, like the song ‘Gold Cup/Plastic Sole’.
6. What do you consider your greatest achievement that begins with any of the following letters: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y or Z?
I see what you did there, you dog. Fine ummm, that’d be B for Band. etc etc.
7. Which historical figure do you most identify with?
One of the non-famous ones that just tried hard and kind of almost got there. However I really admire and I guess somewhat identify with Agnes Martin who the Song for Agnes is about. She was just fucking cool as hell. I identify with her weariness at the world and the demands of creative industries, and that leads her to a deep infatuation with Zen, and a need to be isolated from the world. I want to do that a lot, but i’m an addict, a modernism, capitalist addict, addicted to making this fucking goddam music and getting patted on the back for it.
8. What is your most treasured possession?
My boomerang, given to me by Darriga Watson. Once there was a pigeon that kept coming into our house, who i shoo’d off because it had a massive disgusting parasite living on it like a fucking alien host. It got so pissed at me that it came in one day, climbed up on the crowded mantelpiece and shat on the boomerang, and nothing else. It knew I loved these things without me ever touching them or talking to the pigeon about them or anything. That pigeon was the inspiration for the song Pink Lunettes.
9. If you were to die and come back as a person or non-musical object, what would it be?
I would come back as a needle so i could carve out the sweet sounds of our stupid fucking NINTH ALBUM NINE FOR THE REST OF ETERNITY AND WATCH EVERYONE AROUND ME DIE AS I LISTEN AND LISTEN TO MY OLD HUMAN SELF SCREAM.
Note: Nitzer Ebb was not an influence on this album, I only heard of them on Wednesday, but I couldn’t break from the path of lying, like an emu on a long road.