|This is a copy of an article that appeared on the Jitter on-line magazine. All credit for this article belongs to Rhondi Vouz and the people at Jitter magazine. Jitter Magazine seems to have died, so I present this article here on my web space for your viewing pleasure. A few minor formatting changes were made, but the content is unchanged.|
The Official Pond Page...
SuperInc's Pond Page...
The Pond Page...
With the release of Rock Collection, Pond seems poised to do...well something. Rock Collection is a roundabout amble through 16 random thought processes on the new Sony Work label and features the hard rhythm and equally hard humor of Charlie Campbell(guitar, vocals), Chris Brady(bass, vocals) and Dave Treibwasser (drums, colorful beverages).
Songs like You're Not A Seed and My Dog Is An Astronaut have all the creative force as anything from their last LP, The Practice Of Joy Before Death(SubPop 1995) but evidence the major label production efforts behind the album.
Pond continues to tour like nomads on speed on their current US Tour (which for some reason, seems to include Seattle every other week). But...they've got a video out and a lot of strong print promotion so the crowd census is good and the energy enthusiastic.
If you see Pond live and say, "Wow, these guys seem to really enjoy themselves avoiding real jobs" then you'd probably be right on the money. Not to say the music suffers because of their quixotic rock exploits, Pond just has that seminal grasshopper visage in a world overrun with ants. The band is 2/3 Alaska expatriot and 1/3 percussion...what else would you expect?
We had a chance encounter with Pond on a cross country US Tour that looks kind of like this...
Salt Lake City Seattle Denver Seattle Seattle Portland Seattle Timbuktu Seattle Las Vegas Seattle Seattle
Jitter: You know, one of the things I wanted to talk about was...I use to live in Alaska and...
Chris: Oh really? Where?
Charlie: Then you don't consider us real Alaskans then do you.
Charlie: Well we appreciate that cause we get the high hat from some of those Alaskans.
Dave: You got the high hat from Alaskans? They're down home people man.
Jitter: Everyone in Alaska is generally runnin' from somethin.
Dave: Like a bear.
Charlie: That's why we're on tour. Because of the bears.
Charlie: Exactly. That's what happened.
Chris: You're well versed in Pondology.
Dave: An Archaeologist.
Charlie: A Historian.
Jitter: What are some of your impressions of going from the last SubPop album to the Work Label(a division of Sony).
Jitter: Do you guys think that some of the major labels are creating kind of, offshoot labels to accommodate what they thought was the big push of the independent labels?
Chris: Well of course it is. The reason they did it was it started with Geffen when they did DGC. The people pushing radio said, "Well, you have six albums coming out this week, you're going to have to pick two or three."
So David Geffen said, "Well, I'm going to start DGC and it'll be a different company. That way they can push two DGC bands and two Geffen bands. It's the same label.
Jitter: Is it kind of like Michelob's version of a Microbrew?
Charlie: You're right it's true. We don't consider ourselves on an indie. We're on a major.
Chris: When people ask what label we're on we say, "Sony." At the same time, the Sony people don't work with us. We work with the Work people. So I mean we actually do have people working on a smaller scale with less bands.
Jitter: You guys have been in full force on touring. You did the European tour and opened for Soundgarden. What are some of your impressions of...?
Charlie: He says, "A major label is like a lumbering dinosaur. Your job is to figure out if you're riding on its back or lying in its path."
Which is kinda true. They just kinda do what they do. You fit in where they stick you in there. It's not as clear because there's a lot of lip service from a major label, "Oh this is gonna happen this is gonna happen this is gonna happen."
They really kind of have plans, they sort of know who they're gonna push. I think early on they decided that Fionna Apple is gonna be a big hit and then they just work it.
Charlie: No, not at all not fatter, in fact we're fighting fatness. It's for part playing. It sounds cool for us and made practicing a lot better to hear both things happening at the same time.
Jitter: You guys have been playing with some really solid sort of peripheral acts too, like Skeleton Key and Seaweed.
Chris: Yeah, Seaweed's fun. It's funny because when we first met em' they seemed like they were gonna be pretty straight edge but now they're appealing to the stoner hippies. They're awesome. They've matured.
Charlie: They've matured. They've ripened like a bud.
Jitter: So where are you guys at on your tour?
Chris: It'll end up in New York but we're gonna be in Ogden near tax time.
Charlie: We planning on stoppin by to say, "Hey, we were wonderin' how it was goin on our taxes?"
Dave: Doesn't that freak you out that the Mormon's are controlling our finances?
Jitter: I know John Auer produced for you guys? What was it like working with him?
Chris: He's great.
Charlie: An awesome guy, great producer too.
Charlie: We are? We put out an album that nobody buys every two years...that's the road to success?
Jitter: Wow...you guys have a laptop though. Maybe you can start your own Internet cult?
Chris: We're thinking about it, we have six bunks in this tour van. We could get some Nike's and a bucket of change and get the whole thing goin! Six people dead in an Econoline bus!
Charlie: They weren't really castrated, just a little worn out.