Thu 10th Mar, 2011 in Features
Speaking form his house in North Perth, Tame Impala drummer and Pond co-founder Jay Watson is taking a break from his recent heavy touring schedule.
Following a small run of shows to launch latest single Greens Pool, a track that Watson claims was going to be called Beach Boys’ Christmas, the next big dates for the Tame Impala side project are with Brooklyn psych-pop stars MGMT.
The American duo’s initial tours of Australia fans left fans polarised and debate continues as to the quality of the band’s live show. “I’m pretty sure it’s going to be quite similar [to their previous tours]. If people are thinking the same way as last time, they’ll still think it sucks. I think it’s brilliant,” encourages Watson. “Their first tour, when Tame played with them, I watched them every night and was just like, ‘Man, these guys can play their instruments better than any other people their age that I’ve ever seen.’” So it was with surprise and amusement that Watson read mixed reviews of the shows: “When the reviews came out I was just thinking… What the fuck? I thought they were one of the best live bands I’ve seen on that tour, and lo and behold they got slammed.”
Beyond Pond’s tour supporting MGMT on their Future Music Festival sideshows, Watson has some slightly bigger shows lined up with his slightly more popular band. There’s one with the Foo Fighters in London, though now it appears that gig is in doubt: “I forgot about that! I don’t know if that’s going to go ahead or not. We’ll see, I don’t know,” says Watson. Then, there’s another gig in a Californian desert. “I haven’t seen it [the Coachella lineup], but my friend said pretty much every new album he’s bought this year, the band are playing.” Tame Impala will play amongst acts like Arcade Fire and The Strokes as well as Aussie acts like Cut Copy, Empire of the Sun and The Presets. But there’s one headlining act that have split Pond. “We’re divided in our camp about Kanye [West]’s album. I really dig that one that samples King Crimson [ Power ]. It’s pretty wild, pretty epic music. I like the end part”. Naturally, Kanye’s interesting personality is up for discussion. “I think that’s part of the appeal; to be honest…that’s why he’s got so much critical acclaim. Pop history loves a fruitcake.” So with Pond’s recent swing in the direction of pop music, are they going to trying their hand at Kanye’s game? “We’re always trying our hardest to become less of a fruitcake. Being a fruitcake only works if you’re… you know… popular,” Watson jokes.