They’re on a wild ride and it’s far from over for the boys from Polaris.
Hailing from Sydney, metalcore musos Polaris have released their sophomore EP titled The Guilt & the Grief to raging approval. It’s been three years since their first EP Dichotomy and they’ve certainly followed up and delivered. The band is made up of Jamie Hails (vocals), Jake Steinhauser (bass, clean vocals), Rick Schneider (guitar), Ryan Siew (guitar) and Daniel Furnari (drums) and together these five guys are doing something right.
TEO had a chat to Steinhauser about the success of their EP, challenging themselves and collaborating with wizards.
TEO: You debuted in the iTunes rock and metal charts at number 1, and pre orders were stacking up. It’s only your second EP, how are you guys feeling about all of this?
Steinhauser: Really, really surprised! I didn’t even think, in the last week before the EP was released, about it because we’ve been thinking about it so much. And I don’t really know what we expected because we only had about 30 presales for our last EP, but so far we’ve been really happy! I just couldn’t complain, it’s been doing pretty well and everyone has said they’ve enjoyed it so far. So that’s really all we wanted for it!
And you’ve announced you’re playing Legion Music Festival in 2017. When did you find that out?
Yeah, we found out a couple of weeks before and it lined up really well that they asked if they could announce us on the lineup with our release and we said that would be fine. It’s a really cool show to be on. Exciting because we’ll be playing with so many international bands and it also has the potential to be the replacement of Soundwave; it’s an interesting tour.
Who are you looking forward to bumping into accidentally on purpose?
Well, I don’t know really. Oh, to be honest, I think it’ll probably have to be Lordi. Yeah, Lordi is an interesting one. I probably wouldn’t know what to say, I don’t even know if I’d talk to them when they’re in character and wearing masks – it’d probably be a bit strange.
What was it like working with Marcus Bridge from Northlane?
He’s like a wizard, actually. We, surprisingly, recorded his feature in his bedroom! We had spent two weeks in the studio and Northlane were just coming back from a US tour, so they would’ve been so tired, so ready for home. So we just drove out to visit him one day at his place, we went inside and sat down at his computer and he just had the same set up that he always used to do stuff on. And he’s really great, just busted it out and put it all together for us and we sent it to our producer and he did the rest. It was pretty cool. He understands how to produce vocals probably better than anyone because he knows his own voice so well.
Putting together this EP, did you have anything you wanted to achieve or do specifically with the music or production?
Well, we had trialled working with Carson Slovak and Grant McFarlane’s Atrium Studios in Pennsylvania and we did that with our single that we dropped early last year. That was also mixed by the guys who mixed this EP and we were really stoked about that. Everyone gave us the response that it was this really filthy sounding, heavy mix and we really enjoyed that. And I think after that we tried to write music that suited that sound, as well as challenging ourselves a bit more than we did on the last EP. We introduced a few more structural ideas, and I think some of the songs, like the second song ‘L’Appel Du Vide,’ are a lot different from anything else we’ve done.
What’s your favourite track?
My favourite track is ‘L’Appel Du Vide’. Funnily enough, it was born out of the idea of an old song that we weren’t really feeling, but Dan really liked the general vibe. So he changed the key and I think he changed the tempo slightly, but he was really adamant that we try out this cool idea in ¾. When he brought it back to us, after he changed it all, it sounded really cool and the song sort of came together in a week or so after that. I think it’s got a bit of a rockier kind of vibe and it’s heaps of fun to play live – we just kinda go nuts. The chorus is a little bit mellow but I think it suits the song – it’s probably the best out of all the songs so far.
I love ‘No Rest;’ you’ve got the clean verses and the screaming/growling chorus. Was that a conscious decision? Because most of the time it’s around the other way.
Yeah we wanted to see if we could do it, I guess. We’ve had a lot of people say that it was their favourite and we kind of went into that song seeing if we could do something different and make Jamie do a chorus somehow and it worked out! We dropped the song and everyone recognised what the chorus was so that was a good start. And, interestingly enough, it was the surprise song that everyone has come back to us saying ‘wow’.
How does touring fit in with your lives and work?
Well these days we’re lucky enough to be working in not so glamorous jobs; the majority of us work in call centres. They have a very relaxed schedule: we designate our own hours as long as we meet a certain quota and then we disappear and go on tour. It works very well for us, we’re either on tour or working a lot and that’s pretty much it. Yeah, it doesn’t really clash at all.
What else is planned for this year?
Oh, we’ll be touring a lot this year and also writing. We are just getting into writing again, and having just finished up the EP – we’re keen to get straight back into it. But I think it was good to have these few months off, just while we were dealing with the release and getting everything sorted. We did two more tours since recording and also it was just a good idea to have that time to readjust. Otherwise, I think if we’d just kept writing we would’ve been coming out with the same sound. So it was good because now we can reset and start something new.
POLARIS – THE GUILT & THE GRIEF EP TOUR DATES –
– SUPPORTING STORIES –
– with Special Guests Belle Haven and Perspectives –
Sunday 28 February – WOLLONGONG
Rad Bar AA
with Dear Seattle
Friday 4 March – ADELAIDE
Enigma Mar 18+
Saturday 5 March – MELBOURNE
Worker’s Club 18+
2017 LEGION FEST DATES
Thursday 26th January – MELBOURNE
Saturday 27th January – SYDNEY
Sunday 29th January – BRISBANE