Clocking up to almost eight years of making music and collectively hitting the road to spread their infectious sound, Polar is still dominating the scene and redefining what it means to be a hardcore band. With their latest album on its way, they’re unafraid to step outside the lines anymore and are ready to show fans a whole new side you’ve never even seen before.
Today we chat guitarist Fabian and Frontman ‘Woody’ fresh off the Impericon Never Say Die tour to hear all about what they’ve got going on.
Q: Straight off the bat, how’s the Never Say Die tour been so far?
Fabian: “It’s relatively early on into the tour but it’s been really great. There’s a few bands that we’ve known previously so it’s been easy to get going.”
Q: As a band that’s been touring for 10 years now, do you ever get those moments of shock where you realise the reality of your success?
Woody: “The first venue of the tour is in place called Shlacktov, it’s a really big venue. You get in there and it’s quite vast it’s like- “Jesus Christ, are you sure? For the first show?” but that’s cool.
Last Sunday was the Koko London, a venue we’d never played before and it’s that sort of ‘prestigious’ venue to tick off the bucket list. I remember going on stage there and thinking “okay, this is quite cool.” I don’t often get those moments where I’m nervous but Koko was one of them.”
‘A lot has changed in three years. For us, it’s almost like a weight off our shoulders to write those personal experiences; it’s therapeutic.” – woody
Q: So you recently released a new single that’s described to be about “falling in love”, with touching on emotional subjects like that and open your vulnerability up to your audience, did you ever find yourself thinking “am I really ready to put this out there?”
Woody: “We did- we wrote more of a worldly album for our second album and this one’s a bit more personal. It’s three years since our two albums were released and it’s only since making the new record that it dawned on us how far apart and sparse those two albums have actually been. A lot has changed in three years, everyone in the band had some form of change happen to them. For us, it’s almost like a weight off our shoulders to write those personal experiences; it’s therapeutic.”
Fabian: “A lot of people don’t have the platform that enables them to talk, all that we’ve done on this album more than anything is use our ability to talk about stuff that has happened to us personally. Being in a band gives you the perfect platform to be able to voice yourself.”
Q: But do you think it’s important in such a saturated and competitive industry for bands to make a statement or have a message behind their music? Or should their focus be primarily on just making music?
Woody: “I think every band’s on their own journey- different things affect different people. Look at a band like Stray From The Path who are very politically charged and their message is very directive to that kind of subject. I think it’s important for bands to be expressive and emotive because music is an expression, it’s an art-form.”
Fabian: “It doesn’t need to be in the lyrics, you could get an instrumental band that doesn’t have a message as such but there are probably feelings invoked by the music itself.”
‘I think every band releases a new album to progress and elevate their journey, so for us it’s a case of bigger and better.’ – Fabian
Q: Speaking about how “every band is on their journey” lets focus on Polar’s journey for the future with your upcoming album, where do we go from here?
Woody: “We’ve matured, we’re getting a bit older and the new album shows that. If you lined up our records to what we’re about to release vs albums in the past you’ll see we’ve got older, started listening to different things and in maturing of people has come in maturing of music. We want to write solid songs and that comes with maturity, you can’t really be angry at your parents in your mid 30’s you know.”
Fabian: “Along with a new album comes new affiliations, new record label to take us down avenues we’ve never been before. I think every band releases a new album to progress and elevate their journey, so for us it’s a case of bigger and better.”
Q: If you take a step back and look at when you first started touring and making music, what is the one thing that always resonates with you that you’d want to change or give it advice to yourself about?
Woody: “Don’t party your arse off- haha.
I think it’s a good question but you have to get through everything. If you took elements away or went back and said “don’t do this or don’t do that”, you have to make your mistakes and trip up, it makes you who you are.”
Fabian: “The only change I would make would be more musical, maybe being more expansive from the beginning and trying loads of stuff out. I know we’re a certain style of band but you can bring in loads of different instruments into that- which we are doing now. If I was to start again I’d just be like “right, there’s no rules it’s just music.”
Woody: “We have become more daring as we’ve got older. There’s stuff we’ve done on this new record that if we did five years ago it would have been thrown out of a practice room within 30 seconds.”
“The industry is a very demanding environment that can be very cutthroat and can affect you a lot and bring you down.” – Fabian
Q: Do you ever find it hard to separate yourself from the blinding success, screaming fans or people hungry for your fame and find your own person who isn’t just a singer or guitarist of a popular band but a normal, everyday person too?
Woody: “We had a good year this year of doing that because we’ve been at home, the longest we’ve been at home for a while actually being a human being. I got up and had breakfast in the morning then watched the football with my mates down the pub. I think when you’re home they just appreciate when you can be around.”
Fabian: “It’s definitely not something I struggle with because to me I just play in a band, I don’t get the dizzying heights or the stardom thing, people see through that straight away.
The industry is a very demanding environment that can be very cutthroat and can affect you a lot and bring you down. But I don’t think there’s enough in this genre to get a huge head, we’re all just here in bands and we play music so it’s nice to meet people in bands who are as humble.”
Q: So you guys are signing to Nuclear Blast, is that exciting? Especially when you reflect on your career, whenever you accomplish these success does it ever feel like you’re then cementing it as “yes we’ve made it, we can do this!”
Woody: “I don’t think we’ve made it yet”
Fabian: “I think if you ask the biggest band in the world “have you made it?” there’s always another step, there’s never an end goal. If it’s not this venue it’s a bigger one.”
Woody: “But we do have a sense of accomplishment with doing something like that, it means we have to work double as hard because it’s an opportunity we can build on. They wanna see you work hard and you want as much as you can get out of the label, so if anything it puts you into a situation when you wanna work even harder, spend longer on the road, take the new album everywhere and do as much as you can with it.”
“Our new album is weird, it is a weird album.” – Woody
Q: Now this will open more avenues for you with more opportunities, so what are the plans for next year?
Fabian: “We released a song a week ago and it’s gone down really well, the reaction we’ve had from fans is great. Slightly different and new elements in there from us which is what you can expect with the rest of the album-“
Woody: “Our new album is weird, it is a weird album. Not because it’s strange but because it makes sense but the way we’ve put it together it shouldn’t make sense. We’re not really afraid to be like “does this sound good?” Yes. “Is this our band?” Well it doesn’t really matter. That’s what we’ve done with our new record, it covers a wide genre of music in such a short space of time and we’ve really pushed ourselves-“
[At this moment in the interview, Toby from Casey joined the band and we fired questions at him]
Fabian: “Here’s one for you Toby, if you were gonna rewind and start a band again what advice would you give yourself knowing what you know now?”
Toby: “I wouldn’t like commit yourself to a specific sound and don’t be narrow-minded to the style you’re actually writing, you don’t know what will come from writing something else.”
Woody: “my advice would have been to meet Toby earlier in my career-“
Toby: “-and have him join the band!”
Polar have followed up from their 2014 success ‘No Cure No Saviour‘, with a new single ‘Drive‘ and are set to release their new album early next year. Listen to ‘Drive‘ below: