Thursday 9 February 2012

A Wolf At Your Door Records Part2 - POLAR Interview & Review

Welcome to Part 2 of this special feature where we preview the bands we think you should be checking out from A Wolf At Your Door Records. First up was Hildamay yesterday- one of the great acts signed to the UK's number one independent rock record label.
To Read part 1 in full click HERE

Today, meet POLAR, the Guildford five-piece making their presence well and truly felt on the UK hardcore scene. Currently on tour with Young Guns and with their debut album out in May, Est.1987 caught up with them post-show at Manchester's The Deaf Institute.

So, who are Polar and what are they all about? Est.1987 finds out...
Adam - Lead Vocals
Fabian - Guitar/Backing Vocals
Max - Guitar/Backing Vocals
Rick - Bass

Nick - Drums

POLAR on stage in Manchester
Hey guys, how’s the tour with Young Guns been going so far?
ADAM- Tonight’s stage was quite tight, and for us being a bit heavier on the bill it’s obviously getting into a bit heavier style of music. But, to be honest, all of that stuff is quite rewarding; when you’re playing outside your comfort zone is when you know you’re going to find your strengths, so we have to work on our weaknesses. It’s all very well us going out and playing with more hardcore bands all the time, but that’s not going to make us a better band.

So, you’re enjoying the fact that it’s a varied bill?
ADAM- Yeah, we love it, it’s brilliant.

How would you sum up your live show in 3 words…
NICK- Fu****g brutal hardcore. Can we write that? Yep? Done!
ADAM- And don’t ask him to spell it either.

We saw on your Twitter that you offered guest list for a show in return for some Berocca? Have you guys been partying a bit too hard on tour then?
RICK- Yeah, she’s here again, the girl that brought it.
ADAM- Well Ben [Young Guns drummer] doesn't think we party hard enough...
BEN [Young Guns]- That’s true!
ADAM- Ben said we weren't partying hard enough, that we only party sometimes...
BEN- That’s true!
NICK- And then we went out last night and they all went to bed with warm milk and blankets. We haven’t been partying loads really have we?
ADAM- We’re warming up, we’re growing as a band through alcohol.
NICK- But yeah, we got the Berocca…
ADAM- [laughing] Did you bring any?

Errrr….moving on…

I interviewed Hildamay yesterday, you’re both on A Wolf At Your Door Records along with some other great acts- is it nice being a part of that? Yesterday the guys said it was like a family
ADAM- Yeah it’s great. They’re all big influences of ours. It is like a family, it’s like alcoholics anonymous sometimes; but it’s good to be in a label that’s got such progressive bands on it that are all doing really well. In their own sort of genres they’re all reaching out and really pushing themselves to write decent songs and decent records; so it’s lovely to be a part of it. We’ve got strong friendships between them, and it does help that we have that unity between each band because it helps everyone move along a lot and push forward.

Hildamay were saying they love being out on the road touring- is it the same for you guys?
ALL- Yeah!
MAX- There’s nothing better.
ADAM- Life on the road is great, everyday is a new experience and we get to have the pleasure of beautiful lads like Young Guns. [Young Guns laugh in the background] Life on the road is amazing for us but it isn’t always smooth; there are ups and downs with everything; you get great days, you get bad days, but the bad days make the great days even better. 

You’ve just finished recording your debut album “Iron Lungs” at the end of January, what can fans expect?
Lead singer Adam
FABIAN- It’s going to be really different from what we did with the EP. The EP was the first songs we wrote as a band and we got really lucky, our live show, everyone was really into it. So, when we wrote the album, we wrote songs that we actually wanted to write; it’s not just a repeat of the EP ten songs on.
ADAM- We’ve grown as a band…
NICK- Nobody say the words “matured as a band”….
ADAM- We’ve grown and we’ve learnt to play as a band better and to write better. When we wrote the EP we had come out of the formation of other bands and everyone had their own ideas about what they wanted to do and that’s how the EP came together. But now we’ve spent more time together and we’ve learnt the ability to write better songs as a group and I think it shows.
NICK- We’re chuffed with the songs we’ve written.
ADAM- It was a challenge and we’ve definitely tried to rise to the challenge and hopefully the results are there for people to enjoy.
FABIAN- And we’ve had the opportunity to take these songs on the road on tour…
ADAM- Yeah, the live aspect is where we come alive.

The title “Iron Lungs”- what is it about and was that always the title you had in mind when making it?
NICK- No, we went through about seven titles! We got that one on about the last day.
ADAM- Basically, we were looking for titles and were looking for something relevant to the songs we’d written and sat down and were throwing titles left, right and centre. And an iron lung is something that keeps someone alive, so we used it as a metaphor for us being the punctured lung and the iron lung being the band; something that keeps us alive and breathing.  

POLAR on stage

You guys are obviously called POLAR- so how have you been dealing with the cold weather?
Young Guns in background- Oooooo!
ADAM- Ooo, that’s a question and a half.
NICK- We slept in the van last night; minus eleven!
ADAM- We do this ritual called sedating ourselves with numerous forms of alcohol.
NICK- I’ve not been cold once.

What does 2012 hold for POLAR?
ADAM- I think for us we want to expand as a band, take the band to other countries and try to do as much as possible and push it as far as possible. The idea when we started was we started a band to have fun and that ethic has to stay the same way and do as much as you can do with it. So, if we can get the ability to go further afield to Europe and even other countries it’s an amazing opportunity and we just want to embrace it.
NICK- We want to do something rather than nothing!
Young Guns laughing in background.
GUSTAV [Young Guns singer]- That’s a quote right there!
Thanks guys!

And this is what happened when POLAR took to the stage…

On stage at The Deaf Institute
POLAR put aside the fact that they are the heaviest band on the line-up tonight and took to the stage set to impress the sold out crowd at The Deaf Institute.

Their show is high intensity, high impact; lead singer Adam Woodford isn’t going to leave until the crowd are off their feet moving. As the set progresses EP track, “Armed To The Teeth”, sees the crowd warm up and adapt to POLAR’s blend of hardcore and melodic punk elements. 

Guitarist Fabian Lomas

The crowd are also treated to a preview of the forthcoming debut album with “Emergency”. POLAR are a band that come alive on stage and it will be exciting to listen to that captured on their forthcoming record.

Final song, the rhythmic and brutal “Smile You Son Of A Bitch!” proves what raw and relentless talent and energy this five-piece has. They may be relatively newcomers on the British Hardcore scene, but are a band to take notice of and I’m sure I speak for everyone at the venue tonight when I say, roll on May when “Iron Lungs” is let loose.

Catch POLAR on tour with Young Guns now and look out for their debut album "Iron Lungs" out in May.

We also caught up with Young Guns' lead singer, Gustav Wood, at their Leeds show- Read what he had to say HERE.