Rick from Polaris, how is 2021 treating you today?
"Every day is essentially the same, but it’s not too bad, I’m kind of used to it now."
Well, we’re talking to you today about something new at least! Polaris has been announced to play the Knight and Day Festival! How do you feel about finally having festival plans again?
"I mean this past two years, it's just been kind of up and down as far as expectations go. In June or July, we managed to get a couple of regional dates in, but not without about six postponements. There’s a couple of those shows waiting around the corner to finally be played off too. So we got to play some sick shows and by the end of that, we’d started to get into the swing of it, but the last thing we expected was for one of the biggest shows we’ve played in several years would be the next thing we’re doing. So it's a bit daunting, but I think by one or two songs we will be pretty relaxed and ready."
There are certainly worse places to blow off the cobwebs and return to full-scale live music than a castle, are you excited by getting to play at a castle?
"We’ve played some interesting places in America and Europe, but as far as Australia goes a castle definitely trumps anything that we’ve ever done before. So I'm very excited to see how it goes!"
Polaris is still trying to complete the touring cycle for The Death Of Me, which means this might end up being the longest album cycle you’ve experienced in your life. How are you dealing with that internally, do you feel any pressure to get something else out?
"Usually, we're pretty slack when it comes to recording, we always sort of push it until the last minute and break the deadline once or twice before finally getting the album out. But this time, I guess, that stress of trying to get the next one out has been alleviated. Because, I mean, there's still half the world that hasn't heard quite a lot of it yet. So it's a bit of a weird one for Australians when they're like, come on, like we saw you do the album tour in February 2020. It’s like well, sorry, we're working on another one, but we’re not quite done yet. It’s a weird bridge to cross, when I haven't even played in Europe in, you know, two and a half years now and people still want new music. "
That seems to be a new reality though if it has been a month since you dropped a single on Spotify, you better be hustling on the next one or else!
Yeah, so true. I think we're just gonna release a single every month, maybe people will be happy, but then there'll be plenty of people saying “where’s this album”, so what can you do?
Then you just satisfy both camps by making the album the last twelve singles!
"Yeah, that’s true, whatever your last ten or twelves singles are, that can be the new album. That could work, that could work. There does seem to be a lot of people doing that these days and I don’t hate it, so you never know…"
I mean it is cool in a way because we seem to get a nice little bump every Friday from a favourite band dropping a fresh track, but at the same point in time, I’m a little bit old-school in my approach and I love listening to actual records, so I hope people keep making them!
"My girlfriend's got a nice record player setup. So I'm actually buying physical media for the first time in six or seven years now. This is nice and is such a shift from how it was when we were a bit younger when it went from piracy and burning CD to streaming so fast. With vinyl records I think even if I don’t play this, I just like to have this in my possession, it’s a nice thing to have."
Now you said Polaris has been working on new material, is that with the intention of releasing something new, or are you just putting in some work early before you close out the overseas touring cycle for The Death Of Me?
"Nothing on the horizon really soon anyway. That’s been the tough part about this last year or year and a half, we’ve talked about some hypotheticals as to when things might come out, but at the same time, we understand that we’re a very meticulous band when it comes to writing. Everything seems to take six to twelve months longer than we theorize."
"Our intention is hopefully to record a couple of things over the new year or early next year, but not the album, but some groundwork laid for 2022. Because if all goes well in 2022, suddenly there’s a lot less time for writing and a lot more time for touring. So we're just going to try to keep that balance, keep writing while we've got time at home, and then hopefully it comes out in a reasonable time next year or perhaps the year after, depending on how touring goes."
Awesome. Now when you're looking at the lineup for Knight and Day, does it still kind of give you a little pop to see your name right up there on equal footing with Parkway Drive?
"It’s one of those things where you just look at it and you go “is that right?” “Is that really what people think or want or is that just a promoter throwing you a bone or showing some love? But at the same time, we’ve been at all for a while so I’ll take what I can get and I’m just so stoked to ever be considered at that level."
"Recently we won an AIR award, and it is the first thing that we’ve kind of ‘beaten’ Parkway Drive at, and I say beaten pejoratively because they’ve won that many awards in their career, but it's like, “oh, like maybe we are, you know, starting to get on that kind of echelon”
“It'll take another five to 10 years before we're really like that, but as you said, just to be considered to be almost on that same level, at least perception wise is honestly mental. How can you possibly expect and accept that?”
I can only imagine what that feels like. You start out inspired by these people, and then all of a sudden, you find yourself in a situation where you are the one delivering the inspiration. That must feel pretty good?
"No kidding, they were one of the first bands that brought us over to the United States, we went over for a short tour with Gideon and then did a tour with Parkway and that was a culture shock in and of itself. You’re used to playing 200 to 600 cap rooms and then all of a sudden you’re on a tour where it is 1500 to 2000 minimum. So we owe them so much, both for the inspiration and for what they’ve actually done for us. They’ve done more than they would ever need to or be expected to. It’s really sick. It’s really sick to be considered at that type of level now where we could do that for someone else. "
If you're looking at the festival lineup again, is there anyone you're particularly looking forward to checking out?
Looking through the lineup I near enough couldn’t fault a single act. I know there’ll be bands where I catch like half a set or three-quarters of a set, but I’m honestly going to be hard-pressed to spend any time off-site. I feel like I want to catch everyone! feel like it is going to be packed from morning till night.
I went to some shows during the eye of the storm of COVID, and every single one of them sold out and every single person there caught every band, it’s been really great attendance and everyone was so stoked. I feel like the festival is going to be like that as well. I can’t fault it, I’m so excited.
It is really sick, I’m not going to keep you all day here, so here’s a few quick questions that we ask everybody who talks to Maniacs. The first one is what is the first band you remember loving?
I think Avenged Sevenfold, A7X.
A bit of a Synyster Gates fan then?
"Yeah, I actually got into it from playing Need For Speed: Most Wanted on PS2. Then I got into Bullet For My Valentine, Disturbed and a few other bands, but Avenged Sevenfold stuck around for a long time, so we’ll say them."
What’s the last band that you got into?
"Spiritbox. Their album just came out, I was listening to it before we jumped on this phone call."
Outside of being in Polaris, what is something you consider yourself to be a bit of a maniac for?
"Definitely video games. That's what I'm a maniac for. I mean, if I wasn't in the band, I'd be worried about what I would be doing with my life, because I’d probably be playing games for like 12 to 18 hours a day! "
Now, the last one of these is a bit of a fun one. If you could have any song play when you entered a room like you’re the Aussie hardcore version of John Cena what song would you like to have played?
"Hey Mickey, but change the words to Hey Ricky!"
Epic, you could get Polaris to record it for you!
"That’s it, I reckon that’ll be my entrance"
Check out the full Knight and Day Festival lineup and Artwork below.
Watch Polaris play LUCID live below.