Polaris aren’t here to fuck around. With just one full length album and a couple of cheeky EP’s under their belts, Sydney’s finest metalcore five-piece has been making massive waves in the heavy music scene.
Since the release of their first LP, The Mortal Coil back in 2017, they’ve been making the rounds, supporting the likes of Architects and Parkway Drive, as well as embarking on their fair share of sold-out headline shows around the country and headlining Australia’s favourite emo summer camp, Unify Festival, in January. Finding time between their hectic touring schedule, the band has finally finished their heavily anticipated second studio album The Death of Me.
“The growth we’ve had over the past two years has been quite surprising, it definitely did catch us off guard,” says lead vocalist Jamie Hails.
“The Mortal Coil tour, which was just over two years ago now, the rooms we were playing then we were like, ‘god damn, are we really going to be playing to these size crowds?’ Then next minute that whole tour sold out completely, which blew us away. Since then it’s been every major city headliner since then the crowds have been upped, the venues bigger than we ever thought we would be doing. It’s been a lot to take in, and a lot of it’s been us pinching ourselves being like, ‘is this reality, is this really happening?’”
After the mind-blowing success of the first album and the growth of the band, Polaris’ new release The Death of Me is left with a lot to live up to. Pushing the boundaries of their iconic sound and taking every element of their music up a notch, the band are ready to take this album to the next level.
“There was a lot of stress and pressure we created for ourselves,” says Hails. “The Mortal Coil did so much more than we expected it to do, so following up an album that did so well set ourselves a standard and a level that we have to maintain and also beat, so it was quite a bit of a task that we had set ourselves. And I feel like we’ve achieved that with The Death of Me. To be on the other side, with the finished product that we have now, I'm very excited for people to hear it.”
Polaris instigated the album with the release of singles ‘Masochist’ and ‘Hypermania’, which had fans speculating the direction in which the sound of the band would be heading with their new release.
“If you’re a fan of Polaris and especially if you like The Mortal Coil, then you’re going to like The Death of Me,” Hails teases. “There’s stuff in there for what people are expecting, but there are also a lot of different songs and parts that people aren’t expecting and that we push our boundaries on. There’s a slightly different take on some things.
“In the lead up to recording the album, what we had achieved with The Mortal Coil it was that no two songs were the exact same. For us personally, the five of us get a bit bored when we listen to bands when it’s a whole album of songs that pretty much sound exactly the same. When we write music, we write for ourselves.”
“Obviously, we keep in mind what our fans want, but we write music that we think is awesome and that we want to play. With The Mortal Coil, you had your heavier elements, you had your softer elements, melodic elements and everything in between. Now, it gave us the opportunity to elaborate on that even more – to go heavier than we’ve ever gone before, go softer than we have before, go a lot more melodic than we have before, go a lot more meaningful than we have before.”
While the band were subsequently satisfied with the final product, the recording process of The Death of Me didn’t go to exactly to plan due to their massive touring schedule.
“We went to Mollymook, the same holiday house we recorded in last time, when we did The Mortal Coil. We were there for just about two months, which was longer than when we recorded the first album and by the end of it, we only came out of it with half an album. We didn’t have the album finished, and then we had to go on tour. When we were touring, we had to write while we were on the road, which doesn’t necessarily work for us. So we were stressing about that, thinking, how are we going to get this album finished when we only have this short amount of time at home between this tour, and this short amount of time between this tour and this tour, and this album has to be done by then or we won’t have an album coming out when we wanted to.
“Because of how extensive our touring schedule was so there was a lot of doubt because the album wasn’t done, and it was looking like it wasn’t going to get done. So because of that, we weren’t in the right mindset to be writing because we had so much stress. Like, how could we let time slip between our hands like it did, and how had it not come together? But all in all, we’re now on the other side of it and we’ve gone through hell getting this record done. I'm very proud of the songs we have, and very proud of who we are as people and how we’ve come through all this.”
In 2020, we can expect to see Polaris take The Death of Me as far as they can worldwide, touring to places they’ve never been before and returning to cities they’ve enjoyed playing in the past.
“We really want to take our band as far as we can go and just keep pushing and pushing.”
“I’m very excited for everyone to hear this because I believe this is the best and truest representation of Polaris musically, lyrically and emotionally and it’s a very raw and real record. The title says it all.”