I first saw Polaris in 2016 at Wrangler Studios; the room was tiny, sweaty and dark; the lineup featuring Polaris, Justice for the Damned and I, Valiance was stacked. The crowd was going mental for the live premiere of their sophomore EP ‘The Guilt & The Grief’ and there was an overwhelming sense of awe. I got the vibe that everyone in that room – all 100 of us – wholeheartedly believed that this was our last chance to see Polaris in a setting like this before they blow up and the rest of the world catches on.
While that thought ended up being correct, I don’t think anyone expected Polaris’ rise to success to be this rapid.
Within the space of three years, the Sydney five-piece have gone from selling 100 tickets to headlining venues like the Forum; and they are no longer finding themselves down the bottom of festival lineups, but instead as headliners of festivals such as UNIFY Gathering, Victoria’s annual heavy music festival, alongside huge international acts such as The Ghost Inside and previous tour mates Architects.
And if you thought their popularity couldn’t get any more frenzied, it has, because the lads have just announced their second LP ‘The Death Of Me’, out February 21, 2020, and the internet has gone haywire.
“It’s been extremely overwhelming,” reflects the groups lead vocalist Jamie Hails. “If you gauge it from two years ago when we released The Mortal Coil and the response we got at shows compared to the response we are getting at shows now – whether that be a support tour or as a headliner – it’s ridiculous. The response to the album has just been through the roof and it’s still doing things for us now which is crazy.
“We’ve done so much that I never thought we would do in our band’s career ever,” Jamie continues, “and on top of that, every tour and show seems to be getting bigger and better in some scale.”
A truer word couldn’t be spoken, especially considering the recent announcement of ‘The Death Of Me’ coincided with details of an Australian national tour that proves to be by far their biggest yet, this time ticking off large scale venues like The Tivoli in Brisbane, Astor Theatre in Perth and The Forum in Melbourne.
“That venue is ridiculous,” Jamie says, in reference to the Forum. “We had the privilege of playing there on In Hearts Wake’s Ark tour [in 2017].
“I remember walking in to load our gear after driving overnight from Adelaide and we were sleepless and tired and just not ready for a show at all, and when we walked in I was like ‘what the fuck is this place? What do you mean we are playing here? It’s way too beautiful of a theatre to be hosting metal shows’, and now we are headlining there which is blowing my mind! I still can’t get my head around the fact we are playing there,” he reveals.
“So many venues on this tour are amazingly renowned and they have so much history; it’s so cool that we can now be a part of that. I can’t even put it into words how excited I am.”
With ‘The Death Of Me’ being released next February, so far the only indication fans have to go off is the slightly more stripped back ‘Masochist’, the newly released single.
“I was very nervous to release ‘Masochist’ first,” states Jamie, “mainly because it isn’t exactly a heavy song by any means so I was expecting people to think we have gone soft… but if anything, we are exactly the same.
“When the guys were writing the song, I remember Dan [Furnari, songwriter, and drummer] saying that he wanted the chorus to be different from what you’d expect based on what the song is about.
“We do like to do that with a lot of our songs and throw a spanner in the works and do the unexpected. It’s not a slow song at all; there is a lot of riffage in it but it’s not the standard bouncy and jumpy riffs like ‘Lucid’ or ‘Regress.’ I really like that, it gives it a lot of contrast,” he continues.
“If you look at The Mortal Coil, no two songs were the same to the next song and if I can give away anything about ‘The Death Of Me’, it’s that it’s largely the same. There’s a bit for everyone. ‘Masochist’ is obviously a bit of a surprise to our sound, but I think it’s a good indication that the album may not necessarily be what you expect. Some songs are heavy, some songs are more emotional, some songs are more melodic.
“I just can’t wait for people to hear it.”
You can’t wait?
TRY BEING US JAMIE. I BET WE WANT TO HEAR IT MORE THAN YOU WANT US TO HEAR IT.
Well, seeing as I’m not one for delayed gratification, it seems like there is only one chance to catch a glimpse of new material before it’s released… all you have to do is make your way down to UNIFY Gathering for their headliner set and bang, problem solved.
I’ll catch you in the pit in Jan.
UNIFY Gathering takes over Tarwin Lower between Thursday, January 9 and Sunday, January 12. You can purchase tickets www.unifygathering.com/tickets/
Written by Alex Callan