We’re Only Here For The Banter – Polarnecks

Posted by Neil Wilson

Polarnecks are a band with real momentum at their feet as they rise up amongst the community of alt-rock/punk/DIY bands.  Having recently supported PAWS, and made it onto the Quiet Night In Bloggers’ Showcase gig, I caught up with Innes from the band for a quick chat.

Hello!  How the devil are you?

Heyo! We’re doing great, thanks.

It’s the question everyone hates, but could illuminate our readers with a little bit about your music and your influences?

There’s a bunch of different dynamics that come into it.  We draw a lot of influences from the bands that emerged from the Seattle and DC scenes in the late ’80’s; Dinosaur Jr., Husker Du; as well as a bunch of more contemporary folk like Idlewild and Cloud Nothings.

It gets loud live, taking wee pointers from the likes of Sonic Youth and Slint, but maintains this sort of soft core much like The Cribs have done over the course of their career.  Small town boys making loud noises.  We recently described ourselves as playing loud songs about being 20.

What’s your song-writing/creative process like?

Lukas will usually write the majority of our material by himself on guitar.  It takes on quite a lo-fi bedroom project vibe until he brings these songs to practice where I (Innes) will wrap my head around the rhythms and we’ll develop them into fully fledged rock songs.  A lot of the material is grounded in the realisation of being a young adult; coming to terms with being a functioning human, I suppose.

Tell us about your latest collection of tracks Winter Demos.

Winter Demos  just came about at the end of last year when we played our last gig with our bassist at the time, Craig.  Craig was wanting to dedicate more time to his project Dec ‘91 and then went on to do some traveling around North America.  It was an uncertain time for the band, but also seemed to ignite this creative flourish in Lukas where he wrote around 9 or 10 new songs.

So instead of fucking about for too long waiting to see if we could accommodate a new line up, Lukas just went ahead and recorded these new songs by himself in the comfort of his cold wee flat.  The album encapsulates quite a tenuous time with Lukas where there was just a lot of uncertainty with everything, but rather than leaving it to fester he got it all down on paper and made this album out of it.  We’ll maybe get round to recording the songs again with the live band this summer.

What could we expect from a live show?

It’s usually pretty fast and pretty loud.  Good music to get angry to.  A big difference to the recorded material.  There’s only three of us so we compensate a lot of free space in the music by turning up our amps.  But we keep it pretty inclusive, we still want people to be able to dance and enjoy our wee 30 minute slots on stage.

What else have you got planned for 2015?

Summer’s coming up, so long days spent locked in bedrooms recording is the main thing we want to get done.  We want to get a lot more material released with the full band to give people a good flavour of the places we’re in musically.  Aside from that I think we’re just going to accept as many decent gig offers as we can and organise a few ourselves because playing live really is the joy of being in this band.

What are you listening to at the moment?

Within the band there’s a good few artists we’ve been really enjoying recently.  Lukas and I went to see Alex G recently, his stuff is excellent.  Really fragile songs with ridiculously good arrangements.  He’s a songwriter, kind of like early Smog, but draws influences from folk like Aphex Twin so you know it’s going to be something worth checking out.

Slightly more progressive though, Viet Cong are really doing it for me.  Stupidly complex arrangements, furious, dark post-punk.

On the Glasgow circuit we really have to shout out bands like Antique Pony and Cherry Wave though, seen them both a lot in the past few months.

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Posted by: Toni Spencer, 20th February 2016