sat down with Rick Schneider the guitarist of Polaris the five-piece metalcore band from Sydney, following the released of their sophomore EP The Guilt & The Grief, which they will be showcasing as they support Stories on The Youth To Become Tour throughout Feb/March.
Congratulations on hitting number #1 on the iTunes metals charts, has anything changed since you’ve released the EP?
Yeah, it’s a bit crazy we’re still up there today so, it’s crazy to see that and yeah and we’re there in the rock charts and going decent in the overall so it’s overwhelming but no the less awesome to see.
Certainly well deserved, it’s such a good EP
Thank you so much for that.
I feel as though you’ve really developed your own individual sounds after the release of ‘The Guilt and The Grief.’ Did you have a clear idea from the start of how you wanted it to turn our or did it kind of just grow during the making of it?
I think we’ve always just kinda rolled with it. A lot of bands go into the studio with like 15 tracks and come out with only 8 or whatever it is but pretty much every time, we kind of commit to ideas that are kind of shaping up to be what we want. Like this time we literally went into the studio with six songs and came out with six songs, and like that’s a bit scary and that because you kinda think ‘oh these ideas that we have and we have to be really solid on them’ and it kind of works out in that way. Yeah, I suppose it wasn’t kind of a change in direction in a sense, but we were really happy with where it was going and with the end result as well. We are happy with where it ended up.
I’ve read that you worked with some pretty big names along with the production of the album including producer Sonny Truelove (Young Lions, Prepared Like A Bride), (mixed and mastered by) Carson Slovak and Grant McFarland (the guys behind the efforts of August Burns Red, I The Breather, Texas In July), how was that?
Well we’ve worked with Sonny now 4 times, a single back in the day, an EP, another single and this EP. So it’s our 4thtime working with him and to be honest, it’s always good working with him. As I’ve said we have worked up a relationship with him so it’s good now. With this EP he was working in a new space and he got his own studio outside his own place, so it was all completely separated and we got to stay in the studio so that was nice. Bit of a different experience so fresh in that sense but it was still comfortable. As far as Carson and Grant, well I’ve really liked their work and a lot of us have in the past. We actually worked with them on the single as well that was released early 2015. So we kind of knew how to work with those guys and yeah, the EP went smoothly and we’re happy with how it all came out and happy to be able to work with everyone we did.
You also did a track with Marcus Bridge of Northlane on this EP, how did that come about?
Yeah, it’s a bit of a funny story; we’ve always known Marcus to some kind of capacity. Ryan has actually known him a bit better than most of us because they live in the same general area. Marcus actually use to play in some bands, and we actually played one of Marcus’ old bands last show which was out in Cherrybrooke. So we actually played his bands last show, so like we always kind of knew each other as acquaintances but Ryan and him had actually spoken a few times. Then once the EP was starting to come together, we thought this would be a really cool place to try to get him on the song. So we hit him up so like “hey man, would be interested in doing guest vocals on one of our songs?” and he just got back to us and was like “yeah, sure. When you guys free to do it?’ then it kinda just went from there, it was awesome.
Funnily enough, this is a bit of a throwback, but the first time I saw you guys was way back in like April 2014 and you were playing with Marcus’ current band ‘Sound Of Seasons’
Oh yeah! That’s it, haha. We’ve always kind of run into him, but I guess now with him being in Northlane it’s less that you just run into him on the corner but we still get to see him. When we get to see him it’s always good and to have that kind of relationship with him now it’s nice how it all worked out in the end. Like yeah, we are definitely glad we could have him because it’s certainly a part of the EP we are all proud of.
You guys are also set to play Legion fest in 2017. Are there any other big festivals you’d love to play?
To be honest, it is kind at the same rough time, but would like to do UNIFY. I went there this year with Daniel and Jake and yeah it was just such a good experience and yeah just like the vibe of the festival. Although it’s heavy bands, at the same time everyone’s in a good mindset. I think that’s the good thing about heavy music at the moment like, no bands in Australia are pushing that aggressive agenda, as much as they are promoting a good brotherhood kinda friendship agenda. That really came through at UNIFY and I guess that is just it. That’s the type of environment we would all like to be apart of. But in the same sense we are really keen to see Legion take off and become a thing, especially seeing asSoundwave is gone.
Yeah, we certainly have to keep the heavy scene alive in Australia
Yeah and there’s plenty of good bands around to do that, we just need the venues to play it.
Speaking of festivals you guys only recently played Invasion fest with a bunch of killer Australian hardcore bands. What are your thoughts on more of those mini festivals popping up rather an 4 band show? What do you prefer to play?
I think they are good but its healthy to have one once in awhile. It has the whole bigger community vibe that small shows can’t really do at the end of the day. Like small shows are fantastic, but you need that kind of big thing to bring everyone together and make a day of it. Like, we couldn’t be apart of it, but a few of us went down for Strike Hard Fest a few weeks back in Sydney and it was mostly hardcore bands but at the end of the day it was just an awesome experience to go down there and see pals
You guys have worked extremely hard playing numerous shows and getting the words out about your latest EP. Do to you have any key advice you’d like to pass down onto bands looking to break into the scene or even kids wanting to start their own band?
I suppose the best piece of advice I can give is, never sell your self short, but at the same time never try to elevate yourself above what you are. Always try to stand where you are as a band in the scene but at the same time, don’t ever just kind of just joke around, unless like you wanna do that. That’s all well and good but at the same time but eventually you have to start taking things seriously. If you want to get to that point where it becomes a profession, or becomes a bit more serious, you need to take it with that same kind of outlook. You can certainly still have fun, it’s definitely not a situation where it’s all serious and no fun and games ever, but I suppose some bands just take it as a laugh but you can’t except the world unless you’re putting it all in. So I guess it’s all about believing in yourself and going ahead with what you think you can achieve.
You’re touring around the country with a bunch of rad bands who’ve also recently dropped some great tunes. Is there anything in particular you’re going to be blasting in the van as you travel around?
Ah well, I pretty much only listen to heavy music so I will definitely be playing some of that new After The Burial coming out. I think Jake will put on the new Rufus album about 18 thousand times, I’m not really opposed to that but not my first pick. That new Basement is awesome too but yeah I’m just trying to think. There’s that much awesome new music out right now and to be honest we’ve only just started getting into the new Parkway Drive album, so we’re all just gearing up into that. There are certainly lots of great music to fill up those 10 hour car trips for sure haha.