Polar Bear Club

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While this interview may have gone down with Jimmy of Polar Bear Club when they were still in the initial stages of writing and planning out the new record, I thought now would be the perfect time to actually post it! The band is currently in the studio recording the follow up record to '€˜Chasing Hamburg'€™ that dropped in late 2009 and have so much more coming up after they finish some of the recording process including being back on the road!

The band kicks off their next tour right here in this lady'€™s stomping grounds in Boston on April 22nd with a group of bands that are a little more similar to their style including The Swellers and Bayside in comparison to the last time we caught up with Jimmy! That tour was the fall AP tour which included such heavy hitters as Bring Me The Horizon and August Burns Red but the band lived it for what it was worth and it created a huge amount of buzz for the band with a younger crowd and made them plenty of great friends. Read on for our exclusive and look for the record to be dropping later this year!

Soft one to start off! Being a band that obviously does tour really, really steadily what would you say are like your top three things you must have on the road?
I need my labtop because I watch a lot of movies like in the van and stuff like that. Definitely a labtop. Jump rope and what'€™s the third? A good hat because you don'€™t get to shower every day so sometimes you have crazy hair so you need a good hat (laughs)!

Then the last record dropped a little over a year ago so it'€™s been a while but how has it been doing? Maybe by the kids, not necessarily just sales?
It'€™s been great. I mean like it'€™s weird. We sort of had a year of support touring, you know, so a lot of people are getting into Polar Bear Club on this new album which to like sort of our older fans is a little crazy because they'€™re like '€˜Well, we got into you on this album so that'€™s our favorite stuff'€™. But it'€™s been great and even at our headlining shows, we'€™ve been seeing a lot of the older fans getting into the newer songs and that sort of thing but yeah it'€™s been out about a year and we'€™re already working and talking about the next one!

That'€™s what I was actually going to ask about next! With it being out for a year, I mean obviously a record takes a long time to do so it is in the works, like you'€™ve started writing?
Yeah we started writing, we visited some studios and we'€™re narrowing down on where we want to do it and I hope to be recording it in March. So we'€™ll record it then and then get it out you know as soon as we can. I mean depending on when we want to release it depends on what tours we'€™re going to do and that sort of thing but, you know, hopefully early summer but it could be like a total fall album though you know what I mean?
That happens all the time though!
Yeah!
Records get pushed back all the time.
They do but by the time the fall hits, you know it will have been a two year album cycle which could be cool you know. Who knows.

Then how do you normally go about the writing process? Is it one person, is it more collective, does it change?
It'€™s very collaborative. I think the main sort of songwriters in the band are myself and our two guitar players so we bring everything to the table and then sort of construct and analyze and put it all together as a band. But you know the fun part about it is that it never is the same one song to the next. Sometimes some one will bring a song to the table and we'€™ll do it exactly how they planned it and that was the best way to do it or sometimes someone will bring you know a verse to the table and they'€™re like '€˜I need a chorus'€™ and we'€™ll finish each other'€™s songs but it'€™s pretty collaborative.

Then currently you'€™re with Bridge 9 which is one of the most well known indie labels and a great one to be on with like Strike Anywhere and all these guys. How has that been? I know you'€™ve been on it for this last release and a EP as well but being one of the biggest indie labels, how has that journey been?
It'€™s been awesome. They'€™re such a great label and you know as a band our size, it just makes sense to be-(to friends) You guys are leaving? Okay! Good to see you!
Fellow Bridge 9 Band Defeater: Always, always. Sorry to interrupt!
No, no worries!
Sorry!
No worries!
I'€™m not sorry. Those are my friends! Bye guys! What were we talking about?
Bridge 9!
Bridge 9! Those guys are on Bridge 9 too! Those are the guys from Defeater.
Oooh okay!
Um, yeah it'€™s great! It'€™s awesome! You know it doesn'€™t make sense for us to be anywhere else right now. We love it! We love everyone there and we'€™re looking forward to doing this next record with them.

Then maybe where'€™s like the strangest place you'€™ve found inspiration for anything from like a song lyric to a song title? Like something some one said?
I mean it'€™s everywhere and movies are big for me too. I get a lot of inspiration from movies. Not like so much specifically but when I see like a great movie or just even like a great scene, it really makes me want to go touch upon and express myself in a way that maybe I could touch someone like it touches me you know. So movies are huge and books as well but even just conversations you know. Like really small conversations always, often, influence a song so that'€™s kind of strange too. Little exchanges that you have with some one and they probably didn'€™t think twice about it but you had this just great idea for a song!

Then you guys are something a little bit different on this line up which I kind of like.
Me too!
So how has it been going for you guys? Like obviously Bring Me The Horizon is so heavy and these guys too (August Burns Red). How has it been for you?
It'€™s been, I'€™ll say it'€™s been a lot better than we expected. You know this was a tour that we were very reluctant to take not based on anything but you know we do sort of stick out and we'€™ve done tours like that. I mean we'€™ve toured with bands from like The Gaslight Anthem to Half Hearted you know to whatever and we will do those tours but we were just like will this one work? You know does it work and what it really boiled down to was that this was the Alternative Press tour so it'€™s more of a festival in our eyes and the press is really good and we'€™re going to be playing to a bunch of new people and that is really what it boiled down to. So we talked about it and it was sort of just a no brainer. It was like '€˜why wouldn'€™t we do this tour?'€™. We don'€™t have anything else going on and we'€™re going to play to, I mean there'€™s 2300 kids here tonight you know and we'€™re going to play to that every night..why wouldn'€™t we do that? And it'€™s been going a lot better than we thought. I think kids at these shows are younger for sure but they'€™re more open to new music where as if you know, you do a support tour for a more established older band with older fans they'€™re a bit more close minded. Just naturally you get older and that sort of happens but kids here they just want to go to a rock concert and see the bands! So we'€™re getting a lot of new kids into Polar Bear Club this tour.
That'€™s never a bad thing!
Yeah not at all!

Then obviously we talked about you guys playing at Warped Tour this summer. Maybe what was like the strangest thing you saw?
On Warped?
Yeah!
Ooh let'€™s see.
Considering how many different kinds of bands there are. Like Bring Me was on that tour too!
Yeah! A lot of days we played right after Sum 41. Like literally the second Sum 41 stopped, we would start the second they stopped. That was strange! No the first day of Warped Tour, we did that and like we had never played a Warped Tour before so that'€™s our first day. Like the second Sum 41 stops, we start. A Top 40 band! The second they stop, Polar Bear Club'€™s gonna start and like that was sort of nerve wracking and strange but it actually worked in our favor because Warped Tour'€™s a lot like this where kids are just like '€˜New music get me into it!'€™. So we were getting their crowd to watch us. It was awesome!

Never a bad thing like I say again! And then maybe if you could take, not necessarily you guys headlining, but if you could take any three past acts you'€™ve toured with on a dream tour today, who would they be?
Oh boy! Let'€™s see.
Doesn'€™t have to make sense.
I mean I can'€™t pick three I just can'€™t because it'€™s just like-. I don'€™t want to say brotherhood because I guess that'€™s sexist but it'€™s such a strong community you know. I mean the bands that I think of as our good friends you know off the bat it'€™s like Fireworks, Trapped Under Ice, Four Year Strong, Set Your Goals and The Swellers and Broadway Calls and you know Shooked One, Every Time I Die. You know the bands that we'€™ve toured with, all the bands we'€™ve toured with, you look at our touring resume, they'€™re our best friends. You know like across the board. This tour'€™s no exception! You know like if we had never taken this tour-
I saw your Halloween video!
Yeah, yeah and it was just like so cool to do that because everyone all was behind it you know. Like everyone was like we'€™ve got to do this and like honestly I'€™m a bit older. I mean I'€™m only twenty five but it'€™s like I don'€™t listen to a lot of bands on this tour. Like I had heard of Bring Me the Horizon but honestly, I had never heard of August Burns Red or Emarosa. Not because they'€™re bad or whatever. Just I'€™m in a way different scene then that. Music'€™s really separate you know but those guys are our best friends and it'€™s like that'€™s just so great. Bring Me as well! It'€™s such a great thing to go blind into a tour and go out being like '€˜Wow, I learned something'€™. You know I actually learned something about myself and about other types of music and about people that I never would have met like if I had stayed inside my comfort zone. You know if I only decided to tour with certain types of bands.

And then just three more! What can fans look forward to? I mean you said you were aiming to record in March and you may be working on the record a little bit early but what'€™s going on in the new year?
Well we finish this tour in a week and then we just start writing we already started writing but we'€™re going to go finish writing. We'€™ve got about two months till we go to Soundwave in Australia. Do that, come back and hopefully be recording shortly after that and then a short little British tour. Like really short. We'€™re actually sort of just going for our friend'€™s wedding (laughs) and playing shows around it. So we do that and then from there who knows? It all depends on the record you know. Once we set a release date we can sort of plan our summer touring and pretty much (laugh) you know the next year of our lives or two years.

That'€™s really good! Then two different ones, what was the first CD you bought and the first concert you went to?
The first what?
CD or cassette.
Okay!
I always say cassette now.
Oh yeah (laughs)!
I'€™ve been doing a few of the older bands now like Motion City and they'€™re like '€˜oh no, it'€™s cassettes!'€™
Totally! The first cassette I bought, well okay. The first CD I bought was Alanis Morissette'€™s '€˜Jagged Little Pill'€™. That did not really so much define myself as much as the second cassette that I bought which was Rage Against The Machine'€™s '€˜Evil Empire'€™. I threw the Alanis Morrisette CD away shortly after buying that and I mean Rage Against The Machine that was the reason I wanted to be in a band you know and that was definitely the first cassette that I bought. Shortly after, I remember Deftones'€™ '€˜Adrenaline'€™, Pennywise '€˜Unknown Road'€™ and it just sort of snowballed from there. The first concert I went to, my dad took me to see because I wanted to go to see Primus and Blink 182.
He took you to Blink? Good dad!
Yeah! And this was just as '€˜Dude Ranch'€™ was coming out.
Wow yeah!
So it was clubs like, you know, House of Blues as opposed to when I saw them years later at a stadium but it was awesome and I just knew from my very young age that I wanted to be on the stage as opposed to in the crowd. You know like I loved going to concerts but I knew that I wanted to be up there. Like I want to be watching from the side of the stage or be performing on the stage. I mean I just knew that from very early on after I saw that Rage Against The Machine video. It'€™s like Tibet or something and at a huge concert with thousands of people and everyone'€™s going crazy in that video. I mean my uncle gave me an old bass that he had like with two strings on it and I would pretend I was in Rage Against The Machine watching that video you know and I know that like was a part of who I was now.

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