Thursday, November 6, 2008

Interview w/ Jimmy from Polar Bear Club

photo by kimpossible

1. What is your name, and what do you do in Polar Bear Club?

My name is Jimmy and I sing.

2. There is something I have always speculated about, but i just want to set the record straight. Everyone knows that "Polar Bear Club" by Silent Majority is the best melodic hardcore song ever, that in fact where you guys came up with the moniker, and if so, how has a band like Silent Majority paved the way for bands like yourselves?

We did in fact get our name from the SM song. That band set the bar high for punk and hardcore bands. For me, it's all about the singer, Tommy. His voice is ideal. A perfect, natural mix of singing and screaming. The vocals aren't black and white and it's a lot more interesting to me.

3. You guys played Fest this past weekend. How was that experience? Is this your first time playing the Fest and if not, how does the response compare to last year?

This was our first time playing the fest and it was the absolute highlight of this tour. Most places we travel to there are at least a couple people there who are really pumped to see us. The fest was a culmination of all those people across the U.S. and even England and Japan. Our show was packed and everyone was really happy to see us. You can't ask for better.

4. It's no secret that you guys tour the fuck out, and it doesn't look like it's going to let up until at least a little bit in January, then back out in February and March. How do you guys sustain so long on the road? Is it liberating being able to jam on a bunch of songs, new and old, as opposed to just an ep's worth of songs?

I am not sure how we sustain on the road. You just make yourself do it I guess. But yeah, it's really nice to have a set that is pretty evenly made up of EP songs and full length songs. Kids seem to be responding to both.

5. I was reading in the Polar Bear blog and there was an entry about when you played Wilkes-Barre (my home town) that the kids were reacting more toward the new songs, which you said was a first for the tour. Have you found that as you've been touring more and more, that that seems to be the case? What's the craziest show you've played this touring cycle. Any duds?

Yeah. Like I said, the response for ep and full length songs has been pretty equal. If anything, kids seem to go off more for the EP songs but they aren't mute for the full length songs. The Fest was definitely the craziest show we played. Columbus, Albany, San Fransisco and Phoenix stick out also as awesome shows. And yes there have been plenty of duds. A lot of the shows leading up to the Fest were duds but even those shows had some people there excited to see us. They may not have been losing their minds but they were happy to be listening to us play and that is awesome.

6. Speaking of your latest record, Sometimes Things Just Disappear, kids and critics alike having being going apeshit over it, some even calling it the "most important" melodic hardcore record of the last decade. Was it your intention to write a classic hardcore record? What do you think the major differences between your Ep (The Redder The Better) and the full length are?

It wasn't our intention to write a classic hardcore record but It was our intention to write an album that we were into. We really just wanted to make something we were proud of. I'm not sure if it is a classic hardcore record or not but I am proud of it. I think the major differences from EP to full length is in the members. We changed drummers and guitarist going into STJD and that had a huge impact on things.

7. Has the PREVIOUS (finally) political administration played any part in the maturing of the sound from ep to album? What else has influenced the sound on the record? Any recording plans for the new year?

I don't think politics has much to do with our sound. We're influenced by music. Not just music though. Movies, books and plays influence me a lot. We are really hoping to record our next full length in April but it is all super tentative so it will probably change.

8. What got you guys into punk and hardcore? How is the scene in Rochester now/how was it growing up? What bands made you realize that you punk and hardcore would be in your life for a long time? Any bands you're currently siked on?

Some of the first bands that got me into punk were like Pennywise, Less Than Jake, NOFX ya know, pretty standard shit. But the scene in Rochester when I was like 15 and 16 was thriving and me making music has so much to do with the local punk bands in Rochester. Just the mere discovery that there were awesome, aggressive DIY bands in my city blew me away. I am really siked on Attack in Black right now and Able Baker Fox. We are playing shows with A Wilhelm Scream right now and holy fuck they're good. Also The Swellers and Broadway Calls and Crime in Stereo.

9. if one day you woke up and Polar Bear Club had never existed, what would you be doing with yourself?

I probably would be Acting. I know that sounds super lame but I am really into theatre so there.

10. Did you win the free tacos?

Oh yeah

11. Any shout outs/things to add?

Get Awesome.

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