Interview || The one with Fab & Woody from Polar

While adventuring in France, I had the chance to sit for a nice chat with Fabian and Woody of Polar. The band released a phenomenal album last year, entitled 'No Cure No Saviour', which was very well receieved, as Fab recounts. Woody agrees, seeing that the record gave them the opportunity to broaden their fanbase, whilst their songwriting was further enriched. New people joined the band, bringing their own creative elements, and Woody himself stepped out of his comfort zone. What really stood out for me, though, was the cover. “When you spend so much time on the music, it should be the same amount of time on the artwork”, Fab explains. The band started noticing an alarming number of homeless people while touring and decided to do something about it. 

While giving away food and water from their rider, they had the opportunity to talk to these people and to photograph them. One of these pictures ended up being on the cover of the album. Woody elaborates more on what they witnessed; “The idea there is that, the way the world is right now, humans are disregarding each other, people are completely forgetting. There's a lot of people out there that are really going through a bad time and, because there's so much stuff going on in the world, things like that get caught in an undertoe… We met a guy, Brian, and he was waiting for the “big day”, and what he meant with ‘the big day’ was when was gonna finally die”. You can actually hear a speaking dialogue on the song ‘No Cure’.
A part of that is also documented on the video for the song ‘Until The Light’. The band took a filming crew to London trying to “display an imagery of how hard it is. It was raw, those people were not actors, these are real people who are actually living like this. They are actually suffering, it isn’t makeup and stage, and we needed people to see that”. Could they see the band becoming political, like Wolf Down and Stray From The Path? Fab is quick to decline, as they wish to stay away from the political side of the music. “I’m sure the five of us have got our own ideas and views about the way the world is and the way it turns; I don’t think we hold enough, as a group of five people, political status or stature to actually go into political music”, Woody adds. “I don’t think we carry enough information… You take bands like Stray From The Path, they’ve been doing that from day one all the way to where they are now. Every album has a constant feel of that political value and kids like it, they understand it… So if you don’t know enough, someone comes for an interview, [asks] ‘what is your political stature on that?’, and you got no answer”. As of late, the band sees their popularity rise in Europe. Woody attributes it to pouring their heart and soul into everything they do which, ultimately, is what makes their music so attractive in this oversaturated scene -and an admittedly hard industry. Passion is a key drive for him; “giving everything you have and not getting defeated”.

In an attempt to lighten up, we moved to our staple question; casting each member of the band as a superhero. “Jonny’d be Super Ted!”, Woody exclaims as Fab continues that “Nick Jones would be Ant-man because he’s small and Woody would be Thor, with the long hair”, before wondering if Thor is actually a superhero, only to receive a unanimous “YES”. Tom Green would be Wolverine whilst Fab would be Captain America. Superheroes have guilty pleasures too, say albums they can listen to without skipping a song. For Woody, it would be ‘Around The Fur' by Deftones. Fab replies ‘Wake The Dead’ by Comeback Kid. Hold on, didn’t they get Andrew Neufeld to sing on “Deus Ex machine” too? Woody explains how the two bands were playing a festival a couple of years back when he and Nick bumped into Andrew and ended up having a conversation for hours. While doing the album, they had a song they wanted Andrew on. “We approached him, sent him the demo, he was down, we found a way of getting him to track in Toronto. Everything fell into place in the right time and it ended up being a perfect collaboration, really”.
If you’ve read any of my interviews, you know I won’t be satisfied if I don’t get people into uncomfortable positions. What would the guys do if they woke up one day in the opposite gender’s body? Woody would "buy a mirror, for sure". Tom Green, however, points out that this is a leading question, since there’s nothing you can say without getting in trouble. Fair point, lad. Fab apparently agrees as he turns the question on me. Well, in this case, I guess my friends would finally stop wondering whether I’m a dude or not...

My final question finds 3/5 of the band sitting around me. Sure, death is an unfortunate event but I can’t wait to find out what sort of music the guys would have playing at their funeral. “‘Highway To Hell’!” exclaims Woody. Fab turns to Tom, who casually replies that he’d go with ‘Danger Zone’. He’s still skeptical, though, thinking he’d probably go with something sombre. Woody, however, is on fire; he admits he’d probably put on Deftones or Limp Bizkit “just to piss everyone off”. Fab turns it to me once more, asking what I’d have. After having asked this question so many times, I believe I have concluded; either ‘November Rain’ or ‘Estranged’ by Guns N Roses (while Tom yells “Good choice!” in the back). You know, those long songs with the epic feel and the dramatic crescendo… “It’s quite unpopular to say this in our circle of music but I’m a very big Guns N Roses fan, but we have to be closeted GnR fans”, Woody informs me and turns to Fab, who “doesn’t mind Guns N Roses”. He barely has time to finish his sentence, as Terrence from Obey The Brave chimes in; “Yeah man I don’t mind Guns N Roses! What are you talking about?”. Everybody erupts laughing. What a legend. 
We discuss a little more about the lyric themes of the album until our time is up. The guys have a new tour coming up in March, be sure to catch them playing, you won't be disappointed.
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